Continued from Two Oceans Ultra Marathon – Part 2
So folks… the time has nearly come. Chances are the next time you hear from me will be from South Africa as I am being picked up tomorrow morning at 4:30 AM to be whisked off to JFK airport in NYC. I want to think everything is done. I haven’t actually packed everything into bags yet, but that’s my job today. I need to make another quick run to the store (drive that is) and then I can pack up. And I think once that is done, I will feel really “ready”. I did just check in online though and printed my boarding pass so mark that off the to do list.
Of course my training is essentially done. A couple of short runs over the next few days should keep the juices flowing and the horses content but in reserve. I was laughing to or at myself last night while telling my family that there isn’t a single thing about this adventure that is familiar to me. I have never flown out of JFK. I don’t know the logistics of that airport and have to place a whole lot of faith in the limo shuttle service that is supposed to get me there. I have obviously never been to South Africa. And for that matter, I have never run an ultramarathon. So, to my point: there is NOTHING about this trip that is familiar. And that’s probably why I feel like a 6 year old on Christmas Eve right now. While I am a little nervous about meeting Santa Claus, I am ecstatic with excitement over the growth opportunities and rewarding gifts that this trip holds for all those going. In so many respects, there has already been tremendous personal growth before even leaving the country. The training itself has given me a restored sense of … something that I can’t quite pinpoint. But I know it is has awakened me, and it is GOOD.
Yesterday while I was organizing my race day nutrition bag I just shook my head in disbelief of the amazing things I have been able to do in this fairy tale life, and the amazing people who are a part of it all. I am thankful everyday for all of this. And while there is something hollow about not having my family with me this time, it was one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that I simply had to do. As much as I love adventures, there is something missing when you aren’t sharing them with the support crew that has been an integral piece of every other journey and milestone from marathon, to ironman, to chemotherapy, and back to ironman again. But it’s all good. Keeping the energy focused and positive.
I am traveling with enough technology to keep me minimally connected enough to stay in touch with family and post the occasional pic or update, but any full blown race report will need to wait until I am back home again. The travel itinerary looks to be a great mix of organized group and race related activity, including visiting some of the Grassroot Soccer facilities (and playing a little pick up soccer… my goalie gloves are packed), but there is plenty of down time, or self exploration time as well. I also downloaded some good reading to keep me occupied while in the air or when my feet are up on foreign soil. Dean Karnazes’ book “RUN” and “LIFE” by Keith Richards should keep me inspired yet entertained. But I don’t anticipate sitting still long enough to read once I get there.
That’s about it for now. Make sure you are following me on facebook and twitter because I don’t know how my next updates will make their way to you. Talk to ya soon.
Continued – Two Oceans Ultra Marathon – Part 4