yes, they remind me of the one I love

Here we go again
Another round of blues
Several miles ago
I set down my angel shoes

— the prophet shawn colvin

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Wading in the Colorado River on a 100-degree day. Lounging in the shade with that vibe of a Grateful Dead concert. Meeting up with the guy who slips me a baggy of Tailwind power (first ones free, little boy!)

Cheering the fast guys leaving for the long race. Wishing I hadn’t moved down from the 30k to the 10k. Thanking god I moved down from the 30k to the 10k.

Then, Joe’s on the ladder. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 …

Taking off down the dirt road that leads to the singletrack. Coming across the RD pointing to the turn (no bee warning this week?) Uphill forever. And then more uphill. Everywhere rocks. Big rocks, small rocks, loose rocks, solid rocks. Boulders and pebbles conspire. Every step for 5 miles. Stumps and sticks and fireflies and wolf spiders and the Mystery Bird and little beams of light bobbing along in the distance. Trip, don’t fall. Trip, don’t fall. Trip, dont fall.

At last, the dirt road leading to the finish and a waiting Mo. Yes, she dropped me again. 17:46 miles and no crashes. Good enough.

PB&J sandies and banana bread. A Gatorade toast. Then Mo looks up. The moon is a sliver; the stars are incredible. They seem to be only a few feet above us and burning on high beam. Mo says, “OK, the stars at night really ARE big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.”

A five-hour drive in the dark turns into seven as the deer party along the road keeps us from going over 35 on the highway. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We agree on the way home that we’re giving up the trails forever. I find religion with a two-day-old slice of pizza at an all-night convenience store.

Finally, home. Cat never noticed that we left. Shower, beer and burger at 7 a.m. and sleep.

Two days later, I mention to Mo that the consensus after the race seems to be a love/hate thing. I’m thinking it was kinda fun in a perverse way. Mo says she’ll volunteer at this one next year, in that maybe I’ll think about it way. We begin the discussion over which distance well run at Rev Ranch in a few weeks, one that we already know to be an obstacle course of rocks. She’s back in the game.

Back to work. Carrying a memory of fireflies and wilderness and the biggest Big Dipper ever …

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Mo with Brad, the race director, in a photo that answers the question, “What does 200 trail markers hanging from your shorts look like?”

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About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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