It's been a different and difficult year for us going into Western States this year and I think it's been good. We moved out of our house in Sun Valley this past Thursday and are currently with family in Bend, OR before heading down to Squaw Valley on Monday. All in all, we are ready for WS 100 #8 and hoping for the best.
But, the last year has got me thinking about why I run. And, in particular, why I run 100 miles. You see, it seems to me that with everything life throws at you, especially in this day and age, it is important, if not essential, to have that thing that grounds you in pure human existence. For us, right now, it is important to have a place in your life where you can go to be normal, honest, and whole. A place that is at once wholly ours and wholly shared.
For me, not surprisingly, that place of peace is on the run. And, it is, most specifically, on that iconic stretch of trail between Squaw Valley and Auburn. I know there are many people who feel this way but when I run I am truly whole. When I run I am able to find and occupy that place that allows me to be fully me and I can find answers to questions that are seemingly unanswerable in other contexts. It is, quite simply, the essence of who I am.
So, going into this last week before the race, I am determined to soak it all in. I am determined to bask in the beauty and the wonder of running 100 miles across the California countryside. And, in the process to leave it all out there in one more run for the ages.
I can't wait to see everyone in Squaw!