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  • Some people call me crazy; I think I'm lucky.

  • My passion drives me every day:

  • I'm an ultra-distance trail runner.

  • What's ultra-distance trail running? Ultra-distance:

  • I run distances that are longer than your typical marathon.

  • 50 kilometers, 100 miles, ranges, miles in between those distances,

  • that's what gets me going every morning.

  • And I don't do it on the roads, I choose to be on the trails.

  • This is my playground.

  • This is where I get to go train on a daily basis.

  • It's not a paved path, it's rocky, it's rooty,

  • there's a chance of falling,

  • but there's also this amazing ability to get to places,

  • on your own two feet, but nobody else will ever get to see.

  • Those beautiful high alpine meadows,

  • lakes, vistas that just take my breath away.

  • I finished my twelfth 100 mile race last weekend.

  • Yeah, it was pretty cool.

  • (Applause)

  • What I want to share with you today is two 100-mile race stories that happened

  • the summer of 2009. I had the opportunity

  • to compete in two of the most competitive 100-mile races in the world.

  • In end of June, I traveled to California for the Western States 100-Mile

  • and then the end of August, eight weeks later, I traveled to France,

  • for the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc which is 103 miles around the Mont Blanc massif.

  • So Western States, it starts at the base of Squaw Valley,

  • it's an amazing ski resort, you look up at this 4-mile climb,

  • 3000 feet of gain and that's the start of your race,

  • so you get to the top, you got 96 miles to go.

  • And I got to this race and I'd been racing for ten years at that point.

  • This is the start of my tenth 100 mile race,

  • and I decided to abandon my fundamental strategy.

  • My fundamental strategy is first to smile,

  • I love what I do, I love running,

  • so why would I be out there being grumpy or anything?

  • But, I smile, that's my first thing.

  • My second is to make sure that everybody else around me is enjoying what I'm doing,

  • because this is an opportunity not only to inspire myself

  • but hopefully to inspire others.

  • And the third, and only once the first two are completed,

  • is to be competitive, I can't help it, it's just part of my makeup.

  • I can't help but count the ponytails that go up the hill.

  • (Laughter)

  • Make sure that I'm still up there.

  • So I started the Western States 100, there's this amazing countdown,

  • all this energy standing on the starting line of this 100 mile race,

  • these people,400 people start the Western States 100.

  • And it's just this amazing pulse, can you imagine your heartbeat,

  • like my heartbeat's racing right now,

  • just pulsing with 400 people

  • that have no idea what that first step is going to feel like,

  • or the step at mile 86 or when you finish on the track in Auburn.

  • And that unknown is pretty amazing. The countdown, 10 to 1, and off we went.

  • And I wasn't smiling, cos I was so focused, I wanted to win the Western States 100.

  • And I figured if I had to do it, I had to be competitive,

  • I had to go straight to number 3

  • right from the get go, and I raced up that mountain

  • and found myself at mile 30 completely depleted.

  • My crew, met me at mile 30. A crew in an ultra-distance race

  • is a group of people that are there to support you

  • and mine is like a NASCAR pit crew.

  • I pull in, arms out, I've got new water bottles in each hand, new gels,

  • energy food in my pockets, slap on the bottom, and out I go.

  • (Laughter)

  • It's really cool, but I left,

  • and all the energy that they gave me I couldn't harness,

  • because I'd been running too hard, I'd been running too competitive,

  • I hadn't been smiling, I missed the beautiful sunrise that morning.

  • It wasn't the right way to go, but I still had to keep moving forward.

  • They were there for me, my mom was waiting to see me later on down the trail,

  • so I kept moving forward. From this mile 30 you have 20 miles down

  • through these amazing hot canyons.

  • It's just like a hairdryer being blown down your throat.

  • And without having the proper nutrition and hydration

  • going through my body, my quads felt like they were being ripped apart

  • on every stride down into these canyons,

  • then I had to get myself back up the other side.

  • Made it into mile 50 and I was having the most amazing pity party in my own head.

  • (Laughter)

  • Walking, frowning, but I saw my crew and they are jumping up and down.

  • They're so excited that here I come in, I'm in third place,

  • and the second woman just left and she looked like crap,

  • as far as they were concerned. (Laughter)

  • I wanted to sit down in a chair, I wanted them to rub my legs

  • and make me feel better and they weren't having it.

  • They shoved 2 popsicles in me, iced-handkerchief round my neck,

  • new shirt and off I was, down the trail.

  • At mile 68, you're able to have a pacer join you.

  • So one of my crew members, a good dear friend of mine,

  • his name is Rock, joined me for the next 20 miles down to the river,

  • and he pieced me back together.

  • Admittedly I took a little bit of Advil, which I don't recommend,

  • but it helps the pain in my quads. He got me eating again,

  • and he got me drinking and by the time I made it down to the American River

  • and cross the river I was actually a little bit hell-out-of-energy,

  • and the water rejuvenated me.

  • It was like washing all of that pain off me and out the other side of the river

  • and up, there's a 3 mile climb to the nex t80 mile aid station, where my friend Devin

  • was waiting to take me home.

  • And we ran really well for the next 10 miles,

  • and then the reality of what I'd done to myself set in.

  • And those last 10 miles, I'd told her before don't listen to me,

  • anything you I tell you, you tell me to run.

  • And she did she, she was awesome.

  • Both of us were yelling at me to keep running, and my body was actually failing.

  • By the time I got to the finish line, it was this pathetic shuffle,

  • and my friends were there running with me for the last mile.

