Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This Is Life: Day 12,638

Memorial Day weekend was 5 tons of awesome stuffed into a 3 day sack. I ate cake and watched 100: Head/Heart/Feet at Running Inside Out's birthday party, ran at Whiting Rd with Sheila (while Eric fat biked/cleared the porta potty of snakes), went SUPing with Alison, saw The May Queen at Geva and ate Pi Craft pizza with Erica, ran at Tryon with Alison and Bob (where we met a Party Poodle), went to the Brighton farmer's market, and ate my weight in chocolate peanut butter brownies at Amber and Greg's Cayuga sendoff party and strawberry shortcake/poundcake at Chris' BBQ (as I read this back, I am thinking I should probably have dessert remorse. Apparently I am tapering by eating all the sugar everywhere. But dessert is delicious. And I regret nothing!).

Monday morning, Facebook reminded me that last year on this day Pete and I got engaged. And then I started crying and couldn't stop. (They were probably taper tears, since I only ran 10 miles on Saturday instead of like 20). I just kept thinking about how lucky I am. That out of all the trailheads in all the world, we happened to meet at the same one at the same time. That so much of my life has been changed by simply running next to people, saying hi, trading stories and then becoming the best of adventure friends, living together and/or getting married. That here I am, just an ordinary carbon based lifeform, somehow living this ridiculously privileged Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory life.

I suddenly felt very sad. That Pete is not here to share in all my adventures this year. But more so because I kept thinking what if I had never met him, or all of you? That would be true sadness. Because then I never would have figured it out. The whole point of everything:

Be Alive. Together.

Be alive. Use your aliveness up. All of it. Go places, do things, meet people. Be kind. Be silly. Be awesome. Be together. Through happy times and sad times, successes and failures, support and encourage each other. Make each other's lives better.

Why else are we here if not for that?

Lyric of the moment: "The joy is not the same without the pain..." ~Badly Drawn Boy "Something to Talk About" (I feel like this is the most accurate explanation of long distance running. And life).

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Things that are awesome Thursday

I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't fall back sleep, so I just laid in bed thinking about how lucky I am. I mean, when I was a kid I had my very own monkey bars that my dad built in our backyard. And things have only gotten more awesome in the subsequent decades. So I thought maybe I should keep a (semi) weekly list of all this awesome sauce. That way, when I have sad moments or feel like I am suffering from a severe hug shortage this year, I can look back at these lists and they will be like little word hugs. Or something. Anyway, on to this week's list of awesomeness:

  • On my run this morning I saw a fox (real!) and a giraffe (statue). But more awesomely, I discovered that there is a place that sells ice cream right around the corner from my house! I love this neighborhood!

  • My dad came up from Florida for a few days and we did father-daughter things like yard work, watching the X-Files, eating Abbott's and going to Food Truck Rodeo. (But man, weeding is the worst. It makes me feel like I am the Genghis Khan of my yard, massacring all the ugly plants and saving the cute ones. Because pulling a weed out by the roots is weirdly and perversely satisfying. And then I feel like a terrible plant murderer.)

  • At 5am Fit1, G and I climbed on all the tall things at Manhattan Square Park and it was the best ever! New goal: turn everyone into my partners in climbs! Mwahahaha!

  • Pete sends me messages like "Is it ok if I take $10K from our account and put it in an index fund?" and "803 credit score. It's not a competition ;-)" Which is hotness on par with that scene in Captain America Civil War where Chris Evans and his jacked up biceps are tossing a helicopter around.

  • I bought myself a ticket to Mike Doughty's Living Room Show. Because Mike Doughty! Question Jar! I have been wanting to go to one of these ever since I learned of their existence!

  • I am having dreams that everything will hurt and I will die at the Cayuga Marathon next Saturday. But at least it will be a happy death surrounded by waterfalls. Plus, I will get out of running Candlelight in July! And if by some miracle I don't die, then I will go to the Ithaca Bakery and drink a delicious coffee peanut butter milkshake of awesomeness. Win.

