In exactly one week…I hope to be holding my second buckle and either celebrating with Alan or doing whatever I can to help him finish; I’m writing this around 10:45am and we will have until 12pm to complete the distance (if we get to 86 miles by 8am). I know that 100 miles is a looooong distance and I am not kidding myself about my chance of finishing; my body is not ready for the distance and I was more prepared when I completed SD 100; despite the injuries before the race, I had a very solid long distance base. Now, my knee and hip are a source of constant irritation and I hope they allow me to cover the distance. So my body is not ready…but my mind is and I am prepared to battle all the negative thoughts and pain that I will feel during the race. I keep telling Alan to prepare for reality – pain, legs hurting and aching, a strong desire to quit, feet hurting, feeling like crap, possible sleep walking.
One reason why the buckle means so much is because we have to battle ourselves and be mentally tough in order to make it happen. Barring unforseen physical issues that can knock out the toughest and most prepared runner, an ultra is about pushing oneself beyond what they body says it can do. I love ultras because they force me to look inside and dig deep; I emerge a strong individual and face daily challenges with more confidence. This week I will be packing my drop bag with anything I could potentially imagine our needing and letting my legs continue resting. Today’s run showed that my legs are eager to get out of tape mode. Now, time to figure out my gear and clothing/shoes….