Monday, November 4, 2013
It’s July 2014, Missoula, with 42.19 kilometers before me. It’s cold in the morning, but it will be perfect for running, even hot by the time things are done. I’m probably here with a friend, possibly alone. I’d like to think I’d have a friend doing this one. I’m surrounded by attractive ladies, and aware that more of them make more than $75,000 per year than are married. The hair is long again, probably tied back. I’d like to think that probable friend is here, but I know I’ll be alone, if not now, then some other time. I’m wondering how fast I should go. Maybe it’s the perfect day, when everything propels me forward, and all that I have to do is hold back. Maybe it’s the rough day, when every muscle aches from the get go, and willpower is all that moves me forward. I should have broken four hours last year, but got hit with terrible pacing. The pacer didn’t do it either. Missoula’s an insanely slow course, saw veteran marathoners forced to a crawl somewhere between Reserve and Russell. It’s hundreds of blocks of uphill, designed to suck all energy from the body. It’s the future. It’s not going to be determined by what I do in the future. It’s determined by what I do now. It’s not about running fast with roaring crowds through a perfect town. It’s about running in miserable weather. It’s about being fearless in the dark, with snow and patches of ice. It’s about layering to handle the Intermountain West wintertime. Great runners aren’t children of summer, they are beast of wintertime. Let it begin.