feeling unstuck.

Last month I drove to Jackson Mississippi.  I found it after a missed turn, a frantic phone call and a bunch of tears on the side of the road in Mobile.

I went to Mississippi to run the Magnolia Meltdown half marathon with my sweet, very fit and much younger (as in I have a son her age) friend, Stephanie.  The MM was Steph’s first half marathon, and I talked her into it. She had not run since the Turkey Trot in elementary school, and she made it very clear to me and everyone within earshot that running was not her favorite thing. I promised her it would be addictive. She assured me that it would not be.

Before the run.

Before the run.

I never realized Mississippi was so hot in May. And who knew it was so hilly?

At mile six Steph was bouncing around me like the Energizer bunny and I felt like Carol Burnett wearing curtains. I begged her to run ahead, convincing her that running was an individual sport, and promising her that I still liked my husband, even though we ran the last seven half-marathons separately.

Finally, Steph agreed to run ahead of me, and I threw up.

Eighty-four degrees and a hundred percent humidity tends to have that effect on me. I hid in the bushes and puked on a tree. Puking for me is a major event, and I didn’t want anyone around. Especially someone I knew. I yell, er, scream, actually. Cry a minute. Probably more of a wail , really. I dance around and squirm, and up and out it comes.

Fortunately, I was near a medical tent so I asked for mouth wash, and I only told them I had a bad taste in my mouth. I couldn’t risk being pulled off the course for heat illness, or I’d never get the medal.

I rinsed my mouth out, and kept going. It rained, then it got super hot. I plowed on. Miserable as F&%k.

At mile ten-ish I puked again. Same routine; dancing, squirming, wailing. Thankfully, I had a half bottle of the travel-sized mouthwash left, and some privacy.

At this point my muscles were cramping and my head was pounding and I was in pretty bad shape. I  had a minute of rational thought,  and it was then that I decided to walk up to the next race official I saw, and ask to be pulled off the course.

But just as I saw the race official,  I rounded the corner and saw the rest of the course too, and it was all downhill. In the shade. And there was a water station.

Thoughts of the big-ass Magnolia medal crept in to replace all of my rational thoughts, and I decided I could walk two and a half miles. Shit, that’s like. Nothing. 

So I kept going. I got my medal. And I PR’d.

After the run. Sporting our medals.

After the run. Sporting our medals.

Steph was waiting for me at the finish line. She knew something was wrong with me, even though I crossed the finish line earlier than expected…she had that friend-intuition thing going on. After a ton of water, electrolytes, a little vodka, some Willie Nelson, a couple ibuprofen and shoeless-ness, I was fine.

I got the huge-ass Magnolia medal to add to my collection, and I can wear the t-shirt with pride; so it was all worth it. Sort of.

Yesterday Steph texted me.

WE. As in ME.

WE. As in ME.

In the rest of the text I reminded Steph that Mississippi tried to kill me. And she reminded me that it isn’t hot in Mississippi, in January. Yeah Steph, but it’s still hilly.

Looks like I’ll be headed to Mississippi for the Blues half marathon. Good thing I know where Mississippi is. Now.

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