Top 10 Things I Have Learned From the Beast

10.    If you talk about quitting.  You will find a way to quit.  Banish those negative thoughts immediately.  They are toxic.  If you let them fester, they will get bigger than they need to be.

9.  Things can and do change.  Mother Nature will assure that is true.   She likes to mix things up and get creative.  You can handle it.

8.  Its good  to slow down and talk to a friend.  It can lift your mood, help you laugh, get out of your head, and generally feel loved.  I highly recommend it.

7.  The Erie Canal is beautiful.   I've seen it under blizzard conditions, in rain, wind, hail, oppressive heat.  It is still gorgeous.  No matter what is happening to your outside, it's good to look around...it will help you focus your inside.

6.  The Beast has the worst two-miles of ultra running:   you can see your friends...they are having fun, and you get to trudge through a wind tunnel, past three bridges (one of which seems to never get any closer) and roll the dice that you won't  have to wait for the lock bridge to raise and lower.  It's ok.  You will get where you are going.  It will be worth it.

5.  You must learn to deal with the dark.  It gets dark in every way possible.  It is the time when most people drop.   If something is hidden in the back of your mind, it will come forward.   Put your head down and push through.   If you work it right, you'll discover an insight you might've missed otherwise.

4.  The mile markers will mess with your head.  Some run long.  Some run short.  The total mileage works out, and you still have to cover every step.   Don't sweat it...that's the small stuff.

3.  You might have to rally several times.  Each time gets harder.  It can be done.  Be kind to you.

2.  It never gets easier.  If you want a sport you'll always get better at, this is not it.   You're going to get knocked on your butt.  Get up.  You can do it.

1.  There is nothing like a Beast finish.  Thank you my friends, for always being there for me.

Thanks Dan for the picture!

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