Test #1: the Quad Rock 50 (mm 73)

“Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone.”                                                                    -Ken Chlouber, founder of the Leadville 100

It’s race week. As I mentioned in my last post, April was pretty inconsistent. I’m feeling a bit unsure and a little uneasy about how things will go down on Saturday at Quad Rock, but more than anything I’m hoping my knee stays steady. Despite the last month, I’m still excited to go after another 50 miler, with Kels, Dad and Duder helpin’ throughout the day just like last year. It’s always exciting to know they are waiting at the next aid station.  Dad with his cowbell (you can’t have enough…), Kels and Dude all business, Maya licking my legs.

But doubt is creeping in. I actually just looked back at last year’s pre-race thoughts/mileage and I was actually feeling the exact same way.  My weekly mileage was just about identical, though this year I’ve got 3-4 more months under my belt. I’ve really enjoyed running this spring and am hoping to just relax and enjoy the day. If things don’t go well, it’s alright.  I still got three more months of fun before tapering a bit.

These are always the weeks where I end up asking myself the big Why. Why am I doing this? It’s good to question these things. Especially when they are big things, that take up a lot of my time and energy.  Is running really what I want to continue spending my “life energy” on? What is it you want to do with your one, wild and precious life? Then I remember what I wrote back in August:

mountains. sunshine. pine trees. single track. wind. movement. sweat. effort. dust. silence. grit. laughter. water. breath. rest.

In these 17 words I’m reminded that yes, I want to continue moving over wild ground, through forest and streams and find my “stillness point”, where movement is effortless and there is only the sound of birds calling and wind blowing. It’s not necessarily about racing or running so much as it is about spending hours and days moving through mountains, jumping over rocks and dodging trees.

I’m never convinced that I’ll finish a race I’m about to start, but I always seem to find the finish line, smiling, grateful to be done but a little sad that I can’t continue on. So I keep coming back for more.

photo by kelsea macilroy

photo by kelsea macilroy


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