i'm done. i've worked and slaved, driven by an unseen hand. i gave up junk food (mostly) and booze (kinda), late nights, and saturday pancake breakfasts so i could be my best with the time i had. though i often got tired, hungry, bored and burned out over the last 4 months, i did what i could to prepare myself to run a 31 mile trail race.
and i feel good. but if, perhaps, i didn't do enough and i am not quite prepared- it has to be too bad, because the race... she is beckoning.
saturday afternoon i'll drop the kids with grandma and drive out to fayetteville to pose for my mugshot, meet some friends, get my grub on and fall into a (likely) uncomfortable bed, where i plan to wile away the night hours tossing and turning with a nervous stomach and a racing mind. the alarm will go off somewhere around 4:30 AM, when i will obsessively pack and re-pack my drop bag and cooler. i'll make jim some coffee. we'll eat toast and bananas. we'll watch the weather channel. we'll make our way in the dark to the race site, get our timing chips, set up our aid station. then, we'll stand around chatting nervously with the other runners, and go potty about 10 times. we'll make our way to the start line when todd gives the signal.
and then is the question mark, because what happens then is yet unknown, but it is make or break. no, not just the day.. it makes or breaks all of the time and energy we put in. we strive for months on end to either triumph or watch our dream crumble. it is an enormous amount of pressure. most all of us go out there and say "i'm just here to have fun", and "i just want to finish". but nobody means it. we have expectations of ourselves, whether in secret or declared. and the reality is that one never knows what may happen. what if pre-race dinner doesn't sit right with me? what if it pours rain? what if it is extremely humid? what if i don't drink enough/ eat enough/ salt enough? cramps. accidents. mud pits and slippery downhills.
what if it just isn't my day?
is it all for nought then? did i effectively waste my time the last 4 months getting ready for this? the more i think on it, the more my answer is a resounding, "NO!" my race, the real race displayed a different type of endurance. the kind that has kept me running 20 miles or more every saturday for the last 6 months. the single focus and dedication to get up and perform over and over and over.. no matter what the weather man, the critics or my knees said. it's not about sunday.. if i can get over the competitiveness i have with myself i am able to see that sunday is not the test after my months of studying. sunday is my celebration.
the test is complete.
for live blogging of the event on sunday, including pictures and updated leaderboards visit: runrace.net