WATER was the element of choice for the world today.
Wet on the mountain and Wet on me and in me and beneath me and the birds and hummingbirds were in the greenest pocket of the valley you would ever find in a drought-stricken mountain.
Water stuck on everything and every pine needle had a shimmering crystal attached to it. Sunlight made them look like prisms. The wispy clouds stuck to the rock faces and never moved; water in the sky, on the mountain, on the foliage, dripping sweat from my pores, water bursting out of my skin evaporating in the air, water coming out of the crevices in the rocks and flooding in rivers down the trail, water clinging to all the leaves that smacked my legs as I ran on the single track.
The mountain drank the water in large buckets and bathed in the beauty of droplets and made garlands out of them for decoration. I gave the mountain sweat and didn’t take anything except images that got burned into my brain.
After an hour of running my heart rate was high again. I was at a fork and didn’t know which way to go because I had fallen too far behind the group so I just stood there not caring which way because eventually either way would dump me out again on the Mesa Trail. I just didn’t know which way they went. So I stood there and watched. Birds. Butterflies. Hummingbirds. Clouds. The different greens of the trees and bushes. The changing sunlight. I just watched.
Then I went down Towhee and missed the turn and ended up on the Homestead Trail and was running down the trail, jumping over rocks, placing feet and jumping and dancing and sailing but not as fast as usual because I didn’t have the energy. Didn’t have it in me. So went slower and just breathed in the moist air and felt each foot land on dirt or rock, exactly where I told it to go and suddenly I was free and it was good. I was free.
Then there was a sign that said Trail Closed for Restoration and I slowed down and stopped and realized that I couldn’t go further so I had to go back. Had to go back up the hill. I walked.
The Garmin made a ton of noise today. I wore the HR strap and apparently my little watch thinks my HR got up to 190, almost 200, several times. I ignored the beeping for a while because I always run these trail. RUN the trails. Not hike them. And I’ve never worn a HR monitor on them and have never passed out and can fly up AND down. But then the beeping got too much and I looked at the Garmin and realized I couldn’t breathe really well so I slowed down and that’s why I ended up taking the short cut. Because I knew I didn’t have it in me to catch them today. Couldn’t catch them. Not today.
I’m going to keep trying to run, keep trying to get the goo out of my lungs and stop coughing all the way and get my heart rate back down to normal and get my flying speed back. If I can’t… I might not race the 50M. I have to have the energy for it and today I went 6 miles. Six lousy miles. Yeah I know the elevation gain was about 2000′. And I know this was one of the hardest routes we could have done. But still. The choice might end up being DO IT and just see what happens… or drop out before I even begin.
You know what I’m going to do, don’t you.