Saturday, February 16, 2008


I believe in magic. The magic that comes from working toward the goal of a lifetime. Magic from special tight pants and new shoes. Magic from a disgusting substance called GU you throw back in your mouth and swallow as quickly as you can before your gag reflex kicks in. And also, the best kind of magic, the kind that comes from your best friends and running girls who love and support you through one of the toughest times of your life.

That's right, our run today is indisputable proof that magic exists, and we here at WRFDJ are walking... okay, limping... evidence.

Our day began with a very frantic phone call, made from one hysterical Tara to Kristi. She stated Melissa had come to meet her before the run this morning, and while they ran inside for a moment, a tow-truck driving meanie began to load her car up on his crane. They walked out during the towing process, and kindly asked if he would take down said car. He informed them he would, for $150 cash.

As they scrambled to get the dough together, we decided we would wait at Liberty Park for them, despite our tight schedule. We waited as long as we could, then loaded in Kera's new wheels and made the long and winding trek up Emigration Canyon.

There's something ominous about driving the long route you know you will soon be running. Up, up, up we went, leaving water, Gatorade, and GU in secret places along the way. Just as we arrived at the top, Tara and Melissa joined us. They had to fork out the money, and speed to meet us, but we were complete: all six members of the team. Magic helped them not miss us before our start, indeed.

All of us thought this was our starting place, but oh no, Ms. Kristi had other plans. We would drive down the other side of the canyon, run up it, then down it, and back to Liberty Park. Okay, those of you who are familiar with Salt Lake City can picture where Liberty Park is, right? Fairly close to state street along 7th East, in the Valley. Now, if you've looked directly East, you see the mountains in the far off distance. Now picture yourself in the middle of those mountains. That was our starting point. Can you say intimidation? No, more like fear. It would be a long and trecherous road, but we knew we must carry on. It was half marathon day.

And so we had our next magical experience of the day-- the magic beans. They look like jelly beans, but taste like Flintstone Vitamins from my childhood, and I'm convinced they have super powers. How can I make such an outlandish claim? Because only magic beans could have made me run up that enormous hill at the speed I did without even being winded, leaving my running mates in the dust. Magic, I tell ya, straight from Dumbledore himself.

Coming to the top of that hill was magical in itself. The view from the top lifted my spirits, and somehow Liberty Park didn't seem so far away. Unfortunetly, this little bit of magic didn't last. Must have been fairy dust, because it wore off pretty quickly. In fact, I felt the last of its effects at about mile 4, when Kristi made a shocking revelation. All of our car keys were in Kera's car.... as in the car parked where we started.... as in the opposite direction of where we were going.... and our cars were all back at Liberty Park, our ending destination. How not even one of us six grown women realized our poor lack of judgement before we took off like road runners, I will never understand. Maybe it was a side effect of those magic beans.

We thought we would just come up with a plan as we ran. And so, run we did, for a very, very long time.

We knew once we saw the apartment complex at the mouth of the canyon, we would be in good shape-- more than halfway! And so, when we spotted it, Kristi gave a victory cheer! Hooray! It came faster than we thought! That's the funny thing about magic, it can also make objects appear closer than they really are. I swear that mountain range was moving, and it wasn't going our direction. Every bend we'd think we were there, and then there would be another. But finally we reached the bottom of the canyon, and also our second refueling station.

Kristi, Kimmie, and I all stayed together. We downed some GU (ugh, ugh, ugh. I HATE IT!), some apples, and some water, checked our directions, and waited, hoping our other three ladies would come soon. They did not, and we started to cramp. And so, we decided we would have to go, and they would catch up.

Down, down, down we went, and honk, honk, honks we got, along with an F-bomb. Drivers are so mean! Where do they want us to go? It's a big road, with not a lot of traffic for pete's sake, go around us!

But a few grumpy, foul-mouthed drivers were no match for magic, or WRFDJ. We came up with a plan to try and get to our car keys. We would run by Kimmie's house, which coincentally was on our way, and grab her spare key. Once we reached the park, she would then drive us up to Kera's car in the canyon where we could get our keys, then we would drive back to the park to get our cars.

Once we reached the park, we rejoiced, and took a moment to look back at the mountains in the far off distance. Holy-Manoly. We just ran a half marathon. The other girls joined us about 10-15 minutes later, and we created a finish line. And, we had a key to get into Kimmie's car! Hooray! But, wait, something was wrong.... she pushed the unlock button on her unlocker-battery-powered-thingy, and nothing. No unlocking, just nothing. Then panic. I had to be to work at 2, and it was already 1.

That's when the magic came back, in the form of a grandfatherly type man wearing a racoon on his head. He had a cell phone. Kimmie called her sweet friend, Nate, who agreed to drive all six of us tired, giddy women who smelled of recess up to their car keys. And what's more, it's as if a wide array of treats suddenly poofed into Nate's car from out of thin air! Chips, and Mike 'N Ikes, and Reeces Pieces! And, we needed that magic again to fit all seven of us into his little automobile. Thanks Nate! You're our knight in shining armour! (but better than those strange-o's who were playing dungeons and dragons in the park while we waited for you to arrive. Much better)

Magic carried us through 13 miles, and I know the magic will be back again next weekend for our group run. How come? Because my girlies will be there, wearing their magic pants and shoes, with beans and GU in tow, and enough love and support to carry us onto another two months of training, and the 26.2 ahead. Love you guys! Do you believe in magic?


Ang said...

I love this post. I can imagine all of it in my mind. I spent some time in Idaho last Summer and I loved leaving water bottles and things out along the trail. Here in Washington I can't do that. I have to carry all that stuff with me. Anyway, just want to mention that I love the power gels (made by powerbar/gold packets) way better that the gu brand or any othe brand for that matter. You might want to give those a try. They basically just aren't as thick, but still work great!

So happy everything worked out on your run!!

foxontherun said...

That was an amazing post. I loved reading about your experience. You have captured the essence of training for such an accomplishment with your best running companions. That is what I love about running with a group.