“How do you eat an elephant?”

One bite at a time.

I’m exhausted.

I’m so tired.

When I am fatigued, I am irrationally stressed about the little things and especially the future. Fortunately, I am keenly aware of how I feel when I get tired so I know that my fears are basically make-believe. I know that I will be ok; I learned that while I was busy exhausting myself….it is why I exhaust myself.

I did an event last week that really drained me. It was a 50k in the woods on a really hot day. A distance like this would take most runners between about 6-8 hours. It took me 9.5.

I am not most runners.

I am well slower than most.

To give you some perspective, if you were to casually walk to your mailbox, you would probably be moving about the pace that it took me to finish this weekend’s race. The difference is that I didn’t casually walk- I ran. I ran until I couldn’t and then I slogged. When I could not slog another step, I waddled. When there was no more waddling to be done, I walked. When the walking became more than I could handle I limped. As I came closer to the end, I improvised and did whatever I could to keep moving forward. (Sounds like a pretty typical Monday through Friday, doesn’t it?)

It would have been much easier to just start the race at a fast walk and finish at a bit slower pace but that is not what I pay for. I’m not really a fanĀ of strategy; I like to run on emotion. I’m addicted to experiences- the good and the bad, the highs and the lows. Ever since I was a kid, I have always had a need to know what was inside. I could never leave well enough alone and good advice has always been seen as a dare. You can tell me it’s hot but I have to feel the burn.

For some people, it is about the start and the finish, for folks like me, it is about the in-between. My life isn’t as black and white as a start and a finish- it is about what happens in the middle. I need to find the feeling. I am in search of a high and I never know where it is hiding. A strategic pace doesn’t doesn’t allow me to find it, I need exhaustion. The problem is that I might find my high at mile 6 and lose it by mile 8…but im willing to sacrifice the other 29 miles of misery if it means the intense euphoria that comes with the 2 miles in between. I am not saying it’s logical, I am saying it is what it is.

Endurance races are nothing more than reality rides where you get to place yourself in a high pressured bubble in the woods, wait for the race director to press the start button and enjoy a high-intensity, full speed life simulator that knocks you, twists you, twirls you, and flips you around.

I have the option of maintaining a pace which keeps me comfortable and safe or going beyond the blanket of security and seeing what lie beyond the curtain. I don’t which way is the right way but I do know which way is more fun.

I will never be a fast runner. I don’t work hard enough and I am not willing to put in the time and effort that it takes to excel in the sport, but I plan to always be a contented runner and do what it takes to find pleasure in the sport.

This is what I know: whatever situation is placed in front of me, whether it’s on a trail, in my home, or at my workplace, there is only one way to get through it….

It’s the same way that you eat an elephant.

Peace, Love and all things Beef related,