“Whatever you can do,
Or think you can, begin it.
Boldness has power, and genius,
And magic in it.” ~Goethe~
In life, it is rare to fully commit to anything. We are taught that it is wise to always have a backup plan; that an all-or-nothing approach is rash. Perhaps this is true, but I think this approach also misses out on the magic. Dave’s record attempt is bold and full of magic, and I aim to capture a piece of that with my run across Alberta.
Running takes a lot of time. When I’m not running, such as during a taper, I often find myself with more free time than I know what to do with. It can make me anxious and grouchy. I dislike tapering so much than I often just don’t do it.
Going into the run across Alberta, there’s no question that I need to taper. My last training block left me feeling completely spent, often spending the first few minutes of the day limping around the house until my ankles had loosened up enough for me to walk normally. Likewise, the first few kilometres of any run had me feeling like an elephant lumbering along the asphalt. I am nothing if not stubborn so I kept pushing on. Now that the taper is here, I am happy to take a break from lumbering and spend a week hibernating.
Sadly I’m not a bear, so it quickly became evident that hibernating for an entire week was not a viable option. To fill my non-sleeping, non-running void I decided to go to the library and get some books. During my taper I have read:
- Running on Empty, the story of Marshall Ulrich’s trans-America record attempt
- North, Jenny and Scott Jurek’s account of setting the Appalachian Trail FKT, and
- The Perfect Mile, an historical novel about the rush to break the 4 minute mile.
Each book contains fascinating narratives about the strength of the human spirit and the physical limits of endurance. The characters went after impossibly bold goals without reserve. Not all of them succeeded, but each runner gave themselves 100% to the task and saw it through to the end. I dare you to read these books and not be inspired.
At this time next week I will be going after a big, bold goal. I don’t know that I can do it, but I think I can. I am chasing the magic.