They say it takes a village to raise a child. The truth is, it also takes one to raise an ultra-runner.
Many months ago when I first wrote out the training plan for this 100, I of course didn’t realize that one of my final peak weeks would coincide with spring break. My kids are at that funny age where they would have been working in steel mills in the 1800’s, driving tractors in the 1950’s, and would have been babysitting other kids in the 1980’s. Now that it’s 2017 they most definitely can’t be trusted to stay home alone, never mind use a toaster over without supervision. So I rely on my amazing running family to spend time with my little ones while mommy squeezes in a few miles.
Last night without even batting an eye, my “twinsie” Chelsey took my boys on an adventure of their own so I could knock out an easy 4 mile on the trail. I am eternally grateful for these people who love my kids almost as much as I do, and share their own passion for running and the outdoors with them.
But my village doesn’t stop there.
This entire training cycle I’ve been surrounded by people who volunteer to keep me company for legs of my long runs, or all of my short runs, without even having to ask. People who encourage me when I’m feeling down about my abilities. People who will spontaneously say things like “you’re going to kill this race” because they might think I need a boost. Or maybe they just truly do believe in me far more than I believe in myself, I’m not sure.
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again: ultra running is a selfish sport. Nearly all of my free time is currently dedicated to logging miles in hopes that it will properly prepare me for crossing that 100 mile finish line. And for what? Not the belt buckle. Not bragging rights. CERTAINLY not money or a sponsorship. But just for the simple fact that I can one day say I did it. I certainly don’t expect most people to understand it.
I’m blessed beyond belief to have people in my life who understand anyway.
Having the support of my partner in life and adventure (that awesome husband of mine) is of utmost importance to me. But having this tribe, this village, composed of friends, coworkers, clients, and bosses who all support my ridiculous antics and believe in me…there are truly no words to convey how grateful I am.
Thirty one more days.