Find Pride

There are less than 6 weeks remaining until something happens in my life that I have literally woken up thinking about EVERY SINGLE MORNING for the past 8 months.  I will finally step to the start line of my 100 km ultra-marathon in the Chic-Choc mountains of Quebec (google them, I had to!)

Why?  That’s the standard response to me providing details of this event to anyone.  Why?  It’s a tough question.  First up, Andy, the running partner.  It was his great idea so upon casual conversation during a training run, I agreed whole-heartedly.  A close second is my love of trail running.  It’s just…I don’t know, it’s just that good.  I’m sure it’s the case with most people but for me, I clearly remember just a handful of distinct moments from my youth.  A good number of those are related to running.  Tardree Forest, Tollymore Forest and the sand dunes near Portstewart on the north shore of Northern Ireland.  I actually remember the schlock of my shoes sinking into the dirt, the cold grasp of the mountain streams, the sand rubbing into my feet and the joy of getting stuck into the world around me.  That happens now too. 

We just hiked, climbed, skidded and ran for 11 hours in the Adirondacks of NY state.  This was our last major training event before the race. We covered about 25-30 km and muscled up and down about 9000-10000 feet of elevation. This brings me to the third reason to run far.  When you finish a run, when you make it through an adventure like this, it brings something to your adult life that harkens back to your childhood days. It brings this massive swell of pride that we, as adults, often struggle to create for ourselves.  Sure, I’m proud of my children every day.  I’m proud of my wife for all that she does, but to be proud of yourself, that’s different.  On Saturday, as we ran off the end of 11 hours of effort, I was beaming.  I was totally spent, but beaming.  Hikers who had seen us earlier in the day were high fiving us and remarking on the craziness of what we just did.  That’s just cool when you’re 40.  Oh, and quickly, I’m also doing this because I just turned 40.  When my girls tell their teachers that Daddy ran over mountains on the weekend, I know I’m doing something worthwhile. 

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