Mile 55- Western States 2009. Photo by Gareth Mackay
It's feels like just yesterday that this photo was taken as we moved Krissy through Michigan Bluff, mile 55 at States. I can feel the sweltering heat of the day and the crazy energy of the race. It's been, what 2/3 of a year? There are now 134 days left until States. It's just weird where time goes.
This is not a Western States posting though. I am as excited about Western States as I am for any of my other races. I want to run well, challenge myself in both training and racing and enjoy the heck out of myself.
It is funny to reflect on how quickly things change. While I feel like I have just been in true "training mode" since coming back from Hawaii, my off season really seemed to fly by. This year, my off season was not really an "off from running" season but more of an off from racing season. I haven't raced since Rodeo Beach 50k and raced in an "A" race since JFK in November. And now, I am quickly approaching my first race and am thinking, "ack! Where did time go? Am I ready? Am I fast enough yet?" I was looking at my training plan and race schedule and it really just feels like a hop, skip and a jump and suddenly it's June! The reality of the situation is that I have been doing some great training, dropping the hammer on some good running and am just continuing to be patient. Patience is afterall what I recommend to those runners just starting out, so I need to remember to heed that for myself. And remembering to enjoy, though I would say I really don't have much problem with that. I am as much looking forward to my races, as I am for many a weekend running adventure, pacing gigs and training.
In all honesty, while I am in "training mode" now, I feel this mode has become one that is not hugely separate from my regular mode. What I mean is that, the good habits of "training mode" like maintaining a healthy (but also balanced & balanced with enjoyment) diet, core training, stretching, getting bodywork etc. I feel like, more than ever, that running is just a completely integrated part of my life. Maybe it's because I spend the majority of my time with people who think a weekend is best spent running on trails for hours followed by good food, drink and laughs that I feel this way. Though this has generally never been the case, I know feel like the epic cool runs we do on the weekend are the center piece of the weekends plans instead of something that will be fit in. I mean, I guess most people know by now, that there are not many activities I love more in the world than running and cooking!
The small amazing moments.
Sunrise over the city on yet another 5:30 Headlands run.
Photo by Brett Rivers.
While I look at my schedule and say, "ack! where is time going?", I am also really aware that I am more present than ever. I am more in the here and now. It is a really cool feeling to know, acknowledge and work towards plans/goals for the future, but to not be missing out on all the great things going on right now that make me so happy, excited, present and content. Life is really good. So even though, when I pause for a minute to think about it, time seems to be racing and I have to work hard at holding on to all the amazing moments that are playing out every day (thank goodness I have taken to journaling), I still feel like each moment is rich and fat and drawn out for my enjoyment.
Integration and Presence. Above all, right now that is where I am. And I, frankly, am quickly forgetting any other way to be.