IT WAS AWESOME. I had been down due to knee injury/fibromyalgia for 3 weeks and pretty nervous about whether I would be able to do my 19.6 miles. Especially on a grain free vegan diet. Let it be known, it can be done. Two weeks of intensive health focus, hyperbaric oxygen and FSM treatment worked magic. I felt like a caged animal finally let free- I hit the road running!
The first 6.8 mile leg I was driven, powered through it at a great pace for me and felt amazing. The middle 4.8 I was wary, nervous for the run ahead and careful not to push it too hard. Not to worry, it was a lovely run at dusk through a small town where all the residents lined the road to watch the crazy runners go by, cheer us on, spray us with squirt guns to beat the heat and enjoy the excitement in a generally quiet area.
Our crew in van 1 was a great group to be with- fun loving, friendly, caring. Riotous good times with Natalie at the shower tent which repeatedly threatened to blow away as 4 men held it down and I tried to keep from squealing when the ice cold hose water hit. I reminded the male volunteers that I had 3 kids and there wasn’t anything they wanted to see. It was good for some chuckles. Cheering people on from the back of the pick up with Somer was another highlight- SO MUCH FUN. Running BFFs forever.
After 3 hours of sleep and only fruits, veggies and nuts to give me strength I was wary of my final and most challenging run. 7.8 around the Jordanelle Reservoir, not exactly flat terrain. My knees ached, my body ached, and I was so tired I kept falling asleep in the car (that rarely happens- I am not a car sleeper.) I broke out a banana, almond butter, Amanda’s famed larabar and my lemon lime VegaSport.
Then I gathered up my gear- no van support on this one- water, music, larabar just in case I run out of steam, and inhaler (which I miraculously only had to use once, drastic improvement from the years before.) Next step, mental focus. I knew I didn’t have it in me to push hard and power through. I needed a higher purpose, something to lift me rather than drain me.
*Light bulb moment* My goal would be to make everyone smile as I pass or as they pass me. To offer words of encouragement and praise. To enjoy the scenery and my time in the mountains. It felt promising. So I did just that. “Good job! Looking strong! You can do it! Keep it up!” A smile. A hoot and a holler. It was THE BEST RUN of my life. I have found my place in the running world- to lift people up and lighten their feet. To see the smile of appreciation and hope. Funny thing was, I actually cruised at a great pace and 7.8 flew by because I was having such a great time.
In a nutshell, I highly recommend it to all. Young and old. Fit and not. Athlete and recovering couch potato. A great time for all (and no, not everyone has to do 19.4, some runners only have 13 miles total.) Hope to see you on the road!