Whenever I undertake a major event I like to post a “before” and “after” reflection piece.  Tomorrow I’m going to attempt trail running 40 miles (65k) solo in one day; I think that qualifies as a major event.

I took the last 10 days off to let my body recover and rest fully prior to taking this on. Short of injury, I’ll knock this one out. The question for me is how competently? I’m hoping to kill it; maybe I’ll end up limping home? But that’s kinda the point. This is totally uncharted territory for me.

The single reoccurring thought that I have is, “Somewhere between tomorrow morning and tomorrow night I will have become a different person.”

And that’s the truth. I will learn more about myself in 12 hours on the trail tomorrow than most people do in a lifetime.

Major risks? Yup. Around 4,000 feet of elevation gain; almost all of the trail is rocky, rooty single track, so injury (especially with a layer of wet leaves on top of everything) is a real possibility. Temps in the mid-30’s to high 40’s means that hypothermia is a real possibility if I don’t keep moving and don’t keep my core warm. There’s a chance of flurries, but hopefully not rain. There are two stream/marsh crossings so it will be a critical challenge to keep my feet warm and dry. All of this is, of course, compounded by mental and physical exhaustion.

Going for a 2 or 3 hour trail run this time of year in my neck of the woods is a fun, muddy time when you can come home to a hot shower and mug of coffee. Doing this for 12 hours introduces a whole other level of risk.

So, why do I do this? There’s something unbelievably satisfying and addicting in discovering just what you’re made out of. No, there is nothing sane about doing this. But what I’ve got on my calendar for next year makes this look like a warm-up. So here I am. Wish me luck!

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