In my 32.5 years on this spinning planet I have learned a lot. Most recently I was reminded that not everything goes as planned. One of the strengths I put down on a resume is that I am flexible. Physically I’m not actually that flexible but metaphysically I could be in Cirque du Soleil. Almost all my jobs in life have involved customer service; from grocery store checkout girl to nursing. You learn quickly that without flexibility your life becomes a lot harder and efficiency is key.
I also suffer from FOMO; otherwise known as fear of missing out. There is a fine line between living each day to the fullest and trying to stuff so much in that a trail of unfinished tasks is laid out behind me. Unfinished tasks include half written emails, out of season gear that needs to be put away, multiple lists of house to-dos and more. While certain parts of this trip still cater to my “everyday could be my last” lifestyle it has also reminded me to slow down through all new lessons.
I’ve never had food poisoning; never say never. I’ve definitely had too many drinks and blamed the dinner for my sorry state the next morning but never actually gotten sick from food. Monday night I had a new #trucklife experience and woke up around 2am with a bad stomach. I’m sure you have all gotten sick at some point and can remember laying on the bathroom floor thinking your stomach was surely trying to break through your abdominal wall and escape. Now image it’s about 30 degrees, you cant find your headlamp, you have no running water and your stomach is most certainly staging a coup. After my second trip out of the truck the coyotes took notice and after the third I was really wishing I was at home in front of the porcelain thrown. To make matters even more interesting I had a videographer camped with me, Melissa Ruse, from Phoenix. Check her out here. She had driven probably seven hours to spend some time getting video and photo of me running, needless to say I wasn’t running anywhere except behind the nearest tree. I tried to sleep most of the morning and began to feel slightly better.
But the fun doesn’t end there! Like running an ultra you never know what the day will bring. You could feel amazing for most of your race until mile 39 of a 50 mile event when the wheels fall off. Or like the way my day was going, maybe you feel like dog du from the get go. But like in an ultra you need to be flexible, you need to adapt. As I was feeling somewhat better after some ginger ale we decided we’d try to get some footage. Not a quarter mile down a dirt road we get stuck, bad. After some attempts on our own to get Melissa’s car to budge we decided to find help. Luckily, the Black Rock Ranger Station was a few miles away and the friendly station host wanted to get out of stripping paint. Long story short he helped us get unstuck and we couldn’t have been more grateful.
Another lesson learned by running ultras, sometimes it just isn’t your day. Lone Pine was the closest town to where we’d been camped, some seventy miles away. I decided it was time to put my tail between my legs, surrender to civilized living for the night and checked into a Comfort Inn. #trucklife could wait. I got a hot shower with both shampoo and conditioner, air conditioning and wi-fi. Watching even twenty minutes of television made me realize I’m better off without it and I got a nights sleep without Mocha’s nose in my armpit. I will say that my tailgate kitchen actually produces better eggs but the waffle wasn’t too bad.
In the end what started as a very uncomfortable situation actually turned out just fine. The additional rest days were unanticipated but I’m choosing to see them as a positive. We were able to get photos we never would have. Plus, I don’t think Melissa or I will soon forget each other. Just like the selective amnesia you get post ultra, it won’t be long before I’m back to eating out of my cooler, hopefully lesson learned.