  • And they humored me and kind of ran along with me even though it wasn't really a run,

  • I made my way around the track and basically collapsed onto the race instructor,

  • with, you know, shoulders down, put a medal round my neck and nicely handed me off

  • to my mom. And I actually look like I'm smiling

  • but I think I'm near passed out at this point.

  • The next step from this point was into the medical tent,

  • where I spent the next 6 hours flat on my back on a cot.

  • I received 3 liters of IV fluid. I stood up at one point to try and prove

  • that I was OK and I passed out, blacked out, an ambulance was called.

  • It was a night of drama that I do not wanna repeat.

  • It took weeks. I spent the next couple of weeks

  • sitting on my couch with my legs up on a couple of pillows

  • my laptop staring me in the face, I was supposed to be working

  • but hell I wasn't getting anything done. And I finally took some time to reflect

  • on what I had done to myself.

  • And that night when I was lying there in the cot,

  • there was a moment where I thought I might never run again,

  • like I might I might have just done something completely stupid,

  • that I might not even be able to run again

  • and so what is running to me, how important is it?

  • I need running in my daily life, it is something that I feel

  • even if I just get a run in, I have accomplished something.

  • And then when I build on top of that, I'm able to do that much more.

  • Running is also an opportunity to share.

  • When I show up at the trailhead and meet my buddies,

  • like I stand at the start of a race with 400 other people,

  • we're all in shorts and a t-shirt or in my case in a dress or skirt.

  • And we're all the same, it doesn't matter where we came from,

  • if we're a lawyer, a doctor, a secretary or a nurse,

  • we're all there, we're all the same, we're stripped down

  • to the real, raw, core, pure person of ourselves.

  • 8 weeks later I found myself in France

  • standing at the start of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.

  • 2500 runners start this race, people from all over the world,

  • and remember that pulsing I was talking about ...

  • It was incredible standing here and not only from the runners,

  • the streets are lined with people just reaching out,

  • it was like the star tof the Tour de France.

  • They're running out in front of you taking pictures

  • and then disappearing so that you can make your way by.

  • I think my favorite part about this race

  • was that energy from all of the people

  • and then the ability to be in places like this.

  • The solitude, the time on my own and at this race,

  • I was there, I was present, I was listening, when I was moving through the town

  • and in through the people sitting on the streets drinking a beer

  • and giving a high-five as you ran through. I heard them yell, like,

  • "That girl's wearing a skirt."

  • And then I was off in the mountain itself,

  • this race circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif.

  • There's 30,000 feet of elevation change.

  • To put that into perspective, that's like summiting Mount Everest

  • and then returning to sea level in a day.

  • You need to run through 3 countries, so the language is changing

  • as you're out there. It's pretty cool.

  • So my time to shine. I was smiling.

  • Thus making sure that the girls that were crewing me that day

  • were having a good time.

  • I got into the 110 km point of the race and I was just hungry.

  • And I have to admit it's really embarrassing how much I can eat

  • and how quickly I can eat when I'm doing one of these things.

  • And I'm inhaling a bowl of pasta and they're kinda pulling it out my hands

  • and they're trying to get me, well, "Move out of there, aid station."

  • "How are the guys doing? My friend Jenny Uehisa,

  • she's running her first international race, how's she doing?"

  • I knew she was back a little ways.

  • And finally they said, "Krissy would you get going, you're leading the race?"

  • And I don't know if I threw the bowl down or passed it off to my crew

  • I was cranking, I used poles in that race to help with my stability

  • while I was running around the Mont Blanc massif.

  • I had 3 climbs to focus on to get me to the finish,

  • and when I got to the top of the third climb

  • made this long traverse, I looked over my shoulder,

  • but I didn't see anybody but I didn't let that deter me.

  • I was full-on sprint, my patella tendons hurt like you wouldn't believe,

  • but I was able to ignore the pain.

  • And I remember this photographer, he was leapfrogging with me down the trail

  • and he would take my picture and then jump ahead.

  • And when we hit the bottom of the trail and the trail opened up to the road,

  • and I could see the shops of Chamonix ahead of me,

  • he'd had his camera poised, but then he put it down and he raised his hand

  • for the most amazing high-five I've ever had in my life.

  • Tears are streaming down my face because the reality of putting it all together,

  • my failure, all that pain, that I felt at Western States,

  • it wasn't for naught, I learned from that experience,

  • and I applied it, and I ran that last half-mile through

  • the streets of Chamonix six people deep

  • were leaning out over the finish-line chute to give me a high-five.

  • That's probably one of my favorite photos from racing.

  • I had just this overwhelming feeling as I ran into the finisher chute

  • and into the arms of these girls.

  • But you can learn from yourself when you put yourself in a position

  • to do something that you might first think is impossible and then you make it possible.

  • You open yourself up to this pure, raw, real, creative form of yourself.

  • You see yourself there, you see how you react to the world.

  • Back to that Western States example, I was in a cranky spot,

  • but those people that have all that energy and they gave it to me that day,

  • I could have told them, "No, I'm sitting down in this chair."

  • I kept going with them, so I saw how I react in the world.

  • And if you can take that from this place of physical movement

  • and then apply it to your daily life when you're moving through,

  • interacting with your friends, peers.

  • You know even today and you can be that real, rock person of yourself,

  • how beautiful could this world be?

  • I feel really privileged to be here today and share these ideas of learning.

  • I've learned a lotfrom the people in this crowd,

  • I just thank you for your time.

  • (Applause)

Some people call me crazy; I think I'm lucky.

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B1 mile race trail mont running ultra

【TEDx】TEDxOverlake - Krissy Moehl - Life in Motion: Learning through Movement

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/01/16
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