10:00 p.m. Borrowed an alarm clock from Aunt Katie. Set it and reset it for 4 a.m. three different times. Also set the alarm on my cell phone. I am not going to miss this race.
10:30 p.m. Hunkered down under the picnic blanket I brought along to sleep with. It is very itchy. The blowup bed I brought is deflating already. I think I’ll add some more air.
11:00 p.m. Extra air didn’t help. I feel like I’m camping. Five hours till the alarm clock goes off.
12:01 a.m. Cousin Marissa just walked down the hall. Haven’t seen her in years. Got up to give her a hug. Can’t believe I am still awake.
1:00 a.m. Might as well go to the bathroom. See if an empty bladder will help me sleep.
2:14 a.m. Am listening to Donna breathing. Sounds like she’s asleep. What’s wrong with me?
2:32 a.m. I think I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. Dreamed about crazy monkeys. Really looking forward to choking down that banana and bagel in a few hours for my pre-race carbs.
3:58 a.m. Might as well get up. The alarm is going to go off in 2 minutes anyway.
4:01 a.m. Found out the alarm on my cell phone works!
4:10 a.m. Sitting on the potty saying silent prayers. Sure hope I don’t get Toxic Shock Syndrome during the race from this tampon! How many hours are you supposed to wear these things?
4:20 a.m. Strapped the timing bracelet onto my ankle. Look at myself in the mirror. Ready or not!
4:35 a.m. Deflating a blowup bed is a very noisy process. Hope I don’t wake the whole house up.
4:40 a.m. Carry bed, itchy blanket and bags out to car. Maybe I’ll trip, twist my ankle, and won’t be able to run!
4:45 a.m. Driving towards the bus pick-up. This banana tastes like rotten squash. I sure hope the potassium helps me out today in a big way!
5:00 a.m. Park the Pathfinder in the parking lot. Don’t know what to do with my keys. Don’t want to carry them. Don’t want to put them in my bag (what if they lose it during the race and I can’t get home?!) Stash the keys in the wheel of my tire. Hopefully the car will be here when we get back.
5:15 a.m. Climb aboard the school bus as a group. Donna and I met up with Marissa, Stacey and Amy for the ride up. Laugh and laugh about running potty stories. I’m sure the people around us are dying!
6:00 a.m. One hour till race time. Porta potty line is super long. Still 7 people away from entry. A man’s been in there for a really long time.
6:15 a.m. Porta potty man exits. Terrible fumes exit with him. Everyone is gagging. Should’ve brought air freshener.
6:40 a.m. Finally inside the stinky porta potty. Go, Vanessa, Go!
6:50 a.m. Take all my layers off. Gag down some Cliff Blocks. Shaking from the cold and nerves. Turn the music up. Ready to go!
7:00 a.m. Some pioneers just shot some guns near the starting line. I guess that means, “Run!”
7:15 a.m. Running downhill. Getting a side ache under my ribcage. Doesn’t make sense.
7:30 a.m. Still running with rib ache. Where are all my friends? Keep on running, Vanessa.
7:45 a.m. Tried to drink Gatorade while running. It was red. It didn’t make it into my mouth. Look like I’m bleeding to death.
8:40 a.m. Almost to the ½ marathon point. Marissa just waved as she passed me. She rocks!
8:41 a.m. ½ marathon point. Good pace. Donna just passed me. She is doing awesome! Asked how I am feeling. I can feel the wall coming. My legs feel like rocks!!
8:50 a.m. Have reached the bottom of the mountain pass. No more momentum to push me along. Feeling extremely sluggish.
9:00 a.m. See a lady standing with a beautiful silver tray full of fruit. Maybe an orange will help give me some more energy.
9:13 a.m. Orange did not help. Need to find restroom fast.
9:16 a.m. Porta potty ahead. Uh, oh. There’s only one porta potty and people in lawn chairs lined up right beside it watching the race. How embarrassing!
9:17 a.m. It was embarrassing!
10:00 a.m. I now feel like I’d like to quit. I am no longer running. I wouldn’t even call it shuffling.
10:05 a.m. Just saw Rachel from the gym. She isn’t actually in the race, just helping to pace her friend. She asked how I was doing. I feel like crying. I am crying.
10:22 a.m. Just asked a stranger what time it is. 2.6 miles left to go. Don’t know if I can do it.
10:25 a.m. An annoying 16 year old boy keeps passing me. He is breathing very heavily and chanting to himself. Can’t people suffer in silence?!
10:39 a.m. One more mile left to go. Longest mile of my life.
10:50 a.m. Crossed the finish line. The clock said 3:48:blah, blah, blah. 3 minutes shy of Boston qualification. Shouldn’t have eaten the orange. Shouldn’t have used the porta potty. Probably have Toxic Shock Syndrome. Please remind me never to do this again.
11:15 a.m. Laying on grass looking at the beautiful blue sky. Feel sick to my stomach. Can feel blisters on my feet.
11:30 a.m. Pick up my duffel bag. Limp back to the car. It’s still there!
12:00 (Noon) Call Aaron to tell him about race.
12:30 p.m. Making plans for a marathon in April. I know . . . I know . . . I know . . .