I run happy.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Elephant Mountain Cave Creek Arizona Race Report

Our Arizona Race Trip really began after we took off our shoes and toasted our toes at our hotel which was about 15 miles from our race.
Fric and Frac made the six hour trip with us and were nothing but COMEDY the whole time.  What could be better for me than to ride in the car for six hours with three men who "sometimes" have the humor of 12 year old boys someone half their age.  I did laugh...a lot.

Race day started at 5:00 a.m.  We headed off into the 32 degree chill and encountered over 20 Ragnar Relay racers with headlamps and safety vests.  I don't know why but I felt their "pain" and their joy, namely their joy.  Who else would CHOOSE to run in the early morning, dark  chill for a charity but a beautiful runner?  I had a "moment" in the car.  My "moments" often signal a promise for a good race.  Some how,  just connecting with that "why I'm out here doing this..., "as in running...just gives me that EXTRA push to cherish and appreciate.  
Live life to it's fullest.  Such a cliche and, yet, true.

Dumb and Dumber  Fric and Frac,  started their 50k at 7:00 a.m.  They were Ultra Virgins at that hour and within 5 hours for one and 7 for the other,  were christened ULTRA RUNNERS.  As always, their advanced twelve year old sense of humor fit right in with the ULTRA SCENE and I think they maybe hooked.  I could be wrong but I did see the familiar **eerie ultra smile**that I've witnessed at a few ultras lately...on EVERYONE'S face.  They had it.

Boy Scout and I set off at 8:30 and raced a mere 12k.  It was one of the rockiest,  most technical races I've done yet.  SO, of course,  I LOVED it.  I have so much confidence in my Brooks Cascadia trail shoes that it's almost scary.  They have so much flexibility that I can almost run over the tops and tips of rocks and small boulders without even touching any dirt.  There were lots of falls today so maybe I was just lucky...

Today I ran in respect to a family who lost their son to a tragic situation.  He was mentally ill,  addicted to drugs and had been through so much  during his 23 years on this planet.  Our trip to Arizona seemed frivolous in comparison to what my friend's family had been experiencing this last week.
My race today was up steep and unforgiving hills,  the trails were lined with huge cactus and the trails were rocky.  Evan's life had reflected the challenges of this desert habitat.

Yet, stepping away from "the race,"  we experienced the BEAUTY of the desert and all it has to offer. Challenges and, yet, Sweetness.

I decided to run this race by attacking the challenges in a way that I hadn't before,  on behalf of Evan who didn't have the means nor opportunities to attack life in a healthy way.
That meant taking the hills confidently, calmly and with confidence.
That also meant flying down hill, over the quartz trails and rocky terrain,  trusting that my next step would lead me to something even better than the last.

My second inspiration for this race came from a wonderful article I read this week by Dax, a local ultra runner.  His perspective on women and beauty is remarkable.

Women tend to fret about their looks, their weight, their clothing, their skin...
as I get older,  I tend to  see the beauty in others that stands out the most...
being happy with oneself in everyday

I ran feeling just a little more beautiful today and I definitely had the appreciation for life and living...


  1. This is the kind of race report I LOVE reading! Thanks for sharing!


  2. LOVE the header photo - it says it all! Glad it was one of those big-silly-grin-plastered-across-your-face weekend! And one to count your many blessings! :-)

  3. So sorry about your friend's son, what an amazing day you two had to honor his life. The tootsies picture makes me smile, as does just seeing your post. Glad life continues to plunge forward nicely for you...let me know when you're in CO! Hope to see you.

  4. Hi Meg,
    I stopped by to say hello, but was very moved by this post. I'm so sorry about your friend's son, but honoring his memory with your run was so moving to me.

    I'm so glad to see you're still at it, just as strong as ever. :)

  5. Nice post Meg. Thanks for the inspirational words. How did I miss Dax's post?

    BTW - Car Talk is the podcast I most look forward to on my runs! Can you believe those brothers are MIT grads?

  6. What happened to my comment? I commented on this and it got lost! Never mind - here I go again.

    So sorry to hear about your friend's son but so touched by what you two did. Looks like an amazing race - wow!

    Also love those words from Dax - words to keep with me and besides me.