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Race Report: the things I should say

“so pleased with my race”
4:30 in the morning?
You know it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, right?
Aw, hell, we got a 100 coming up. I’ll be there.
Think we have time for 15 miles?

“it all just came together”
Please God, heal my legs.
I know I have such a rich life
blessed with family and friends and
moments, oh! So many moments worth
lifetimes. I’m undeserving to ask this
but please, please, God. Please
heal these injured legs
so they can run,
so I can be free again.
Please God.

“what a great day on the trails with friends”
It’s ok, you can wait in my car
you don’t need to talk to anyone and
it’s not time to line up yet.
Just put the headphones on and listen to music,
it’s ok. Just hide in my car
a little longer.

“race organization went smoothly”
Take this Tylenol.
Now.
Oh ok, in 4 miles at the aid station.
But you have to promise to eat then too.
No, it’s not time for a walking break.
You’re strong. Look at you,
moving like you only ran 20 miles!
You’re ahead of schedule.
Always,
always, ahead.

“so appreciative that I could have this experience”
This is a gift body!
A gift! Be grateful that we’re doing this—
act like it!
Oh, I see…
Not a gift from me to my body
but a gift from my body to me.
You’re so smart body!
Oh, and you’re blurry.
Ha! Look! I’m running,
and I didn’t even know it.

“a lot of talent and speed out running today”
Text my family, let them know
I’m an hour out.
Don’t make it sound like I want
to see them.
I don’t want them to feel guilty
for not coming.
I just want them to know
I can do this.

But I can’t speak!
There are no words
for the salt crusted into my skin,
damp matted hair against my forehead,
lips chapped into silence.
Exhaustion weighing on eyelids, so heavy,
the swelling of my legs on this cot:
unmoving.
Coy potential winning! She always does,
leaving me with dull ache confused into
gratitude and congratulations.

There are no words to whisper
to reverberate
months
miles
early alarms
injuries
pool running
longing,
yes, longing.
Relief.
And fear.


There are no words for a 100 miles.

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