Hell’s Hills 50 K was a turning point in my running. I think a decision had been made that day, only my conscious mind did not know it yet. When you surround yourself with people who live full lives, it begins to make a change in the way you perceive all that is around you. For me, this journey in the land of ultra running started only 22 months ago. The very first time I set foot on the local trails with this crazy group of runners who called themselves, Belton Endurance Junkies. A man by the name of Mark Chandler was the originator of this group of people who ran the trails……..for fun. After 4 years of running the roads – only long enough to be ready for this triathlon or the other and training for several half marathons here and there – I had no idea what I was setting myself up for that first time on the trail.
I won’t bore you with all the details of those first 30 days spent running the trails but know that a change began the very first time I heard Mark say it didn’t matter that I was slowing the group down and he had to keep coming back for me, because it was “time on his feet” that mattered, not the (very slow) speed in which we were traversing the trail.
Time on your feet is what matters? What the heck does that mean? What do you mean, the speed doesn’t matter? I remember thinking those questions but feeling too silly to ask them! While my other triathlon friends were talking about this “gu” or that “gu”, I watched Mark inhale corn tortillas mid-way through a 15 mile run, and thought he was crazy…..Yep, those few times on the trail is what started it all!
More to follow…….