Things got off to a rocky start here in New Orleans when I found myself huddled, a miserable shivering wreck, on the bathroom floor at 2 AM, cursing the room service club sandwich I’d ordered back when the contents of my stomach were still on the inside of my body. I truly thought I wasn’t going to be able to do the race, and I wept, piteously, into the bathmat.

I somehow managed to rally when my alarm went off a few hours later, until I poked around for my wallet and discovered it was MIA, at which point I fell into a deep terrified pit of despair, remembering the hellish nightmare when I lost my wallet in Austin last year and wondering just how in blue fuck I’d managed to repeat that kind of stupidity. I was on the verge of calling the local cab companies, thinking it must have fallen out of my backpack while I was en route to the hotel, when during one of my frenzied pacings around the room I literally stubbed my toe on it from where I’d apparently tossed it on the floor the night before.

Pro tip: if you’re thinking of running your first half marathon, I really, really don’t recommend an exhausting pukefest the night before, then a full blown panic attack the morning of. Just a little piece of advice from me to you.

I’m happy to report things improved after that, thank god. I walked to the starting area with Katie, Danielle, and Erin, and it was amazing to see so many people milling around—the race was much bigger than I’d imagined it. (I think something like 18,000 people ran today.) It took 45 minutes from the time the gun went off for our group to actually get to the official start, and I’ll know this for next time: there is plenty of time to visit the porta-potties.


The race itself was . . . man, I don’t even know how to describe it. It was wonderful, it was hard, it was fun, it was grueling. I loved running through such pretty streets, I loved all the fantastic people cheering us on. I felt okay until the last few miles, and the last mile in particular was a bitch. I tried to pick up my speed but I just couldn’t, I was running on fumes and the repeated mental mantra that it would all be over soon.

I didn’t stop, though, aside from a couple speedwalking breaks at the water stations once I realized I couldn’t run and drink from a cup at the same time.

My final time was 2:17, and I crossed the finish line exactly how I’d predicted: hurting, but so happy. Katie took my picture for me:


Riley will be glad to know that yes, Mommy did in fact get a medal. Never mind that everyone got one, okay?


As far as things I do recommend when it comes to preparing for a long race, I heartily endorse putting your name on your shirt, even if it makes you feel like a total cheesebag. Because people yelled “Go, Linda!” at me, and that. Was. Awesome.

After we’d taken a shuttle bus back and cleaned up a bit, a bunch of us went and had an astoundingly delicious meal at Acme Oyster House. I got to spend time with AB and Eliza, whom I haven’t seen since Journalcon in . . . what, 2003, or some such craziness. Oh, I was in such good company today.

Photo ganked from AB’s Twitter: me, AB, Erin, Alice, and Katie. Please note how everyone’s hair looks lovely while mine lurks, a matted rat’s nest of post-race horror, under a hat.

We ate until there wasn’t room for a single more bite, then we went and got beignets. My god. Heavenly.



I’m so wiped out (and, um, FULL) I plan to crawl into bed soon and sleep for at least 12 or so hours, then tomorrow I’m going to explore the city a bit. I’m feeling like eight million blistered dollars, my friends, and I cannot thank you enough for all the encouragement you’ve given me, here and on Twitter. It made a difference, it really did.

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you. So you know JB’s big fight last night, well, he knocked the guy right the fuck out in the first round. It was the best fight of the night, according to the folks watching. How about that?

If you missed the post I put up on Monday night and have been wondering just what the hell I was talking about yesterday, the gist of it is that I had a super shitty day at work, wrote about it, then reconsidered the wisdom of doing so. I don’t think the post itself held any objectionable content, but inviting discussion via comments was probably not a good idea.

When you believe you have been treated poorly, it is incredibly validating—and comforting—to have people agree with you. But there’s an inherent risk in painting a partial, biased picture when you involve other people, and it was almost certainly the wrong thing to do to invite criticism and outrage on my behalf.

(No matter how good it felt.)

Anyway, I’ve gone through a nearly pitch-perfect Kübler-Ross model of processing Monday’s bombshell, from weepy devastation to white-hot fury to a kind of wary acceptance. It’s funny, I was just thinking about the nature of impermanence and unpredictability and I’m now in a position to try and take my own advice: to let go of what has already happened (an enormous challenge at the moment, when I’m still feeling so much resentment) and move on. Start doing what it takes to move things forward in a positive way.

I feel like something unpleasant but necessary happened to me this week. I feel like I have a new perspective that includes the sincere belief that I am capable of better things and that is is my responsibility to seek out the future I want to have instead of waiting for it to happen to me.

Danny linked to this video today and I startled myself by bursting into overwhelmed, grateful tears while watching it.

Listen to the lyrics:

It’s not where you are
it’s where you’re going
It’s not about the things you’ve done
it’s what you’re doing now

Yes. Just: yes.

This is the weekend of my race, the goal I have been training for for so long, and I am convinced the timing has happened this way for a reason. When I run those miles I will be reminding myself with every step how hard I’ve worked and what I’m capable of when I try. When I cross that finish line my body will surely be hurting but my heart will be flying. I will know the truth of dreams becoming reality.

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