It was my birthday and I wanted to be in the mountains. Montara Mountain was hosting its annual 21 mile race just 30 mins south of San Francisco and it was incredibly sunny and fresh outside. This would be the most I’d ever run in my life. Ana and I got up at 6am, ate coffee and bananas and peanut butter, and drove to the mountains. IT WAS SO INCREDIBLE TO BE IN THE MOUNTAINS. I didn’t want to ever come down, back to earth. Being in nature, with very few people and restrictions around, reminded me about how all this stuff we do and construct around us is just entertainment as we move through life. That you could die up in the mountains. That just being able to climb a mountain, and breathe and survive and have the sun’s warmth on your face can be enough to feel content and happy. The forest smelled wild and thick and green and humid. On the way up it felt really like a rainforest, it was so magnificent. And as we approached the first summit, it became more dry and sandy. It was 3 peaks all together: 7.5 miles, 6 miles and 7.5 miles. Running with Ana was so fun. We would run when it was flat/ a low incline and hike when it was rocky or a steep incline. The highlight though is getting to the peak and then being able to run the whole way down OMG!!!!! You feel like you’re flying!!! Climbing a mountain makes you feel so strong it’s crazy. We really didn’t see that many people on the trail and the whole experience was really stress-free. The cool thing is that you have to focus on one thing: the path in front of you. If you don’t, you might trip on the rocks or hurt yourself or veer off the trail. Having to actively connect your mind with your body for 4 hours straight is something we aren’t very good at these days – notifications, running into people, thinking about what we have to do are all constant interruptions to focus and meditation. Being able to be in the mountains with just one focus, one goal, was a very unique experience for me, and I cherished it. It didn’t even take effort – it just happens because your body snaps into survival mode and does what it needs to to get you up and down the mountains safely.
Running 21 miles on my birthday refocused and reenergized the year to come in a very very empowering way.