Friday, October 28, 2011

Fun Friday!

My uncle is an ultramarathoner, and I have a lot of respect for him. He lives in Washington so most of our communication is via email, and he sent me this lovely snippet once when we were talking about racing (and training hard) versus running slow and smart. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Running or Racing—a comparative analysis

stop to look at the trees as they pass by.
ricochet off trees as they zoom across the landscape.
worry about their flashlight batteries lasting.
get to the finish line before dark.
enjoy the aid stations
sometimes pass through before the aid stations are set up.
take naps in tents at aid stations.
take naps as they wait at the finish line.
watch flowers opening in the morning sun.
pass through in the predawn darkness.
worry about cut-off times.
worry about course or age-group records.
write next-of-kin information on their wrist bands
write split times on their wrist bands
wonder if there will be any beer at the aid stations.
wonder what kind of electrolyte replacement drinks will be at the aid stations
get a hamburger as they pass through towns
slap down one more bit of tofu enriched yoghurt, whey, and scampi granola
talk to local farmers as they pass by
scare chickens, cows, and small children
are relieved to hear someone approaching from behind
feel the pressure of someone approaching from behind
seldom get lost as they follow those hundreds of sets of footprints
worry about course markings (color, context, intent, malcontent, bent…)
admire the view as they amble on across the landscape
are vaguely aware of something off to the right—or was it left?
know the names of the “sweep” at 17 different events in 8 counties and 3 states.
drop if more than 17 minutes behind predicted time for the day.
say “Thank you.  Yes, I do believe I’ll have another brownie” just before being pushed out of the aid station.
smile and say “Thank you” over her shoulder as she heads for home.
have been seen grabbing trees, cactus, and other runners to keep from careening off the course on a switchback.
make it look so easy, seldom stirring up dust or even disturbing the llamas.
have out-of-body experiences as the day goes by and the finish line recedes in the afternoon sun.
have been heard to wonder admiringly about how the rest of us cope with being out there so long.
sometimes curse day of race registration.
follow a plan conceived months ago.
have long involved conversations with others as they pass or get passed.
surface long enough for a smile and an often monosyllabic response.
have teddy bears, dragons, and other karma caretakers of the foray jangling from their fannypacks, Camel Baks,…
have a hand-bottle.
have been seen in cotton t-shirts.
have all that super-neato logo stuff.
slay inner dragons on good days.
slay inner dragons on good days.
compete in their time, in their style, on their terms…
compete in their time, in their style, on their terms…

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