Lyric of the moment: "The distance is quite simply much too far for me to row. It seems farther than ever before, oh no. I need you so much closer..." ~Death Cab For Cutie "Transatlanticism"

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hills at dawn, loops at dusk

Thursday morning, I went to Cobb's Hill to join Greg's 5:30am hill workout. Earlier in the week I'd done Fit1, stair climbing and two spin classes, all to build up a bit of physical and mental fatigue before my 3 hour run Thursday night. So far in my Candlelight 12 hour training, I've romped through the woods from 3:00-6:00am and 12:00-3:00am, so now it was time for an 8:00-11:00pm run. On July 23rd I'll have to put them all together and run from 7:00pm-7:00am but that is way too daunting a prospect, so I've been breaking it up into three hour chunks. I can run for 3 hours. I have no idea how I'm going to run for 12 hours. I've never done anything for 12 straight hours, not even sleep.

So I did a few hill repeats at Cobb's Hill on Thursday morning under a beautiful dawn sky, for a total distance of about 5 miles. After working all day, I was yawning and thought about taking a nap but decided against it. I wanted to go into this run feeling tired because that's how I'm going to feel during the race. Laura, Alison and Bob came over and we ran to Corbett's Glen at 8pm. There's a nice two mile trail loop that we repeated as the sky grew darker and the trains thundered past. We ran for 3 hours and about 14.5 miles under a nearly full moon, encountering 6 trains, 2 potheads, far too many spiderwebs, several texts from Jeff on the AT, and 1 Jeff McB, but luckily no werewolves.

Infinity of thanks to Alison, Laura and Bob for always being up for adventure, day and night. And to Jeff McB for pointing out all the trail offshoots and especially the gnome garden (There's a tree hollow at Corbett's Glen that has tiny gnome figurines in it! How awesome is that?).

Night views, werewolf free
Going into the run I felt tired, but once I started moving I was suddenly wide awake, high on endorphins and excellent company. I've always been more early bird than night owl, but surprisingly I'm really enjoying all this nighttime running. The darkness is a bit disorienting, creating a dreamlike atmosphere where anything seems possible. (Now if only I could train some bats to hold flashlights and fly above me so I wouldn't have to wear a headlamp.)

As we got loopy into the night, I was thinking about why I signed up for this crazy race. The short answer is: to see if I can do it.

The long answer is:
Because the hard things are the most worth doing.
Because I need something to keep me busy and happy and distract me from missing Pete.
Because I don't know what's going to happen, but I know there is one surefire way to ensure that you spend the rest of your life with someone awesome. And that is to be that person yourself.
Because I am drawn to adventure like Cookie Monster to a snickerdoodle.
Because I'm my happiest, best, most Jen-uine self when I'm running.
Because we were made to run wild into the night.

Lyric of the moment: "I spend a lot of nights on the run. And I think, Oh, like I'm lost and can't be found. I'm just waiting for my day to come And I think, Oh, cause I don't wanna let you down. But something inside has changed, and maybe we don't wanna stay the same...And I don't want a never-ending life, I just want to be alive while I'm here..." ~The Strumbellas "Spirits"

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Thom B Trail Run 26K

This was my first time running the Thom B Trail Runs, which take place in Hammond Hill State Forest on the Finger Lakes and DEC trails. When I signed up last week, I didn't know anything about the race. But they had me at Ithaca. Because any trip there includes a stop at the Ithaca Bakery, which is the destination for deliciousness.

On Saturday morning, Bob, Alison, Steven, Mark, Todd and I piled into Fun Gus and headed out, arriving at the starting area (Camp Earth Connection) around 9am. After picking up our race bibs, Steven and I did a one mile warm-up, then we all lined up for the 10am start.

The course is a 13K loop, mostly single track, somewhat technical but very runable. There are 13K, 26K and 52K distance options. At the start, I wished I had registered for the 13K instead of the 26K. I had been sleeping A LOT all week, my body still recuperating from last weekend's shenanigans. But I figured this race would be good practice for Cayuga. And I could use more technical terrain and upness in my life, as I'm not very good at either.

The forecast had called for thunderstorms on Saturday, so it seemed like this would be a race against the weather more than the clock. I didn't care about my time, I just wanted to finish before the rains came. Lucky for us, the sun was out when we started and it was just about 60 degrees, perfect running weather. I was a little worried that it would be muddy, but it wasn't bad at all. The trails were really nice, especially the pine covered parts. Some of the uphills were deceptively long and gradual, but there were some nice downhills too. The start was a long uphill, but thankfully the finish was downhill.

