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  • Writer's pictureMichael Van Elsberg

Reflections on Training

It has been a little over three years that Chris and I have been training for the Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge (HK4TUC). The Fateful Conversation. During that time we have run, walked, and hiked countless miles on streets and trails and done cross training in weight lifting and martial arts (oh, wait, let's not forget about flipping tires). We have traveled to Hong Kong to recce the trails and train. And we have blogged about it.

Yesterday I went out for a bit without headphones and did not take any pictures until I had hit the 10-mile mark. I have found the advantages of being present on the trails and in the moment and thoughtless of little else besides my breathing and the feeling of my body for hours at a time. I am aware of how the different terrain feels beneath my feet and the sights and sounds around me--the smell of the water just before or after the rain or someone cooking outdoors or fresh-cut grass or the occasional bear.

When I do take pictures it's to document my training and sometimes to share. Like today.

What I've learned so far is that I am only now finally able to properly prepare for the weather (gear and clothing), know exactly how to eat and hydrate properly, and actually feel like I kind of know what I'm doing and where it is taking me. I have also learned that it is a lot better than sitting on the couch. And that I am still capable of getting lost, even in my own backyard.

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