So, my 6th Mountain Mist is less than 11 hours away and I am readying myself in the best way that I can--preparing my Cliff shots and Sportsbeans in little zip-lock baggies, making my 1/2 gatorade and 1/2 water mixture for my water bottle, and finding the appropriate attire for a 20 degree start (complete with a last-minute facebook discussion with Dana Overton and Kathy Youngren). Yet the biggest part of this preparation for me is the mental aspect. I keep thinking back to the warning-ridden email (mentioned here) sent out by the race directors informing us of the bodily harm that we will be enduring tomorrow. I think about the utter ridiculousness of wanting to go through that. And then I think about how this race fills up so quickly, with people from all over the nation wanting these spots. I remember the bravery that it took me to register and run this race 9 years ago. And I try to convince myself that any pain I inflict on myself will be worth it, that it will be so worth the stories and the memories that I will have forever.
And now, a brief update. Rick is not running the race tomorrow. I have asked him to do a post on his injury and his disappointment. He is actually handling it pretty well, and he plans to take the children to the finish line tomorrow. Man, will I be looking forward to seeing those three faces tomorrow afternoon!
Finally, a pre-race foot and toe picture (sorry, but, yes, I am posting pictures of my gross feet!). I "only" already have one black toenail, so the good news is that I can only get 9 more at the most tomorrow! And the ankle picture shows the swollen ankle and bruising below it from my fall on the trails two weeks ago. The thought of my ankle and that fall is not helping my confidence much right now, so I am looking back over my favorite inspirational running quotes. I will be reflecting on a quote tonight that I first saw and liked 9 years ago. I liked it so much that I made a cute goodie bag for Rick and printed this quote on the outside of the bag. It is from Jack Lovelock, who says, "Big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread are where great deeds can be accomplished." Here's to many great deeds being accomplished out on those trails tomorrow--black toenails and all!