Friday, April 11, 2014

When Did April Happen?

All of my running partners know Latin—my students and my husband. On Monday mornings at 6:30 a.m., we all gather on the field outside the school for track practice repeats. They flank me on all sides, like we’re a Roman legion—but faster(!)—and they call out the fractions for remaining laps as we go.

When we finish, we do a cool down. We all look the same—in our running clothes, muddy and messy. I send them to get ready for study hall. The next time I see them, we have resumed our daytime roles. I am in my teacher clothes, and they are dressed in uniforms. We read great texts and bond over ideas. It’s basically what I would have dreamed that life could be, if I had had the boldness to dream of a life so awesome.

Big News for a Little

Last week, I was sitting at my school desk, lamenting the fact that my pants had been accidentally tucked into my socks for most of the morning, when I received an email from Howard Nippert, the National Team manager. He said that he was looking back at splits, and when I broke the 24-Hour Record, I also broke another—the 200K American Record (200K in 19:30.30.). So now I have two! At this point, the mark is sort of deflated of meaning, since I can no longer mentally revisit the difficulty of running so hard that day, but I still think finding out this way was better than finding out on the spot. Probably the best way to find out you broke a record is when you least expect it--when you have a lot of papers to grade and your pants are tucked into your socks, or hypothetically, you have toothpaste on your face again. Because then you can still feel like you’re doing okay, all things considered.

In other news, as I explained in a previous entry, I’ve been added to the USADA (the United States Anti-Doping Agency) monitoring list, so they will find me periodically for surprise drug tests to make sure I’m not taking steroids or blood doping. (I'm not.) They came for me at school on Tuesday, interrupting a Medieval History lecture. It was a major inconvenience but thankfully didn’t take too long. The agent told me he checked my twitter to make sure I was in town, which would have felt disconcerting, like I was being watched by Big Brother…if he could have extracted any actual information about my life.


Two weeks ago, I raced the Grasslands 50-Miler, in the LBJ National Grasslands, and earned my first overall win. So that was cool. 

The Lyndon B. Johnson National Grasslands is a huge park about 1.5 hours northwest of Dallas, comprised of more than 20,250 acres of grassland. There is a lake. There are rolling hills, trails, and horseback riders everywhere. Many of the trails are sandy and feel like running on the beach, but others are a heavier clay/silt mixture. It was a beautiful place to run. The temperature was in the mid 50s all day. It was awesome, and I was exactly where I wanted to be.

That being said, it was also miserable. I got lost a lot—enough to cover about 57 miles, rather than the actual 50. I was sullen, and looked like a meme of a disgruntled cat. 

Eventually, I corrected my attitude and began to appreciate the beauty of the day (and the ubiquity of cows!), but by then I was ashamed that I’d not been very uplifting. I felt emblazoned with a scarlet letter of indignity, like if Hester Prynn's sin had been having a bad attitude during an ultramarathon. (Just kidding, but that's a great book.)
Next year, I’d like to come back. I’ll study the map.

Next Up

On Saturday, I am racing the Toughest ‘N Texas 50K. It’s on my home trails in Cameron Park, Waco. I’m not a huge fan of 50Ks, but I am a huge fan of Waco. I am excited to run.

Also, this month marks my 4-year Sock-a-versary! Four years with the support of DryMax Socks and four years without blisters. Thank you so much for your support, DryMax. I really, really love your socks.


  1. Best. blog. on. Planet!! And super congrats on the surprised 200K AR. :)

  2. Awesome, another record! I absolutely agree, better to find out now on a random day!
    Congrats, Sabrina! And keep on keeping on, being you. You're adorable even with a bald, conical head.

  3. That truly is the best way to find out any great news! If you were with pants down on a toilet checking your twitter and somebody posted there...that might have beat it:) Wow, you got lost at Grasslands for a LOT! I got lost for just a tiny bit, but the race was so unique, even though I am not a fan of flatter terrains or heat (or both), it was kind of quirky good. Congrats on a perfect life you carved for yourself - and your hubby!

  4. I laughed out loud today while reading this. Thank you and you're welcome.

    I think of you and your intellectual work while exercising and lifing. Today in the shower I reviewed anatomy of the stomach. Maybe it was yesterday. Anyway, all parts of the stomach are important and our bodies are miracles.