Well, I did race and finish my second Twisted Ankle Half Marathon.
Elevation gain: limitless. So many hills and one huge climb that required feet AND hands to climb.
Cicadas: loud! Creepy!!
Thursday, May 12
I’m not sure I can do this. The past two weeks have shaken me to my core and running up a hill in Georgia has taken a spot way down on the list of things that I need to be doing this weekend. It’s amazing how one 10 minute span of time can change so many things. I’ve always been in awe of the power of tornadoes. But never have I seen anything like what Tuscaloosa is experiencing.
I need to stay in town and make sure people are fed and sheltered like I’ve done since day 1. So many people need help, how can I just leave?
Friday, May 13
I’m so tired.
And numb. Numb is good, I think. I don’t even really remember TA last year.
Saturday, May 14th
Phone alarm. Wait..there is a time difference from ‘bama time. Is it 6:30, 7:30, or 8:30????
WHERE IS MY RUNNING SKIRT????? I don’t have anything in this bag to wear on my butt. I have 4 different shirts, but nothing to wear except Santa pajamas. This is NOT good! I can’t wear Santa pants to TA. Stop crying and think. There is no crying at TA. Well, yeah there is, but not over wardrobe issues. Save the crying for broken ankles, hearing banjos, and getting lost. Oh yeah, it’s all coming back to me now.
Can I just take a nap?
WHERE ARE MY HONEY STINGERS????????
Found some ratty old tights from a long forgotten crossfit class. Spray some foo-foo stuff and it’s all good.
Maybe I can snooze on the 5 minute drive over.
Saturday race time:
Hi Becky and Jenn! Fearless leaders giving us the directions. I’m ready! I can do this! I’m going to kick some trail tail!!! I’m light as a feather! GERONIMO!!!!!
Oh hell no. I’m turning around. My legs are dead. Maybe just a little more. Get to the bluff and then turn around. Don’t let that little kid at the pond see you turn around.
Why are my legs shaking so bad? I don’t remember this from last year. Tree! Straddle, sit, catch a breath, think about all the possible bugs on the tree that I’m now sitting on, fly off the tree and up about 4 steps and stop again. Go 5 steps up, stop, hug a tree, 5 more steps, pray, beg, breathe. Repeat many times.
I’m going to die on this bluff. That guy behind me is going to have to notify Jesus at the top that TA has a casualty. I’m so glad I’m not wearing the Santa pants.
Hey look! I see light at the top. Is it angels singing? The sun setting? The mothership I keep hearing coming to take me back home? No, it’s even better. Jesus! (also known as the girl/guy at the top who lets you know you’re alive and which way to go along the ridge top) Check the garmin. No way have I gone this far. The only way to turn around is to go back down and that’s just crazy talk. The only way I’m going down now is if those bugs attack me. It’s beyond creepy knowing those things are close by.
Aid station 1 Mile 4.21
Is there anything better than peanut butter sandwiches when I’m on the last rung of a really long ladder? (Actually, a swimming pool in Fiji might be..and a frosty drink…and click top sharpies. I love click top sharpies…..and strawberries….oh..yeah…eat and keep running, dork) She made one just for me that had just pb since I didn’t need the sugar jelly. It was perfect!
Not bad up here. Mostly rolling hills and some straight paths. Weather is perfect. Life is good. Think about all the good things going on in my life in the middle of all the chaos of the past couple of weeks. I’ve got it so much better than I deserve. And I know some things I will never take for granted again. Now, let’s coast until the end. Legs feel great!
If I can make it back to the part where I run down, I can catch a ride down. I’m done. Do y’all hear me..I”M DONE!! I QUIT!! (repeat a zillion times)
The only reasons I’m not sitting down right here on the trail are
1) I’ll get trampled
2) bugs will not wait until I stop breathing to devour me
3) Someone will have to carry me out and that’s just rude of me, yall!
Back at the aid station. Eat another pb sandwich. The guy on the golf cart is giving me the hairy eyeball.
“I see you looking at me” he said.
“Don’t let me get on. I’m still deciding.” I said.
He grinned. I guess he knew I wasn’t going to ride down before I did.
Only 3 more miles. I can do this.
One step at a time, and way ahead of where I was last year. Unbelievable.
Gross, what’s that slimy crap on the rocks? Wait..what’s that crunching sound? Sweet Joseph, what’s that flying through the air????
Cicadas hatching out. I’m going to throw up.
Last 3 miles fly because no way in this world I’m going to let those things get close to me. Banjos couldn’t have made me go any faster.
The bridge. I love that bridge. I bet it looks nice at Christmas with lights strung on it and clear nights and stars and chilly wind on the lake. I’ll come back then and wear my Santa pants.
Anyway, dive across the bridge, past the timer, and a smiling DH holding my Gatorade and shirt. 46 minutes faster than last year. This is one of those perfect moments.
I honestly didn’t think I would finish. Mile 2 started the mental fatigue and head games. I’ve quit races and felt better than I felt during most of this race.
But I knew deep down I had to finish. I worked hard. I’ve had a setback. But life is going to be full of them.
And I can’t quit. Ever.
I can’t quit races when I’m tired.
And I can’t quit living when my world seems to collapse around me. It’s going to keep going and so will I.