I love solitude. The times I spent running long miles give me a break from the world...a time to compose my thoughts, exercise my creativity, and deal with issues that trouble me.
But in the company of others--running with a good friend, for example--I can just as easily relax and watch as the time seems to pass a bit more quickly.
A few years ago during the Leadville 100 trail ultramarathon, my buddy Stan Holman became an angel for a day. Without his help as my pacer from the halfway point to the finish, there is no way I would have completed my first 100-mile race. No way. It's a favor that I'll be hard pressed to ever repay.
And Stan keeps on giving, most recently yesterday during a 6.5-hour run in the Columbia River Gorge. His company made the hours seem like minutes. We discussed our kids, baseball, and life in general. In the shared experience, we enjoyed Mother Nature up close and personal, but didn't have to suffer the nuances of the weather (freezing cold, at times) alone. Lean on me.
When the chips are down and all hope seems lost, give me a good friend like Stan anytime to help me get through the tough times. There's no price that you can put on friendship.
Training for Badwater is progressing well. I hit my high mileage watermark last week with a tally just shy of 90 miles. Logistic planning and heat training get ramped up this week...health club sauna, here I come.
Congrats to Olga Varlamova who completed the Bighorn 100 in Wyoming in just over 30 hours this past weekend!
The flora of the Columbia River Gorge always excites the amateur botanist in me. The Bear Grass was especially striking. The thorny spines of the Devil's Claw I can do without. And some of the greenery seems to hold more water than a sponge. As we ran through some of the more overgrown trails, we would come out soaking wet just from the moisture that was on the leaves.