Thank you everyone for the well wishes and shared enthusiasm for the Tour de France adventure! Sharing the plan on the blog and telling everyone about it makes it all so much more real, and I love that feeling – it really reinforces the idea that once you’ve fully committed yourself to something, no matter how enormous or frightening, so many small things around you will transpire to help guide you along towards your goal. It reminds me of the quote I’ve posted here before: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it” The quote is a loose translation of a Goethe couplet, but I just found out that the reason most people know the quote is from the writings of a Scottish mountaineer, W.H. Murray. Can’t say I’m surprised that it comes back to an outdoor explorer! I quite like the way Murray put it, so here’s the extended paragraph from his book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
I love that.
Aside from the new France plans, I had a great weekend running – I did a 35K race out at Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland, VA (put on by Richmond Road Runners Club) and finished 3rd place female overall with a time of 3:11. I was aiming for under 3:20, but privately hoping for under 3:15, so I was very happy with 3:11 and placing third. It was a suuuper muddy race and unique in the amount of focus it required, as it was nearly all winding single track, roots and rocks and endless downed trees and limbs to hop over and around. It was very easy to get off-trail (which I did), and very easy to fall in one of the dozen stream-crossings (which I did). At which point my phone broke and I ran blind for the last 8 miles, not knowing what mile I was at or my pace or if I’d ever find my way out of the woods. Alex caught me at a road crossing towards the end and told me he thought there was about five miles left — as it turned out the finish line was less than a mile around the bend. Hah. But all things considered I am very happy with my time!
And – awesome side story, I finally met Patrick McGlade, a runner who ran across the US the year before I did, and who was a huge help for me before I took off. He also went to school in Richmond and is living in VA, so we just happened to be at the same race and recognized each other from our blogs and Facebook etc. What a neat coincidence!!