The fluttering butterflies in my stomach feel more like flailing winged walruses.
That may not be fair.
No walrus has been given an opportunity to show its flying skills. Not as far as I, Google or Wikipedia have been able to confirm. At least not with its own wings.
But should one of those fine (I'm assuming) swimmers wake up with built-in flying apparatus, it likely, I suspect, would go crashing off the sides of ice shelves and rock faces in a fashion similar to the way my nerves are battering against the insides of my stomach.
The Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs looms.
Just another two nights of (semi)sleep before my inaugural one hundred miles of "can-you-do-this, you scrawny little bastard?" and I, guiltily charged, have no idea.
I'm not completely unprepared.
I've got two functioning legs (currently) with feet properly connected to the ends of them (currently), an archived trail of long runs over the last few weeks and month, a fresh pair of shoes (with a back up), a more than capable crew and a cast of supportive friends, ample food and hydration and blind enthusiasm.
And, I've got an HBO-delivered mantra that I turn to with frequency and that I expect will play in my head like the cliched gerbil in its wheel all day long on Saturday and into Sunday.
Leon, why ain't you up and running again?
Dude, my left #$%*@*&! arch has called it quits.
Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or #$%*@*&! beatings.
So, why ain't you up and running again?
This is ridiculous. I've been out here for hours, the sun's been down forever and I'm still six miles out from my drop bag and a headlamp. This is NEVER going to end.
The world ends when you're dead.
Now, why ain't you up and running again?
I puked my guts out and am having a helluva time keeping anything down, man, even water!
Forty more miles to the finish and...until then you got more punishment in store.
LEON, why in the HELL ain't you up and running again?
These hills are endless...I'm freezing...There's just no way I can keep my eyes open another minute longer...I've pooped 20 times in the last 12 hours and I think I may have just, yep, I definitely just did crap my pants!
Stand it like a man and give some back.
I'm assuming that isn't meant as a suggestion to shit a 21st time on (or just to one side of) the course, but a reminder to fight back, to keep going.
To give some back by just simply not giving in.
Rest and recover tomorrow...and the next day...and, if need be, the next few weeks.
I've got no firm finishing time goals, so much as I really just want to not only make that finish line but also come away from the event--if not more enthused about running than ever then at least--still wanting to run.
If I find that I never want to go a full 100 miles at one time again, no harm done.
If I end up on the shelf for an extended period of time or, worse yet, suffer a complete loss of motivation because of the race THEN I will be disappointed...though I'll take time on the shelf for physical reasons over just plain listlessness.
Taking a long, long time to get to the finish line and suffering (perhaps immensely) along the way, but GETTING to that finish line? That sounds like a win to me.
Should any of you have any desire to follow along (either out of concern, curiosity or in expectation of confirming and celebrating my failure), you can check in on the webcast of the 100-miler at the following link, keeping in mind that updates will be infrequent and, as with any of these types of races, logistical complications can lead to erratic or incorrect posts:
I'll be the scrawny little bastard sporting bib #105.
The scrawny bastard trying to give some back and praying the world doesn't end.