Running Into Myself


Awake now. Not awake yesterday morning. Felt so dead. Dehydrated. Eyes puffy past recognition. Seriously debated if I wanted to run my 50k race. Had puked all day on Friday. It was one of those days when nothing would stay inside of me.

Get out.

I got up. Decided, what the hell? Could always quit if it was horrible–even though I never would do that, the possibility of it was comforting enough to get me out of bed.

Start. Go. Just go. I’ve said those words before in protection and self defense. To my attacker: You need to leave. Just go.

There’s a feeling of fed-up-ness behind it all. As if going is the only thing there is ever left to do.

Just. Go.

Just go, Chelsey.

I went. I knew I was speeding too fast pass people. But it felt like the thing to do. Didn’t know how long I could keep it up for, so I just kept going. Let two women (one in pink and one in yellow) lead me with their pace of excitement for the first 7 miles. Why stop at aid stations when I can grab the fluid and sip while running?

The pink and yellow women got too slow for me. Guess it was the wind when we headed back north that kept them back and pushed me forward.

I could feel the wind. Feel it pushing against me. Felt strong. I felt strong. Leaning into the wind and pushing through it. No, not pushing–cutting. Something I’ve realized lately more and more that I know how to do in my life. Slicing through the hard to get to a place where I’m numb to it all. Cutting through the pain and possible barriers. Letting go of that fear and just gliding with it. The only thing the wind made me feel was a bit chilly.

And strong. There was no other way to be.

10 miles. Refuel on gu. Keep going.

Thought one of my previous female pacers (the pink one) had snuck ahead of me at the turn-around. So I went after her. Kept pushing. Kept feeling stronger. Knew I was running too fast. But again, there was nothing else to do. I wanted it to be done with, so why not get done as fast as possible?


Serious–felt serious–still trying to figure out if there was even some enjoyment present in the seriousness.

Mile 15. Turned around and realized I wasn’t going to catch up with woman in pink, because she was at least two minutes behind me. What was I chasing after? What am I running against?

Kept telling myself to just Run YOUR Race, Chelsey. This was my race. This was my pace. Not to follow or challenge people, but to run for me. To run in me.

Mile 18. Friends there. Cheering me on. For the 4th time I gave them my little smile, told them I was going to keep going, and sped up a bit.

It felt weird to not stop and soak in their encouragement. But I had to keep going.

At mile 21 I realized I was running an ultramarathon race. Something in me awoke.

Oh yeah.

This is what I love.

I was running an ultramarthon.

This–this right here–is what I enjoy.

And now I only have 9 miles left of it.

Go–but don’t “just go” Go.

Go because you want to.

Mile 22. Friends again! Stopped. Kissed. Smiled. Laughed. I just woke up. And I SO have this shit, I grinned at them. Running hard again because I can. Because I want to.

I’ve never kept a pace up like that. There were no walls. Or, if there were any walls I sped by and through them too fast to even notice their existence in my life.

This keeps happening.

I keep surprising myself with my strength.

Maybe one of these days I’ll start believing in it. In me.

Or, maybe it’s the not knowing it that gives me the freedom to go.

Passed the #2 woman with 3 miles to go. Knew #1 was way ahead. So I kept strong and kicked it in for myself.

Because this is what I do.

This is what I do when I find space for myself and can move in it–with it. Part of me was not there for the first 20 miles.


Maybe it took 20 miles to find myself. To run into her, give her a big hug, and invite her to open up to me and to kick it in with me. To find and recognize what was in me.

And I think I might have found something new.


Lakefront 50k, 4:02:51, April 4, 2009

Lakefront 50k, 4:02:51, April 4, 2009


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Adrian said,

    Well done, Chelsey!

  2. 2

    Cheryl said,

    Amazing, Chelsey! You looked so strong out there! 🙂 Great job!

  3. 3

    rachel said,

    hey “tough chic” haha
    but seriously, im feel so lucky to have got to see this happen, and then hear what was happening in YOU as you ran-and before.
    There is so much strength in you, as well as weakness and I love sharing it all with you.

    • 4

      chelseyclammer said,

      Rachel. You are the sweetest fucking thing in the world. I’m so glad you are in my life. I love you!

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