Ah, day one. It was a mess, to be honest. Within two miles of heading out from our makeshift starting line, the strained muscle in my groin and butt went haywire.
Just like I feared.
Within three miles I was limping through downtown Vernal. By mile six, I was in tears. And by mile seven, I was running again as the pain seemingly disappeared.
I ran happy for a good four miles, and the joy of that filled my entire body. I COULD DO THIS. I smiled, I enjoyed myself, I felt hopeful.
And then the pain came back.
Limping along the side of the highway this afternoon entirely broke my spirit. Semis flew by, scattering dust and blowing off my hat. Pickup trucks whizzed by barely budging an inch to spare me. So I did what I do best.
I cried because I was frustrated and I cried because I was scared and I cried because I hurt and I cried because, dammit, why am I hobbling alone along the side of a highway?
I tried to run and the pain stopped me in my tracks. Glancing at my Garmin, I saw I'd only gone 13 miles. THIRTEEN. I'd been out there more than three hours. The sun beat down, the semis roared past, and my hopes crushed under all 18 wheels.
I hated every step. I'd gone full blown irrational. I was scared, frustrated and alone, and it became so damn easy to forget what I was even doing out there. I worried the crew was bored. I worried I'd never finish. I worried I was in way over my head.
Hobbling toward my crew about 16 miles in, I sobbed. What was I doing? Why did it hurt so bad? How would I run another 14 miles today? Nonetheless another 150 by Sunday...
But as I hugged and drank a sympathy beer, I remembered that all of this was OKAY. This is my journey. If I walk the whole damn thing, I walk it. If it hurts, I take a deep breath and slow down. I won't break.
It's my journey, but it's for others. People who CAN'T walk 165 miles. Or 150. Or five. People who've lost their battles and people who've only just begun fighting.
This is my own battle. But my battle gets to end.
I stopped to see a physical therapist this afternoon, and he gave me some phenomenal stretches to work on every morning and night. I've already gone through them three times tonight, and it's amazing the difference it makes.
So tomorrow is a new day. I have a new perspective and a better outlook on the journey. Sure, I'm nervous as hell. And I'm dreading the small shoulder on the side of the highway, but I will get through the day.
But what I wouldn't give for a hug right now. I didn't realize how tough it'd be out there without love from my favorite people. I know everyone's rooting me on in spirit, but sometimes my spirit needs a kiss on the forehead and a hug.
I'm behind on miles and tomorrow is an early day, so it's time for sleep. But here's hoping for a brighter day tomorrow: day two.