This has been the easiest week to get up at 5am to run. Even when the weather said -25c I couldn't wait to lace up to go out. This week instead of my usual 11 miles I was running 16miles/day. The reason? Scott Dunlap. I am a huge fan and have read his blog for a long time. I have never post a comment, why bother I though, I often feel like the Anna Kournikova of the ultra world. I never wanted him to know who I am, I just wanted to silently admire him form afar like a teenager with a crush.and there I was telling him how much I like his blog and he answer it! His words where kind and encoraging. Well unless you are a runner you probably don't know about him, but to me it was like having Lance Armstrong replying to your fan mail and wishing you luck on your Tour of Bowness. I am amaze of how giving the ultra and trailrunning community really is. I have talked to ultrarunners and they patiently answer my questions, wishing me luck even tough our goals are vastly different. I am a finisher, don't make a mistake and they are the elite. But down the line I feel closeness because is the passion that brings me closer to them, that and the common interest in trying yo figure out the exact point where the body gives up.
Scott has no idea of what kind of influence he had on me, and I am grateful for that! Googling somebody without care on a Saturday night is not the behaviour of a grown woman. But we need heroes, we need people to admire, in a culture where we build people up just to tear them down just as fast is not something I aspire to. But I love when somebody reaches fame and stays humble.
Going extra hard this week was a sign of how much I admire him. Is not like he is ever going to goggle me or anything but somehow I feel the need to do better, and in my runs I have been inspired and even dared to dreamed of finishing first at the Frozen Ass 50K. Now the odds of that happening are pretty slim, let's put it this way, looking at last years photos, I came across a picture of a very cute guy, I soon realized to my panic that it was my competition!. But something shifted, just being out there, being part of it is enough satisfaction for me, I am proud of saying I am an ultrarunner, even though I often get the " why" look it makes me happy. Is not like I need to look very far to find heroes, just looking at Karl and Hans everyday reminds me of the true strenght of the human spirit. I watched a movie of the first and only blind climber to climb Mount Everest and I called Karl to my room at the exact moment when he makes it to the summit, of course I am crying hard, and I would be even if Karl didn't have cone dystrophy. Karl just looked at me and said " what's the big deal?" "he is just blind mom" then it hit me, Karl doesn't see many limitations, I do. I am just in awe of how gracefully my kids are handling the changes in our lives, our world turned upside down a year and a half ago and they handled it with such grace, if you know me well you will know I didn't. But watching my kids everyday has giving me the strenght I needed to move forward. And running has brought joy to my life, out there in the mountains on my own, there is no better feeling that the quietness of my footsteps on a trail. I don't know if I am happy because I run or I run because I am happy. Doesn't really matter. Is out there where I find myself, find who I truly am. A mother, an ultrarunner, a friend, a sister, a daughter and that is good enough for me.