I have a memory burned into my brain that I can't get out.
It was around mile 45 of last year's Javelina Jundred, my first 100 mile race. I had gotten a second wind and was feeling good. So good, in fact that I started to push my pace. Just a little. I wasn't going all-out but I certainly wasn't conserving.
I was running with a group of guys and we sped past an older man and younger girl. The haunting sentence I heard him whisper to her was "Don't worry. The race hasn't even begun yet."
I thought that was crazy talk. Of course the race had begun! And by all means....if you have the energy, you should take advantage of it! Or so my amateur, inexperienced brain thought.
By mile 80 I understood what that man meant. By mile 80 the race really HAD begun. And I had wasted my running legs earlier in the race. Now I had nothing to give. Every cell of my body hurt worse than I ever imagined my body could hurt. My lack of conservation earlier in the race came back to bite me. Not just bite me - it came back and chewed me up then spit me out on the side of the trail.
This time I'm going to try to be smarter.
On Saturday when me and the Javelina Jundred meet again I'm going to be like "Hey, wassup." And Javelina is going to be like "Hey, I remember you! You're the one who ran fast in the middle and then walked at the speed of a filing cabinet for the last five hours." And I'll be like "Yea? What's it to you!" And Javelina will be like "You're mine sucka!" And I'll be like "Oh yea? I'll get you my pretty! And your little dog too!"
Or at least that's how I imagine our conversation going. Around mile 80. If (or when?) I start hallucinating and talking to the trail like it's my sassy next door neighbor.