The 'I'm pretty sure I'm fit enough' goal -- sub-24
The 'gonna finish even if it's a death march' goal -- 30 hours (the race cutoff)
The 'I want to be alive enough to watch the Super Bowl and eat some gumbo on Sunday afternoon' goal -- trumped any time goals
Just before we started
Sunrising over Lake Raven
Restocking at the main aid station
Finishing lap 2
Brooks Racer ST5
Taking a break with Adam and soup a couple hours before the sun set
Me with my 100-mile buckle; Melanie with her 50-mile medal
Reflections: Runs of this magnitude have a tendency to force you to reflect on why you run. Why do I love to run? Am I running for the right reasons? Did I get anything out of it (besides a shiny buckle)? Am I a positive influence on those around me, or just some obsessed nut?
But my thoughts often tend toward those who support me. In a sport that at the core is very selfish it's easy to notice who loves and supports me doing this thing that I love to do so much. So I want to publicly thank them all.
Thanks, most of all, to my dad. He was the inspiration that got me on the trails in 2007, and he's been inspiring me ever since. We've spent countless miles together over the last few years. Through a quadruple-bypass and several injuries, he keeps getting back on his feet and heading toward the mountains. The most recent set of injuries have kept him off his beloved mountain trails for several months now, but I know he'll be back. When I run I'm running for him too. I know he can taste the mountains through me.
Thanks to Annie. She's been my number one supporter and fan. She's been by my side...even when she thinks I sometimes run too much. She has put her heart and soul into supporting me, and I'm so grateful for her. Sometimes as an ultrarunner we like to think that we don't need anyone else. But that's simply not true.
Thanks to my family. They all think I'm crazy but they love me and support me in any way they can. Mom, Melanie, Adam, Lisa, Megan, John, and AJ. Eddy, Mike, Jen, Travis, and Ally. My craziness has even worn off on a few of them. My family is as supportive as they come.
Huge thanks to all the Beer Chasers and locals who train with me and cheer me on to big things. Aaron, Linda, Jeff, Dan, Shirley, Brian, Buzz, Chris, the Johns, Dave, the Dougs, and the rest of the awesome gang. Diane, Michael, Drew, Mandy.
And to Sadie. :)
I'm thankful for my health. I'm thankful for those around me. I truly feel blessed. I can only hope that what I give back to the world might one day approach what I have received.