Monday, October 21, 2019 9:09 PM
With less than 5 days left before I toe the line of our first 100 mile race, I find myself grappling with the same struggle I faced immediately after the 24-hour race at Lhotse. (A struggle I wrote about, but never published much like my race report…hmm) That place of struggle to know if I can finish this race or not. I am in that time of reflection and period of self-doubt where I wonder if I trained hard enough, if I have what it takes to overcome the pain, if my Why is big enough?
Earlier today while discussing my thoughts with my running partner, I heard myself say, “I don’t know if my Why is big enough to get me through this race.” Those words have echoed in my head all day.
So tonight I read an inspirational article about a runner who finished the Tahoe 100 that Trex sent me, and I made myself watch Billy Yang’s film, ‘The Why’, to try and pull myself out of my funk and once again find that place of determination and inspiration that will help me push through, and to remind myself of my Why.
To be honest it has felt forced and cliché, but I knew there would be nuggets of wisdom in that article, and in that short film that I could use like life lines to help me pull out of my darker depths. I mean if I feel this way now how the hell am I going to feel at mile 82? (assuming I make it that far)
So did it help? Yes. Am I happy-go-lucky? No. But it’s a start. I know in my head, that overcoming pain, both mental and physical, will be the hardest part of this, and I needed to hear this process described by other runners who have faced this and won their battles. It helps to hear or read it put concisely.
It helped to hear that last inspiring message that it is okay to use my body in this way, to overcome my mind and to look for the other side of the pain that will come. It helped to be reminded that it is part of the story I will tell for years and years.
So now I am forcing myself to sit down and write these thoughts down, to remind myself of my Why and to create something that I can revisit and maybe other’s will too, whenever I am facing similar doubts.
I wish at this moment I wasn’t struggling with these feelings. I wish more than anything that I was confident and excited about this race. I wish that I had inspiring things to write about. I wish that I was going into this week with a hopeful heart instead of a since of worry and dread, but I am not, at least not at present while I write this. I am worried. I am anxious. I am afraid, and more than anything I want it all to just be over so I can put it behind me better or worse. But mostly I am sad and angry that right now I am feeling so negatively towards something I have been working hard for all summer. I gave up Saturday and Sunday mornings sleeping in and watching cartoons with my kids to run. I ran after work, exhausted, in the triple digit heat. I ran during the miserable sticky nights around the same paths I have pounded around for years now. And I ran through the pain of watching my dearest aunt die of brain tumors. It was a long hot painful summer and I deserve to see my work come to the bloody damn end.
So it is with heaviness in my heart and mind that I jot down my thoughts tonight in hopes of capturing the ebb and flow of emotions that this journey will bring, and it is just this very journey, the one of the highs and lows, that reminds me I have work to do in myself, that is my Why.