Last night, Ann, Julie, and my friends Jen and Dave came to casa de Rustyboy for our first crew meeting about the race. Sadly, my sis' couldn't fly out from NYC for Thai food and beer to discuss the run with the rest of the crew, but I'll be inundating her with info this weekend in Chicago when we meet up.
As I sat answering questions, asking questions, watching Julie and Ann figure out my approximated splits from aid stop to aid stop, I began to think:
The reality began setting in as we poured over elevation charts, figuring which climbs would be the toughest at specific miles; who would be pacing me when I hit said climbs, what I would need when daylight disappears and night sets in, and on and on.
FYI: 100 miles is a long f*cking distance.
I know, duh, right? But as the run grows closer and I have to begin considering what goes into which drop bags (REI is gonna learn to LOVE me!), how much nutrition I'll want to take with me, what kind of liquid-carrying-systems I'll need at specific times of day, it's dawning on me: What an adventure I'm embarking upon.
Crowded around my coffeetable last night, I looked into the eyes of those whose hands I'll be placing myself in, and to them, I say this:
My deepest, warmest thanks. I would never have asked this of anyone but the 5 of you. I asked this of you because of the trust and love that I share specifically with each of you. You'll be my support, my brain, the pat on the shoulder when I ask for it, and the swift kick in the ass when I need it.
You'll swap out grubby socks, lance blisters, refill bottles and remind me to eat. You'll be my guides, my distraction, my cheerleaders, and my shoulders to cry on.
You'll say things like, "When did you last pee? What color was it?", "Just puke it up and let's keep going.", "Get a move on, candyass!", "Where does it hurt?", "What do you need?", and "You're tired/sore/bonked? I didn't drive 4 hours to watch you drop out. Unless you're bleeding, you're running."
And, at the finish line, you'll know I couldn't possibly have crossed it without you. The victory will be as much yours as it is mine.