This photo was the last one I took before leaving Vermont. The silhouette of Mt. Mansfield is in the background. It’s the high point on the left side.

I took everything I learned from the run on Saturday, where I got super dehydrated and super tired at the end, and applied it to my run today. I drank at every walk break, alternating between just water and water with electrolytes. I ate gels more often than I ever have. I ran easy from the beginning instead of continuing my “use it or lose it” approach to energy. Results: I felt fine at the end of the run, I wasn’t completely dehydrated, my legs still felt fresh, and importantly, the splits ended up being very even.

I chose this photo for this entry because I learned so much from my trip. Everything about it, from the book I was reading, to the trail runs, to the 50k training run that kicked my ass, has been extremely helpful to my overall attitude towards running. Looking back, leaving, remembering what I learned, high points and low points, all of that makes me more willing to understand and focus on what I’m really doing when I run these long distances. I frequently lose sight of what it’s all about.

I want to stop obsessing over time. I thought I was doing well scaling back my expectations because of the heat, but I still worry about any run that is over a 12 minute per mile pace, like it’s a sign I’ll never be ready for the race. Or I worry about not being able to run the time Ultrasignup is telling me I should run. I’ve told myself over and over that I am racing a clock, but I am not racing a clock. That is not what I am doing. What I’m doing is something much more important. I’m going to special places within myself: fear, doubt, excitement, happiness. I’m learning how I act in those places. I’m learning about myself. And there is such value in knowing oneself.

From time to time, I am required by myself to, in writing, make some declarations about what I’m doing wrong and how I should change things. This is one of those times.

My run today was 14 miles at 11:20 pace. The last mile was the fastest.

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