And We’re Off…

Seattle bound, in a small metal tube with about 300 hopefully COVID-free individuals. It’s weird to say this, and probably a complete fallacy, but I feel safer on a flight from Albuquerque to Seattle with a bunch of folks from states where the percentage of vaccinated people is high than I would, say, on a flight to West Virginia. Or Alabama. I’m trusting all you savages, especially you numbnuts in row 19.

Marathon day is two days away. Less, really. A few months ago a very sweet woman who’s done over 100 marathons reached out to me after I bought her book and asked me if it was my first marathon. When I told her it was, she very kindly took me under her wing and gave me some pep talks. She’s a paid professional running coach, but she gave me a free hard copy of her book and Zoom-called me twice, once at the beginning of training and once last night. She’s been so kind, and it’s just lovely to have a supporter in my corner who knows the drill.

That’s not to say I don’t have other supporters. My work and BMX friends have been nothing but supportive and kind. This morning I got all kinds of messages from people via Insta and text, wishing me luck and blowing me virtual kisses (which are the only safe kind these days). I’m feeling pretty well held right now. M is taking care of my cat for the next ten days, which is about the greatest support I could ask for from him, and it’s much appreciated.

As far as the race itself is concerned, I’m pretty well resigned to my fate, whatever it may be. I’ve prepared as well as I could in terms of the actual running and the equipment, so now it’s in the hands of the universe. Will I finish? Who knows? I desperately hope I do.

The forecast is calling for rain, which is one eventuality I may not be totally prepared for, being a desert-dweller. I’ve done the best I can based on recommendations by others online. I think it’s safe to say I can expect chafing and blisters, no matter how much I pray at the altar of the Body Glide god.

The only thing I forgot is a flashlight. I mean, I went out last night and bought some (Walgreens only sells mini flashlights in 3-packs) and was also going to bring my headlamp, and then promptly forgot both. You see, I have to run through a 2.5-mile long tunnel. I can’t even really conceive of a 2.5-mile long tunnel, much less one that’s purportedly dark and has potholes. I guess I’ll add flashlight to my shopping list again. I am going to be swimming in tiny flashlights when I get home.

So wish me luck, my dear ghost friend. While I’m running, if you could remind me of my mantras around mile 20, I’d be grateful. That’s the biggest one, right there: I AM GRATEFUL. Grateful that I am healthy. Grateful that I can run. Grateful for my support network. Grateful for the opportunity to run this race. Grateful that I have the means to do this trip and see my friends. Grateful. ❤

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