Staring down reality.

image via runnersworld.com

image via runnersworld.com

Ok… Look.  I have done a… if you will pardon my French…  SHITTY job of training this spring.

My weight has soared.  My times have slowed.  My health has faltered.  I have done NOTHING to further my goals.

But yet I sit here typing this drivel two days before I run the longest trail race of my life.  And the first marathon distance I have done since 2007… which damn near killed me and took me out of running for almost a year.

I have been sick more times in the last 5 months than I have in the last 2 years!  Including ANOTHER bout with a head cold that leaves me coughing and hacking and wheezing as I head into this weekend’s trail marathon at Berryman.

What am I doing?  This is really stupid.  I’m going to hurt myself.  I need to bail on this.

Yet.  I won’t.

Call it… part goal achievement… part punishment for discretions.  Whatever…

I leave tomorrow to travel 3 hours southeast.  Deep into the Ozarks.  Where the banjos are MADE.  And Saturday morning I will hang my head and toe the line.  Embarrassed at what I have done to myself over the last 5 months and how poorly I have prepared to do an event that less than 1% of the population will ever try and even fewer will actually accomplish.  And I will slog my way through what promises to be a soggy, muddy trail marathon… just to get this over with.  In short, this has not been a shining example of my dedication or fortitude.  My goal for this marathon is to finish… before they take the finish line down…

For the 50 miler…

See, shit happens.  I have been sick 6 (six) S. I. X. times in 5 months.  This equals a 4 YEAR total for me.  And each time, I had to take a week or more off, but kept eating like a marathoner.

Then… I got depressed.  I won’t discuss the dark places I ventured to and still dwell, but let’s just say I’m frustrated and don’t deal with it very well.  As training (such as it is) progressed… I felt a little better.  an 18 miler followed the next day by a 10.  Not bad.  Then a 20/12.  Then a 22 that… well.  Kinda fell apart.  Wardrobe malfunctions… Serious chafing… The whole thing.  That was 3 weeks ago.  And it drained my confidence dry.

So.

I go into this event fat, undertrained and devoid of confidence.

What could possibly go wrong?

Oh… and it’s supposed to rain.

That should do it…

But, yet…

I’m going into this event with one goal.

Finish.

Health.  Weather.  Work.  All of it be damned.

I’m going to run a trail marathon in the beautiful Ozarks.  With good friends.  A hacking cough.  Some Tailwind. A little guaranteed muscle cramping…

And a big smile.

Because even though this may be disastrous, and not pretty to watch… I made it through 6 illnesses, 3 twisted ankles, 730 miles of training and a dozen or more canceled workouts to make it to the starting line.

The only goal now is to finish.

…and be able to drive home on the same day without completely seizing up.

…Oh… and reporting to work on Monday…

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