It's not about the numbers. Miles per minute/ Age grading / Time / Distance etc. It's about what you go through when you are doing these things.
Last year when I finished the GUCR I was convinced that I could go on and do any other race out there. I want to complete the "hardest" races that there are. Spartathlon, UTMB, Badwater, Barkeley and others. Each of these have their unique difficulties that will try and stop me finishing. I still think I can do all these.
One day I might not be able to run anymore. I hope this does not happen before my 100th birthday. However when it does come I want to look back at what I did and have happy memories. For me these are not going to come from a collection of stats, like a time I may have got 2.42 in a marathon or when I won some race somewhere or got 82.1% age graded whatever.
I'm going to remember the time when I was staggering through some sand dunes in the desert in the middle of the night, coughing my guts up. Then on top of a sand dune I was all of a sudden on my own. There was only the natural light of the stars and for 10 seconds I was totally relaxed and felt like I was the only person in the world.
Or when I was running through forests in Canada, jumping over rocks, ducking under branches and enjoying the best trail I had ever run on. Then I just glanced at my watch and expected about 10 minutes to have elapsed and realising that I'd been running for 3 hours. I just completely lost myself.
Or the time when I was 12 miles from the end of the GUCR last year. I had an awful night of staggering in pain and then managed to get back into a run. After running for a while and finding it easy again I felt so good that I just stopped and burst into tears. I had to hang from a gate near some grotty industrial estate in Southall just sobbing for a while and enjoying the greatest moment of my life. For the first time in the race I could see the finish. Even though it was 12 miles away, I knew for the first time that I was going to get there.
I'm picking races and events that will bring me more moments like this. I may even get one before the week is out.
Roll on Friday (and Saturday).