April 2007 Archives

Training Plans

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Still struggling with lame excuses, I managed to get myself out of bed Monday morning for a run. And I'm glad I did. It was a great run, strong and solid. I passed someone who I think was wearing a Zane Grey shirt, but the sun was in my eyes, so I couldn't tell for sure. I added on an additional mile since I was already out, and it felt good.

I only have 2 1/2 months to my 50k. I need to adhere to my training plan, otherwise I'll end up hurting myself. When I expressed my worry to Kiera about not being able to get back into things, she replied: you'll get back into it. or not. either way you'll do what's right for you. What sweet relief. This just took the burden of training right off my shoulders and helped me relax. It doesn't matter what I choose, as long as it's right for me. And right now that means upping my mileage, because I'd really like to see if I can - if I really can get back into things. Instead of stressing about not being able to, I'd like to focus on actually doing it. Actually running instead of worrying about how much I'm not running.

This morning, I headed out for my usual Tuesday morning run with John. I couldn't run very much of it; I'm pretty sure we walked about half of it in addition to cutting it short by a mile. John thinks I'll be fine - that 2 1/2 months is plenty of time to prepare for the 50k. I reviewed my training schedule, figured out how off schedule I was (a lot!) and sent it to John for him take a look at it (he's a marathon training coach - I figure 50k is close enough to a marathon that he'll have great insight). I also thought hard about my goals for this race, and determined I have two: to finish in sub-8 hours and to not get injured. I will keep you all updated on his thoughts regarding my schedule and if it changes.

I decided that I will have faith - believe - that 2 1/2 months is plenty of time to train to reach my goals. Provided I actually get up and run the prescribed number of miles each day I am supposed to, I WILL reach my goals. Maybe I need to write some affirmations and stick them to my bathroom mirror or something as a reminder :)

