I've been sick for three days. Not really sick. But sick enough that my head hurts and lots of gunk is thickening in my lungs. I keep hoping I'll recover, but I awoke this morning with the addition of a sore throat.
Will this unfortunate turn of events keep me from the starting line tomorrow? Hell no. But it very well may hurt my performance, which, if I were more zen-like, I wouldn't be too upset about. After all, I'm strong, and I will have the good fortune of running on that beautiful mountain, on a beautiful day, with a bunch of other amazing trail runners. All in all, I'm a lucky girl.
But I am upset. Because I trained hard this year. I put so much hay in the barn (see last post) and I pushed myself harder than ever before. There is something about being on a team with other great runners that motivates one to excel and be worthy of the team. And now it may turn out that I spend a lot more time coughing and hacking, and feeling sorry for myself, which will hurt my time and make it difficult to get to the top of Pikes Peak in under 4 hours.
Which is my goal. It may be a lofty goal, but I'm not getting any younger, and I am motivated by a challenge.
So what can I do? I may take a Day-Quil in the morning--I've never done that before, so I'm not sure how it will affect me. I will also hope for a good night's sleep tonight--but that seems unlikely, if my past pre-race sleeps are any indication. The key may be to just keep my eye on the prize, and know that as much as I'm hurting tomorrow, the pain will pass and I will get to the top...at some point. I will also strive to keep my focus on how I will soon be celebrating my finish with a massage and several well-deserved beers.
I believe that's called mind over matter, something all runners are keenly familiar with. In fact, mind over matter is most likely employed by most runners during most of the last three miles of the Ascent, as we pretend we have enough oxygen and that our legs aren't screaming at us.
Hopefully my mind will pull me through tomorrow. If I concentrate hard enough on the beauty of the mountain, the joy of the run, oh, and the beer, then it may just work.