i cant believe it.
since i set the starting date, last july,
it alternately seemed like the day would never come,
and seemed like it would come too soon…
all depending on how my training was going.
it was some future event,
more like a movie or a book,
than something in real life.
now i leave tomorrow.
so many things will be different,
that you never really even think about.
i realized earlier today
that i will have no use for any of my keys….
for the next 4 months.
it has been a roller coaster.
preparing for this, physically, mentally, logistically
has consumed my life for months.
my real life, my real job,
keeping up my real life,
it has taken so much time and energy,
sometimes it did not seem that i would be ready.
but that is why you set a date.
in the end,
you do what it takes to be ready by the day.
i knew this would be different that anything i have ever done.
i did not guess it would be so different so soon.
even when i was young,
and trying to compete,
focusing on 1 or 2 big events a year,
i never put this much time and effort into a single event….
and then there was always the possibility to apply that effort to some alternative event,
if something went wrong on the target race.
all the eggs are in one basket.
anyway, it did not start to get real
until i completed the last serious training run,
and started the healing period
(tapering is for kids, mature runners try to heal from training)
at first it was unnerving.
looking at the immensity of the task ahead.
considering the uncertainty of my ability to do it.
as it turns out,
a transcon is like a mountain.
when you first look at it from a distance,
and it fills the sky in front of you,
it is intimidating.
but, as you get closer and closer,
the near parts block your view of the rest.
instead of this massive, unfathomable challenge,
you see only the first slope….
and that, you know you can do.
a week ago my nerves were jangling.
today i feel almost calm.
the only thing i have to worry about,
is getting that first day under my belt.
the concept of having to complete 119 days was beyond my ability to imagine.
somehow it has changed to having to complete 1 day…
i can only face one at a time.
now i have that feeling that comes before a big game.
a feeling i have come to love.
a feeling that i live for.
i have done my work in preparation.
now i just want them to put the ball in play.
unknown challenges are waiting.
what would be the fun without them.
i am confident that i am ready.
that i can make the adjustments that need to be made
that i can make good decisions.
the whole season.
the whole year.
my whole life.
has been preparing for this moment.
the pressure of well wishes is gone
the noise of the crowd unheard.
nothing is there
and my opponent…
that 3,400 mile white line.
will i win?
can i win?
i don’t know.
what would be the fun,
if success was guaranteed?