i love the solstice. it's a spiritual thing. i don't know if ALTAR happened this year, but it's because of ALTAR that i have paid attention to the shortest day for the last 12 or so years. most folks renew and get closure to the days spent on the 31st, but for me, the renewal comes with the shortest day. i was going somewhere with this, but...
anyway. mother nature has already been determined to make up for the poor snow year we had last year. we've been socked in, even here at the house. it's been hard to think about running in the heat of the canyons in june, but the journey from squaw to auburn is never far from my mind. i am so grateful and so fortunate to have a spot in the big dance this next year. it's not lost on me how many folks would love to be in my position. the thing is, i don't feel a pang of guilt at my opportunity. i love this race. i love the people. the culture. the history. the time honored "formula" for training for it. i love the measuring sticks we have to compare ourselves against as we take the journey of preparation our own individual and collective ways to respectively arrive in squaw the last saturday in june, ready to enjoy a day of running in the sierra's. this isn't just any "race" for me. it's a pilgrimage. a celebration. plus, it'll be lb's first as race director, which means a great deal to me considering the influence he has had on me.
so it all begins. from the hibernation of winter, i've started thinking like an athlete again. the solstice saw me cleaning up my diet a bit, reintroducing myself to my yoga teacher, getting the core routine started back up. i'm starting to run, ski, snowboard, and ride the fat bike with purpose in mind. more importantly, it's an athletes mind that goes about making these decisions. how we think of ourselves has a lot to do with how our mind and our spirit see's us. i don't think it's healthy to be on the razors edge all year long, but spending time in that place of symbiotic existence between the physical, emotional and the spiritual is what can drive that motivation once the decision to be invested is made. we know how good that feels, and that peace and confidence that comes from it motivates us to get back there.
this year, the challenge will be to extend my season past western states into another september 100 mile race. i'll build a stronger base. i'll work on my overall tools for recovery to see how the mind and body can move on to another challenge within another 90 days or less. I was inspired and motivated watching the grand slam awards at wasatch this year. the contentment on the faces of the finishers. i think there is something in the overall culture of behind keeping something in the tank. running with a sustainable mindset. it speaks to that haggin cup mentality. i like it.
the best part, though, is a summer spent running and riding with friends in the mountains preparing for that next goal. hopefully doing some pacing and training in my favorite places, as well as the proving grounds of the cascades.
so happy solstice. happy renewal. happy investment in what is to come.