I knew Wade had signed up for the Salt Lake City half marathon several months ago and I don't like to be left out of anything so when I realized the Saturday race was approaching, I signed up on a whim last Tuesday.

It was actually pretty good timing. The half marathon would be exactly two weeks before the half Ironman and I had planned to run that distance on Saturday anyway so I thought I might as well do it in front of thousands of spectators so everyone could enjoy my hair.

Sometimes I feel selfish when I don't go out in public. I mean, did Michelangelo keep the Sistine Chapel in his basement? Not that the Sistine Chapel and my hair are a fair comparison. But all of that painting is still pretty impressive.

The race was phenomenal. Several Strangers cheered for me by name as I ran by, which was beyond exciting for me. Unless they weren't Strangers and they were actually just saying words that sounded like my name and I assumed they were cheering for me. Or maybe they weren't even cheering for me. Maybe they were mad at me and trying to tell me off and I just ran on by and didn't even stop to listen. This is actually very possible. They were yelling, after all.

Well, I'll just assume it was Strangers and that they were cheering. And to those of you who did, THANK YOU for telling me how good my hair looked as I went by because we all know that that's all that matters. (Oh, and hi Knoll from the starting line! How did your race turn out? Knoll? Niles? I suddenly don't feel like I'm remembering your name correctly. Maybe it was Burt. Or Moses. Harry Potter? I know a lot of names and right now they are not helping.)

The race went well. I came in at 1:24:48, a few minutes faster than I expected, and in 29th place out of 3,118. This came out to a 6:29 average mile pace, which has been the perfect confidence boost two weeks before the half Ironman. Hashtag brag. Hashtag but it's a humble brag because I said it in a meek voice. Hashtag "what? These old things?!" [flexes biceps]


One of those six women started running next to me at about mile three.

Eli: Oh my gosh. There are only like two other women up there. You are SO going to win.

Woman: Actually there are four other women up there.

Eli: Do you hate them?

Woman: Huh? No. Why would I hate them?

Eli: Because they're beating you right now.

Woman: There are like twenty men beating you right now. Do you hate them?

Eli: Yes.

Woman: Well then.

Eli: I like to imagine that you have this major rivalry with those other women up there because Sandra stole your boyfriend or something equally atrocious and now you are going to seek your revenge by beating her in this race. IN FRONT of the boyfriend.

Woman: Who's Sandra?

Eli: That's the name I gave for the woman up at the very front.

Woman: You are strange person.


Then she got really far ahead of me and I never saw her again. Well, until after I crossed the finish line and started wandering around the post-race festivities.

Eli: Hey! How did the race go?!

Woman: Fine. I beat the proverbial Sandra.

Eli: Nice work! Which one was the proverbial Sandra? [Eli looks around enthusiastically]

Woman: You.

Well played, Woman. Well played.

~It Just Gets Stranger