Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lunar Trek--Friendship in lonliness


It was dark and I was running alone. Why? Although I looked like Goldilocks with my hair curling in the incredible humidity, in fact I was baby bear. 20 miles was too short-- 40 too long-- 31 was just right. Unfortunately my old friends were doing 20 and Danny Miller who jumped in with me at the start wanted to do 40. So I was alone-- trying to get back my mudstud stripes! Miles 1-15 were a blast. I overanalyzed everything from running to diet and relationships. Danny entertained me with some stories of Vegas-- which--well-- had best be left alone. The big highlight for me was when I realized we were actually running ahead of the famous "Kearney Boys." Straight from the Heartland.. these guys run fast.
"Woo hoo!" I did a little swirl and dance in my black running skirt and pink mud Babe's top. "We're ahead of the Kearney Boys."
"Not for long."
Thanks John. But we trotted into the 15 mile aid station a touch ahead of them-- Danny went on for greater longer distances-- and I turned around into the darkness of the night-- and my thoughts. Over the next few miles I'd see the 50k runners who were behind me since it was an out and back course.
Here comes someone-- wow-- smells good.
"Nick?!! Nick." I realized Nick the lady killer was running the 50k.
Things got very dark after that. By three in the morning, I was starting to feel a little worried about my safety-- but I kept on running. I cursed Caleb Chatfield for telling me to run 31. I wondered if my friends Debbie and James would be irritated they'd have to wait for me. Then there was the delirious moment wondering if I was even going the right way. Did I go over this rough road on the way out? Am I ever going to finish? Do I care? Can I finish in 5 hours. Well no on that one. At the marathon mark I'd run a 4:36 and I was starting to think a 5:30 was out of the question. But as in life-- the rough areas pass, and if you stay in the race, something amazing can happen. You fly. Well sort of. 9:45 a mile felt like flying at that point. As I rounded the corner to the school, I started yelling. "wake up everybody I'm here !! I'm here!!"
I finished in 5:24. Might be the "respectable but annoying" category (like a 4:07 marathon) still it was faster than all but lightning fast Bryan. Mr 4 hour. ugh. Still it's kind of disappointing when you don't make a goal-- but then it's great when what you did is enough. And sometimes that is your best. Sometimes it's sad to run alone and wish someone was beside you-- but then it's nice to finish and know you're not alone at all. Debbie, James and Laurie were cheering me in. With warm smiles, kind hugs and even a kodak moment! I knew I was loved. And just a little secret. Shhh. During those tough miles.. I got into my zone by chanting through all the people who love me.

We stuck around to cheer Gary in . I cheered in the Kearney boys who ran 40-- apologized to Danny for bailing on him-- I should have known my Nerds would wait for me no matter how far I wanted to run. And what a fun breakfast. The Kearney boys got up and left and I dived into the leftover biscuits and gravy. James ate some too.
"I don't even like biscuits and gravy."
You know when I was in High School, I didn't like running. My how times change.

2 comments:

Ben, aka BadBen said...

A nice race report, and a good start to a blog.

-Bentor

Shane"CRASH"Jones said...

I told you to just do 20. I bet you're glad you did the 50k now though. I'm going to have to quit being such a lazyass and get up for the long runs.