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Friday, February 20, 2009

Vulnerability is the realm of the Warrior

One month into preparation for the Chattooga 50k.

I have barely scratched the surface. My longest run to this point has been 90 minutes of trail running and during this recovery week I almost feel that I have not done anything yet. This of course is not the case but rather a steady indication that I am going about this lifestyle in the right way... that is gradually with a long term approach to lifestyle and with challenges as beacons rather than consequences.

Being that this will be my longest race to date I am a bit nervous about the unknown... which is a big reason why I am choosing this distance. I look forward to seeing what lies beyond the comfort of a road marathon. The Chattooga is where I met my wife. It has been the scene for many life changing events in my past. I spent a summer guiding rafts at the magical river. Now I will go beyond my perceived limits and enter a world of discovery.

The training has been physical of course, but mental mainly. Each day I enter with renewed spirit to face the challenge of remaining patient step by step, balancing this reserved perseverance is simple and fragile. At this point it serves me well to know that this race will not be one of speed but a test of staying power... it will be nothing but a continuation of days and hours. In this spirit I run modestly and on most days cover less linear ground than in the past. My ego certainly rebels, and so my self must police and send reminders of the goal glowing down the path. This is running wider while running longer.

This goal is not yet visible. This goal is only a distant concept full of ideals and lacking any concrete reality. However, there is reality in the steps I take in each moment, in the thoughts that flow through me. These things are the path to eventuality. And these things are reality as it morphs through time leading toward that arbitrary moment I have chosen to test for one day what I have amounted to as a runner, as a spirit and as a warrior. This is a way I have chosen from many. The promise glows ever so faintly as if the first glimpse of winter's sun. Barely warming, negligible for now but serving as a reminder of what this soul is here to do.

Now open your mind. Now open your heart. Now open the door... and run.

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