Notes from a race:
- marking slashes in my notebook for each woman who crossed the finish line before Olga, because I know Olga will kick serious ass in the last eight miles despite her "just shoot me" comment at the last aid station and I want to know where she places when she crossed the finish line
- watching a precocious two-year-old girl with blonde curls escaping from her ponytail shout to her mama - who is 100 feet away, in deep conversation and unable to hear her - "mama, turn around, turn around!" throwing her whole body into large, emphatic arm gestures - as though that would help carry her voice across the grass - so her mama would watch her run across the finish line and cheer for her
- listening to Modest Mouse as I drive my little car over dusty back roads and the sun plays hide-and-seek with textured clouds that hold the scent of rain that intermingles with the scent of sun-heated pine and drifts through my car to carry me back to sunnier days with Johnny, when we used to go on long rides through the backcountry of the eastern Sierra in our pale green Nissan pick-up truck
- watching an almost unconcious older man being brought to a blanket at the foot of my chair at mile 33 and feeling a sense of fear as the paramedic comes over to check his vital signs and feeling a sense of relief as he wakes up a little and starting talking and moving
- laughing with volunteers as I pull out my laptop to work on a story I'm writing while I'm waiting to Olga to arrive (apparently, had I just hiked "a couple hills over," I could have had Internet access)
- watching Olga arrive at the first aid station, a few minutes behind pace and - gasp! - limping, and hoping like hell she's okay
- "Hey now, he's mine!" Patricia censures Ali and I as we tell Wayne - Patricia's husband - that's he's "lookin' good!" at the last aid station
- dipping my feet in cold, snow-melt-fed creek water at a waterfall as I wait for runners to arrive so I can take cool photos of them crossing the creek and then feeling bored because they are spaced so far apart that I end up taking oodles of water/feet/trees/sky photos
- not sleeping much the night before because I am so excited and I also want to make sure Olga does not miss her wake-up time
- getting an ulcer as I drive to the Phoenix airport alone for the first time in my life, freaking out because I can't figure it out and I'm trying to follow signs and where do I go and oh shit, I left Olga's flight info at home and where's terminal 2? and what in the world is economy parking, why are they directing me to economy parking? these signs don't make sense and finally finding the right spot
- seeing Olga pop out from behind other passengers and shout, "Angie!" with her blonde hair sticking out from her head and longer than I expected it to be
- oohing and ahhing over my new North Face hydration pack and then it feeling like Christmas when Olga gives me all her old running clothes ("I could have donated them to Goodwill, but then I thought, no - I'll take them to Angie!")
- non-stop talking as we drive up to Payson, shop for dinner, attend the pre-race dinner (with our own food) and meet Luis Escobar and wonder where the fast guys are and I introduce Olga to the Tucson runners and I scarf down a slice of cake
- "I'm not fast; just stupid enough to stay out there all day." - Luis Escobar (race photographer)
- Olga laughing at my notorious sweet tooth as I eat Cinnastix as post-race dinner, and then syrup on my sauage/bacon/potatoes at Dennys the next morning (where they got so many things wrong again and again with my breakfast, I got it free, yay!)
- salivating over Kyle Skaags' quads
- fun talking with a girl from Oklahoma via Utah (I wish I had gotten her name!)
- wearing a pink fuzzy (I especially liked it clipped to my orange sun hat; I felt like a pirate!)
- oh, the utter joy at the end when I realized that my girl did indeed pass tons of people on the last stretch and had finished the race and we screamed and jumped up and down and she threw her bottles and end-of-race packet on the ground and just stumbled around while I laughed and then I told her she was in the top ten for female and when we confirmed it on the results, screaming some more
- cheering on the Tucson runners and laughing when Geno passes by me at mile 33 and points and says, "Tucson person!" then glances to my book and says, "Bill Bryson, right on! Love him!" and then continues on his merry way
- giving 70-year-old Joe a hard time for running Zane Grey after sweeping with him last year and both of us swearing we'd never run it
- wondering where Anton Krupicka is - his name was on the entrants list (aka Naked Guy - he won Leadville 100 last summer with the second fastest time ever)
- grumbling that "these aid stations need bathrooms!" as I trip through the underbrush to find a decent, out of the way spot to do my business and then laughing at myself - this is a trail ultra, the whole wilderness is your bathroom :)
- admiring the sleek runners' physiques and realizing mine is nowhere close to that but then thinking I love my body and I will be running more - if I can just find the discipline again - and will get back into shape by summer - right? right!
- wondering why my left hip is aching and then laughing about it with Olga the next morning as she tells me I had sympathy pains - her left hip is the one she hurt!
- wondering why this event didn't inspire me to want to run more like attending past events has
- feeling blissful to be surrounded by such fun community
- feeling so happy that Olga came out to AZ and let me crew for her and feeling so blessed that she is in my life and delighted that we can just talk and talk and talk and talk
- hearing Olga drop random Russian words into our conversation - not so much that I can't follow the story, but enough that I notice
- looking forward to visiting Olga this summer for PCT 50/50
- feeling honored as Olga gives me her Zane Grey finisher's buckle, and smiling as I prop it up on my bookshelf at home, knowing it will remind me each day of the fun and joy and laughter I shared this weekend with a beautiful friend
- photos

I'm writing this from the comfort of my own house, yay! I'm half-packed for this upcoming weekend (the important stuff like food and books), sitting here in my yoga clothes waiting to eat a small bowl of cereal at the right time before my class (one hour), after which I get to have chocolate crepes at my fav restaurant with C to celebrate. I'm running tomorrow morning, then it's up to Phoenix to pick up Olga and then travel up to Payson, where I get to be "Crew Pinky" to one of my favorite ultrarunners. I'm bringing my 'puter, books, magazines, food, camp chair, comfy clothes (maybe running clothes? think I might be able to fit a run in there somewhere...Fri night? Sun morn?), new iPod shuffle and, most important, my camera. I consider ZG to be my birthday trip each year - maybe one of these years I"ll run it. Maybe.

I'm working on getting caught up on my bloglines. I'll get there, I promise! (455 posts, ai yi yi)

I had my yearly review on Monday and it was even better than I could have dreamed. (Hence the chocolate crepes tonight.) I handled one incredibly stressful crisis and a number of fires this week and I am definitely ready for this weekend.

I ran on Tuesday morning - it was such a beautiful run. I started cranky (I'm beginning to notice a pattern here), and only focusing on the negative in my life. John and I discussed the whole negative-focus thing and he was encouraging me to be in the moment. We ran fast, took a couple walk breaks, he shared his water with me (I forgot my handheld, gasp!). It was a good run – the sunrise was gorgeous, and by the time I had about a mile or so to go, I started feeling really awesome – strong and beautiful and graceful and strong. (Yes, strong twice.) It was fantastic. I finished with a surge of speed *up* a hill. Glorious.

