WEEK 17 – An Ending with Newness

How fitting is this?

During this last weekend of my training, I spent the time introducing others to the trails of North Georgia. Saturday, I spent the morning trail running with a friend at Kennesaw Mountain. Because mountain trails tend to be more difficult than road running, It took us a lot longer than I think he expected, but he covered about 10 miles with me – both walking and running – and I was happy to have shown him something new and participate in a new experience with my friend.

Sunday, my wife and I headed out the Appalachian Approach Trail at Amicalola Falls. We hiked the famous AT approach trail for about 1.5 miles to the top of the Amicalola Falls. This hike is rated difficult-to-strenuous and my wife was a little worried.

She did great! We marched up to the Falls, then descended the 425 steps to the platform below the falls, took some pictures, had people take pictures of us, and then it was back up the 425 steps to the top of the falls. I offered to buy her a new purse if she made it all the way up the 425 steps without any negativity.

She now owns a new fancy purse.

But, more than a new purse, or nice waterfalls, the trip brought us a little closer together. It’s such a “forehead slapper” when you realize just how important and special this one-on-one time can be for any relationship. It’s all in the experience. Going to dinner. Going to a movie. Going to the store. These are not experiences. My wife my disagree and say that going anywhere with me is an experience, but that’s more of a negative, “he’s just a goofy guy”-kind of experience.

Kissing and hugging your wife atop a wooden bridge, in the middle of a mountain, on a dusty ol’ trail, is an experience.

The kind of experience that sticks…

So what does this have to do with my 50-mile+ training? Not a thing.

Week 17 became less about me, and more about those around me.

There’s a sort lesson in all this somewhere, but I’m now too nervous to contemplate it much right now. Instead, I am shaking in my New Balances, knowing that in three days, I’m off to Virginia with the belief that I can run 50 miles, actually 54-ish miles, on my own, through the mountains, in less than 12 hours.

Please think good thoughts for me. I need all the support I can find.

Also, more donations have arrived this week and I appreciate each and everyone of them. I like to make sure everyone knows that all of this money goes to the kids. …none of the money supports my race. Instead, the race was the vehicle I used to get the attention.

Now I gotta run it.

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you definitely can do it. you have put in a lot of miles. soak it all up. you are gonna do awesome!!

Look forward to seeing you up there on Friday. You will do great, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

you MUST ENJOY VA, i know how much importance you place on this goal. don’t overlook the true lessons and experiences. your mornings at Kennesaw, SW, and AT are the real reward. well that and the nice purse i’ll buy you if you make it through the loop without a negative thought. perhaps you would prefer a pair of tights patterend with the GA flag? Gaiters? Bandana?

you pick.

Am thinking of you so much. You will do this. You’ve done all the training and this week you’re stepping back from it all and gaining some perspective – you are physically and mentally ready for this. I can’t wait to read all about your race – it will change you!

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