This is going to probably be my last blog post before I take off to run 130 miles on the 17th; my head's full of a lot of running and preparation at the moment and although I'd love to be writing about all of it, I need to concentrate on living it first!
I'm as prepared as I'm going to be and I think I've just about found the right frame of mind for it. Physically, I've run 26, 30 and 44 milers at the same sort of pace that I need to run to come close to finishing all 130 in around 24 hours (I know, I know, it doesn't extrapolate quite that easily!) and so feel close-to-confident about that side of things; mentally, well, I just know.
I've spent time with the guys who are taking the time to leap-frog my progress with supplies, going over plans and instructions (my favourite being 'do NOT agree with me that I should stop, at all!') and feel like everything that isn't under my control on the day is pretty much under control by someone else, at least!
I don't know how I'm going to feel after the 17th/18th, but I know how my feelings now have grown out of the last seventy-two weeks. All of the tiny, seemingly insignificant lessons; all of the words of encouragement and advice; all of the times I've been told that I'm kind of doing the right thing, regardless of how impossible it may seem - they've all brought me to where I am now, staring down a long run. I don't know if I've seen films like The Matrix too many times, but it's a feeling almost approaching serenity before my 'final battle' - in a very zen way, I've come to accept that one day I'll take the first step, I'm going to run for a bit and then I don't know what's going to happen. And that's ok.
I'm grateful to all of you guys. As a group, being able to watch a simmering pool of combined runners' enthusiasm, experience and concern (as well as, apparently, our propensity for penis enlargement pills and cut-price holiday timeshares) has always made me feel like I'm part of the normal, rather than the exception that it's easy to feel like in 'real' life. More specifically, I'm grateful to everyone who's offered direct encouragement, including the indefatigable Lori (who sums up a lot of these feeling much more succinctly here) and of course, Eric. It's weird to think that here I am, thousands of miles away, benefitting even in some small way from a true coach.
Ok, nostalgia done. Time to run. Talk to you in two weeks.