Monday, March 8, 2021

Your Kind of Love is Dangerous

 Your Kind of Love is Dangerous

I can’t get enough of you
Each evening you take off your blues and grays,
Revealing deep purples, pinks, yellows

At dusk I am briefly embraced by your colors
At your most beautiful, you fade quickly
to cold darkness and I’m alone,
making me realize I was alone all along

I bring my own light for these runs,
Even on your darkest night
I can find my way, my feet hitting trails
Surrounded by mysterious darkness,
Everything is gray in absence of your light.

I run all night until you’re back in your sweet yellows and oranges, turning to blue as sunrise ends.
I cannot look at you you’re so bright,
but it’s impossible not to know you’re here.

Your light warms up all the dark, cold corners of the earth, warming my heart through my black tank top as I sit on my deck looking up occasionally to see your vibrant colors and reading Nietzsche:

“Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong”

The desert can be a brutal place, it’s where you like to reside. Everyone around you has to carefully adapt to survive your heat or die trying.

The Saguaro cactus grows abundantly
but slowly in your light. It is covered with hard spines and flexible bristles as a method of defending the water stored inside.

I’m like the Saguaro thriving in the toughest
of climates and terrain, choosing the difficult over the easy.

There is no reward in taking an easy path,
Only the difficult path will give you the fiercest sunsets and the darkest, coldest nights.

The morning is still young and I finish my coffee
with Nietzsche, having lost my spot I reread:

“Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it even with the best right but without inner constraint proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring to the point of recklessness”

[Poem “Your Kind of Love is Dangerous” written by me on 1/18/21, Nietzsche quote in this poem from his book “Beyond Good & Evil” translated by Walter Kaufmann]

Your Light & Dark

In the evenings I run through the desert’s mountains, sweat on my bare skin glowing yellow and red in the disappearing light, mirroring the vibrant colors of a disrobing sky. How is it that as the sun exits it seems even stronger through its stunning curtain call?

It feels like such an intimate few minutes before the sun says goodbye. The colors are so deep and intense that they penetrate through me, warming my heart and leaving me excited, even though I know this means goodbye.

I’ve been running but I stop to admire the view, my arms in the air as though I can embrace the whole sky, then hands into a prayer and a bow toward the sun, reverence for the unknown and a deep gratitude for here & now, for you.

My moment of reverence and I’m back to running, it will be dark soon. My heart is beating hard
as the trail climbs upward leading to a place I want to explore. It’s getting dark (absent of light?) and I miss the light, feeling melancholy as I pull out my running belt and light and a jacket it’s almost too dark to run without it.

Thinking about how I already miss the light and sun, miss the color and it hits me that maybe the light is the dark, and the dark is the light because without one, the other does not exist 💫

 Many of you checked in on me the past few weeks as I had shut down much of my social media. All is well. I am shifting directions and need the time, space and freedom to do that without the burden of social media. I am finding a balance in real life and that means stepping away from the online world.

I have this feeling like many of us are losing years of our lives to meaningless social online constructs. I don't like it. I don't like the inherent manipulation in inauthenticity of the online world. I don't like the intentions of the companies running social platforms. As I find a new balance in my life I will likely find a creative outlet to share my world. I am not sure what that will look like. 

It took many years for me to build a life that I wanted. Now that I am here in this place I love -- in a place I always wanted to be -- I find myself needing to shift gears in order to take the time to really appreciate the real world, people in my life and my running. 

All this vagueness to say that I am moving on from a number of things I have put a lot of time and energy into in order to live my life more fully. I have never been one to stagnate on anything and this new chapter is no different. I am not going into details at this time, but I am looking forward to transitioning into new, creative outlets.

One thing I find myself looking for is more privacy. In the past I have often shared my heart and soul publicly. Although I am sure some have found this helpful and even healing, others choose to use my words as weapons against me. My vulnerability online as a reason to insult and degrade me. Social media is not a place for deeper sharing, this I have come to believe and therefore it doesn't really suit me anymore. I will continue to use it as I need it, but not in the way I have in the past.

I will continue to write on here from time to time, thank you for being here and reading. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Kogalla Video of me in my natural environment

Thank you Kogalla for this cool little peek into my Race Director life. Some video of me running when my hair was shoulder length too ha! Kogalla makes the best lights for night time hands down!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Unsupported FKT on the Tahoe Rim Trail

Hi there! I submitted my FKT today for the 170.8 mile Tahoe Rim Trail. I wanted to share my trip report (brief version) as I submitted the the FKT site. I'll post a longer version soon, but for now here are the basic details. Note: My first attempt on the TRT was in 2012 and supported.  I quit about 110 miles in. I made two other attempts, both unsupported. One one attempt I quit 70 miles in and on the more recent I finished in 72hrs and 21 minutes but due to intense hallucinations just 10 miles from finishing I made a call for help to a friend. This call - even though I went on to finish negated my "unsupported" attempt. I was ok with this because I was convinced I was too slow anyway. Here's my successful unsupported bid:

I started the Tahoe Rim Trail on July 4 at 10:23am from Tahoe City going clockwise with the goal of sub 60 hours, ended up just missing that and finished in 60:47:34. I ran completely unsupported and unaccompanied. I carried all my own gear, food and even returned with all my trash! 