The first loop went by fairly quickly. I just followed Alison the whole way. It was a little congested at the start, which I don't like but can usually tolerate. Today, though, I was just mentally tired and it started to irritate me. For a while we were running near this guy who was talking very loudly to his friend about some guy named Carl. Carl this and Carl that. Carl was great. Carl. Carl. Carl. I'm sure that Carl, whoever he is, really is great. But I was glad when the guy finally passed us and I didn't have to hear about him anymore. Sorry, Carl. We finished the first loop in about 1 hour 22 minutes by my watch. When we saw Steven cheering for us, after he totally crushed the 13K, I wished that I got to stop too. Well, only a little. I was feeling pretty good going out for the second loop, though my legs were starting to feel the cumulative effect of the hills.

Photo by Delana Spaulding

The trails were also harder/rockier than I'm used to I guess. The bottom of my left foot started to hurt a few miles into the second loop; it felt like there was a golf ball lodged under the ball of my foot. So that was not cool, but I just tried to ignore it. Some runs feel great, some runs feel less than great. But I've learned that if I let go of any judgments or expectations, I can just enjoy each run for what it is, a beautiful day in the woods, doing what I love with people I love. Even when there are aches and pains, even though I'll never be fast, I still get this feeling like this, this is what I'm made for, this is where I'm meant to be. I was, however, counting down the miles. 5 miles til bakery. 3 miles til bakery. 1 mile til bakery. Initially, time seemed to go faster on the second loop. And then much slower. I was just following the backs of Alison's calves and marveling at how good her hair looked. I'm sure mine was a sweaty mess. But finally we saw Steven cheering for us and we cruised downhill to the finish chute. I was very happy to stop running. And that there was still some chocolate milk left at the finish. We walked around a little, cheered on Bob as he finished, then Mark and I "ran" (more like a shuffle, for me anyway) back to Gus. We got there just as it started to rain, but soon it cleared back up again.

It was now time for the main event: bakery! We made a brief stop at the Ithaca farmer's market, which was very Ithaca-y and adorable. Everything smelled really good, but I couldn't make a decision on what to eat, so I just held out for the bakery. It was an excellent choice. Mmm...breakfast sandwich and peanut butter smoothie.

Another awesome adventure and Fun Gus roadtrip. Though we may have to change his name to Murderous Gus after he ran afoul of the fowl. Sadly, on the drive home, a duck smashed into his windshield, then bounced over the hood and became roadkill. I was lucky (that I wasn't driving. I would have totally freaked out). The duck was not so lucky a ducky. Sucky. RIP little dude.

Other than the duck incident, it was a wonderful day. The race was well organized, the course was well marked and the trails were challenging and awesome. One of these days it will be my time and I'll end up dead as that duck. Until then I'm going to live it up to the max, rain or shine, uphill or down, a sandwich in one hand and a PB smoothie in the other. 

Lyric of the moment: "And when we're bored we play in the woods. Always on the run from Captain Hook. Run, run, lost boy, they say to me, away from all of reality. Neverland is home to lost boys like me. And lost boys like me are free..." ~Ruth B "Lost Boy" (Because it was playing on repeat in my brain for the last few miles, distracting me from my sore feet)

Monday, May 9, 2016

This Is Marriage: Day 246

This is turning out to be both easier and harder than I was expecting. Easier in that I don't feel lonely and most of the time I don't feel sad. When I do cry, it's out of happiness as much as sadness, this strange juxtaposition of missing Pete so much that it's almost unbearable and this sense of overwhelming gratitude for being lucky enough to know him and all the other wonderful people in my life. In a weird way, I find there is comfort in missing someone so acutely. Some people leave and their absence goes unnoticed, some people leave and it's almost a relief that they're gone. But some people become such an important part of my life that their absence is haunting, like a giant phantom limb.

And harder in that it feels like there are three people in this marriage and one of them, let's call him "Navy," is purposely making things inconvenient and weird. It is so weird to be 6,000+ miles away from the person who knows me the best and touches me the most. No one holds my hand or hugs me when I come home or tickles me/beeps the horn when I'm trying to drive. It is so weird that yesterday was the first time I've seen Pete's face in weeks and that our Skype video chats are monitored. I mean, I understand why they do it I guess. But I have no interest in knowing any secret information. (Well, except if that secret information pertains to where cookies are located). I just want to see my husband's face and hear his laugh and know that he is ok. And I don't mean ok as in safe. I'm not worried about that. He is in a very safe location. And safety is largely an illusion anyway. Anything could happen to any one of us at any time. I mean ok as in happy, healthy, not exhausted or stressed out. He works long hours with no weekends and sleeps on a bunk bed in a room with 5 other people. When we talk, he forgets what day it is because every day is like Monday for him.

