Just wanted to provide a quick update on my Jemez 50 Mile DNF last month and why it has been so quiet on EB for the last six weeks.
Jemez 50M DNF
The Jemez Mountain Trail Run is a favorite race of mine and takes place in the beautiful New Mexico mountain terrain surrounding Los Alamos at the end of May. Great organizers, local support, and fellow runners. This was my 5th year in a row making the road trip west for a weekend of trail running goodness.
Beautiful conditions for a run in the mountains at the 5:00am start for the 50 milers.
A few of the stronger memories from my 12 hour adventure…
Enjoying the early miles with the tribe. Sun rising. Mountains coming alive.
The first climb up Pajarito mountain (by mile 16) was ugly. One step forward, two steps back. I had no response. Spirit crushed and ready to drop at Ski Lodge aid station (mile 18.6).
The sight of the glorious blue bench at the top of Pajarito letting you know you were about to head back down.
Made it to the Ski Lodge and enjoyed sitting in the sun, eating, and contemplating my drop. A friend from Oklahoma, Nancy, would soon arrive at the Lodge and we chatted about the Pajarito mountain grunt.
I believe the conversation had lots of “f’n” and “sucked” in it.
After a bit of rest, some calories, and conversation, I kind-of, sort-of built up some Hope reserves and headed out with Nancy where I could take the Pipeline aid station cut-off (mile 21.4), finish 50k for the day, and not revisit the snarl of Pajarito mountain. Nancy would continue on the 50 mile course.
On way to Pipeline, I looked back down the trail and saw Bill Geist steadily moving his way along for a just-getting-started 50k day. I shared my surprising troubles at Pajarito 1 and my thoughts on taking the 50k cut-off instead of revisiting Pajarito again. Bill shared some insights that lit a fire to go after the 50 mile finish again. “Hey, you may just feel better the second time up Pajarito.”
Oh the ultra memory. It’s short, very short.
The club over the head from Pajarito 1 was now mostly erased from memory and I took the Nate’s Nemesis loose scramble drop into the Caldera instead of the right turn back for a 50k finish.
Nancy and I worked together throughout the Caldera and off-trail scramble back out. A grunt-run combo throughout.
Still hopeful after leaving Pajarito Canyon aid station (mile 31.4).
Get back up and over Pajarito Mountain and to the Ski Lodge by cut-off and we will have ourselves a finish.
Once the climb began, the legs only had one gear and it wasn’t fast enough. Deciding to listen to some tunes to mask the discomfort and maybe increase the pace, the often more rocky, aggressive music of Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, and Queens of the Stone Age was replaced before I left with Edie Brickell, Tracy Chapman, Cranberries, and 10,000 Maniacs. Hearing Natalie Merchant’s light and melodic voice caused a chuckle and somehow seemed fitting.
We likely revisited that sub-pedestrian pace of 1 mile / hour which brought back a few memories from 2012.
And then ice pellets started falling from the sky.
Looked more like Dippin’ Dots than snow.
Nancy swore. I pathetically chuckled. (Our 2014 snowy adventure provides a bit of additional context. 🙂 )
Fortunately it didn’t last long but did add to the adventure.
Midway up the switchbacks on way to the blue bench, we knew we weren’t going to make it to the Ski Lodge in time.
The death march continued until we made it to the ridge and sat on a fallen tree overlooking the town of Los Alamos and the surrounding mountains.
We sat in silence for a couple minutes.
“Let’s head down.”
What was about to become an 18.6 mile day became a 36 mile, 12 hour adventure thanks to friends and community believing I could do more than I thought I could on this day.
The power of our tribe.
Till next year…
Then my world went gray-ish.
Frustrated and paralyzed.
I had so many things I wanted and needed to do.
More funk. More frustration. More funk.
Life does not proceed without the inhale in partnership with the exhale.
After some reflection, I feel like I had over-life’d myself.
And I would compare it to something similar to over-training, in that I often don’t know I had gone to “that place” until the damage is done.
So I reduced many of my life loads to hopefully progress towards a non-drooling state.
Over the last few weeks this also included visiting family up in Minnesota and North Dakota, and camping in the Black Hills and Estes Park as we circled back down to Texas.
Not a single run stride but lots of family time in nature.
Feeling better (less drooling) and ready to share more goodies on EB to support our community.
Thanks to those that checked in and made sure I was still alive and hadn’t been swept away by the Texas rain.
13 podcasts in-the-can from the last few months. To be shared soon.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 23 Jun 2015