Friday, June 23, 2006

Thank You!

Thank you for your comments, well wishes, tips, and support - I will carry them in my heart all the way to the finish line!

I guess there is only one question that remains to be answered: After I crawl over the finish line sometime Sunday morning, should I really call it my first 50-miler, I mean technically 80 kilometers is only 49.709695379 miles?

crawl a smidge further.....DAMN WELL BETTER CALL IT A 50-miler!!! YOU WILL HAVE EARNED IT!!!
Jeez...YES!!!! It's a 50-miler. I will still call you crazy but understand if you feel compelled to do a .3 mile cool-down (which you should do anyway after all that).
Good luck on your 49.709695379 mile race. Run a lap of honour after you've crossed the finish line, and call it a 50 miler.
GOOD LUCK!! I can't wait for the race report!!!!!
Umm, surely you'll end up walking 0.3 miles to cool down??? :-O
HOLY COW! The big day is already here!! Good luck and I know you'll end up doing the .3 afterward anyways because you're awesome like that! :)
It happens at different times and for different reasons but there are curious similarities that wind their way through many of our running careers. Remember taking those first jogs. You were breathing heavily almost immediately but you knew, or at least hoped, you wouldn't die and that you'd eventually get stronger. And you kept running. You ran around the block Then you ran a mile and felt a sense of accomplishment.

One mile turned into two and then five and somewhere along the line you made a decision to run a race. You knew you wouldn't win anything, but you thought it would be fun and a challenge to improve your running, because by this time you almost felt comfortable calling yourself a runner. Almost.

And you finished that race. You made it to the end and much to your surprise you began thinking about running a bit farther and a bit faster and about another race. You were a runner, even if, at this point, others didn't see it in you, you saw it in yourself. And you kept running.

The reasons you ran had changed. You ran because it felt good (some times) because you liked the way it made you look and because, well because you could. And because by now you couldn't imagine yourself not running. You came to the realization that you were not working toward a destination, but were living a lifestyle that had, somewhere along the line changed dramatically. And you had changed.

You seldom remembered those heavy-breathing mile runs and runs around the block. You forgot about that awkward feeling of not belonging in the shoes and the shorts or on the trail or the road. You encouraged others and they admired you. You dealt with heat and pain and blisters and more pain. You were a runner.

You could run 10 miles. You ran a half marathon. You ran your first 15 and 20 mile runs and you ran a marathon. And you kept running.

On Sunday you'll go 50 miles. Five zero. 80 kilometers that you'll round up because after the 10ks and the marathons and the hill running and going through thousands of miles and pair after pair of shoes and socks and miles of pain and panting and ear-to-ear grins, you've earned it!

During the run you may think about those tentative first miles. You'll remember those days when runners were those other, semi-strange folks you saw panting alongside the road. You'll remember that every step of the way, from 10k to the marathon and beyond, came with its share of struggle and doubt and discomfort and you know you'll experience all of that on Sunday. You'll think about other races and other runs. You'll go deep into that well of strength and perserverence that you've drunk from countless times. You'll run this race as a battled- hardened warrior who understands what he's up against and knows the only way to the end is to keep running.

And you will!

Have a great race and let us know what it's like to be on the other side of a 50 miler.
oh, just add a little mileage on before or after...maybe weave off the trail a little, then find your way back...(no, don't get lost!)...

again, good luck, I can't wait to hear all about it.
Close enough for rock and roll!!!
Good luck!!
gah! you keep running these HUGE races...i can't even keep up anymore...jack, you are just a well-oiled machine now, and you will be SMOOTH and STRONG every step of the way.

go jack go!
Good luck in the race!!!!
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