Polite inquiries. Well-intended advice. Wrestling with important questions like "Have I prepared enough?" and "How much tapering should I do?"
Yes, the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon are less than a week away and all these things abound.
I know the answers differ for every runner, but for me they are as follows:
I am nervous. I am underprepared. And tapering? Taper from what?
One of my closest friends issued the following advice: "Go out hard and pass the people who intend to walk much of the course." Chagrined, I told him that I WAS one of the people who intended to walk much of the course.
At the beginning of this journey, my biggest qualm was reconciling my aversion to mediocrity with reality. I like to be good at things, and I sometimes avoid doing things at which I'll be average or below average.
Part of the reason I signed up for the Triple Crown was to practice leaning into this discomfort. To become more comfortable with who I am and where I am: warts and all.
The truth is, I suppose, that if you never try, you never fail. And if you never fail, you never grow. There are no surprises, no lessons learned.
Something tells me that I'm in for a lot of surprises and lessons this weekend. And probably a lot of growth.
Who knows? The Ascent may just become my annual growth tradition.
See you at the top!