Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Are you there Silver State? It's me, Margaret.

By: Maggie

So I ran another 50km this weekend. I guess that makes this a race report.

I was so, so, so pumped after the Woodside 50km in December - I couldn't wait to sign up for my next race in 2014. Then BAM, the first week of spring semester, I got clotheslined off my roadbike commuting home from school. I had a bad concussion. There was no bleeding in my brain after 4 weeks, but running (and reading and staying awake) was really challenging. Oh yeah, and there was law school. I learned a lot (mostly about lawyers). It was a rough semester. To lose the familiarity of your own mind is disconcerting - every day felt like a battle to re-find myself.

Saint Jack!
Unlike my first 50km, this weekend at the Silver State 50/50 I felt only apprehension and anxiety before the race. It felt like going into a piano recital, thinking I hadn't practiced enough, unfamiliar with the music. Stephen's race started an hour earlier, so I had 60 minutes to sit and think about how unprepared I was and how difficult the course would be. I thought about just driving home.

I pushed the lump in my throat down to my feet. I jogged across the start line- thinking, 'well this is going to be a shit show.' I started into a trot and after a couple miles was leapfrogging with a few other runners.

Three generations of family!
Then, I was surprised. I was surprised again 10 miles later, and then for over 7 hours throughout the sage-covered, desert course. I met an ULTRA ultra-runner: Jack Meyer. I'm not sure if it was my lame Girlscout joke (on my honor, I won't get us lost out here!) or if I was looking especially forlorn, but Jack saw me up the first Peavine summit, then down, back around Dog Valley... then back up (when I was feeling yuck - as a native Nevadan, I'd never admit altitude sickness) and back down another 11 miles to the finish. He had great stories, great advice, a great outlook, and was a great friend for 31 miles. There was no judgment that I hadn't trained enough or was too slow or was too snotty-nosed because of all of the rabbitbrush pollen. I finished with a smile on my face.

Made it to the finish!

My legs physically carried me 31 miles. But Silver State happened because of heart. I had nearly lost my heart - I was feeling discouraged, disillusioned. Silver State brought together people from my past, my friends and family, and brought new friends into my life. It restarted my heart.

Driving home on Sunday, looking into the sunset, I was overcome with emotion.

Find the flame inside your heart, and keep it lit.


  1. Maggie, you did great! You finished, which is awe-inspiring. You basically did the "divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” You SO ran with your heart!! :-)

  2. I didn't know about your concussion, Maggie. So sorry to hear about that. My younger brother and two of my best friends in grad school all suffered concussions after bike accidents. It is an awful thing to go through. I'm glad that you are feeling better and enjoying being out on the trail again. (And what a trail! 50 km with 5000 feet of elevation gain... DAMN!)

  3. Thanks, Phyllis :)
    Hope to get out to a TC training soon and to read about your adventures on your blog!!

  4. Love you, sweetie--and as always, so proud of who you are.