There were a couple of more things I wanted to say about last weekend. I guess mainly that meeting Tim for the first time was outstanding. Nice to see that what you see SOMETIMES with the way someone comes across online is pretty close to how they actually come across in person. That was Tim. We're very similar in some of our fundamental views. Best of all, he's laid back. So, not only was it a great experience helping him in whatever way I could to take part in and finish that race, but I got to know a pretty good guy. I'm stoked to do some more big trails and recovery with him in the future.
Tim, a couple of times, which just seems fucking crazy, suggested I run a 100. Why wouldn't he. He's running about 23 ultras this year, he came into town and I kinda crewed/paced him, so the topic has to come-up. I think later in an email he suggested that I do SD100 next year since he's probably coming back. I mean really? I haven't run a 50K yet or even an official marathon, yet I'm going to even exchange words in that direction. . .
Last weekend is still weighing on me. I love the trails out there and don't even get out there as much as I'd like. Running the SD100 would be huge. I almost feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life, not just running and I have this crazy idea that investing in something as consuming as ultra running is a great idea. In fact, although the evidence is certainly not there, I have been rather consumed by the long distance trail run for a few years now, only I have opted to run shorter, more easily manageable commitments. I have been wrong all along.
I get cc'ed on almost every email that comes from a huge San Diego ultra crowd, pretty much the crowd. I could be running up there (in the Lagunas) several times a month if I wanted with company (which is key by the way). Those kinds of relationships can be pretty rich for life and leisure. I did run with a few of those folks a few years back, trained in the Lagunas amongst other places, ran the World of Hurt 25k near Vegas with them (camped with the kids, etc.) and basically got into great shape. I was on the verge. And then I flatted. No idea why other than the proverbial I'm a pussy excuse. But here's the thing, the benefits of that lifestyle are huge, life changing huge.
The fellowship and the suffering are exactly what I'm talking about.
I was watching Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King yesterday, snoozing on the couch. I love those films. Always have. I was never really into the literature of Tolkien, but the films blew me away. I own all three. Early in my blogging daze (in fact it might be in my Blogger profile where it mentions my favorite films) I alluded to those films having such great scenes of trail running. The Twin Towers (sequel) consists of some serious cross-country with Aragorn, Gimili and Legolas footing it in pursuit of the Orcs who have snatched the little Shire folk.
Well, yesterday while watching the final installment, where Sam and Frodo are trying to get to Mordor to destroy the ring and the rest of Middle Earth doing whatever they can to indirectly assist in this kind of coup de grace, I was stunned at how the drama of this final leg of the journey was similar to some of the stuff I have heard and did hear and see last weekend with regards to ultra running.
The scene where Sam and Frodo are on the foot of Mordor (Sam is pacing Frodo by the way), Frodo is near death, wasted, adios and Sam is trying to get him to recall the Shire, the flowers blooming that time of year, the taste of strawberries, etc. Frodo is beyond memory of sense. But he endures. They get through the event and how fucking satisfying it is, in fact deadly, in fact beyond reason, but they did it. And part of me thinks that finishing is secondary to the journey, to the purpose of the journey, which can be many things. This we can all agree on: suffering is good for the soul.
To be continued. . .
A little note on Tim's and my recovery.
Night 1: went to a pub and each had some Pliny and Pure Hoppiness.
Night 2: Pliny, Pure Hoppiness and Green Flash Le Freak.
After the race and a nap, we headed back out to the race site to get Tim's drop bags and then stopped at Alpine. Tim: Duet. Me: The Ugly.
Night 3: Green Flash Imperial, Firestone Union Jack and Stone IPA.
So much good beer it's kinda silly.
Very good times indeed.