Legend says that when Hannibal stood at the base of the Alps, his generals told him that crossing by elephants would be impossible. Hannibal replied "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam" which means "I will either find a way or make one". While this story may be apocryphal (since it's unlikely that Hannibal would have spoken in Latin), the spirit of the quote is not tainted.
|Those elephants were probably like "WTF??"|
While the effort to run 50 miles on established trails isn't the same as crossing the Alps on elephant, I'm planning on taking this same spirit with me as I run. I'm not a natural runner and I don't have a depth of experience (it hasn't even been a year since I ran my first full marathon), but I do have a strong will and desire to push my body to new limits. There may be obstacles in my way during this race, but I will either find a way around them or make a new way.
This quote was also my over-arching mantra for training for this kind of endurance event while taking care of a baby. Everyone has obstacles when it comes to training and you can either find a way to make it work or if you don't want it enough, you'll just find excuses about how it can't work. I've had to be creative to get my miles done (for example by splitting up my weekday runs into two parts to get it all done), but even though it would have been easier to say "I can't", I decided to find a way to make it work.
When it gets hard tomorrow (which will happen), I'm planning on thinking about all the days I managed to run 8 or 9 miles with a fussy baby, the runs in the rain, the runs in the smoke, the runs in the heat, and all the hours of work I've put into getting to the point of being ready to tackle 50 miles. I'm pretty confident that I'll find a way or make a way for this race to be a success.
No pre-race blog post is complete without running quotes, so here are some of my favorites:
"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit." - George Sheehan
"You'll be wistful for the "wall" of the marathon, when you hit the "death grip" of the ultra." - Bob Glover"Any idiot can run a marathon. It takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultramarathon." - Alan Cabelly"In ultrarunning, the pain is inevitable, but the suffering is optional." - Al BogenhuberI am taking my lap top with me this weekend and I will be tweeting before and after the race (but not during, sorry). If I don't make it, my husband has my passwords and will post an obituary tentatively titled "This was her fucking hobby". Either way, you will have a fun post to look forward to reading. :)