I only refilled water from streams. The longest sections with no water resupply was from Mt Rose to Kingsbury where the trail crosses the river I think about 2.5-3 miles before the turn off to Heavenly Stagecoach lodge area - did that section with just 3L of water because I didn't want to trek down to Spooner lake and add the extra time. It was about 38 miles. Got kinda thirsty. 

I tried to sleep briefly three times but was unable to fall asleep. I propped my legs up and tried to relax knowing that just a bit of time would be helpful in resetting my eyes and body. Ultimately just laid there for 15-30 mins each time and resumed my run actually feeling better and being able to increase my speed each time so I think the laying down was very helpful even without sleep. All in all I slept zero in those 60hr 47min 34sec and it really began affecting my mental state making it more difficult, especially at night, to navigate with all the hallucinations. 

I would constantly question whether I was just running in circles and at Echo Summit almost got really turned around thinking I'd already passed the summit when I still had not arrived. I had to pay very close attention and remind myself that what I was seeing was not real. At night everything became something else and inanimate objects moved and became alive. Having dealt with hallucinations on 200s milers and last time I ran the TRT unsupported (in Nov 2019) I knew to not focus too much on these fantastical, scary and disorienting visions. 

I carried about 11,500 calories and only consumed 7,000. I got blisters from pretty early on that became pretty horrible just 40 miles from the finish. I took off my socks and that helped the pain a bit on the bottoms of my feet but caused more to form around the sides of my feet. I never get blisters and so I did not bring anything to cover them with. Won't make that mistake again! 

I ran the last 16 miles the fastest of the entire route really hoping to get just under 60 hours but even with running almost every step I missed the 60 hours in large part because it got dark and I began having some trouble navigating. All said and done, I moved almost non stop for all those 60:47 hours finishing at 11:10:34 pm in Tahoe City on July 6th to many hallucinations, my car, and went to sleep without any fanfare- typical unsupported run! I tracked on my coros watch, strava and with my spot beacon. 

I shared my SPOT tracking link with my family (kids), a few of my friends: Garrett Froelich ad Mike Tebbutt (locals) who tracked me during those 2.5 days.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Someone Somewhere

Right now you can break the law by running on some trails.
Everything is closed, but I'm trying to keep my heart open.
People can report each other for going to work,
there's an online site you can do that from in my town.

Yesterday I went on a run and the touchscreen on my phone stopped working
but just the top 1/3 of it. The bottom 2/3 works just fine.
It's surprising how hard it is to use your phone when you can't go back
on any screen because the back button is in the top 1/3.
I wish we could go back to when we didn't hate each other.
But we are frozen like my screen.

Someone somewhere decides what is right and what is wrong.
"You don't need to think, just listen" they say.
Yesterday you were my friend, today you are my enemy I'm told.
You just want to know what side I am on so you can hate me.
You're like my phone, part of you is stuck and isn't working right and you know it.

I understand you because I, too, wanted to believe that someone somewhere
 is doing what is right for me. I stopped believing there was someone
that would protect me when I was 8 years old. It was a hard choice,
but I decided to think, not just listen.

I cannot see my enemy, I'm told it's too small.
I'm checking out groceries at the store and all the clerks have masks.
My clerk has her mask over her mouth, but her nose is out.
She holds the side of the mask as she talks to me,
pulling down the side enough that I can see her lips.

We talk about anything but the enemy we cannot see.
Everything I do causes some anxiety:
touching the counter, oh shit.
Touching my phone, oh shit.
Standing at the counter I feel out of my body,
like the top 1/3 isn't working right.
Am I getting sick?

My daddy is gone, but he's not dead.
I gave up believing I could be protected way before he left.
It was a hard choice, but I decided to think not just listen.

Your clothes, beliefs, and hate make you feel protected
So you can forget that you are naked under all these layers
You can forget that you are human behind a glowing screen
Forget that you will die

You're like my phone,
part of you is stuck and isn't working right and you know it.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Using Love to Fight Fear

I woke up this morning glad that the nightmare was a dream— the fear and emotions still so real that I knew my body didn’t know the difference between dream and reality, at least during those moments of sleep.

I’d been curled in a corner with a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex looming over me like a scene in Jurassic Park. No matter how fantastical it sounds, in the dream I was being pursued by a very real and threatening dinosaur.

My family, friends and I had scattered just moments before this monstrous reptile arrived, hoping to hide. We were told, in the mysterious way we learn things in dreams but can’t remember once we are awake, that the only way that the T-Rex wouldn’t see (and eat) us was if we were able to successfully visualize love.

It wasn’t explained how this worked exactly, but I knew from my visualization work that it must be FELT to be a successful visualization. Felt in a way that our body recognizes the visualization as something we are currently experiencing.

So with all my might and mental power I threw myself into that feeling of love: the compassion, the empathy, the feeling of being warm no matter the weather or temperature. The fierce love, the gentle and kind love. A mother’s love, a partner’s love, the love of someone who recognizes that we are all interconnected.

All the while knowing that fear, a giant capital letter FEAR — embodied by the nightmarish T-Rex, was looming just outside my visual orbit of love ready to eat me if I faltered.

In my dream I KNEW that love was the only way to survive this scary creature. Waking up, there was no T-Rex smashing its teeth and ferociously hovering above me, but the metaphor wasn’t lost on me.
💖> 🦖