My baby's leaving for a school trip to California on Sunday before I get back from ZG, which means I won't get to see him for an entire week! This is the longest I've been without him, and I'm sure I'm going to be miserable by, oh, say, Monday!

I have a home computer!

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After almost two months, I finally have a home computer again! The had to replace my mainboard - whatever that means.

I am writing this from the comfort of my own home. Wow.

Okay, back to work.

Woo hoo!!!

I think this morning is the first time ever I've run on a Monday morning. Wow.

I've trained my body in the last few weeks to wake up early; I'm now naturally rising between 5:30 and 6 a.m. each day without using my alarm. 6 a.m. rolls around this morning and I cover my eyes with my pillow. My hips hurt from cross-training and I feel weak. I spent a miserable weekend lounging on my couch wondering why I was experiencing symptoms of a gallbladder attack when I no longer had a gallbladder. I realized I had eaten way too much fat over the last few days and my system was rebelling. Yuck. So I pondered what sorts of excuses I could use to not run this morning. I could get up early and get to work early. I could try to sleep more. I'm feeling too weak; my hips hurt too much; I'm doing yoga tonight; yeah - I couldn't pull up anything even remotely close to a justifiable excuse. Then, I realized that 15 miles into my 50k in July, I'm likely to feel like I don't want to keep going, and I'll need to keep going. And getting myself up out of bed would be working on that mental discipline to go when I don't feel like it.

So I did. And it felt good. I was happy to be out and about. And my 10:53 pace put a smile on my face - I could tell I was working at that pace, but I wasn't killing myself.

I need to work on my discipline. I need to be runnning more. I need to make sure I run every Monday morning after a weekend I have with Ash. I need to make sure I run a moderate distance each Friday (like 5 to 8 miles). I need to make sure I get out - because it's time to start training! Woo hoo!

I registered for the Flagstaff Marathon, yay!!! So now I'm committed to the PCT 50k in July and the marathon in Sept. Feels great. I'm glad I have these big races to look forward to, otherwise I know I wouldn't be getting my lazy ass out of bed each morning to run.

Looking for recommendations on iPod shuffle-compatible earphones to wear while running. The earbuds my shuffle came with want to pop out... help!

I'm SO excited!!!! I get to see Olga on Friday!!!! We'll be heading up to Payson so she can run Zane Grey 50m and I can crew for her. This is my third year heading up there, my second as crew for Olga. I'm psyched. I reviewed the entrant list this morning and I'm stoked about the folks who will be there, particularly Tony Krupicka. Very cool.

What kind of writing?

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Donald wants to know: what kind of writing?

What do I want to write? I want to write about me, about you, about running, about nutrition. I want to write about what I know - and what I want to know. I want to write about the powerful effects of Pepsi as a muse. I want to write about the mountains surrounding Tucson, these mountains that have held me, nurtured me, caressed me and nursed me back to health. I want to write about losing and then finding my Voice. I want to write about losing 70 lbs, addiction, about mothers and motherhood. I want to write Lucy’s story. I want to write my story. I want to write a novel, I want to write for magazines, for love, for charity, for work. I just want to write. About my world and how I see it. Why I see it. Because if I can overcome trauma, abuse, depression, etc., then maybe you can too.

Because “I have so many words in my tummy,” as Ash has said.

Because if I don’t let everything bubble up and out, I’ll explode.

Because my brain goes 300 mph and I have to spew it out.

Because I – like all humans – have the primal urge to leave my mark, to say, simply, “I was here.”

I want to shut myself in my room for four hours and bang out shitty first drafts.

I want to learn how to take what bubbles up and form it into paragraphs and chapters and stories and whole books with plot and pacing and a proper beginning and ending.

I want to make you laugh and cry and get goosebumps and maybe even get inspired.

I want to write about my experiments and choices and how and why sometimes they blow up in my face and sometimes they save my world.

I want to write about how you – yes, YOU – are the most important person in your world. How if you take care of yourself, you take care of others.

I want to write about the comfort of Christmas, terror of wood paneling, the knight in the radiator, September harvests of walnuts and hours spent weeding dandelions for a penny a root.

I want to write about the ocean and the salty comfort and hugs and how even to this day as I step into the ocean, I feel her welcoming me home. How all the salt water in me responds to its origins and loves going home. How I could live in the ocean and be happy.

I want to write about flying – circling – doing aerials. Concentrating so hard on what the horizon looks like upside down. How the ocean meets the sky and the sky meets the mountains and the mountains meet the ocean over and over and over again.

