Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What it's all about


It's about the mountains. It's the power and the peace of those old mountains. It is air and sunshine and weather and nature. Daylight and darkness. Wind and water. It's about being part of it rather than just passing through. It's getting closer to where I came from, all the while moving and getting closer to where I want to be. --Alan Gowen

The days leading up to an ultra---especially a 100 miler---are hectic and nerve-wracking but also weirdly calm and peaceful. My organizer gene (thanks to my mom) got me packing, sorting, writing pace charts and crew instructions, filling gel flasks and baggies last week so now all I have to do is re-confirm travel plans, run a little each day, sleep a lot, and eat healthy food. My students have caught wind that another Shining adventure was afoot (pun intended,) so today I was busy sending out directions to the race course to my lacrosse team and their parents, at their request. So cool to have their support!

Alan's wonderful quote up at the top continues to inspire me. It is about the power and the peace of those old mountains. It will also be about the wind and the water: the forecast is calling for rain all night Friday with temps in the 50s. Ugh-oh. Time to pack and re-pack the rain gear and extra dry clothes and the gloves. GLOVES! Who would have thought about gloves last week, when it was 80 degrees?

AJW has given me strict instructions on how to approach this race. There will be no napping, sitting, or whining. I have the best pacer and crew on the planet and they know what I need. All that I need to do is be smart and let the race come to me, and I need to remind myself what a long day and night it will be and that ANYTHING can happen. I need to be flexible and welcome the weather conditions as something that will help me ( I tend to run much better in cool weather). Most of all, I need to be mindful of what it's all about: striving to meet a difficult challenge in a beautiful setting surrounded by close friends and family. Wow. How lucky am I?

9 comments:

Social Engineering said...

You are gonna kill it. I have never seen you more prepared and you are approaching it perfectly. Go out and have fun knowing your fam is behind you and is so very proud. We love you!

Alan said...

You're so right. You'll have to let the race come to you. This was Scot Mills advice to me before my first MMT and it's probably the best advice ever. Stay in the moment, take what comes...as it comes...and run with it.

You're gonna ROCK!

Rick Gray said...

The mountains are so sweet and mysterious, but yet within them is the challenge we seek. The time will soon be here and we will take things as they come. You are prepared. I am sure that your organization has driven the family crazy. I know I have driven Tammy over the edge doing the same thing. AJW gives you sound advise. See you soon for an adventure that begins with running into the night! Rick

And Miles 2 Go said...

Yup. You are gonna be amazing. :)

See ya Friday afternoon, chica.

Linda said...

good luck! sounds like you are well prepared for such an adventure! stay safe

Linda said...

what a wonderful place to live and run! best of luck on your adventure!

ultrarunnergirl said...

You've got your ducks in a row, Sophie: Attitude, Respect, Training, Philosophy and Crew! I know you will have a great run at Grindstone!!! Go out there and kick some tail!

amy said...

SUERTE!!!

ultrastevep said...

Sophie....

Best of luck out there tonight...you are going to have a great race!
I know you're already there getting ready to go, but this is a virtual good luck wish...

See you at SMUT soon,
Steve