Sunday, July 19, 2009

Midnight 50K

I visited one of my favorite runs this weekend... the Midnight 50K near Lake Sylvia, AR. I rode along to the event to:
a) Get out in the woods for a night and enjoy some time under the stars
b) See how far/long I could stay on my feet and what it felt like
c) To see people that I enjoy seeing at these events
d) To see what the sting would feel like

You know, the sting. The pinch. The twinge that you feel in your gut when you are so wistful and longing about a situation that you can't have that it hurts. Like unrequited love.

I run/walked a portion of the course and it felt nice. One of the cool things about running long, especially at night, is the communion that you can sometimes experience with yourself, nature, God, philosophy, your digestive tract, and all kinds of other interesting entities. I got out onto the road with the goal of walking the half-course. The miles started ticking by, and I waited for the conversation with God. I waited for the 'who are you and what are you made of' self-reckonings that inevitably come during the course of a long, solitary night run. But they never came. I even tried to force them, turning off my headlight a couple of times and trying to initiate a vocal conversation when I was alone. But I drew blanks. I didn't feel anything, in fact. I didn't hit the flow. I just shuffled along, and when I came back into the finish area, it was over. I wanted to be back on the course. I must have been looking for something out there, myself perhaps, a spark of some kind. While I had a nice time, the whole thing was a bit hollow. I miss it so much.

I did see good friends, and I am grateful for their support. I realize that I sound a bit "poor me" at times... poor Katie can't win every race, so she's going to pout when things don't go her way. But it's not about that at all. The difficulty lies in the suddenness of a change in a negative direction. Like a breakup... at first, there is a sharp, acute pain. Then there is a little bit of mourning, a wistfulness that you feel the need to wallow in. Just immerse yourself... you want to be sad? Then be sad. Put the old songs on repeat, visit your old places, get your tears out. Visit your favorite races and wish you were in them. Then move on. Find a new role, adjust, make your peace. It's not normal to go through this process without a few tears and alot of brooding... the reason that it's hard to separate from something that you love is because you had such a special relationship in the first place, whatever "it" is for you.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Katie,
    I am so glad you were there! I was looking for you at the finish but believe you may have gone to bed by the time I got it.
    I am still in LR but when I return we must catch up! How are you feeling now?
    Hope you enjoyed every minute of the run! You deserved that!