Picking up from yesterday, the race starts. I’m still so very tired.
We started on road, which was amazing. I’m lightly jogging it out. I knew with 26.2 miles ahead of me, I did not want to start out too fast. I had a nice pace going ’til we hit a trail.
Bum bum bum (scary chords).
In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I am not good on trails. They’re uneven. They’re uncomfortable. There could be animals around. And you have no idea where you are! Well, maybe you do if you’re outdoorsy and have a compass or a good sense of direction, but I have no idea where I am! It all looks the same to me – trees, trees, followed by more trees.
You know what made it a million times worse? Earlier that morning, as I was getting out of the van to go toward the start line, I overheard a man on a bullhorn talking about how there weren’t going to be mile markers.
Excuse me, what?
There were places where the trail came out to rest stop area things where we could get food or use the restroom or whatever. So, every 6 or so miles we would know we’d gone 6 miles. And we would know nothing at all in between.
I think attitudes are different in a 100 mile race. There were a few times, when I felt as though I’d been in the forest forever, that I asked someone around me how many miles ’til we see humanity again. No one ever knew. Ever. I think I was the only one cared. I think some people liked being in the forest.
Those people are not me.
I did my best not to get too terribly bored. I’ve heard before that the only people who have the ability to be bored are boring people. I used my imagination to keep me busy in the forest.
I pretended that I was in fairy tales and had to run from hunters, evil stepmothers, and the like. I pretended I was an actress in an episode of Criminal Minds (love that show) who had to run from the killer. I pretended to be various adventurers (most fictional) through different time periods.
I acted like I was in a Broadway musical with an absolutely humongous set. I played like I was in Shakespeare in the Park – truly right in the park instead of on that great stage.
I acted scenes I imagined from that movie Stand By Me. I’ve never seen it, but I’ve heard they were in a forest, which may or may not be true. For my purposes today, they were in fact in a forest.
I danced and pretended that I was shooting a music video. This worked best with It’s All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion, but it was fun to put any number of random songs in a forest setting and try to make sense of why the video would be shot there.
I had a number of scenarios to keep me busy. For the first 9.2 miles (’til the first big rest stop). But then what?
The first time I actually saw road was a surprise about 5.6 miles in. We had to cross a street, and there was a small aid station set up there with food and such. I cannot think of a time in my life when I’d been more happy to see strangers… or road. Anything to be out of the forest. Although, I had to go right back in.
And this is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.