It’s Monday evening, less than 7 days till the start of the Badwater Ultramarathon. It’s a little hard to describe what I’m feeling, but the feeling will intensify as I get closer to race day. All the memories of last year are rushing back to me and it feels so good.
One positive going into it was the relaxed 4:53 50k I ran on Angel Island with 4200 ft. elevation gain. I felt very comfortable and very at ease keeping my pace at an even keel without stressing myself to the point of injury. I feel like I’m beginning to peak and my many late night runs will finally pay dividends.
It’s been a tough year overall, with my first two DNFs, experiences getting lost on course, altitude sickness at Western States 100 and overall sub-par performances from what I’ve been used to or been building towards. But in spite of that, this one race can change all that. One race. For me, this is the Super Bowl of my running year, the crown jewel of what I’ve been building towards. For all the things that haven’t gone right this year, one race can wipe that all away. While admittedly the sickness at Western States leaves a bitter taste in my mouth that I would love to wash away in 2008, right now this is the race. I want to rise to the occasion when the stakes were the highest. Last year’s race was about survival, but this year’s race is about taking it to that next level. One race, one journey, one moment (or one collection of moments). Whatever time goals or place goals I have, I’ll keep them to myself. Surpassing it all is the goal of representing the Lord well in all ways: strong when weak, wise when foolish and faithful when hopeless.
As I prepare to look down the starting line at my fellow competitors, I feel nothing but respect and love in my heart. I pray that the Lord would bless each of their journeys, wherever that may take them. While the competitor in me always strives to be number one, the respect and love in my heart is like no other competition I’ve every known.
That’s all for now; I’ll write more on Friday before I leave for the Valley. My uncle will update the site during the race. You can follow the webcast starting Monday morning at http://www.badwater.com/. Stay strong and keep movin’.