Wednesday, August 14, 2013

And once more into the breach we go...

So, here it is. About six months ago today, as I was recovering from the Rocky Raccoon 100, I pulled the trigger on Leadville. I've enjoyed every second of my training for this run-- even the seconds that sometimes felt like work-- especially the seconds that forced me to reach deep inside to keep moving forward. All the hay is officially in the barn. Ginger and I did nice 5 miles in Frisco, Colorado this morning  (9,100 feet), and I felt great! The legs are ready and the lungs are willing.

And now, it's time for the payoff. The prize. Race day. I'm am ready. I have put the time in. I have put the miles in, and I'm ready to enjoy some time on the mountain. It'll be hard. I will go to a dark place, but I will revel in the ability to challenge myself. To feel that rush of excitement when you know you are doing something difficult. And when it gets hard, I'll have lots to help me find my way out of the pain cave. First, I'll remember all the support and understanding that Ginger has given me. She has been great about indulging my love of going on long runs. She has always made me feel good about going out for a run. Second, I'll have the support of the rest of my family and friends who encouraged me and continue to encourage me. Reeve and Kramer are coming halfway across the country to pace me. I gotta put on a show! Third, I'll have the support of my brothers. My Always Brothers family who motivate me to push myself. Most notably, I'll have the memory of my boy Mike Boelk turning himself inside out last weekend as he ran 100 Miles in Seattle for Always Brothers. He and Chris Pratt ran all 100 miles in a little over 27 hours, and it was a thing of beauty. I have never seen someone willing to suffer as hard as Mike did. I have also never seen a group of men and women come together to support a goal like I did last weekend. I watched Dan push himself to unspeakable places to honor our cause. Countless people (I'm looking at you Tami and Barbara) ran more than twice their PR distances. Dan, Paul, Allen, Jim, Tami, Bob, and so many others (many of whom we'd never met) were there every step of the way to support Mike, Chris, and all the runners as we made out way to the finish. My Always Brothers family will be with me this weekend. I'll also be running for Tyler, Dustin and all of his Lima Co brothers, and all those who can't. So, yes, Leadville is for me, but it is also my way of honoring those who make it possible for us to seek out challenges like Leadville.

So with apologies to Edmund Vance Cooke, I allude to and borrow some of his fine words that Brian O'Neill shared with us in Ohio. I look forward to Saturday morning when I head out to tackle that trouble that I've brought my way. When it beats me to the earth, I vow to come up with a smile on my face until I reach the end. I will battle my best and be proud of any blackened eye that the mountains deal me. I will play my part in the world and give everything I have. Then, I will find some more to give. 

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