I want to write about the vibrancy of Tucson, how we are so alive dancing in the desert, so colorful, so at home, even though there is no ocean.

Maybe I want to write about how I can feel at home anywhere as long as I’m at home in my body.

I want to write about losing sensation in my body, then gaining sensation back. How I went away from my body – those aerials – and how I slowly but surely began re-inhabiting my body, starting with purple feet and ending with my pink fuzzy.

I want to write of the joys of orange, the vibrancy of life and love and friends and family.

I want to outline my book and fill it in.

I want to be creative.

I want to make, shape, speak, absorb, exist and shout.

I want to write.

The Return of Saturn

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And I'm wondering where time went, and when I became accustomed to looking months ahead and not feeling impatient for the time to come. In fact, I'm worried I don't have enough time. Time to train. Time to run. Time to take care of my son, and work, and run, and see C, and do yoga, and keep my house clean. (Guess which one of those has the least priority and rarely gets done?)

My birthday was fantastic and I know I'm going to love being 29. I am happy and confident and I feel 29. I feel right. I feel like I am finally getting to know myself, know what I think, how to present it and what to do to stay true to myself.

I finally acknowledged my secret ambition to become a writer. I actually said this out loud. And it felt so incredible.

I didn't get to run with Paki on my birthday morning, but I did get to run 9 miles on Sunday. 9 miles that completely exhausted me. I loved it. It was fantastic. Kiera and I saw John, my Tuesday morning running partner, while we were out on the trail. He and I did our run this morning, which was faster than we've done before, even with me stopping to stretch out a hip flexor cramp. (Really, hip flexor cramp?!) The birthday Starbucks afterwards was a nice bonus.

I made a birthday mix to commemorate this beautiful birthday (every song chosen for a specific reason relative to my birthday):
Happy Birthday, Concrete Blonde
Good Morning Good Morning, The Beatles
Never Too Late, Michael Franti & Spearhead
Saints, The Breeders
This River Is Wild, The Killers
Soul Meets Body, Death Cab For Cutie
Modal Mile, Koop
Yell Fire, Michael Franti & Spearhead
Ride It On, Mazzy Star
Juicy, Better Than Ezra
Six Feet Under, No Doubt
Girl, Beck
What I Am, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
Fire It Up, Modest Mouse
The World On A String, Our Lady Peace
Hands, The Raconteurs
Saturday, Built To Spill
Midnight Show, The Killers
Angie, Tori Amos
Cricket Song, The Spurloafers

My home computer is in Texas; hopefully it will be fixed soon! I want to get caught up with everyone.

I am looking forward to seeing Olga next Friday! Less than two weeks to Zane Grey!

....as a 28-year-old.

Just as in last year's pre-birthday post, I am commemorating my year of 28 with a ritual started as a child. Everything I do today, I do for the last time....as a 28-year-old. And tomorrow? Everything I do, I do for the first time....as a 29-year-old. Yes, corny, but I love it. It's a great way to say goodbye to last year and hello to this year.

After last night's most awesome birthday gift ever - a trip to Phoenix to eat at In-and-Out Burger and see The Killers with Kiera - I slept in this morning. I contemplated whether or not I wanted to run. Then I thought, I'm a runner. I'm going for a run.

Along with my running gear, I donned the birthday gift I bought myself this year: an orange, onepinkfuzzy-engraved iPod shuffle. I headed out the door for a 3.3-mile run. The weather was perfect - cool and breezy - the music was awesome, the breathing was great, the run felt fantastic. I felt like a runner. Like I run regularly. Finally. I'm getting it back.

(I did have an interesting run on Monday night - my home computer is at the shop, so I have no computer access, and I had lost John's number (Tuesday morning running partner) and he hadn't responded to my e-mail asking if we were still on for 5 am, so I decided that after yoga I would run to Johnny's to use his computer. Two beautiful miles at sunset on back roads turned into scary miles when I realized it was dark and there were no streetlights where I running. I had my headlamp and pepper spray and made it safe and sound. Checked my e-mail - sure enough, John had canceled. Then headed back out to go home. This time I decided to take a more major thoroghfare, so I had more light and I felt much safer. It was a little scary, but ultimately, I'm glad I fit a run in, and besides, it was fun!)

