|This is my favorite race bling ever.|
|This photo of Benbow Inn terrace is courtesy of TripAdvisor|
I know, I'm a big girl now. But let's be clear - I have always experienced a bit of apprehension when I travel alone, whether it's a quick 1.5 hr. drive over the hill for a yoga class, maneuvering the London underground for two weeks on my first real solo trip, or solo hiking the Queen Charlotte Track in New Zealand. My heart beats fast, and I'm hyper-aware of my surroundings. It takes me a while to tune down the static and hear my own voice/heart inside, and then to be comfortable with it.
To be fair, E only ditched me for the first night - the critical pre-race night, mind you - and we planned to meet up at the Benbow after the race. But who would drop me off at the starting line and then go park the car a mile away? Who would catch my patagonia jacket when I shed it in the chutes right before the gun went off? Who would pass me gummy bears and my waterbottle when I passed them at the turnaround? Whose face would I look for when I crossed the finish line, sweaty and tired? Who would go get the car, parked a mile away, after the race was all done?
Basically, I have been a spoiled rotten racer, and this solo adventure afforded me the opportunity to do things a little differently. I found some throw-away clothes for the start (old painting clothes. Not sexy). I left super-early so I'd have plenty of time to park & porta-potty. I struck up conversations with other runners at the finish line and we chatted about our races. And I
|Redwood Burls along the race course|
|15 foot diameter Redwood near the race start|
|I was constantly looking up while I ran.|