311 to 220. Survival.

Sometimes. When GJB wants to take it easy on a long group run. He’ll invite me.

Because I’m slow.

Actually getting slower by the minute.

So having me tag along eases the pressure of maintaining pace. With people like North Mountain Overlord.

And Dude With The Charming And Disarming Smile.

And freakin Winner. Apparently.

Did y’all know this? That Winner is a fucking beast?

Homeboy showed up to a 20 mile multi-mountain run. With some middle schooler’s Jansport back pack. And hydration that looked like…like, it looked like he legit stopped at the corner store. Like, twenty years ago. For a couple of off-brand two liter bottles of, like, Mountain Lightening. Or some shit. And shoved them in that backpack.

And then this guy proceeded to beast this route. That will destroy me by mile 9.2.

Fucking Tinker.

There’s just no happy way to get to Tinker.

Meanwhile. Me, over here in my name brand hydration pack. I mean, clearance rack. But still. A legit ultra runner hydration pack. Fell all the way apart. By mile 15.

And we’d been going fairly slow.

Because heat is GJ’s kryptonite.

And also he wore the dumbassest shoes he owns. Because he wanted to give them one more chance.

Dude. You need to burn those when you get home.

But I was fine going up McAfee. Because it was dark. So you can’t see the bullshit you’re climbing.

And this was waiting for us when we got there.

And I was fine as we headed on over to Tinker.

With those bitch ass climbs. Because this.

And we stopped at my sunshine spot. For a photo op.

So that was nice.

But then. The second half. The getting back over to my car part.

And I was running out of water.

Which. Ok. Cool. I can survive without water.

But my snacks were also running out.

There is no survival without snacks.

When I have no snacks. I get whiny. And cranky. And dizzy. And nauseous. And all forms of dramatic.

So that I have to stop. And lean against something. And tell GJB. In full on over dramatic Vivien Leigh fashion. To just go on without me.

No no. I’ll be fine.

Save yourself.

And then I find a fig newton bar. In my pack.

And. Ok. So a few weeks ago. Fall Risk offered to bring me a fig newton. To the gym. As I was languishing in my car. Slowly starving to death.

And I told her where, exactly, she could put that fig newton.

And to bring me some damn Doritos. Or bacon.

But in that moment. Three miles from my car. With one sip of luke warm water left. And the world spinning around me.

That fucking fig newton was the most delicious food I’ve ever experienced.

It saved my life.

After GJB abandoned me…


Just kidding. I wanted his head to explode a little bit.

No. After I forced him to abandon me. With assurances that I wouldn’t get all pissy angry. The way I do.

He spent the next three miles. Telling every person he passed. To tell me to go to Parkway. If I ever made it back to my car.

I didn’t go to Parkway.

Because all I wanted. By the time I saw my beautiful ugly little car. Was a gas station hot dog. An ice cold Gatorade. And a nap.


I feel like maybe the universe is forcing me into ultra retirement.

Because I barely managed the 20 miles. From McAfee. To Daleville.

Which is probably best.

Because people expect way too much from you when you call yourself an ultra runner.

I can’t afford expectations this year.

One response to “311 to 220. Survival.”

  1. Sunshine,
    Thanks for doing this blog post. It made my day. I’m sorry if I guilted you into doing it. Thanks for including me, I appreciate it. I’ll take the teasing in exchange for the other praise. I think you nailed it. The backpack is one I took over from my son who outgrew it, probably from middle school as you guessed. And the 2 liters were probably Diet Mountain Lightning. Old ones at that since I stopped drinking colas at the start of the pandemic. Glad you made it back to your car after Greg abandoned you. Sorry, you weren’t around much and did not make it to Parkway. Someone should have invited you.

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