Thursday, September 8, 2011

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

I leave for Sawtooth tomorrow.  You have no idea how excited I am to say that.

So I haven't posted on this thing they call a blog since May, the week before Ice Age to be exact.  I'm sorry about that, but not for you.  For me.  I started this at the beginning of the year to journal this epic adventure towards 100 miles, and somewhere along the line, I lost steam, which is sad.  You see, the thing I wanted more than anything was to not lose the details of this journey, this adventure.  But life got busy, and this part of the adventure was put aside.  The saddest part is that I have lost details, lost memories, and I won't get them back.

I'm going to try and do better.

In brief, Ice Age went very, very well.  I finished my first 50 mile race in 10:07, meeting the qualifying time to register for Western States in 2012.  The weekend after Ice Age was the Fargo Marathon, which was my dad's first!  I like to think I helped push him to a 4:27 finish, a whole 11 minutes better than my first marathon and 1 minute better than my brother's first.  After Fargo, I got to do a little running in Telluride, Ouray, and Leadville during a trip out west for my sister's wedding in June, and then snuck back down to sea level to run a 3:43 at Grandma's Marathon.  I had a scheduling conflict for Afton this year, but ran Voyageur on a very, very hot day in July, finishing in 11:23 on a day where over a third of the field dropped.  Then, a few weeks ago, Andrew (brother), Jordan Hanlon (friend), Greg Smock (coworker), and I stunk up my suburban for 196 miles in 28 hours at Ragnar, where I got to haul in 52 or so miles at an 8:40 pace.  

Now Sawtooth.  

I'm giddy.  I'm excited.  I can't wait to scream off into the night and fight and claw my way to the finish.  I really can't.  

I went into my first 100 attempt at Zumbro in April undertrained and with the mindset that I really didn't think I was going to finish.  I learned the hard way that there is no better way to not finish a race than to let your mind be ok with something less than the whole.  I had 6 weeks coming off injury to train for Zumbro.  Originally, I hadn't planned on running, instead merely pacing 60 miles for my brother.  But Andy got a job a few months before the start and his running took a backseat to the rest of his life, and when he pulled out, I thought, "Why not?  I can always stop at 100k."  And that's what happened.  I pulled out at 100k.  

But not this time.  This time, I'm ready.  This time, 100k is not enough.  This time I'm going to finish this beast.  Unless they pull me off the course, kicking and screaming, these two legs are traveling the Superior Hiking Trail north from Gooseberry Falls to Lutsen, and it's going to be epic.     

I ran across a Charles Bukowski poem the other day called The Laughing Heart that sums up life as I want to live it better than anything else I've ever seen.

Your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
Be on the watch.
There are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.
It may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
Be on the watch.
The gods will offer you chances.
Know them.
Take them.
You can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
And the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.
You are marvelous.
The gods wait to delight
in you.

This is one of those chances, and I'm taking it.  I'm going to beat death in life this time.  I am marvelous.

I'll make sure and get a race report for this one.   


  1. Good Luck Babe! Can't wait to see you finish!!! Love Ya! Alicia

  2. Just found your blog and added it to my blogroll, so you may get some visitors. Congrats on the Sawtooth finish - that's one tough race!

  3. Thanks for the add, Steve. The next time I post, I'll make sure and do the same.