Sunday, December 25, 2011
First, you have to plan accordingly. You need to look at your schedule and those of your family and friends and figure out when you can get together. This takes a highly coordinated effort as no one can really remember their schedule without checking their 3rd arm (smartphone) or asking their second brain (Siri). Think of this in terms of sending in your application for an ultra that you really want to get into and waiting as they pull the numbers ever so painstakingly. You would rather get picked/schedule that appointment than get the dreaded words, “waiting list or I’ll have to get back to you.”
Secondly, when you meet up with friends and family, it is best to graze like coming into an aid station at an ultra. You don’t want to seem like you are ungrateful, but you are better off to nibble than to stuff with your face with calorie dense foods, like chocolate covered Oreos. You know from your training that an upset stomach will only slow your forward progress. Sip and nibble become key phrases this time of the year just like out on the trail.
Lastly, as you weeble wobble through the last several days and nights you can see the finish line in sight.You know if you can just keep moving forward that all your planning, sipping, and nibbling has put you in the position to finish strong. All that is left is the mad dash for the finish line, err gifts, and with the paper flying like some fried legs after moving for 24 hours you cross the line hands in the air. You look around at the carnage (paper, toys, bodies) and look for a place to crash.
In the end, much like at the finish line of an ultra, you can put up your beaten body and feet up for a few restful moments with a smile on your face. Maybe, even a cold beer will find your hand and you will have the strength to hobble over to the table for some well deserved chow. A justly reward for a long journey.