Four sleeps. And counting.
Time to stop focusing on the race ahead. Instead, I'm turning around 180 degrees and looking backwards.
Back, back, back to Tuesday, January 4th. A cold and snowy night no doubt although, truth be told, I have no recollection of what the weather was. It was night #1 of the Around the Bay training. I knew I was in for a challenge when I read that we had to run 13k on the first night. I remember when we used to have to build up to that distance. Now it was a prerequisite. It was a brave new world I was venturing into.
During the past twelve weeks, we have run through snow storms, wind storms, whiteouts, downpours, ice, slush and mud. My glucometer has frozen, my pump battery has died, my ipod and Garmin have stopped working. I've had to learn how to blink so that my eyelashes don't freeze together during snowstorms and I have run without being able to feel my legs despite having two pairs of pants on. I have logged 183k on Saturday morning runs and roughly 100k on Tuesday night 13k runs. That doesn't even include Thursday night hills and speed training. Over 300k in 12 weeks through the harshest weather that Mother Nature can throw at us.
And I loved it!
I loved the wild and crazy weather. The beautiful early morning runs. The runs that intimidated me and the runs that made me cry. The runs that humbled me and the runs whose asses I kicked. It's the journey that keeps me coming back for more.
This race on Sunday is a culmination of all of that. It's a celebration of what we've been able to accomplish. The medal we're going to get on Sunday isn't for crossing the finish line. It's for having the strength and the guts to do the training it took to get there.
I have the training schedule posted on the wall by my desk as work. It seemed pretty intimidating back in January. Now it's full of memories and stories and is surprisingly comforting to look at.
When I turn back around 180 degrees to stare down that finish line, I take courage from the road that stretches out behind me. It got me this far. I'm confident that it will carry me the rest of the way.