Friday, April 4, 2014

it's time

The day has come. Tomorrow I wake up at 5:15am, make my traditional breakfast of egg-in-a-hole, and head to the starting line of the American River 50 Miler. I can't even believe it. All the work I've put in, all the miles I've run, all the tears I've cried...culminating to this moment.

This will be my 95th day of running, 50 unforgiving miles through some of the most beautiful California back country along the American River Trial.

I've come a long way since dragging ass back in December at Club XC Nationals. In fact, my New Year's Resolution began only one mile at a time for probably the first week and a half. Not to mention the fact that I've had more running injuries during my 15 year career than most will see in a lifetime. Yet I'm healthy. Not fast, but healthy. It's remarkable.

Tomorrow is a big deal for so many reasons, more reasons than can be explained in this blog and more reasons than I'm sure many would care to read about.

I find myself in between a personal "rock" and a professional "hard place", constantly banging my head against the wall in disappointment with my lack of vision, clarity, and focus. I don't know what, or who, I want to be when I grow up. My attention span for life is about the duration of a gold fish's memory, roughly 6 seconds.

I know running is often used as a metaphor for life, just ask any runner-writer who defies convention and dares to draw such parallels in their memoirs...  For me, running is anything but a metaphor. Running is easy, life is hard. Sadly, running just seldom shares my enthusiasm and level of dedication so I end up sitting the bench with [insert your favorite injury].

But for some reason this year, for these last 95 days, running has been the one constant in my life. It has provided me with direction when I can't seem to find any elsewhere. It rewards me when I work hard. And it is my outlet when other aspects of my life circle the drain.

I've found purity in my unconditional love of this sport. I only hopes this translates into other areas of my life, especially my new belief about expectations. Expectations are for people with a plan, and people with a plan have clearly never lived because if there's any hard fact I can tell you about life (supported by my wise 26-year existence....), it would be plan on things never going according to plan.

So - like my running, my race, and my life - I just have to take each mile as it comes. When I finally let go of my expectations, I felt like my running was taken to a whole new level (think Forrest Gump leg-brace status).

I'm not scared for tomorrow. I'm embracing this incredible journey that has brought me to a place I never knew existed, to a race I never thought I'd be able to complete. Let's do this. Sh*t is about to get real.
The Auburn historical museum.

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