We are all going through a challenging time right now. There is a lot of uncertainty. Our daily routines have been disrupted and our way of life is turned upside down. The one thing we all need to remember is that we are all in this together and we need do what we can according to our means to look out for each other during this time.
Here at KRNaturalPhoto I feel very fortunate in this moment as this business is still my side hustle and I have my day job to support me through this. If there is something I can do to help support a member of my community out there during this time please reach out and get in touch with me.
Often in the early months of each new year I write about how the pursuit my goals went from the previous year. Then I subsequently write about what my goals are for the new year. And when I write about my goals I always write about two separate lists of goals. I list of goals was for my running goals and the other list of goals related to my photography. I am not doing that anymore. There are no longer two lists. There is only one list and really there is only one goal and every other goal is a step along the way to achieving my most important goal.
I have been a photographer for a long time. During that time I have had a lot of successes. I have been published in print publications. I have sold artwork in galleries. I have had solo art exhibits. I have photographed community events. I have sold race photography. I have done portraits. However, all of these successes have come as I worked on my photography as my side hustle. Always splitting time between a full time job and often school and then running when I found that much needed outlet.
As we are becoming more aware of the potential health impacts of the Corona Virus it is becoming clear that we will have to adapt and change our behaviors and out lifestyles to some degree for the benefit of society as a whole. I big part of that is the cancelling of events and gatherings. I know many of us plan our lives around going to things or doing things that involve lots of people gathered in one place and now we won’t be able to do those things. It is frustrating and may make us sad and even angry and that’s ok. Feel those feelings. Allow yourself that. There is nothing wrong with that. But do not unleash your feelings on others. That helps no one. No one wants to be making these decisions. No one wants to be cancelling events. No one wants to have to be worried about the health of our communities like this. But this is where we are.
Why run 100 miles? Well, it’s really hard to explain. The reasons are buried deep inside me and seem clear, but those same reasons are very hard to put into actual words especially into coherent thought out sentences that would seem sensible to most people. When most people hear that you are planning to or that you did run 100 miles they get this look on their face that indicates they think you might be a little nuts. They generally are kind about it but express that they can’t understand why you would do that. It is even hard for other runners who share the same love and joy of running that you do to understand. How do you explain why you would do something that is so foreign to what seems to be the natural state of human existence? Why would you put yourself through that?
This year has been the most challenging year of running for me yet. Not because I set big goals for myself, I mean yes because I set big goals for myself, but also because of other struggles. Going into this year, after running only two 50k’s I decided it was time to push myself farther and longer. First I decided that I would take on a 50 mile race. Later I decided that this would also be the year I took on a 100 mile race. This all before I even ran my 3rd official 50k. I didn’t even wait to see how a 50 mile race would feel before diving in head first into the 100 mile pool. I put it all on the table early on in the year.
It seemed so….. Simple? I would train like my previous year for my 50k in May. That 50k would be my longest training run for my 50 mile race about a month after. The 50 mile race would be my longest training run leading into my 100 mile race two months later. The 50 mile race would also give me some experience at a new distance so I would have an idea of what to expect through the half-way point of my 100 mile race and that seemed like important knowledge to have.
Saturday I take on a challenge that not only did I never think I would take on I never even knew such a thing existed. Even when I started running I wasn’t aware of anything beyond a marathon. Discovering the world of trail running and ultra marathons has been a mind blowing experience. I have gained so much since this adventure began.
This year of training and running has been different in a lot of ways from my past several years of running. Training for and taking on new challenges. Fear, doubt, anxiety. Physical setbacks. All of that is in the rear view mirror now. Well, all of it except the anxiety, but it is mostly nervous and excited energy to just go do the thing.
These are the words that echoed in my head during the last half of the Worlds End 50K. Completing the Worlds End 50K under good conditions is no easy task. This year was made even more challenging by an injury I sustained earlier in the year, which I just could not resolve. The injury continued to nag me especially on long runs. When I initially signed up to run this event again I was hoping for a challenging but enjoyable time out on the trails enjoying nature with no real time goal in mind. But as things turned out I got a lot more than that.