My birthday weekend is shaping up to be a blast: Tomorrow I'll be heading out for a birthday run with Paki, followed by birthday coffee at Starbucks with Ash and Johnny. Lunch will be a pizza lunch (from Magpie's, mmm....) at work, and tomorrow evening I'm heading out with C - no destination chosen yet. Saturday will be sleeping in, followed by reading at the park and then dinner with my mom. A favorite local band is playing at a coffeeshop that night, and Sunday morning is 9 miles with Kiera. Yay!

Intense

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Photo Album

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The sun is beating down on my weary body. What time is it? I think it's 11 a.m., but I'm not sure. This is Mesa, where is another one of those fountains that annouce a rich subdivision, a fountain in the middle of the desert where we need to be conserving water, a fountain that says, "We have so much money, we're going to waste it on water that cascades down the stones announcing our subdivision's name, water that evaporates in the hot desert before reaching the bottom of the fountain," water that I can dip my hat in to get wet to cool me off (no matter that it's probably nasty water with mold or mildew or germs or algae or whatnot. It's water and I'm hot, dehydrated and exhausted.) One foot down in front of the other, keep moving, Angie, keep moving. Groovin' it, baby, you can do it. Oops, veering into oncoming traffic, not to smart, stay on the shoulder. How many teams are out here? So many vans now. Not too many vans on the course last night. Boom, boom, boom. Keep it going. The pain is coming back, no, I don't want the pain in my right calf to come back. Think about something else.

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My mind drifts to cherry coke. Mmm, regular cherry coke. I'm going to get some real cherry coke when I get to the finish. Only two more miles to go. Two more miles in this heat. You can do it. I am exhausted. I can't do it. Oh look, the buckthorn cholla cactus is flowering; it's your favorite cactus! A smile creeps over my face. I like that. There's comfort in the flower of a buckthorn cholla. There's no comfort in trying to sleep in a minivan with six other people. I wonder how much sleep did I get last night? Maybe three hours? Too bad I missed the massage therapist at exchange six. But I still can't believe he said I wasn't tight when I saw him at exchange 12. My hips feel good though. Maybe I should be getting regular massages to help with the chronic tightness in my hips.

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My legs keep turning over. I'm numb, they keep moving. I can't think about the pain, it's better that they are numb. My head is baking; it feels like it's going to explode. I can't keep this up much longer. Just to that palo verde tree. Okay, good. Now to the mailbox. Now to that sign. City of Mesa sewer line, In case of emergency call this number. If I call that number, will they come out and get me? I guess this isn't an emergency. You've done this before, you can do it again. Dig deep, baby, you've got a well of untapped energy inside. Oh, I just want to cry. Good. Use that energy, channel it into your legs.

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My legs are heavy. I steer my mind to other thoughts. I can't dwell on the pain, the heat, the fact that I'm so hot but I have the chills. The fact that I'm out of water and want to walk. Instead, I think about the ice cream sundae and beer I had at the bar where my fellow teammates in Van 2 and I hung out while Van 1 did their first six legs. I think about how I ran 4 miles in 38 minutes a few hours later - sub-10-minute miles. I ponder where the water came from that was crossing the road half-way through that leg. Wet shoes! No fair! I'm in the desert; I don't want wet shoes! They'll be wet for the rest of my legs! I think about the orange moon that hung low over the desert. I think about the stars and how amazing they were. I think about how much fun it was to run to music; I mentally thank Kiera yet again for letting me borrow her shuffle so I could have music, even though I couldn't get the earpiece to stay in my left ear and I lost the foam thingies that provide cushioning (oops, sorry, I'll buy you new ones). I am bummed that I don't have my music with me for this, my longest and hottest, leg. But better to have no electronics and to keep myself wet than to have music and overheat.

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Oh, that big flat boulder looks good. I wonder if I could stop and sit for a moment. No, my teammates are waiting on me, I can't stop. Besides, that boulder's been baking in the hot sun all morning. It would fry my out-of-shape ass like bacon on a hot griddle.

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Back to other thoughts, thoughts to distract me. I smile, thinking of the motorcycle cop Erin and Jen got to follow me earlier on this leg. "Ma'am, the speed limit in the City of Mesa is five miles an hour. I clocked you going six. You need to slow down." I almost start laughing, then remember to channel that energy into my weary legs. I relax, thinking about the cool water they doused me with just a few short miles ago. I am grateful I had the shortest total mileage for this course and the easiest runs.

