Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The coming STORM...

Clouds building...

It might be a cliche, but ever since I read "Born to Run", sometime around 2010, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I wanted to learn to run far.  Not just your normal 'bucket list' running like half-marathons and marathons.  I wanted to do something way outside my comfort zone.  I've heard it said before, "You will never know your limits until you attempt the impossible."

I knew the challenges ahead.  I knew the miles would have to be put in.  I knew I would have to learn more about my own body than ever before.  I knew I would burn through pairs of shoes faster than sticks of deodorant.  I knew I would have to sacrifice time with my family.  I knew--atleast a few--of the pains I would have to go thru.  I would have to relentlessly bug my ultrarunning friends for advice.

Storm approaching...

I sit here a week out from the biggest race of my life.  The proverbial "hay is in the barn" runs thru my head.  There is nothing more that I can do.  I've logged all the miles.  I've pounded pavement.  I've circled the trails.  I've ran in the heat, the cold, the rain, the humidity, the day, the night.  I've done my best to dial in my hydration and nutrition.  I have a week to just make sure I don't hurt myself.

And while I'm doing my best to pump myself up, to find the mental fortitude, to remind myself that I can do this....I am scared.  There, I said it.  I'm scared I missed a long run.  I'm scared I missed a short run.  I'm scared I haven't thought of something.  I'm scared I don't have the right gear.  What if my legs cramp?  What if I get heat exhaustion?  Did I charge my headlamp?  Did I do enough cross-training?  Have a run fast enough?  Did I run SLOW enough?  I'm scared that I will fail.

I'm.  Just.  Scared.

But .... this is why I signed up for this sport.  The possibility of failure is very real and very high.  My body will be bruised, battered, strained, depleted, sore, dehydrated, calorie-deficient, and broken.  My mind will play games with me.  I will find something out about myself that I never knew before....and I may not like it.

This is just a short post, but I wanted to let you all in on what's going thru my mind with a week to go.  On the outside, you might see the normal Russell, but now you have a peek into my mind.  It asks these questions all day long.  It's hard to focus on work, on family, etc.  I just want race day to be here...NOW.

In the end, I have to find the determination to stand up, in the face of any and all adversity, and say, "I AM THE STORM."

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