I am nearsighted. Need corrective lenses - either glasses or contact lenses. Usually I wear my contacts when running. At night I need clear vision for things that lurk in the shadows. During the day I'll kick about in my sunglasses, but I still where my contacts to see at a distance.
The thing is this morning I ran sans corrective lenses. I never saw what hit me. My right knee suddenly developed an incredible pain. The run only came close to my planned ten miles because I was on and out-and-back route. The final two miles was a long slow plod. Thoughts of bagging the Lumberjack nearly drove me to tears. Walking up and down stairs required a break to let the discomfort subside. The pain in my knee was surpassed only in severity by the thought of not going to Seattle in two weeks.
I read at somewhere today (the source escapes me) that to be a successful ultra runner one needs vision. You cannot simply hope to finish. You have to believe. You have to see yourself finishing. A vision of what lay ahead may be one of the preeminent traits an ultra runner should possess.
If I plan to complete the Lumberjack Endurance Run I must see the finish line. I need to visualize myself crossing the finish line.
The lone finisher of the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee last had but one reason to run that event last year. To run all five loops. That is a pretty clear goal. In the twenty-five years of the Barkley over 800 men and women have assembled at the starting line. Only eight have finished. Last year's finisher was the ninth. See the finish line.
I nearly lost that vision this morning. In the meantime I shall rest. I shall apply regular cold and heat treatment to make the knee well again. As my knee regains its strength I expect my vision will become clearer again.
Because seeing is believing.
*UPDATE* I saw the accompanying video posted to dailymile this morning. It is an excellent example of vision. Do you see the fall or the finish? What do you think the winner saw? The losers?