Saturday, October 10, 2009

Closer to God: The Pajarito Trail Fest Race Report

I got closer to god today.

Here's the Garmin Output for this run.

It wasn't because it was beautiful, although it was. In fact, I say without hesitation that it was most beautiful run I've ever done. Imagine hearing this song on your iPod:

Okay. Now, wait for 2:20 when the chorus sings...wait for it...wait for it...

because it was right at this point in the song that I rounded a corner--and found myself alone in an aspen grove-- and just as i did that a faint breeze rustled through the trees -
not a wind, just a bit of a breeze -

just enough to cause a sprinkling of aspen leaves to flutter down around me.





No, I wasn't closer to god today because it was beautiful.

Although it was.

Here's some more pictures:



101009 Pajalito Trail Run
Valles Caldera from 10,000 feet.

101009 Pajalito Trail Run


101009 Pajalito Trail Run

101009 Pajalito Trail Run


It wasn't that I was closer to god because I was up really, really high, although I was...

Photobucket

The race starts in a ski resort at 9200 feet, and climbs
up to over 10,000 feet in the first couple miles, which is where this picture was taken...
101009 Pajalito Trail Run

No, I was closer to god because I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA DIE.

You will never, ever, ever suck wind like you will at 9000 to 10000 feet. More than once I stopped, looked around, took a picture, just to catch my breath. And it was pretty. But also because I couldn't breathe.

But it was so worth it. At one point during the run, when I was in the midst of that Aspen grove, I almost cried, it was so beautiful. Right at that moment, I was just so incredibly lucky that I could power myself up a mountain to that spot and be there right at that moment.

I was the last place finisher, and got some gloves for that prize. I finished behind a woman, who mysteriously finished 30 minutes ahead of me, despite being just ahead of me about halfway through the race. In fact, on an 9-mile out and back, although ahead of me, I never saw her again. Somehow, she managed to slip past me in the woods.

Can you say "CUT THE COURSE?" I can.

Anyway.

It was gorgeous. Totally worth doing again and again and again. Fantastic aid stations, wonderful volunteers, very well run. Even if it took me over 4 hours to do. (Of course, Sweet Baboo finished this in 3 hours. Of course he did) I would do it again. Few things move me to tears with their beauty, and we can all use a little of that in our lives. Maybe we can use a lot.

I assumed this sign wasn't meant for me -->

And now I will eat ice cream and drink chocolate wine.

...

10 comments:

  1. Misty--Those pictures are absolutely beautiful. I'm glad you stopped to catch your breath and then share the results with us. I agree, we do need more of those moved to tears moments. I've actually wanted the "lantern rouge" prize, but have never gotten it. I can't imagine doing a run race that high up. Congratulations!

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  2. These photos are amazing! I'm glad you had such a great experience.

    Enjoy your treats :-)

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  3. Good God it that scenery beautiful! Breathtaking.....truly.

    I didn't know there was such a thing as chocolate wine? Have I been living under a rock?

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  4. Wow, what an awesome course, thanks for the pictures. I too finished dead last in my race this weekend, but had an incredibly fun time. I'm going with chocolate ice cream and red wine, though.

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  5. Wow, what beautiful pictures! I'm hyperventilating just thinking of being at that altitude, we're lowlanders here in Ohio!

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  6. Congrats! Wow, I feel like such a wimp complaining to my friends about my run, on pavement, that was only 6 miles and at a .5% incline!

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  7. Beautiful photos...I want to walk in the leaves and hear them rustle under my feet.

    Mark my words: you are going to do Pikes Peak one of these days and then the 10,000 feet will feel like NOTHING compared to the 14,000. :-)

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  8. What a great day :) God's splendour, new gloves, and chocolate wine, too!

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  9. NICE WORK! Another incredible race accomplishment.

    But more importantly, tell me more about this chocolate wine you speak of...? :)

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  10. On a different note, I keep meaning to ask where you found those awesome pink gaiters?!? Every I seem them I am jealous. Those would totally get me out on the trail running. :)

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