Monday, March 4, 2013

Roll with the Punches or Get Knocked Down

The increase of prize money has been a hot topic in the ultra running community as of late. I guess I have mixed feelings about this. I got into running ultras after falling in love with a community that seemed to be more about helping each other cross the finish line and being excited for everyone else running as much as themself. The last road marathon I ran was Steamboat in 2011. I was running it as a training run for my first ultra, North Fork 50 mile. On the bus on my way to the starting line the guy next to me felt obliged to tell me every detail about the 50 marathons he had run the year before. It wasn't so much the fact that he had run 50 marathons the year before, it was the way he said it. Like he was so great for doing this. I'm not one to go around telling everyone how great I am for doing something, but to each their own. The bottom line was I had heard this story so many times and was tired of it. When I ran North Fork I chatted with people about running in Alaska, I listened to stories of a guy who ran a local camp and was just living the dream in the Colorado mountains. I can't say that increasing prize money will bring this attitude to ultras or not, but it definitely is a worry of mine.

Then I think about it and realize that there will always be those people in everything you do. No matter how much I hate to think about it I know the day will come when someone makes fun of James. I hope when that day comes I am the better person and don't punch them in the throat. I can't promise this, but I will certainly try. Its the same thing in ultras, while bigger prize money may attract the attitudes I was trying to get away from I just need to be the better person and remember why I'm running. I'm not running for the prize money, I'm running to see these amazing new places, to test my own limits, to push myself. On the other side increasing prize money may bring stronger competition and more attention to ultras. I don't think that's a bad thing.

As with just about anything in life you never know what the end result will be. Just like you don't know if you will have a succesful race when you hit that submit button on your registration, we won't know what the end result of increasing prize money at ultras will be until it happens. I wasn't expecting a baby with Down syndrome when James was born. Some people, the pediatrician in the NICU included, may have thought this was a bad thing. And at first when I heard the news, I wasn't sure if it was a good or bad thing. What I did know was that it didn't matter, this was my son to love and hold and cherish for the rest of our lives. And so that's what I've done. I've taken it in stride, I've adapted to a way of life that was something other than what I expected. I can't even imagine what life would be like if I hadn't have been able to accept these changes. Sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches. Whether its another diagnosis or changes to prize money at ultras. Adapt, adjust and move on, that's really all there is.

Loving sunny days in Anchorage!
This week was my first work trip since having James. As my plane landed in Anchorage I was filled with mixed feelings. I love Alaska, it has gotten in my soul and just makes me so happy. So after a year away from this amazing place I couldn't wait to get my feet on the ground. But as happy as I was, my lil grommie wasn't here with me. I knew it would be hard to wake up and not have his arms around my neck, but I wasn't prepared for how empty I felt. Tuesday was one of those amazing days where the sun shines bright and all seems right with the world. Running at the top of the Sheraton I felt on top of the world. I thought about that November day running in that same spot where I had the insane idea of running Leadville 3 months after having James. Reminising about all my Alaska runs with the sun shining on my face, I ran hard. I'm sure being at sea level helped that out.

Of course the rest of the week, my running definitley slacked. I was exhausted after flying home on the red eye and crazy busy with getting the house ready to sell. Friday somehow Dan convinced me that it was really nice out. So I took off up the mesa at Matt-Winters and was blasted with cold wind and a snowpacked trail. I was mid-thigh in one snow drift I broke through. Better than a treadmill, but it was a tough run. My great Alaskan run certainly makes up for the other not so great runs.

Week February 25 - March 3

Miles Running: 19.5
Hours Running and Hiking: 3.5

Dan sent me this picture Monday night while I was in Anchorage, made me know my boy was okay,
but missed him like crazy

Apparently I missed my boy more than he missed me.

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