Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mid-Week Marathon Ramblings

Saturday, in Greenville, South Carolina, I will embark on my ninth marathon of the year. Not that big of a deal, but certainly a different challenge as I continue to prepare myself for February's Rocky Raccoon 100. Not only have I seen some progress in the physical aspects of my running, but more importantly the mental approach.

I know from talking with Bill Dwyer and others that there are going to be some challenging times in both of these areas in the up to 30 hours that I have to tackle such an arduous challenge. So I figure while I'm making a financial investment to run marathons away from Texas (better weather and races in different states), I'd better work hard on the things that I'll need to complete my goal.

Yet the goal of finishing a 100-miler isn't all-consuming. Honestly, I don't want it to be. I'm sure that there are those who will think that I won't be successful, but I'm wired a little bit differently. My sense of accomplishment comes from a completely different place, I think, then many. Even though the challenges may seem to be far greater, I sense that my satisfaction won't be any greater than writing an excellent story, putting on a race or seeing Waverly succeed in something that she has set out to do.

Basically, I'm optimistically cautious about the event that is just over 100 days away. And at the same time, there's a part of me that's scared. It isn't that I'm afraid of failing. That's very real in a 100-miler. Maybe there's a part of me that's afraid to actually be able to do it. Almost seems a little perverse.

One of the things that Bill and I have already talked about, for example, are pacers after mile 60. Those individuals that I choose to cover some miles with me are certainly going to have to realize that there may be some stretches that will be all about "keep moving" as opposed to actually running. Yet I'm excited to share the experience with some hand-picked individuals who can conform to the approach that I think I'll need to be successful during that stretch. Rah-rah, "you can do this" types need not apply.

For me, it is all about figuring it out by myself or with a little bit of help or collaboration. That is where Bill has been such an asset to me - in addition to having finished two 100-milers himself. He knows what it takes to complete the goal, but he's probably the person who knows my mental makeup better than anyone else. We've also talked about communication methods during the race to ensure that I stay in the right frame of mind to accomplish the goal.

I'm very eager to build the right support crew to assist me in being successful. In that sense, it is very exciting. As this is something that I'm not doing alone. Sure, I have to put one foot in front of the other for 100 miles, but it is a team approach and I'm excited about sharing the experience with others who have earned the chance to be a part.

And even though there's some sharing involved, the oxymoron of it all is that I really don't want to make a big deal about things! Go figure!

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