Four months from tomorrow, July 3rd, I should be standing at Mizen head (Irelands most southern point) with 580km staring me in the face and just under six days in which to traverse my home country tip to tip. When I see that on the screen, 580km, I am a bag of excitement and nerves all in one palpable bundle. There are moments of doubt and moments of immense positivity and certainly more than enough questions that pester me whilst I train. "Will I do it? can my body hold out? will I have the fortitude to pull myself out of the slumps that threaten to derail me....?" I have learned over the past month that these questions serve no function and will only drive me to distraction in the grander scheme of things. My focus right now is where it should be: on the roads and trails. I am working hard right now on solidifying my growing weekly mileage but not burning out at the same time, I also have a few races interspersed over the next few months that also see the mileage increase with each one. The distances ranging from half marathons to 12hr competitions. I will do what needs to be done to get my legs to the start of this great adventure and after that the battle will boil down to my will power and guts.
Charlie Sheen saying the other day "I have one speed, one gear, GO...." he may not be the greatest spokesperson in the world right now but if he put the same effort into ultra marathons as he did into ultra-cocaine binges he would be a contender for Western Sates 100 ;) I found something out on those trails one day that was symbiotic and made every part of me just align in a way I hadn't experienced before. And now here I am thinking back to last Sunday when I went out with my friend JC, who incidentally was the one that killed me out on that first fifteen minute trot in May 2008. We hit Versailles Castle grounds and here he was trying to catch his breath and to me it was just effortless. I say this not to be self appraising, I still have a long way to go and am no great athlete, but as a milestone measuring stick that motivates me to want to continue to push it further. I have great respect for JC and will always be grateful for his patience with me in the beginning, we still get out together the odd Sunday just to wax about life. The great joy of running is that it's the same for us all, no matter how good you are it's all relative. The people I have encountered are just awesome and some Paris based friends I have met through dailymile are running the half marathon this Sunday so hopefully I can meet up with them after their race. Through training and being inspired and motivated by others it has created a great bond in an already welcoming community.
The most important race of them all of course is life and doing the best one can over the course of it, running just happens to enhance it to the fullest.
See ya round the bend.
~I am in no way affiliated with dailymile, I just happen to like the site.