And I don't know what to do about any of that. So I send him packages and pictures and write him funny emails like this:

I miss you more than there are stars in the sky
More than the number of pirates with one eye
I miss you more than all the times that stupid FBI agent gets kidnapped on Blacklist
More than all the things Chuck Norris has punched with his fists
I miss you all the days that end in y
And I will love you all the days until I die

I will see you again in 210 days! It seems like a lot right now but it's less time than...
*The time between when Bill Clinton said "I did not have sex with that woman" until he admitted that he did have sex with Monica (211 days)
*The amount of time it takes to get divorced, on average, in the US (365 days)
*Ghost Busters Cereal (apparently that was an actual food product for 5 years)
*The gestation period of an elephant (It takes 660 days to make a baby elephant!)

At first when you get deployed
You might be a little annoyed
The hours are long
Ain't no action for your shlong
But when you're home I'm overjoyed

I doubt that terrible limericks can make anything better, but Pete says he likes them and they make him laugh. And sometimes that's enough.

Marriage is harder and easier and ever more awesome that I could have imagined.  

Lyric of the moment: "Since we met I feel a lightness in my step. You're miles away but I still feel you. Anywhere I go there you are, anywhere I go there you are...You're the fire and the flood. And I'll always feel you in my blood. Everything is fine when your head's resting next to mine..." ~Vance Joy "Fire and the Flood"

Sunday, May 8, 2016

5 parks, 32 miles: Adventuring from midnight to afternoon

Sometimes you wake up and think well, this is either a very good idea or a very bad idea. And that's how you know it's going to be an epic day. Especially when that party starts at midnight. At 00:00 on Saturday, Alison, Bob, Todd, Mark and Dave came over and we ran 14.5 miles, through Corbett's Glen, Ellison, Tryon and Lucien Morin Parks. The temperature was in the 50s and I was a little warm in my long sleeve shirt, until it started raining, and then I was the perfect temperature. I had taken a nap after work Friday night, but I was too restless from excitement and nervousness to get much quality sleep. Yet my legs felt good and I was surprisingly awake throughout the whole 3 hours of our run. (Awake but evidently not very observant. On Saturday night, we were talking about the run and Bob mentioned a campfire that we'd run past and I totally have no memory of seeing that).

 There is a certain kind of magic in the woods at night. There was a red tinge to the sky, the trails were quiet save for our trail stories and laughter, and we were literally playing leapfrog (apparently all the frogs hang out in Ellison at night!). We ran by McGreggor's just before 2:00 and Alison and I stopped in for last call to use the bathroom. We got back to my house around 3:30 and ate oatmeal/quinoa and bagels for breakfast. It was a crazy excellent adventure, totally worth the missed sleep. I am so lucky to have awesome friends who are willing to come play in the woods at all hours of the night.

Everyone left my house around 4:00 and I got ready for second adventures. Last week I had decided on planning the 3 hour midnight run for Saturday, then I found out that Sheila was organizing a long run at Letchworth at 7:30 on the same day. Last year's run was so much fun that I knew I had to join in on this one too. I thought I would be too tired to run the full 20 miles she was planning (I think she ended up running even more than 20 because she is super badass like that). But I wanted to join in on the fun for as long as my body would let me. So I took a coffee nap at 4:30 (this is a thing Mr. Internet told me about where you drink coffee then take a nap. It was as good as it sounds), then I drove to Letchworth to meet this awesome bunch:

Thanks to Chris O'Brien for the group shot!

We started running from the big chair/dam parking lot on the Mt. Morris side of the park, following the route for next year's Many on the Genny race, for which I am super excited. I don't know if I can run 40 miles, but if I can, I want to do it here! I still felt decently awake and nothing hurt, even as the miles (And the hills. So many hills!) piled on. I cannot even describe how awesome the trails and views are at Letchworth. And it's not an exaggeration to say that running in this park the past few years, and the relationships forged while doing so, have been totally life changing. 

