Training was sort of rough, as it seemed that most of my runs were not exactly pleasant, but I focused on being consistent, and gave it my all each and every run. I meditate and visualize what I want every day, and I wrote in my journal several times:
50 km = 7 hrs 00 mins
Every time I ran by a 50km speed limit sign, I would manipulate it in my mind to say:
km 7 hr
A friend and I had made an appointment at a very cool metaphysical shop in Bellingham, called Wise Awakening. We wanted to try the Inner Dimensional Sound Chamber, because we both deeply recognize the power of Sound for healing. I have to say, I have had many different types of energy work done in my life - healing treatments, ceremonies, rituals, and initiations, but this was hands-down the most powerful treatment I have ever had. My two totems kept flashing in front of me - the Eagle and the Fox, and then from somewhere deep within me, a beautiful white Horse leaped out of my heart. I began to weep, and this thought was repeated over and over, "How could something so beautiful be trapped and pent up for so long?" I knew this horse was the beast inside that I had been searching for ... and would help me to dig deep during my big run.
Race Day: I strongly believe in Animal Spirit Guides, but I have never truly felt connected spiritually while running. This day was a gift to me, and one that I will never forget. I had 3 animal spirits guiding me during the run - Eagle, Fox and Horse. I heard clearly in my mind that each animal had specific gifts to offer to me, that I could channel and tap into when the specific need was there.
I heard these thoughts in my mind at the beginning of the day:
Eagle has great strength, wisdom and discernment and will guide you as to what you need to do throughout the day. Listen to this totem, allow him to guide your way through the day, and if you are unsure of how to proceed, simply ask him for his advice.
Fox is perceptive and clever, and knows how to take advantage of an opportunity. She is fun loving, playful and bright. She knows how to pace herself, how to keep moving forward, and when to reach out and take risks. Call on her to help you recognize opportunities, and to help you take care of yourself first this day. She will keep you moving forward.
Horse has the tenacity and strength to bound forward, with speed and grace and power. Horse does not ever tire, but it is necessary to hold back the reins until the time is right. Eagle will tell you when to let go of the reins and surge forward.
I truly stayed in the zone for the entire run, referring back to these animals and their unique gifts. When doubt would creep into my mind, one of them would pop into my mind and give me the strength to carry on, to keep moving, and I would say in my mind "50 kilometres, 7 hours". At times I repeated this over and over like a mantra, occupying my mind with this strong statement.
When I finished the 7th lollipop, I knew I had just over 5 kilometres to go, but I also knew that this was the most difficult part of the run for me last year. So I pretended that I had just begun my day, and I unleashed the beautiful white horse in my heart ...
And I ran, I did not hike, those last 5 km's.
I let go of all the things I had been holding onto, physically, mentally and emotionally. I laid myself bare on the trail, and this year I did not cry when I gave the last of my strength, but instead I felt joy! I knew I was almost done, but I couldn't bear to look at my watch, so I pulled my sleeve tightly over it's face and fixed my gaze on the trail. I actually passed people on that last leg of the journey ... and when I saw Glenn Tachiyama, I actually smiled for the photos! It was just amazing.
And when I came out onto the beach and spotted the last small hill that would lead me to the parking lot and the finish line, I RAN! I gave every last ounce of effort and ran as fast as I could to the finish line, directly into the arms of the race director. I looked at the timer ... and saw my time:
7 hours 00 minutes 53 seconds
Funny enough, about an hour after I finished the run I made the connection that my bib # was 7 the entire time ...