I realize for most of you it’s not as exciting as Christmas or New Years Eve but this has been forefront in my mind over the past 5 months much more than any holiday I can remember in recent years (except for my Wedding Anniversary of course).
As I write this I’m less than 16 hours away from the start of the race, My Quest to Run 100 Miles (in less than 24 hours). Unlike the Man Against Horse race I’m not nervous at all, in fact I’m wondering if I’m too calm as I haven’t even started preparing for the race yet. Of course I’m the guy that packs 20 minutes before I leave for the airport when traveling also. When I finish writing this I’ll get my hydration drinks mixed and nutrition items ready for tomorrow and in the cooler. Pick out my first set of clothes to wear, I say first set because I’ll change shirts a couple times during the race so as the sweat dries and hardens it doesn’t wear like sandpaper against my skin and I’ll change socks once or twice to get a dry pair as needed. Other than that I don’t care. I’m trying to act as though it is simply another Saturday training run and I just won’t come home until Sunday.
After packing I need to be at the race headquarters about 4:30 p.m. to check in, get my race packet and the mandatory medical check in. I don’t plan on staying for the pre-race dinner so I can just come home and chill out.
The weather for tomorrow has changed almost hourly throughout the week and is now forecast to be 75° for a high, sunny with rain moving in late. We haven’t seen the sun all day today so don’t know if the clouds are going to move out or if they are here earlier than forecast. I guess it doesn’t matter because I have to run no matter what.
I was recently passed emails back and forth with my mother-in-law (she sometimes refers to me as her “idiot son-in-law” I’m sure) regarding my ability to be around “ordinary people” after this and what my thoughts would be. I’m not sure if it was serious or in jest but I suspect a little of both. I’m paraphrasing the conversation but the point I want to make is my sincere response was I don’t think there is such a thing as an “ordinary” person. We are all extraordinary but some people just choose to only do ordinary things every day. Each and everyone of us has it within us to do extraordinary things in and with our life. Maybe it’s taking better care of our health and weight, maybe it has nothing to do with running or physical activity, maybe it’s helping children that need a proper adult role model and mentor to guide them down the right path. Maybe it’s traveling to places you only dream about. The options are limitless, the extraordinary part comes from getting outside your comfort zone and challenging yourself to live your life so you have no regrets in later years. Please, anyone that has always wanted to do something and always had an excuse not to, go find an excuse to do it instead. You won’t regret it I promise.
Tomorrow the race starts at 6:00 a.m. Arizona time. I’m turning my website over to my wife Laura and she will update throughout the day as the race progresses. It will be very interesting to see what Laura does with her opportunity to write whatever she wants on this topic. Her version of the past 5+ months and mine might not be exactly the same!
If you are facebook friends with Laura or me, Laura will also update those periodically. Lastly, there will be a live webcam at the race start/finish line throughout the race as well as live updates as runners complete laps. That webcam can be viewed at https://s3.amazonaws.com/Aravaipa/Ultracast.htm.
I’ve mentioned it in the past that sharing this Quest with everyone is very out of character for me. I didn’t feel comfortable doing it at the beginning and honestly I’m still not comfortable with sharing it. But it has been a great experience and I’m very glad I brought all of you along for the ride. The support I’ve received over the past 5+ months and especially this week has been overwhelming. I would like to sincerely thank everyone that has sent me notes and called. Knowing so many people are thinking about my progress and wondering how I’m doing will help keep my legs moving during the coldest and darkest moments tomorrow night. And so you know “darkest moments” to someone running 100 miles in less than 24 hours has nothing to do with the amount of sunlight there is.
I kidded about it earlier but I need to thank my wife Laura, my son Sam and my daughter Grace for all their support. It’s been a lot of fun for me sharing this with them and no way could I have gotten to this point without their help, encouragement and teasing me along the way. I know the training and race itself will be something all 4 of us will never forget and will influence us as a family and individuals for the rest of our lives.
Until the next time…be safe and have fun!
John – you sound ready to go! Have a great training run tomorrow! I will be checking in on you! You are a rock star, so is your wife.
~Meg and the Oregon gang