I am very nervous. I am leaving for Boston tomorrow and I am still undecided about a lot of things. But I guess is to late now to change any game plan.
This is the first time that everybody I know is excited about my race and they would notice if I did well. Nadia was right when she told me that because I qualified on my first try I didn’t really gave qualifying for Boston the importance it deserved. That was before now is a different story. I watched the documentary “the spirit of the Marathon” last week. It definitely set the mood. True to my nature I showed to the theater fresh from my run, I tried and squeeze as many miles possible on that day after work, kids and stuff, until it was time to go.
The movie was full of runners (who knew!) I recognized a lot of them and by then I wished I had wore make up. After the movie everybody lingered at the lobby, we all caught up to each other lives and of course running. The documentary touches on qualifying for Boston and that is where the conversation turned afterwards, “are you going? “ “Is it your first time” “I remember my first….” There a realized Boston is special because you have to earn your entry either by qualifying or trough collecting pledges.
A few people asked me about my up coming races, when I told them Boston was a speed work for me, that I had a 100K race a few weeks after; there is no better way of clearing a room. I became the outcast, not for bad reason, is simply that in long distance running, ultra runners are still considered a bit of social misfits.
I am reading Karno’s biography and he explains it beautifully, I have read page after page looking for insight, to me, running long distance doesn’t feel that much different that wanting to run a sub 3 marathon, the training and dedication is just as intense but the focus is on endurance not speed. Is hard to explain to non runner why you run, is just as hard to explain to a runner why you run that long. Dean’s book makes me feel, OK inside, like I can stop making excuses, like is OK to be me.
For Boston, I am going to aim for 3:30 as a dream goal, 3:39 as realistic and expecting to do worse than that maybe even a 3:45 or gasp! 3:50???? I can’t possible focus my efforts on all the races, I can have different focus in all of them, some I am just hoping to finish, such as the Lost Souls, and other that I am hopping to do well. Boston is a bit of a mixed bag, I could have trained to improve my time, but after I learned about Brazil 135, I decided that the focus should be to increase endurance, I run my first 200K week, two weeks ago, it was not pretty, but I got it done, the problem was that I could not increase speed AND mileage. I do feel like I am letting everybody down because I didn’t train for Boston, I am incorporating this race as part of my training, sort of part of an overall plan. And really that is the way it should be, but I feel sick to my stomach every time I get a phone call that says” I will be tracking you online” I feel like saying “ not on this race, please” .
Karl asked me about Boston, this morning, he wanted to know more about it then he got the courage to ask me if it’s true that I am an “extra runner” “you mean ultrarunner” I replied with a smile” yes, its true” Karl thought for a second “is it true you are the first Canadian to be invited to Brazil” at this point I realized Karl was trying really hard to understand what this all mean. “True, is not a race a lot of Canadians want to do” I joked. “The race is 60 hours” at this point I think he was really confused “ why do you want to do it?” he asked just like a lot of people asked me when I tell them about my races, this time how ever I was not embarrassed, or defensive, this time I felt great to be asked that questions. “For you”” I want to do it for you and all the kids like you” I said looking straight at him “Every time I do a race like that I collect money for the CNIB and I bring awareness to what it feels to be you, and that honey, is worth running as long as is humanly possible” my answer was good enough explanation, he was happier to find out I was not really crazy than to know I was doing it for him.
Dean’s book thought me a lot about myself, about why trail running and long distance is such a passion and addiction. He also touches on what is truly to be a runner, “the body has boundaries, the human spirit is boundless” “don’t run with your body, run with your heart” and that is exactly what I plan to do in Boston, and in all the other places I will go, I will run with my heart.