Running a 50-mile ultra marathon is something I want to do. I just want to do it. Two years ago, I would've thought you were crazy. Even a year ago, hell. But one day in recent history I decided: I AM DOING THIS. Of course by "am doing this" I mean "will try" followed by "and perhaps fail" also "miserably," but if I don't try, I'll never know. I can run marathon after marathon after marathon and get the same result -- I can run 26.2 miles. I know that. I dare say it's gotten easier with time. But what CAN'T I do? Like, what can I MAYBE do, but only if I try really, really, really, really ridiculously hard? And work for it? Hard. And push myself? Harder.
Conclusion: run 50 miles.
I decided months ago on my race. It's in July. I logged onto the website every day waiting for registration to open. Oh, I was eager! I just wanted to register! Make it real! OMG! THIS.IS.ALL.SO.FUN. I started chatting with a couple other pals who were also signing onto the challenge. Collectively we geeked ourselves out. Convinced each other, "Man, you've GOT this. You can so do this. We'll train hard! Together!"
I AM GOING TO DO THIS. I said. In my head. I gathered training plans, read every possible article and study about ultra marathoning. I'm certainly capable of it, this I know. I think I know. But it's going to take work. HARD work. So much of ultra marathoning is mental, once you defeat the physical, of course. The mental is what's going to get me. All I have to do is open half of one eye in the morning, see that it's both dark AND cold, and just go back to sleep, skipping my morning run. Or I can be a mile down the road before I decide, "Meh. I just don't wanna." And I turn around and go home. When I'm tired or defeated, I stop. Throw in the towel. Wave my white flag. Etc.
BUT I AM SO DOING THIS. Is what I say. Over and over. Because if I can overcome THAT -- running 50 miles -- I can overcome anything. Ever. Except maybe my phobia of butterflies. No, I'll never overcome that. But let's get back to the matter at hand. I will run a 50-mile race.
If registration for the damn race ever opens.
I checked. And checked.
Come on, registration. Mama needs to register for this and get it over with. Make it real. OMG. Stop playing with my emotions, holy shit.
Until yesterday. Registration opened.
This morning I filled out the online registration form. My name, my address, my t-shirt size, my credit card information. All the while, a little bubble of panic rose in my stomach reminding me that once I hit "submit," SHIT JUST GOT REAL. All those times I was all, "Yeah, WHAT. I can DO this. I can run 50 miles. YEAH," I have to own up to now. I've got to start getting real.
I paused, the cursor over the SUBMIT button.
This is it. OK. Breathe.
And then I'd change my mind and take my hand off the computer mouse. And then I'd put it back. And then I'd change my mind. It was a game. Finally I just closed my eyes, muttered fuck it, and hit it. SUBMIT.
There was an error. The registration didn't go through. Was that a sign from God? Or Justin Bieber? Whichever one of them is controlling the universe?
I emailed the race director to find out if it was user error or if something's wrong on their end. They're checking into it, told me to "hold tight."
I haven't breathed yet. In fact, I might be dead, I don't know. All I know is once they resolve the issue, I have to go through ALL OF THAT again.
And just hope that I don't chicken out.
***UPDATE*** Registered! Different race. Nixed the summer heat of July. North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile. Sept. 17, 2011. BAM!