Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Live Tracking for my 800mile Arizona Trail Speed Attempt

UPDATE: second update!! We ARE starting on March 15 after all! All gear, crew organized and we will be beginning Sunday morning. Previously posted that we are starting on the 16 but we’re able to get prepared for storm/mud/etc so we are starting on 15 after all. You can follow updates on social media by going to: @runcandicerun (link below in bullet points)

Live tracking of my Arizona Trail Speed attempt beginning March 15!

A few notes about my record attempt:
  • I begin on March 15 at the Mexico/AZ border
  • I am going South to North
  • I plan to do over 60 miles a day
  • I am running supported with a crew
  • I aim to finish in under 14 days to best all current records on the trail male or female
  • You can view current records here
  • I am fundraising for Girls on the Run in AZ. You can donate here for Girls on the Run. Also consider donating to the Arizona Trail Association! You can donate to the trails here
  • Follow updates and posts on my IG page here.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Take 2: Running the Arizona Trail for Girls on the Run

It's on! It's been a year since an injury sidelined me and kept me from running the Arizona Trail speed attempt I had painstakingly planned out. Looking back I can see how difficult it was to shelf my goal for so long, but in the grand scheme of life, waiting a year is nothing.

Take 2: Arizona Trail 2020

I will begin my speed attempt on the Arizona Trail beginning March 15. My  aim will be to finish in fewer than 14 days.

Route: 800 mile Arizona Trail
The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a National Scenic Trail from Mexico to Utah that traverses the whole
north–south length of the U.S. state of Arizona. The trail begins at the Coronado National Memorial near
the US–Mexico border and moves north through parts of the Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Rincon Mountains.

Crew Chief, Social Media Wiz: Catra Corbett
Photography Crew: Dave Wiskoski, Adam Eckberg
Videography Crew: Adam Eckberg, GoPro
Additional Pacing/Crew: Harald Zundel
Pacing: All Crew members

Goal: 12-14 days (58+ miles per day, goal: 62+). Goal is to run the route faster than any of the
supported or unsupported records, men or women which would be anything under 14 days, 12 hours.

Current FKT records (overall fastest times):  
Supported, Men: Michael Versteeg 15 days, 22hrs, 39 minutes
Supported, Women: Helen Galerakis 17days, 11 hours, 3 min
Self Supported, Men: Josh Perry 14 days, 12 hours, 21 minutes

Start Date: March 15 2020
Goal Finish Date (12-13days): March 26-27, 2020
Live Tracking via Trackleaders/SPOT tracking: Link coming

Charity: This speed attempt will be an effort to raise money for Girls on the Run in Arizona, a
program that gives young girls after school running opportunities including coaching and working
toward a 5k. Our donations will help cover the charities costs and provide scholarships for girls
that cannot afford the program. It is our hope that this FKT attempt can bring more attention and
support to Girls on the Run programs! 

Official Charity FKT Page/Donations can be made here:
**Link to donate is not active, we are working on it sorry for the delay, please check back!

Sponsor Opportunities:
Interested in becoming a sponsor to help cover our costs and get some exposure for your business? Please contact Candice at: runcandicerun@gmail.com and THANK YOU!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Running between Dark and Light

Photo by Paul Smith

Let me lead the way because I understand the dark:
How light and dark enhance each other, how they need each other to exist. How easy it is to lose your footing, how quickly the ground will pull you down. I’ll show you how to get back up fast before it buries you. Let me lead the way.

I’m breathing the mountain: hands on quads, pressing my legs hard into Hogs Back, the rough, rocky and steep ascent leading up the first climb of this 100 mile race. The climb is so steep and rugged that runners weave in and out of paths merging and blending. In the night you can’t see where I begin and the dark ends, or where the dark starts and I end.

Energy is high right now, but give it another 12 hours & this climb will break runners, it’s armor too tough for their minds to get through, turning them around in their tracks, back to the aid station to turn in a bib. But that’s not an option for me, that girl doesn’t exist anymore. The inky dark highlights cheekbones, deltoids, quads and bones that were broken and will never be the same. Once you break you can’t go back. You only know this when you experience the trauma.

Sometimes I think my night lasts longer than others.
The longest moments are between the roosters call when the night is so dark that two lights barely cut through it, one light on my waist, one on my head. The moment draws slowly toward a light glow on the horizon when dark and light are still one, both exist simultaneously. ⠀

Under the surface of my skin a fire burns so hot that sweat flows even in the dark night. Strong wind clanks bamboo fiercely, like a sword battle & I’m running through a tunnel of these swords, protected amidst the storm and violence. The wind howls so loud I pull my headphones off & they grip my neck.

I’m not a runner in a race anymore, I’m an animal in the forest and my arms instinctively spread out, palms up and open to the night sky, chin up, mouth open and howling with the wind, just a little bit of glowing skin highlighted by stars & a lifting night, glistening sweat, a world amidst a world.

Photo: Paul Smith
HURT 100 1/18/20
5th finish

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Breathing into the Heart

4:45am wake up alarm, carefully pushing my body up, taking care to avoid any pressure on my back but I still wince as the pain of moving, the pain of my back and hamstrings reaches my sleepy brain. It’s been many hard weeks of training

My eyes are the last part of my body to wake up and I cover them as I enter the bathroom, switching on the light, draping my oversized blue bathrobe over my shirt with one hand, other hand still protecting my eyes. Outside, there’s a new blanket of snow on the ground and the cold seems to seep through the windows and walls. The moon sits above the mountains, a glow around it.

