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November 17, 2003

when i woke up on saturday i knew there was no way i could run a half marathon the following day. i was still running a fever and coughing and all i wanted to do was lie in bed forever. so sad and frustrating, i have been working towards this run for six months. but i told heather no, i said i can't do it, there is no possible way i can do it. because there wasn't.

but she gently convinced me to go on the trip anyway, just ride along down to carmel and at least i would be there. at least i would get to see it and be somewhat part of it.

and at some point i know, i'm just going to try it. i'm just going to start it, at least. at least i can say i ran some of it. i knew i wouldn't be able to finish but i thought i would see how far i could get.

at the 5k distance i thought okay, i'm done. i'm dying and i have no energy and i was crying because it was so hard. and i thought, when i get to the next aid station i will stop and i will get a ride to the finish. at the next aid station i thought well, maybe i will just go to the next aid station. and when i got there i thought, okay i will just get to the 10k mark...that will be quite an accomplishment, running a 10k while sick and feverish.

and at each planned stopping point i kept deciding to go a bit further and a bit further. just make it to the 9 10 miles. well damn, i'm at 10 miles, i can walk the last 3 if i need to.

so i finished. i was slow and i was crying and i didn't even see how beautiful the course was, i didn't notice anything or anyone around me. and i did it. and when i crossed the finish line there was heather and her mom and buzz and april and cara all there all screaming for me and cheering for me and that made me cry even more and inside the tears and sweat mixing together on my cheeks i felt like i won. but that's not quite right, because i actually didn't feel that until later. right when i finished i didn't feel anything at all, just that i couldn't stop crying, especially when heather came to me with her arms open and we hugged and i sobbed into her shirt and she said "oh, you're sweaty" and i thought "i know but just don't let go yet." and about half an hour later i felt like i woke up, i felt like coming off autopilot. and then i could feel the hurts and the exhaustion but also the ohmygod i did it. i cannot believe, i cannot fathom how i possibly found it inside me to do this.

now my lungs are all fucked up and three people have mentioned the word "pneumonia" and i am crossing fingers because my health insurance doesn't start until december 1. and one of my toes is covered all over with black blisters. and that can't be good.

but april said this: "from now on, whenever you think you cannot do something, you will remember this day."

and i will.