This past weekend I completed the most physically and mentally exhausting race of my life. I ran the Chuckanut 50K, 31 miles of mud, constant rain, snow, and 5000 overall feet of elevation gain. On the completion of this event, I realized that the experience, really sums up for me what running means to me, what it has brought into my life and how it has changed it and continues to change it. For anyone that has not done this race, the first and last 10K are run on a seemingly flat portion of the interurban trail. The last 10K seems to extend on forever into a never ending battle of mental torture.
Please don’t ask me what I do for a living. You might think it is really boring, and then I will feel self conscious and nerdy. Or worse, you might think it is really cool and brainy, and then I will feel like a fraud. At work I often don a “space suit” – you know, like the ones you see in the movies when “scientists” are working with deadly pathogens – and I, well, I go work with deadly pathogens. I spend my days researching vaccines and therapeutics for highly infectious diseases like the bubonic plague and tuberculosis.