It’s 5:30am, I need at least 15 minutes to drive through the snow to yoga, defrost blasting, Khalid in the background:

“The days get brighter when you're here
So I gotta keep you near
Goin' crazy and I just can't get you outta my head”

Thinking about you and rereading your text. You were up at 4am this morning, “Sorry for not saying goodnight.” But I know how tired you must be from a stressful week.

It’s 6am and it’s time for an hour of hot vinyasa yoga flow class. My yoga mat curls up at the end, still frozen from being left in the car overnight. Underneath me it feels cold, like the ground beneath the snow. Above me the heat roars from vents. There are just four of us in class and at 6am class it’s just the most committed yogis. “Nice job you all have the bind” the teacher says approvingly while we are in extended side angle. Beginners don’t come at 6am

Just as it is in life, some poses are easy, and some are hard. Some come naturally, some take lots of work. I love yoga because I can make these comparisons to life all day. This pose is easy for me, even with a full arm bind, but breathing through the flow takes practice. Whenever it gets hard, I struggle and I find myself holding my breath. “Huuuuuuuh” as I let my breath go, remembering again to be here, now. Breathing in, again alive in the moment

I open my chest, my heart, with the arm bind in Utthita Parsvakonasana and my back becomes a stream of sweat as if flowing from my heart. The heat is roaring, and sweat becomes a river, drip drip drip on my yoga towel, my chest to the sky

Mile 90

I have run so many miles at one time,
Through the day and through the night,
That I’m not sure my legs will work
You haven’t ever run that far,
But I  think you know that feeling right now

90 miles in, on top of a mountain peak
My legs feel like glass that's barely held together:
Like a windshield after an accident
miraculously still in one piece by a mysterious glue 
It's veined and looks like puzzle pieces  
that a child put together but it is complete
You are too

You haven’t ever run this far
But you’re 90 miles in, in your own way.
I wish I could help you, to be the glue
I wrote this to tell you that you are close to 100 miles
close close close 

Sometimes, we make things hard so we will break,
It is a choice we make—
Sometimes, without breaking we can’t get stronger
I know this truth at Mile 90 
That's how I get to mile 100
Shatter shatter shatter

I know it’s hard to break into so many pieces
But you’re at mile 90, I promise
That's how you get to mile 100. 
I wish I could help you, to be the glue

So I write this
To let you know it’s ok to break
Sometimes, without breaking we can’t get stronger
that’s how you rebuild,
rebuild rebuild rebuild

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Silent Goodbye

The mountain is always here, 
the seasons coming and going, 
time passing, leaving its mark, 
a mark that slowly fades like a scar

Words are like fire and they can burn hot
So I say nothing at all anymore, 
not even goodbye.

You read a book that was written about me
about a time in my life years ago 
a time of even greater pain and suffering 
I could not defend myself
Your fears were acknowledged in these stories
Because you carry your pain too, 
like a book.

We all find the truth we seek—
It’s too late now, but I wish we could have created a new truth, together
One that made us both feel safe instead of the one we told 
that was born from suffering and pain

As the fog settles into the valleys 
I say goodbye silently because words still aren’t safe 

Fog obscures the roads and homes below 
and from it rises the cold mountains, 
a layer of new snow highlighted 
by the darker contours of the ridges and trees

I run along the mountain’s lines, 
formed years ago and telling stories 
of growth and destruction. 
Maybe the mountain feels pain too? 

Yesterday’s snow makes the mountains look brand new 
and I say goodbye to summer, 
goodbye to the warmth

The mountain is always here, 
the seasons coming and going, 
time passing, leaving its mark, 
a mark that slowly fades like a scar

12/4/19 Candice Burt

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Exploring the Psyche

It was our one day off from a week of 200 miles course marking & naturally we decided to do a 15mi run, sans bulky, heavy packs, course marking gear & chaffing/bruising that builds up over the course of a week of marking while carrying a loaded hiking pack & running/hiking hundreds of miles. Running up a trail w/ a light pack was rest enough for us. Our bodies had become accustomed to working hard day after day: a routine of rising early, marking all day, making dinner & repacking our bulky bags for the next days sections: Hammer? Stapler? Signs? Water, snacks, jacket? Check. Today would be different.

I chose Angry Mountain because it was close by our camp, I still had a full day of computer work to do & I’d never been on those trails. Everyone in the group joined and we started up the trail, it was defined and easy to follow for several miles, zig zagging mostly straight up the mountain. Until it wasn’t. Four miles in the trail became a maze of downed trees and we had to watch very carefully to tell where it switch backed up the mountain. There are signs to follow, but you have to pay careful attention. Snapped branches, a sliver of trail under the trunk of a tree ... after a few miles of this jungle I was ready to call it a day.

Looking at my Gaia app I could see the peak of the mountain so damn close. “Hey guys!” A group of 4 gathering around, “Let’s cut over here & summit Angry Mountain. It’s only about it 1/4 mile off trail.” Considering we weren’t really on a trail anyway, it seemed safe enough. There were no dissenting opinions. Everyone wanted to pop out of the trees and see the view, if any. Hopping, crunching, parting branches we moved straight up into a meadow with rocky outcroppings.

A view of endless mountains. The breeze massaged my bare arms, goosebumps forming not because it was cold, but from the expansiveness, it hit me and I felt indivisible, interconnected to the mountains all around me. I wasn’t a runner moving up the mountain, but rather I was a part of the mountain moving up itself. My steps, my running, exploring the world, but also my psyche. The distinction was electrifying and brought up a powerful reverence.