I don't have a good reason for running. In fact, I swore it off for a month or so this Fall. But, Jim's race was coming up, and I kinda wanted to do it. In fact, I had two options—a half marathon, or the 50K—and I needed someone to convince me to do the "smart" thing and run the half...
Well, my friends are a bit nuts. So, I signed up for the Antelope Island 50K. Last minute, No training. Whatever.
Fuck. Whatever. I figured I'd just see what happened. I'm not concerned with "finishing at any cost" or beating an old time, etc. If I fell apart, I could always drop at an aid station. It's not life or death. No worries.
So, I showed up at the start, went through a few, awkward, "Hi, how are yous..." and we were off.
At the start, I ran into Harrison and tried to make an awkward joke about "first-place and last-place," but in reality, I just didn't want to be last. I was untrained, uninhibited and unrestricted: if I went all out and blew up, oh well. So, this funny thing happened. I started to run, and the sun started coming up....beautiful gold light cascading across the island. It was magic. It's always magic on the island, I swear to god.
I realized before too long that I had run about 5 miles and felt ... good? I looked down and found two beautiful white feathers. I love finding feathers on the trail! I put them in my hair. Then, about a mile later, I found a Giant white feather! Oh. My. God. Why hasn't someone picked this up yet? (It never occurs to me that people don't get as excited about feathers as I do...) I filled my pigtails with silvery, luminous feathers and hit my first downhill. Awww yeaaaaahhhhh....Damn, it feels good to be a gangster.
Running on Antelope Island is so weird. It's so much bigger than you think it is when you're there. The scenery in the Fall race is spectacular. You're so remote. And, it's so beautiful. And, here's the thing I realized as I ran...
I see beautiful things when I run.
(I even came out the next week to photograph runners on the island, check it out.)
After the long, hot climb out of a huge valley in the back, I ran into a HUMR aid station where Jarrod had a cold PBR waiting for me. De-licous.
It got worse.
I looked down and saw a bright red fire ant. Fuck! It bit me so hard! I killed it quickly and checked for its buddies on my legs. In the next 10 minutes, it felt like someone was putting out a cigarette on my flesh. I must have stood in an ant mound when I peed. "Good," I thought. "I hope I drowned your family!" Damn, pinchie bastard.
Once I ran down to the ranch, I knew I only had 12 miles or so. I could do this. Heading to the next aid station, all kinds of weird things went through my head. I found myself thinking about OCD....the cute little disorder people love to say they have, but really don't. And, I realized it was something that I lived with, just like I live with my crazy hair, green eyes, or love for great beer. It didn't hold me back or make life miserable. So, for one hot minute, it felt OK.
I thought I would see Ryan at the ranch. But, he wasn't there. It's OK...I thought.
I ran strong to mile 20, where I spotted a small red car with what looked like a tiny white dog driving. It was Ryan! And, Sprocket! They were about to leave when I yelled out out our wolf call. Sprocket must have heard it, so the car stopped. I ran into the aid station where Sprocket ran out of the car all the way up to me. It was so cute and it made me so happy.
I hit mile 23 where Seth, Amy and Jeremy were manning an aid station. They gave me a beer and it was legitimately the most refreshing thing I have ever experienced.
He stood as close as you are probably sitting from your computer RIGHT NOW. His lip curled into a sneer as he looked deep into my cold, black heart with his good eye...I took a deep breath and told him, "I hope you've had a good life." It was...weird. I can't explain it. But, I realized he probably lead a better life than I had.
Anyways, I knew it was time to run it in. I could smell the barn and I was off. I ran in past my friend and photographer-extraordinaire, Lori, and saw the Farkas at the finish. Ryan and Sprocket where at the finish waiting for me, and my little buddy ran into the finish with me.
I was so happy to be done. More so, I was happy to be with friends. I ate yummy buffalo chili that Karen made, drank beer and relaxed. AND - I was NOT last! In fact, I managed a PR by over an hour! 6:50 and change. Well, I guess all those damn squats and lifts at Bomber Athlete have paid off.