one of the greatest misconceptions about journey running.
and covering these enormous distances,
is that it cheapens the individual mile;
“after running 300 miles, one mile must seem like nothing”
nothing could be further from the truth.
after 300 miles the runner is painfully aware of every single mile.
the entire concept of a mile is forever changed.
waiting at the rock for these battered survivors to come in
the painful effort of every mile is portrayed by the numbers.
the last finisher’s home stretch was hours and hours of work…
at 1.6 miles an hour.
as a runner caught in the vortex of exhaustion compounded by the extreme slowness it creates,
their minds cannot help but think;
“one hour, just one hour of running like i could run at the start, and this would be over”
alas, there is no such hour left.
there is not even 10 paces at that speed.
that hours worth of miles is going to take 5 hours
no one is more aware of the length of a mile
than the journey runner trying to close out the run.
when you put your full effort into a 40 minute mile
you are aware of every single one of the 5,280 feet.
in terms of the physical cost,
a six minute mile is easy.
a forty minute mile is pure torture.
sitting at home is is so easy to imagine…
“i can do 40 miles in a day, easy,
and have 16 hours left over.
the biggest challenge will be what to do in all that extra time!”
the first day is not that hard.
it takes a lot longer than you expect,
because you have to do everything for yourself.
the second day you start to wonder why it is taking so long.
why the effort to get the distance is so much greater.
why the time is so much longer.
the vortex catches you in its spin
and there is no way to break its grip.
1.6 miles an hour at the end.
10 miles is an eternity.
and you are giving everything you have
just to get this thing done and over.
as we close out the week
the long thin line moves ever slower.
but it is working ever harder.
and everyone in it knows just how long a mile is.