And, as I looked up and saw the “9,000 elevation” sign, I honestly wanted to be done.
Welcome to going to the top of Minaret Vista. 9,265 at the top. We started at around 8,300. Uphill tempo. 5.5 miles. You’re reading this and thinking that’s not that far. It has made guys on my team cry. Believe me, this is the hardest 5.5 miles you could pick to run fast up. Or, as fast as your body lets you while you climb into oxygen debt.
Running is a sport that humbles you and makes you vulnerable.
Last week, I stopped at around 4 miles, at the main lodge: where the mammoth is.
Today, as I climbed towards the top of Minaret, my breathing felt like it was turning to wheezing as I was gasping for air. I repeated that God was my strength over and over. I pumped my arms and looked up: advice my coach always gives. When my teammate JB passed me (the women always get a head start), he whispered “good job.” I’m pretty sure only “job” came out of my mouth; talking was way more than my body could give at the moment. And, in the last half mile, I wanted to cry. Trying to calm myself down, I told myself I was almost there. I was almost done.
The ironic thing is, Minaret Vista is my favorite spot in Mammoth. Seth and I would sit and talk and look at the Minarets, admiring God’s beauty, and deep black skies with bright stars, undisturbed from any city lights.
Don’t worry, I made it to the top, only to do the longest cool down of my life…and by the end of it, when my coach asked how I felt, I laughed and said, “40 minute cool down was a long cool down.”
Only elite runners know what kind of pain daily training and workouts require. And, we do it over and over and over.
And, you may think I am crazy, but runs like today make me really love what I do. I love the exhaustion that comes after a hard work out. I love knowing that these workouts will prepare me for a future marathon, and future races. I love that God gave me a body that can do what I did today. I am healthy and strong…and enjoying working hard with what God has given me.
I feel incredibly blessed. Humbled. Loving that know I can say I’ve run to my favorite spot in Mammoth.
To see God’s beauty. To be thankful I have legs that can run to an incredibly beautiful spot. To know that with God’s strength, I can do many things. Running to the Minaret Vista is just one of them.