Welcome to April's blog.

I’d like to begin this month’s missive by skipping the niceties and making a bold statement. Ready? I am not fast. I don’t mean that in the “easy” sense of the word, but as it pertains to running. Perhaps I should rephrase. I am not a fast runner. There are several reasons for this. I have pancake-flat feet, a decidedly funny gait and no matter how hard I try to sprint, it’s the exact same speed as when I don’t. So, I’ve chosen not to – sprint that is -- and instead opted for a type of running in which speed is secondary to finishing. I'm talking, of course, about ultra-marathonning.

As you can imagine, most people (most normal people, anyway) think this is a crazy hobby – as evidenced by the fact that the most common question is:  “What is wrong with you?” I usually shrug because if you know me at all, the answer is fairly obvious. The second question is, “Don’t you get bored?” Again, if you know me, the answer to that is fairly obvious as well. Life inside my head is interesting on the best of days. But if I have a killer playlist and nothing to do for eight or nine hours but think, I’m pretty well set. Case in point:  last Sunday’s Brew to Brew.

For those of you who haven’t had to endure my endless Facebook postings, Brew to Brew is a 44-mile run from Boulevard Brewery in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to Free State Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas. Participants can either do it solo or put together a team and have a different person run each of the 10 legs. It’s a meandering run that starts with a beer at the brewery, weaves through the industrial area of KC, along the Kansas River, through little towns and finally through scenic farmland and country back roads until linking up with the levee trails outside of Lawrence where, when you’re finished, you have a beer. Or eight.

In anticipation of this blog, I decided to be all high-techy and use the voice memo feature of my ipod to note my thoughts/observations/mood at various points of the run. So, without any further ado, lace up your sneakers and get ready for a virtual ultra as experienced through the mind of Sandra Moran. Please note, these are unedited notes and were spoken in the heat of the moment. I apologize in advance for my occasional potty mouth.

Ready? Set? Go!

  • (Someplace within the first mile) "Just saw a guy on the bridge. I thought I'd say 'hi' -- you know, make him smile. Can you believe the jerkwad flipped me off. Who does that? Seriously."
  • (Mile 2) "Why is it that no matter how many times I go to the bathroom before the race, I always have to go within 15 minutes of starting out? That’s all I can think about – that and I shouldn’t have had that beer."
  • (Mile 3) " I wonder what the cowboys would have thought of our going out and purposely running for exercise. We're not even being chased by a posse. And what kind of arch support would there be in cowboy boots?"
  • (Mile 4) "I still have to go to the bathroom. Maybe I could sneak behind something. But that would mean going in the trees. Yeah … no."
  • (Mile 5ish) "Did I close the garage door? I should have Lauri text Cheryl."
  • (Mile 7) "Note to self:  Songs from Yentl are not good to run to."
  • (Mile 8) "I just realized that if I were invisible, I could rob banks. Well, I could break into banks. But they would see the money moving. There would have to be invisible money, too. But then I couldn't spend it."
  • (Mile 10) "$#&^! I forgot to feed Spencer … I should have Lauri text Cheryl."
  • (Mile 10.5) "I like blowing past the guys – I wonder if they resent me? Does that make me sexist? God I hope not."
  • (Mile 14) "So, what’s up with all the tampon applicators on the side of the road? Who does that while driving? I mean, really, how is that even possible?"
  • (Mile 20) "That Michael Jackson may have been a creepy man-child pedophile, but damn did he record some catchy songs!"
  • (Mile 22)  "How can I be sweating so much and still have to go to the bathroom? I wonder if my urine could be reabsorbed into sweat? Would it smell like urine then? Urine sweat? I should Google this later. I should have Lauri text Cheryl to Google it for me."
  • (Mile 23) "I wonder if they make compression socks that look like old-school tube socks? If not, they should. Or maybe I should. I should remember this. This could be like the the Slinky, but with socks."
  • (Mile 25)  "I think I have a hot spot on my ring toe. I should check it at the next stop. Wait, is that what you call it? A ring toe? Why does only the big and little toe have a name?"
  • (Mile 26) "Always hover in the Porta Potty. Always."
  • (Mile 26.5) "I hate bananas. Seriously, who was the first person to see one and say, 'I must eat that?'"
  • (Mile 26.75)" I am so sick of these shirt sleeves. They’re making me angry."
  • (Mile 29)  "Oh, William Shatner, you’ve made a career of being a bad actor. Still, I love your spoken “music.” What does that say about me?"
  • (Mile 30) "If these shirt sleeves don’t stay up, I’m going to cut them off. Maybe the aid station has a knife. Or scissors. Maybe they have scissors. That would make more sense. If they have a knife, I should worry."
  • (Mile 31) "Why do they call it sherbet? And why do we give it an extra “r”? Sher-bert. And, why don’t we pronounce the “p” in raspberry?"
  • (Mile 32) "Video did, indeed, kill the radio star. Shit, I forgot to ask about the knife. I mean, scissors. Stupid sleeves!"
  • (Mile 33) "I hate the gravel. Seriously, why did they have to lay fresh gravel? It's making me angry. I may turn green and rip stuff up. Maybe I would rip off these stupid shirt sleeves, though."
  • (Mile 34) "Shirt sleeves are gone. I ripped the seams with my teeth. I’m the Honey Badger. Don’t mess with me. I will bite you."
  • (Mile 36) "Nutella!!! Yum! Okay, so seriously, that was like, the best stop ever. I bet I could eat an entire jar of Nutella. I wonder how many calories that would be? Probably lots. I wonder how many calories I’ll burn today?"
  • (Mile 37) "Just realized I haven’t gone to the bathroom in about four stops. Maybe my urine had been absorbed. God, I hope I don’t smell like urine."
  • (Who the #@$ knows the mileage) "My feet hurt. My knee hurts. My back hurts. (Deep sigh) I need to be positive. I should focus on what doesn't hurt. My hair doesn’t hurt. That’s good right? Because if my hair hurt … that would be bad. My hair doesn’t hurt."
  • (Mile 40) "I must be in Hell if Neil Diamond gives me a boost. Still ... "Sweet Caroline ... Bum Bum Bummmmm. Good times never felt so good!”" (Blogger’s Note: This was sung. Sort of. It was kind of a crazy singing/crying thing. It really depends on your definition of “singing.”)
  • (Mile 43)  "Almost done so this is the last note. I feel like I should end this with something deep – something meaningful that will sum up this experience. But really all that comes to mind is that I can't stop thinking about urine sweat. I really need to Google this."

And there it is. The brilliance, the insight, the deeper meaning of life that reveals itself once you've pushed your body harder than you thought you could.

So what did we learn? Honestly, and for once I'm being serious, I think what it boils down to is that it's not how fast you go (or even how far you go.) it's clearly all about the journey. That's as deep as I get. So, until next month, Moran ... out.