Tuesday, May 10, 2011

48 hours in MY COUNTY!!

(So happy the school year is over, and I am reunited with my dog)

True Confessions: I always think my car’s butt is bigger than it is and leave extra room for it when I pull into a parking spot. What does this say about me? Poor car body image? Vehicular Body Dysmorphia (VBD).

VBD is a disease I just invented. I’m going to patent it as soon as I figure out if I need to do that through the CDC (Center for Disease Control) or the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).

Primary symptom: If you maintain an irrational belief that you have a big car butt, a badunka-trunk, in spite of evidence to the contrary.
Literally, I am going to read this in about a month and be so embarrassed of myself.

At the gym on Wednesday, I watched a boy fall asleep on a treadmill. He flipped off and face-planted on the moving tread, while dozens of students looked on in breathless horror. It was final exam period, and I knew I was about one gulp of coffee away from doing the same. The boy, whom I’d like to call Victor, for victory, leaped to his feet and resumed his running, playing it off like nothing had even happened, the way a squirrel does when it falls out of a tree. Everyone around him breathed again, sighs of relief. If there is extra oxygen in the troposphere today, it is because of the dozens of students at P-W Gym who ceased to breathe for 15 seconds. Let the record show.

But anyway, watching this boy FALL ASLEEP WHILE RUNNING struck me because, in the story of my life, it might offer a bit of foreshadowing.

On Friday, I am doing the tautologous complement of this statement:

“I am running for 48 hours.”

A tautology is when a=a.

If I had been the one to invent logical syllogisms, I wouldn’t have called it a “tautology.” I would have called it “nothing to see here, people.” Because a is obviously a; it’s not even worth saying.

So if a is “I am running for 48 hours,” then its complement is “I am running for 48 hours.” And then you think, well how is this a logical syllogism if you arrive at a conclusion that does not seem to be in any way logical? Nobody runs for 48 hours.

But people do. I googled it. And there is an opportunity to try it in MY HOME COUNTY—Sussex, New Jersey—this weekend. I have to run it. It’s too big to wrap my imagination around. It will be edifying.

The race is a little steep, and I don’t mean topographically but rather monetarily, so I am imagining that I am going somewhere exotic, instead of the 0.8ish-mile loop 20 minutes away from my home that I will run for 2 days…Man, when I say it like that it sounds SO fun.

I’m excited for my runner friends to meet the bovine lineages of Sussex—the cows whose forefathers watched me run in my youth. And that smell? It’s the anaerobic decomposition of corn. It will grow on you. And remain in your clothing.
(Mad cow: an exemplar)

Here is my race plan:
Don’t get greedy with the miles early on. Pace myself.
Eat before I’m hungry.
Drink before I’m thirsty.
Think about what I’m doing as little as possible.
(Here I am, running alongside the same course in late high school during a Cross Country meet. Rocking the shorts over spandex look, alriiiiiight.)

The other day, I went running with my 9-year-old nephew. We went for an easy 20 minutes, and, though he did a spectacular job and I was very proud of him, I think he was disappointed that he didn’t last longer.

Reflecting upon the run, my dad offered some insight. “Little kids cannot accurately perceive their limits. They think they can run all the way to California.”

That statement gave me pause because I often think I could run all the way to California, and I’d like to do that sometime. And you know, with the 48-hour run starting on Friday, I wondered what level of interpretation I should read that statement. What are you trying to say to me, Dad? I like that kids think they can run forever, and I’d like to hold onto that a bit longer and keep trying to do so. I don’t ever want to be someone’s limiting factor—imputing my mature sensibilities into their ambitions, telling them they can’t do what they think they can. Because maybe they can. The reason I first ran a 100 was because I thought I could, and nobody told me I couldn’t.

But without a doubt, this run will be a humbling experience.

Welcome to my town, y’all! We’re going to have a great time.


  1. Great post! You crack me up!

    I think I have issues with depth perception because I actually cannot park a car, even just in a parking lot. I always park all the way in the back where no one else is around me and then tell whoever I'm with that walking is good for you. Maybe I too have VBD.

  2. Oh what fun we have in store. :) See you in just a few days now. Yahoo!

    p.s. "the way a squirrel does when it falls out of a tree." hahaha! AHAHAHA! This could also be: "the same way Gentry has done TWO DIFFERENT YEARS at Umstead 100-Miler after he's crashed into a tree at 2 a.m. while hiking."

  3. A long time ago, I had a car with a hatchback and I always parked so as to make room for the non-existent trunk; sometimes I had four extra feet of space. I never learned.

    There's an episode of "The Simpsons," where Maggie goes to the Ayn Rand Preschool. On the wall is the objectivist poster: A=A. That's about as much as I ever got out of The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, anyway.

    48 hours without sleep isn't much different from 24. It's about two hours after your usual bedtime that you struggle most and you get cold in the middle of the night. Falling asleep while running does happen to some, but hallucinations the second night - dreaming with your eyes open - is more common. Best of luck!

  4. You wimp, you should be doing the 72 hour with Gentry and myself...lol. you know if you asked the race directory nicely you might still be able to switch :). Anyway see you Friday!!!!!!!

    Marc Griffin

  5. Love your thoughts about limits. Basically limits are simply mythical barriers to disprove!

    Good luck! Wish I was going to be there!

    And by te way . . . speaking of limits! Just because you 'entered' the 48 doesn't mean you can't continue on until 72!! :-)

  6. you guys have fun!! hug bill gentry and marc griffin for me!! good luck to all of yall!! WOO! and I'm glad school is out for summer for you and you are reunited with your doggy! such a sweet pic!
    take care and HAVE FUN!!


  7. Haha seriously, Brittany, you probably do have it. I'll patent it. What the world needs is more diseases.
    Gentry and Marc--AHHHH!!! Can't wait to hang out with you guys. :) You're making me feel lazy!
    Steve--hatchback cars are the least voluptuous of all cars, haha. :) And it's good to know 48s are similar to 24s. I hope I don't hallucinate!
    Frank! I wish you were going to be here. Keep me updated on your upcoming races. It was so fun running with you at Hampton.
    Jenn--Thanks! I will hug them for you. :) Thanks so much for your sweet well wishes!

  8. "Breathe it in girls, breathe it in!" - Papa Bear

    I did fall in love with that smell of methane and manure. But, depending on how Dad's words were to be interpreted in their day, it's either amazing that I retained an accurate self-conception of a) gender after being categorized as female for so many years, or b) corporeality after being outright ignored for so long. :P

    G'luck, Beaner! Remember, speed up in the blind spots and run through the hills' crests! Does any semblance of XC technique apply to a race of this length?

    MWAH! Is this embarrassing?

  9. That. Is. Ridiculous.

    But I know you can do it. And then after that, guess what? I GET TO SEE YOU IN THA W'BURG!!!!! So good. Congratulations on being done with school, also! I finish on Sunday. When I graduate. 0_0 It is like running for 48 hours, except not really. But sort of.

    See you on the other side!