Monday, April 9, 2007

One to One

It's official, my race number for Western States is #121. I requested the number specifically for this reason: If I cross the finish line at States it will not have been an effort put out by just me. My success crossing the line will have taken place because of one to one effort with and by my friends and loved ones. I will be a TEAM OF ONE!

121 - Michelle is going to be my crew chief. She will be chasing me along the course providing supplies, blister expertise, support, and motivation. In the process of helping me achieve my running goals Michelle has become a multi-star Marathon Maniac.

121 - Bob an old friend from our running club who is now a professional sports photographer will be traveling to California with all his camera gear from Kentucky to take photos of the event.

121 - Steve my pacer and training partner will have run over 200 racing miles with me not to mention training miles. He will travel to California and for his kindness he will probably get a wake up call at 3:30 AM race day and get little sleep between for the next 27 hours or more. Oh did I mention he will be running with me through the night to the finish line for about 40 miles?

121 - Bob, Steve's dad who at 78 is still running ultra marathons, has a great sense of humor, and has provided a great deal of motivation by just being who he is.

121 - Olga the "Den Mother" of Ultra Running and sponsored by Montrail, for her one to one advice and hospitality. I will not run like a slug Olga! I'm in awe of her WS Buckle collection.

121 - Riley, my 18 year old son who has had to stay home tending to pets and the house as I took off for so many weekends for training runs.

121 - Every single member of the Y-Run Club in Puyallup and the Marathon Maniacs.

121 - The hundreds of volunteers and the RD that make States one of the best in the world.

121 - All of my blog friends as well as ultra runners I've met who have offered encouragement, advice, and food secrets (baked beans) to me.
But just in case you wondered I run for bling so I'm keeping the finishers medal and if I'm lucky enough to finish within 30 hours I'm keeping the Belt Buckle.

I had a brief thought about how crazy this goal is today. I really can't believe I'm going to attempt this run. It was only really two years ago that I thought anyone attempting such a feat was just plain crazy. I guess my cheese has slipped from the cracker.

I had a nice trail run by myself on Easter Sunday. I ran the south end of Lake Padden up in Bellingham Washington. About three miles out I slightly rolled my ankle but it was just a quick ouch and has not bothered me since. It made me think about when I might run my last mile. I wondered what might happen if I injured myself on that day and couldn't ever run again. I came to the conclusion that all I would lose is the ability to actually participate in the runs. I would still be able to participate as a volunteer so I could be near the thing that makes running so special. The runners and the volunteers.

WS # 121 signing out from Puyallup WA where we get things done one to one!


Wes said...

Well said. It's not really just about us, is it? I guess some of us have more cheese to let slip than others ;-)

Sarah said...

It takes a village, right? : ) Great number and thoughts behind it!

runliarun said...

Oh, I see Michelle has contaminated you with her closing signature :). I did not know you could request a specific number. Great symbolism. You are all so fortunate in your friendship. The crazier it seems, the more valid it is sometimes. If you run through the day, why not run through the night as well?

King Arthur said...

Nice post Eric,
But it's When you cross the finish line. Never if always When.

mtnrunR said...

eric..... 30 is waaaayyyyyy to soft.

come on.... pick something reasonable like 23 or 22 1/2.

it is actually important so your crew is ready when you come into aid stations.

any toe nails lost yet???? i hope so, that means training is going well.

great job

Backofpack said...

Let's reverse that number. Instead of 121 - we'll make it 121! Eric - who has run along with many a runner, motivating and encouraging. Eric, who calms all my prerace jitters and answers my incessant questions, Eric, who tells everyone "you can do it!", Eric, who has given his enthusiasm, his wit, and his time to runners all over the state. 121 works both ways - and in this case, what Eric has given is coming back to him. Love you, honey!

olga said...

Aww, you beging shaking a bit, huh? I LOVE that feeling! I am so envious of you running WS this year, what was I thinking not to apply?
On a practical side, I have no question you'll finish it well under 30. I would put you on 26-27 hr range, so plan your pace tactic accordingly. This year is going to be mild in snow and heat, what always helps. Your attitude is awesome toward the race, and you won't blow it in first 30M or so. Have Michelle and Steve take really good care of your fueling and hydration, ice. Try not to talk jokes too much - it takes energy:) I know you'll crack those around you. And yes, you have an awesome TEAM behind, you CAN NOT not finish, hear me? I remember when I wanted to drop at my first at mile 48, I couldn't imagine looking into eyes of 5 people traveling with me (from East Coast mind you) and the VCTC club waiting back home. I just couldn't. And knowing how much your friends mean to you, you will come through. And you will have fun.
100M is nothing to be feared about. It's not crazy. It's different from watching TV with a beer, but definitelly much more fun and fulfilling:)

Thomas said...

Of course you're going to keep that belt buckle. After working so bloody hard for it, it's for you to keep!

121 is cool. I'm happy you got the number.

GotLegs! said...

Eric, I'm ready to get out there and do it at WS! Alas, there's more training and 10+ weeks until race day. Looking forward to doing 12 summits on Saturday. *tc

Jon said...

Right on! You're going to rock! I'm going to be totally cheering you, *tc, and Sushi on!

Addy said...

Congrats on officially getting your number! A great one to pick, and the sentiment behind it is just wonderful :) I've just discovered the runner tracking site so that us homebound individuals can follow our favorites WS runners, and I'll definitely be checking in to see how great you're doing!

We'll all be rooting for you

And you should definitely keep all the hardware you earn on this one. Just wouldn't be right any other way :)

Meghan said...

I just wanted to say that this quote induced a big ol' belly laugh:

"I run for bling..."


robtherunner said...

We know you really did it for the buckle, but it will be a memory that you will never forget. I wish I could be a bigger part of it, but that's the way the cheese sliced on this one. Michelle and Steve will take good care of you. Just think, if you can break 25 hours and 11 minutes you can have Y-runclub bragging rights. For awhile at least.

Dori said...

Sounds like you're getting pre-race jitters. You'll be fine; remember when you couldn't fathom running 26.2?

I run for bling, too! That's the main reason I'm running the Nike Women's marathon.

This was a very thoughtful post. Great race number! As Michelle noted, it's a palindrome. It reminded me of a post I wrote, comprising a fictitious interview where all the responses were a palindrome. Here's the link if you've got nothing better to do:

mtnrunR said...

eric, you are running fast now. silver has your name on it along with tony. i think father clem will be there also.

you will run a sub 9 at capital peak. save some soup for me as i come in close to 10.

wendy said...


Since I'm a journalist, I had to edit your post a bit - I noticed right away this should be changed:

"If I cross the finish line at States" should definitely read "When I cross the finish line at States".

Kudos to King Arthur for noting that as well. ;-)

Ryan said...

This is a wonderful heartfelt post Eric! It's a good feeling to have all that support out there...I'm behind you all the way....even if you do eat those beans = )

Enjoy your travels to WS

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