When we got to mile 12 at St Helena, I was surprised by how good I still felt, especially once I refilled my water. My right calf had charlie horsed while climbing over a fallen tree, but it seemed fine once I drank more water and took a salt tab. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. From this point, we only had about 5-6 miles until the rafting parking lot where the group had left some cars, and considering I was already balls deep into this thing, I figured I might as well go all the way. Around mile 3 we had all been talking about how far we planned to run, I was thinking only 10 miles and Eric said "The Jen I know goes all the way." My adventure brain really wanted to. So I decided that if my body was up to it, go all the way I would. Besides, the second half of this run is my favorite part of the whole course, with all the waterfalls and stone stairs and breathtaking gorge views.

Todd is much better at selfies than I am

After St Helena, the group had gotten spaced out and somehow I ended up running by myself. My body felt remarkably good and I was totally in the zone, happily cruising along, walking the hills but running everything else  By this point, the trail is pretty straightforward, you just follow Trail 1 along the river. I've done it before, but I was starting to fatigue mentally and somehow I went the wrong way. I knew the trail I was on wasn't the right one, but it was awesome singletrack and I was still headed in the general direction of the cars, so I just went with it. My phone beeped and I saw that I had a voicemail from Pete (cell reception is spotty in the park so the phone had gone straight to voicemail). I listened to his message as I walked a hill. It was around 11:30 and he said he was going to try to Skype me at 12:00 so I wanted to finish running by then. I was talking to myself, or maybe out loud (the lack of sleep was catching up to me), trying to figure out a game plan for how to get back to the parking lot. For some reason, I randomly shouted "Hello?" at one point, but didn't hear anything in response. I kept following the trail and then suddenly Chris and Ron appeared coming up the side of a hill. What a sight for sore eyes/brain. We followed the trail, hopped over a fence, ran through the campsite and ended up back in the parking lot, where we hung out waiting for the others to join us. In total, we ended up with 18-19ish miles, making my total for the day at least 32. Pete called me and I got to talk to him briefly before the phone cut off from lack of signal.

Infinity of thanks to Sheila and Eric for planning the best adventures! And infinity of thanks to Chris for giving me coconut water, letting me use his chair, and giving Prem and I a ride back to our cars at the starting point. Which was conveniently located next to the visitors center/gift shop, where Prem, Chris, Sheriff Ron and I got ice cream. Let me tell you, that waffle cone with 2 scoops of Panda Paws really hit the spot. It was the perfect end to a morning of adventure.

I drove home, showered, took a nap, then went to Extreme Book Club at Bob's house to eat delicious make-your-own pizzas and cookies. Back at home, I fell into bed again, tired and happy. This is my life, a series of epic adventures and amazing people. I love it.

Lyric of the moment: "When my heart is ready to burst. When the world is spinning in reverse. I'll keep running. To the place where I belong...When the lights are faded to black. Only stars are guiding me back. I'll keep running. To the place where I belong..." ~James Bray "Running"

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Medved Madness 2016

I woke up early Sunday morning to the sound of rain. Hoping for the best, I ate some Sunny Six Grain toast with almond butter. Sadly, the bread, while delicious, did not make it any sunnier out. It had been a great weekend filled with adventures in eating Indian food, celebrating Baisakhi and attempting Bhangra dance at Tandoor of India with Prem and his family, Bob, Alison, Steven and Todd, and going to May Day Underground, Brainery Bazaar, the public market and packet pick-up with Alison. But then I looked out the window Sunday morning and I knew it was going to be a sloppy, wet, muddy mess of a race. I started to get nervous that I would be tired and slow or fall in the mud/horse shit. And then I thought, why am I nervous? It's just a race, it doesn't matter. And then I started to cry, because what actually matters to me is Pete and he is not here. I finally left the house after two false starts, where I had to go back in and wipe off the tears. But once I arrived at Hopkins Point and saw everyone, I was happy, not so much with the rain, but at least to be there. 

Steven and I did a warm-up mile, which brought some heat back into my body and convinced me that I'd be overheated in the windbreaker I'd been planning to wear. So I changed into a long sleeve t-shirt just before the start of the race. Mort made some announcements, Dan told us there was a bucket in the pond and we had to run through the water and around the bucket, or drink from the bucket, and then we were off to the start line. Thankfully, the rain had mostly stopped at this point and it was just a bit damp and chilly.

