|Modjeska Peak - 5,496|
Sometimes you have to mix things up during a training run. Abandon the same ol same ol. Find a new path. Just wander. When I started my run at the Holy Jim trail head I thought I would duplicate a run I did two weeks ago - run to the top of Santiago Peak and back to my car, twice, so I could fetch my water during the run. But, as I've said in recent posts, sometimes the best runs are the ones you really don't plan. The ones you just start out and make up as you go along.
This weekend brought one of those. When I reached the top of Santiago Pk, I didn't turn back to my car, I just kept going, not knowing where or when I would turn around. What made it fun for me was I had to embrace taking water off the mountain, rather than being tethered to water back at my car. I carried a filter, so I was limited only to finding any stream or creek on the mountain. It changed the dynamic from being dependent on a water source to searching for a water source. I started with 28 oz and consumed 108 oz, the difference coming straight from the mountain. It's an interesting element to add to running - learning how to find water sources on a dusty, dry mountain. They're there, you just have to keep your eyes peeled, and you can run as far as you want. In the end I notched 40 miles and 9,100 feet of elevation gain over 10 hours, again starting out with only 28 oz of water.
Explore. Adapt. Embrace. These are the challenges that I love most about our sport. This reminds me of a conversation between Kwai Chang Caine and Master Kan from the TV series Kung Fu when the master teaches the student how embrace difficulty by adapting, like the willow does against the storm...
KCC: Master, do we seek victory in contention?
Kan: Seek rather not to contend.
KCC: Then, will we not then be defeated?
Kan: We know that where there is no contention, there is neither defeat nor victory. The supple willow does not contend against the storm, yet it survives.
Kan: Weakness prevails over strength. Gentleness conquers. Become the calm and restful breeze that tames the violent sea.
Keep it real runners.