It's night in the desert. I'm alone on my platform in the back of my truck. Flood lights have desaturated the visible scene. Generators muffle the hustling around the parking lot. I'm in the wrong spot, but I'm too tired to figure out where I'm supposed to be parked. I sip from my water bottle, turn on my stomach and stare out the open hatch. My awareness bounces between fresh memories driving through the Great Basin and the pack of coyotes in the distance. There are no thoughts on tomorrow.
* * *
I begin to stir at 5am. The two day drive from Seattle to Phoenix has compounded a week of insomnia. Nothing is unpacked. Aside from "in the truck", I'm not sure where anything is.
Pack. Umbrella. Shirts. Shorts. Bottles. Shoes. Okay run for it.
The race starts at 6am, and drop bags for Jackass are due at 5:45. It's 5:27, and I've got a quarter mile walk to Javelina Jeadquarters.
Suddenly, there's avoice of an older woman. "Hey are you dropping a bag?"
"Yes!" I reply, spinning around to find her, "But do I need my name on it?"
"What's your number?" she asked.
* * *
I'm deep in the conga line before I can internalize the full distance. It's cute that people are trying to be responsible and walk the uphills, but it's also brisk and I opted out of sleeves or a jacket. Despite the traffic, the first loop ran fast. The first four miles where forgettable, and I wasn't even through half my bottle. The vertical that would stymie my quads much later that night went completely unnoticed underfoot. The remainder of the first 11 miles was spend rapping with a fellow Cascadian participant. Apparently, I had let the Captain out, and so he brought with him our jersey.
It wasn't until Rattlesnake that I filled up my extra soft flask and double fisted it back to Jeadquarters. The bike jersey held on well and the back pockets were deep and extremely convient. The heat, however, was beginning to build.
* * *
I switched out the jersey, which landed up against my pile of gear. The Captain stayed with it. I looked at the neat dropboxes my European neighbors have brought, and the a Victory bag to the other side. My watch said 10:07. I was ahead of schedule. I felt worked for only 21 miles. It was a stiff start. It occured to me that I should have done a shakeout run.
I grabbed some sugar blocks, an Epic bison bar and crammed aid station snacks into my mouth. I wasn't eating enough. I wasn't even keeping track of the time. I threw back an S!Cap and took off on loop two. The hot loop.
* * *
I don't remember much about the second lap. I remember the heat being draining rather than an emergency. I remember forgetting my trekking umbrella. I remember meeting up with Ana and talking through most of the back half. I also remember needing at least fifteen minutes to regroup in the shade at Jeadquarters. Forty miles in, but sixty to go. Two thoughts were moving around in my head uncontrollably. The first was how unpredictable Hundos could be. The second was the word RHABDO. So I drank a lot of water.