I can see the forecast 10 days out. That's when the real countdown to any important race begins. I can feel the butterflies swimming around, but not once have I allowed fear to penetrate my thoughts. Fear has no place in this race. Once allowed in, it paralyzes, it crushes and ultimately, it defeats. That's not just in racing, that is true with anything in life. I have not and will not go there.
Oddly enough, I feel more inspired than ever, especially after following Badwater on Monday and Tuesday and receiving periodic texts from Jack (when he had cell service...which wasn't much). For 40 plus hours, his buddy ran, walked and moved forward in pursuit of not just the finish line, but a feat the majority of mere mortals only talk about. His other buddy, Harvey Lewis, took 4th place and after reading a brief summary of what his body went through in the heat, I am not too worried about the anticipated 80 degree high for July 27th. Ohio and Northern Kentucky had a nice, solid representation of runners. That is amazing considering this race draws competitors from all over the world. Jack has dreams of running it someday. He already asked me to crew if and when he does. And I recruited Jen to crew as well because she is beginning to hint at the prospect of doing an ultra and she has followed Badwater two years in a row watching Harvey, who she knows. And seeing how she loves the heat and massive hills, well she's perfect for it :).
But count me out for ever even thinking about running it! No way. Never. (Haven't I said that before.....?). This time I mean it.
So for the next 10 days, I prepare my mind and my drop bags. The training is done. I have fueling figured out and I have what I believe to have a solid race strategy, which is this....Keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other until I reach the finish line. Dynamic and riveting, huh? For the first 54 miles, it's me and Jesus. After that, I have my crew switching off. Then it's me, them and Jesus. Jesus is allowed to pace the entire race. The others only half. That's fair since without Him, I never would have reached the start. Without them and Him, I'll never reach the finish.
On another note, I finally really looked at the Burning River logo. It is a flame sitting on top of water. Obviously it symbolizes the name Burning River. However I see it quite differently. A flame often signifies the Holy Spirit, Who is God in spirit. Jesus, Who is God the son, once walked on water to calm the fearful apostles. The flame on top of the water jumped out at me yesterday even though I have looked at that logo for over two years. Underneath the picture are the words "Eracing the past. Moving forward."
In those simple words and picture combined, I read..."Fear not. I am with you. With Me, all is possible. Trust me. Forget past failure. Together, we move forward."