The course is three separate 5ish mile loops, marked with different colored flags since some of the loops overlap a bit. On the first loop, I told myself my mantra for this section was relax. Right from the start I could tell it was going to be a muddy day so there was no point in delaying the inevitable. I was behind some people who were hesitating on a muddy single track section, but I didn't want to hesitate, I just wanted to go. The Doors song popped into my head, "The time to hesitate is through. No time to wallow in the mire," as that was exactly how I felt. I passed a few of the cautious people and slogged on through the mud. When I came to the first road crossing, I heard my name and saw G and Jenn on their road run, with impeccable timing! I spent most of the race running by myself, but at times I could see Prem and Mark ahead of me so I'd try to catch up with them. Sometimes I did, but then inevitably they would pass me again. The water we had to run through at the end of this loop did nothing to clean the mud off my legs and sadly, there was just dirty water in the bucket, not chocolate milk like I was hoping. But I got a high five from Mort as I passed through the finish chute and headed out for loop two.

Loop two, I told myself the mantra for this segment was repeat. I was trying to actually do a "race pace" and it felt good, I just had to keep it up. But repeat soon morphed into re-Pete. Which made me tear up. So I put my hand on my chest, over the dog tags I was wearing under my shirt, thought I love you Pete, and then the mantra became refocus. My plan was to run every hill and only stop to walk once I got to Cardiac Hill at the end (because I need more hill work, as I feel woefully underprepared for Cayuga marathon next month). This was all going well until about mile 9, when running the hills stared to seem like a terrible idea. I would catch up to Prem on every uphill and then he would take off again on every downhill or flat. The mantra devolved into release, wherein I would release an internal monologue of profanity to fire me up each hill (*edited for content: Freaking lawmower not freaking starting yesterday, freaking Navy being a freaking cockblocker for 7 freaking months).

The third loop was more of the same, only longer. Mud. Chasing Prem and Mark. Internal swearing powering me to run up all the hills. But I still felt good. I was going at a challenging yet mostly comfortable pace. My leg game was strong. My head game, while a bit shaky pre-race, was back on point. My stomach game, however, was about to go off the rails. In the last few miles, the mantra further devolved into don't regurgitate. Thankfully, I did not. I caught up to Steven, which never happens, so I knew something was wrong. He did not look well and told me he'd run out of gas, so I gave him a nut bar from my pack and asked if he needed water or salt tabs. He said he had both, so I kept going. For what felt like forever, but was actually less than 4 miles. Mort is awesome, but his loop is kinda the worst. It felt interminable, so much so that when I finally got to Cardiac Hill, I was overjoyed. Because I could finally take a walk break, and I knew the course was practically all downhill afterwards. Also, Alison was with me at this point, which motivated me to try and keep up with her to the finish, where we got simultaneous high fives from Mort.

Alison, Chris and I walked the course backwards to find Steven and make sure he was okay. He still looked pale and in pretty bad shape, but he finished like the total badass that he is. I went back out to cheer for Stacey and Laura, who are totally kicking ass at running all the miles this year. Valerie, who is like the fairy godmother of finish lines, gave me a chocolate peanut butter brownie, which was of course, the best ever. I went back to the lodge, changed into dry clothes and enjoyed the trifecta of awesomeness: friends, food and fireplace. Stomach game continued to be kinda iffy, which was annoying. But I did finish about two minutes faster than last year, so I can't complain.

This is one of those races that I will end up doing almost every year. Because it's just awesome. Even though by the end I totally understood why people use the term "out of the woods" to describe someone who has made it through a trying ordeal. I'm kidding. The woods are the best. Though coming out of the woods to food (but seriously, that veggie rice, that ish was so good! I could see that it had mushrooms in it and I ate it anyway, it was that good), shelter and 10th anniversary race cake is pretty sweet too.

Lyric of the moment: "So when you're caught in a landslide, I'll be there for you, I'll be there for you. And in the rain, give you sunshine. I'll be there for you, I'll be there for you. And every time that you're lonely, every time that you're feeling low, you should know, I'll be there for you, I'll be there for you, you know..." ~Oh Wonder "Landslide" (This is becoming the theme song of every race. Because apparently there is no escaping the mud ever.)