December 3 – Moment
Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
My second leg of The Relay race, a 200-mile race run with a team of 12 from Calistoga to Santa Cruz, California, made up for my first. My first leg was rated as “easy” (4.5 miles and flat) but, being hot and mid-day, conditions I never willing choose to run in, and through never-ending boring streets of downtown Napa (not the beautiful winery part), it turned out to be “very hard” for me. More important than the conditions, I had also taken Benadryl soon before my run – I know that seems odd, but I had a terrible case of poison oak, which I am highly allergic to, so it had been my habit to just pop some pink pills every 6 hours or so for the previous week and I saw no reason why the race would make that different. Offers of water and Gatorade from my passing team van (my awesome team was called Eat. Blog. Run.) were turned down by me – no, no, I’m fine. After I turned them down a few times, they went on ahead to the next hand-off point. By the time I handed off to my teammate Carrie I was decidedly not fine. Man, I was beat.
12 hours later, I was up for a “hard” run – 7.1 miles with lots of hills. I had rethought my strategy. I skipped my Benadryl, figuring out that was why I was so incredibly tired. I decided that I was going to take every offer of Gatorade. In fact, I asked my team to make Gatorade stops every half mile. And, I was excited. This leg might be long and tough, but it was a gorgeous calm and cool night (actually, it was 2am), I had bonded with my teammates (Van 1: YOU ROCK!), AND I got to run through the lovely town of Saulsalito and across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco.
I got the handoff from Christine (read about Christine’s #reverb10 moment, funnily enough, about the leg she ran right before she handed off to me). As I started out, my teammates yelling “Go Linsey!” from behind me, I switched on my iPod. Two minutes later, I shut it off. My soundtrack for this run would be the wind, waves and the quiet. I didn’t want to be distracted by anything else.
Although I had told myself I would walk the hills since I had been so tired earlier (oh, and I had done NO hill training whatsoever), as I started mile 1, I felt so good that I ended up just powering up the first hill. The #EatBlogRun van was waiting for me at the top of the hill, Christine standing out there in a pink snuggie with Gatorade, Jane, Marie, Samanatha, Sherry and Heather yelling out the windows “JOB!!!”. I wondered what all had happened during Christine’s leg, since she had just had to run through a deserted bike path area where vans could not follow – she had been nervous about it and we had lost walkie talkie contact with her most of the time. But I would have to wait until my leg was over to hear all about it.
I swigged Gatorade. And I powered up another hill.
I ran past art galleries in Saulsalito, looking at the city lights of San Francisco. I ran up and around the winding roads climbing to the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge. I passed walking runners. I was passed by running runners. It was all good. My headlight showed me the way, my turquoise Run Team Sparkle skirt showed cars that I was coming (these skirts are fashionable AND reflective – perfect for night running ).
My team kept stopping every half mile and I keep sipping the Gatorade. Mental or physical, I don’t know. But I was glad to accept the help of my team this time around. I rocked on up another hill.
As I came to the start of the Golden Gate Bridge, I thought of a mom from Ben and Lily’s elementary school, Heidi, who had just died the day before after a fight with breast cancer that had spread to her brain, to everywhere. I thought of the fact that I was now heading in my 10th year as a cancer survivor. I thought of all the people fighting for their lives. I thought of how lucky I am to be able to physically do this run. To have basic health. To be there for my kids.
I said out loud “this one’s for you, Heidi.” And I rocked across that bridge.
This post is part of the #reverb10 challenge. Read all of my #reverb10 posts here and please let me know if you are doing the challenge too, so I can read your posts too!