the 12th yard is underway.
this is a time for the runners to take stock.

this will make 50 miles,
and by 50 miles everyone knows they have run something.
it is half a day.
and half a day is long enough to feel,
no matter how easy you have been taking it.

but, they are on the road.
and the road is a place to recover….

at least for now.

and for us here at camp,
it is a chance to see what the strategy is swinging into this new phase of the race.

everybody had a plan coming in
but, like mike tyson said;
“everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”
and everybody has been punched in the face enough times now,
that they can feel it.

and so the 33 head off into the long, long night.
a lot of solitude on the road
a lot of time without having to watch their feet…

a lot of time to reflect on how far there is to go.

i suspect there will be the first contemplation of how the others are doing.
they still need each other for a long time to come.
but it is only natural to start wondering how you feel compared to everyone else.
because nobody feels like they can run forever any more.
they are all fine.
but they can sense that there is a limit..

the pain that is coming seems a little more immediate.
a little more real.

but they all smile,
and go on.
because you cannot let the others sense weakness.
not even this early.

the poker game has begun