from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

two days from now

I started to pack. More than half of my luggage is running gear. Don't know - again - if it's too little or too much. I have taken all these running shirts, just in case I need to change, and even a little ultra-light jacket (Marmot), which I bought in the children section because it was less than half the price of the totally similar Patagonia adult version. This might seem extravagant, but apparently I have a tendency to become hypothermic while running - already happened twice. Twelve hours on a mountain in Wisconsin warrant some precaution.

But I do not worry about the weather, or about anything else - not having put in enough mileage, not having recovered enough, getting sick, fueling options, elevation gain, trail technique, mile 40, cut-off time. For one, it is too late for worry, I cannot do much about what I have not done, or undo what I did.

And then, I find no reason to be concerned. This is my 23rd race of marathon distance or longer but it reminds me eerily of how I felt before my first marathon, with its exhilaration of will, and the serene certainty of being in the right place at the right time. I even remembered how I started the race report of that first magical Shiprock run: "If I had any apprehension, it was just enough to respect the distance." You have to respect the distance, because the body is mortal and the flesh is weak. But otherwise, everything is simple and natural and in right order. This is what I am supposed to do.


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