Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Failure

Ultra running, in its simplest form, is a grueling test of staying sane while attempting an insane test of endurance and overcoming one's mental barriers. Throughout the run, expect the unexpected and be ready for facing your demons, which in my case is fear of failure and disappointment.

I can sit here and make excuses as to why I didn't finish the 50 mile test against the horses, but I have no one to blame aside from my own ignorance. One rule that I preach to people looking to get into ultra running is to stay on top of your nutrition. For some reason, I let my brain win this time around as my stomach felt queasy therefore I didn't want to eat anything whatsoever. My actions caused me to faint on the trail after climbing one of the most painful climbs I've ever done. Being low on electrolytes and calories, I collapsed, catching myself before I hit the ground. Made it to mile 40 and couldn't stand up once I sat down. They called a truck to take me off of the course and that was that.

The race wasn't a total waste. Though I did not finish, I can still learn from this. See, failure is scary, and yet it can help us grow in so many ways. Will I make the same mistake again? No. I'll learn from this.

I was able to break past my normal "boredom" zone. Normally, around 4 hours or so, I'm ready to get off of the trail and back home, but Man Against Horse, I was able to run for 10 hours without ever thinking about being anywhere other than on the trail. It was such a wonderful run, the trails were so nice to be on and the views were fantastic. Running next to horses was also something to cherish. Seriously, amazing experience all around. I'm not afraid of the JJ100 coming up in a few weeks, I just need to remember how important nutrition is no matter what. I believe salt tabs will have to accompany me during the 100, as well as being consistent with my caloric intake. Tim has always said, "it won't last forever," meaning the pain is temporary. I need to remember those words. Truthfully, if my nutrition is the only thing holding me back, I believe I'm doing rather good. It's a science and I'll figure out what works for me.

My biggest fear, I thought was heights. Yeah I know, running trails on top of mountains with cliffs on either side seems rather contradictory, to being afraid of heights, but for some reason I feel more alive on the trails, facing death so to speak. My biggest fears are failing those I love and disappointing them. I remember having to face my mom when I was around 7-9 years old after stealing from a toy store. She looked so disappointed in my actions. See, we didn't have much money to speak of, in fact, we were teased my whole life for being dirt poor. And yet my mom has always taught us to be honest, to never cheat lie or steal. But there I went and stole a silly toy. She was sad, and that image has stuck with me ever since. I don't want to ever disappoint my loved ones because I would never intentionally want to cause them pain or make them sad.

I don't know where I was going with that, but there you have it. My ADHD is in full effect and I'm having a hard time focusing. Time to hop on a plane and go somewhere.