Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lean On Me

It seems that in ultra running as in life it is best to choose your running partners wisely. You are going to be spending hours and hours together through better and through worse. There might even be some sickness involved.

On Saturday I got to tag along with a great team. Along the way I learned many lessons. We ran up and over and back up a mountain. Luckily for me both of the guys were facing their own struggles. I didn't want to rejoice in their suffering but it did make it a more even playing field and I was able to keep up. One of them had the remnants of a flu bug. He puked trailside but refused to turn around. According to him this was most excellent training for the late miles of a long ultra when anything could happen. Due to his leaving extra fluids out of the trail he managed to run out of water. His partner was able to share some of his. While I watched the sick guy sucking on the straw of the other guys camelback I couldn't help but think that was true caring. I am not one for sharing straws with well people so that would have been stretching my limits. I did have a contigency plan if he needed water from me, I could put it into my hand held from my straw and no straw sharing would occur. Yah for me, I could still be an asset to the team.

When sickie was feeling better and only coughing up small amounts of phlegm to leave on the trail he was called upon to be the strength of the team. Cramps were setting in to the other guys legs. Lucky for him, his chosen running partner is also his chiropractor/ART therapist. Talk about picking a good partner! Anyone can give you salt tablets and a bit of water but trailside body maintenance is pretty hard to come by! I was able to take a bit of a break from ascending and descending a mountain while the appointment was being conducted, during which time I sucked on some nice fresh water out of my camelback and had a snack.

Prior to starting the run the guys made sure to email me to bring plenty of food and water. Sounds like they didn't want an albatross around their neck. Even starting out they were looking at my pack concerned about the amount of water I was carrying. I assured them that I had 70 oz and was prepared with food. I kind of felt a bit guilty as they were rationing water and I arrived back at the base with extra. Not guilty enough that I was sharing my straw voluntarily though, I had just met them after all!

When you are running up and down mountains it is good to be self sufficient but it is nice to know when the going gets tough, and it will, that you have someone to lean on. I just hope that at some point I will be strong enough and experienced enough that I can say 'lean on me'.

1 comment:

  1. That picture could come in handy for Matt:)