Monday, June 22, 2009

Ruminating on Wasatch.

So I ran the Wasatch Back last weekend, along with so many other fine friends (old and new), and can finally add the word FUN to the experience. I still wince a little when I have to walk and have a couple deflated blisters and some amusing tan lines to show for it, but I'm glad I did it. Real glad. Thanks for the invite, Emily! People keep asking if I'll do it again and, while it's too early to commit to that half awake deliriousness all over again, I can't say I'm ruling it out.

One thought I had was this: it's just amazing to me what the body is able to do when the mind has decided it's going to go through with it. On paper, tackling over 18 miles in under 24 hours' time on a whopping four hours of sleep is crazy talk. And yet, it happened. There was a steady diet of M&Ms and Vitamin Water to subsist on and cheering and encouragement and swallowing a good pound of dust down a few dusty miles of road, but we all came out the victors. We did it with laughing and joking and plenty of "that's what she said" jokes to pull us through. It all worked, too.

I recall having to walk a couple times up some steep hills just after midnight, under the quiet of a starry sky and, when in those few moments I thought it might be too much for me, a runner with a headlamp would pass me up and utter, "Good job." It happened more than once. My favorite, though, came from a lanky, bald man, breathing pretty hard, but managing to get out, "You're awesome" as he scooted by. Would that we could live life that same way, offering words of quiet strength to those who surround us.

Another thought? Never underestimate the power of old Metallica music to get you up a steep hill you probably couldn't get up otherwise. Sam Beam and his Iron and Wine won't do it, but Metallica will. It so will.


Christina said...

My friends up here in Seattle, flew down last weekend to run in the Wasatch Race too. They had a blast. Wish I could have done it--I'll just tack it onto the list of things I'd like to do someday!

Rachel said...

I'm a proud mama.

aisy said...

Way to go Dainon. No one can fully understand the draw of the Wasatch back until they do it themselves. Running on no sleep, in the middle of the night... pure bliss.

heather said...

your third paragraph brought tears to my eyes. i'm not a wimp, i'm not! but i know exactly what you mean there; i did the breast cancer walk -60 miles- with my mom, and the sheer support of all the wonderful people cheering us on as we walked and walked (and walked!) up the california coast was something unparalleled in my life at any other time, and i hope i can do that for other people, somehow, in life. "you're awesome" under the midnight stars. perfect.

thanks for this post.

k8 said...

such a welcome addition to our Wolf Dance-thanks for being a good sport when you had to climb eight miles uphill, in the dark, to Iron and Wine.