Once things got underway, everything went as smoothly as could be expected for the first few days; weather was almost perfect, the ol' legs held up pretty well, and the crew even seemed to be enjoying themselves. After a bit of a scare on morning 5, things went relatively smoothly again until the finish. A year removed, my achilles tendon is still tight, and I haven't really had the internal motivation required for serious training (dang, I miss running fast in races...), but looking at the experience and what we were running for, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Of course, the question is still ever-present: What's next?
The best part of the answer is that I don't know. I don't know where the running will lead me next. I don't know if it will be some epically long jaunt. I don't know if I'll ever match what I did last October.
But finding out should be fun...
For those interested enough to scroll through, a few candid moments from the run:
|Tony and me at the beach just before starting (Note the "I'm so nervous I want to cry" smile...)|
|Dannie makes a pb&j that's hard to beat|
|Day 2: Good times|
|I love this picture; it seems to illustrate the determination. If there's something that Peter and I both have our minds set on doing, I dare anyone to try to stop us. (Also, I pose the question here, who's feeling more protective of whom?)|
|Really, I feel great... and who knew that Grove Hill was on top of a big freakin' hill?!?!|
|Pounding out the miles late in the day. Tony and Dannie were the perfect crew for the task|
|Early morning, Day 4. Beautiful rural Alabama Roads|
|A deep moment.|
|I didn't know this picture was being taken; this is the toll it takes. 4 days. 201 miles. A chink in the armor.|
|Feeling better after a rough morning. Day 5.|
|Started with the lowest of lows. Ended with the highest of highs.|
|Why we run.|
|Mataddy: Ancient Hawaiian legend. If you want to know more about it, ask; I'd be glad to expound upon the subject|
|Feet hurt. Knees sore. Body and mind exhausted. I love this stuff.|
|An unexpected duty: keeping the interwebs up to date on our plodding progress|
|Treated to lunch at Aroma's Cafe in historic Winfield, AL|
|Late start in the rain, but still living it up and running at blazing speeds|
|Workers from the Wrangler plant in Hackleburg came out to say hi. Again, these folks are the reason this run occurred, and I was honored to get to talk with them and amazed at their resiliency|
|Talking with the people of Phil Campbell, AL, a town that was devastated by the storms and got half of the proceeds of the ARR|
|The mighty Austin XC Team joined for a few miles|
|I still think this is just a cool picture|
|Always a good day when my Darling Baby Sister shows up|
|Fun times on Day 9 for those who survive the battle of attrition|
|A great reception in Decatur with friends from all over|
|Getting my Forest Gump on...|
|I can see the finish...|
|No words needed.|
|Perhaps my favorite picture. Dannie and Tony were the best crew I could have asked for. The ARR Would have never worked without them, and this picture, in my mind, sums up how it worked.|