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I am excited that I set a 5k PR on my second leg. Slight downhill in the wee hours of the morning, the hills on the horizon backlit by early morning dawn, pale yellow and orange. The desert air cool and crisp, with the slight scent of water hanging in the air, waiting for me to gulp it down, breath it deep. Politik by Coldplay coming on, slightly upping my cadence for the last four minutes, giving me the energy to pump myself forward, keep it going at that fast rate, going, going, going, there's James, slap! Hand off the bracelet. Holy shit, 29:01.

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The pain in my calf pierces my thoughts. My head is pounding, I'm hot and cold and dehydrated and exhausted. How much farther? I pass a sign: One mile to go. Thank god. I imagine Kiera in front of me, keeping me going. "C'mon," she'd say, "it's just too cruel to walk at this point. It would take so much longer." I'm sorry, Kiera, I have to walk. Just for a short moment, just to let this cramp pass and to catch my breath.

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I pick up the pace. "Sound of Music," James says in response to hearing Gwen Stafani singing a hip-hop song with a Sound of Music sample. "Now that's a gangsta-ass movie." I smile, thinking of how much laughter I've shared with my teammates over the last 24 hours. How much encouragement they've given me, even though they are so much faster than me. Jen, our team manager and driver, with her utter inability to keep electronics working and who has a penchant for rap music; Erin, the only runner in our van from Phoenix, who's exuberance in my first leg kept me going; James, the fast runner who plays classical piano - is going to school for it! - and who also plays guitar in a local band; Dan, who is fast and quiet; Amy, a friend of a friend, a triathlete who was a last-minute sub for someone who couldn't make it; and Todd, with his wacky hat, who brought us Recovery Socks to use in between legs and who organizes bike races around Arizona.

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I drink the last of my water, grateful that I have less than a mile to go. It seems like a lifetime ago we were playing hackey-sack in the parking lot at the first major exchange, waiting for my friend Jen, the one who suckered me into this, to arrive and hand off the bracelet to Erin. I try to remember all this, crystallize it in my brain so I can regurgitate it out for my blog readers. I have so much emotion, so much, and I can't hold it all in.

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One final hill, up and over the water canal. Oh, how I wish I could dive in! I give myself permission to walk the short uphill, and when I crest, I see my final exchange. I pick up my pace, I am flying. I hear cheers and speed up even more, which in turn, brings more cheers. I'm almost there, holy shit, I'm almost done. I hit the barricades, hand the bracelet to James and yell, "GO!" He takes off and I stumble around. Where are my teammates? Sit, I need to sit. Shade, where is shade. Vomit, I'm going to vomit. Jen guides me to a chair and hands me water. I sit and a gentleman comes to me and says, "I'm not a doctor, but I stayed at Holiday Inn last night." I spit out my water and laugh. "You must be Jen's dad!" I say. "Nice to meet you!"

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It's good to be done. It's good to know that I ran just over a half-marathon - and half that distance at about a 9:30 pace. The other half at just over a 10:30 pace. I didn't know I could run that fast, that far.

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I crash in the van. They've switched me to a different van, one with better music (rock, instead of hip-hop). I fall asleep in the back. I am vaguely aware of stopping at an exchange or two, but just let myself drift off. The air conditioning is so cold. I reach for a nearby sweatshirt to warm me up, and it smells of C, the person I've been seeing since February. I wonder how he's doing, what he's up to, and in my state of half-conciousness, I let myself drift into thoughts of a hot bath and arms wrapped around me and comfort and a soft bed. I am so very tired.

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We arrive at the finish line and await Dan's arrival so we can all cross together. Woo hoo! We did it! We made it! A picnic at the park gives us all time to chew over the past 24 hours, and then we head back to the shop and pack up our individual cars.

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On the 90-minute drive back to Tucson, I finally find the word that best describes this experience: intense. I find myself wanting to cry and laugh all at the same time, and just feeling relief that I'm back in my own car, on the way home. So much stress, so much hurry up and wait, so much exhaustion, so much driving, so many emotions, so much fun. Not enough running during that 24 hours, though. Maybe next year, I'll enter in the ultra division, where there are only six people on a team, and each person runs two legs in a row each time they run.

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Back in Tucson, I head to C's house, where my muscles are grateful for the hot bath and chicken-and-broccoli pizza awaiting my return. I try to stay awake to watch Babel, but my eyes close halfway through.

The bed feels like heaven.

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