Late October Run
      There are no aspens on Aspen Vista.
      The once golden uplifting leaves have left;
      the mountain is closing for the winter.
      The route to the ridge line is slick in spots.
      Icy pot-holes remain from harsh fall rains.
      The road is snow patched and frozen in places.
      I've got to move along pretty quickly.
      The wind whips through my wet cotton jersey
      and drains my body of welcome warmth.
      My nose and ears and hands are numb and ache.
      My skin is sweat-soaked and sensitive to pain.
      I've got to keep gaining, to pump plasma.
      My legs are sore, blisters infect my feet.
      My back is rubbed raw from my fanny pack.
      And yet, I'm pushed and pulled up to the peak.
      Beneath my feet, the snow crystals crackle,
      as I try to keep going without stop.
      I feel that life is ebbing from my core.
      Every once in a while I wonder
      why I want to win this tough uphill run.
      I pull up short; I wonder if I'm sane.
      I need to top-out and end this long race.
      To finish is part of the main picture.
      To endure is my heroic woman.
      This is the tenth month of my cycle;
      these are the winters of my running years,
      and I feel very cold and very old.
      Still yet, I need to put each foot ahead.
      My raw will and mind will conquer muscle.
      I know now why I want to earn this prize.
      Only I can give value to my life.
      The only purpose of life is to live.
      I wonder why I must strive to achieve.
      This struggle is solely with my own self,
      and this challenge is a celebration.
      I will finish the course; I am alive.