1. Crying in the bathtub. 2. Shopping so good it could change your life.

It was much colder in Jackson, but for some reason I’ve been freezing here in Santa Fe. Every time I return from a run, it’s all I can do to hold off until I’m inside the front door to rip the wet running clothes off. I sit huddled in a towel waiting for the water to rise to a high-enough-not-to-make-me-even-colder level. And today, during this shivering process, I started reading an article in TrailRunner magazine about a veteran runner and new mother’s first attempt at a 100-miler. Not just any 100-miler, though that would be enough. No, this woman choose to make her first 100-mile attempt at Leadville.

Almost an hour later, I was warm and wrinkly and sobbing. I’m a crier, so there’s that. But I’m even more of a crier when things strike the chord of something already taut and vibrating inside me, and running is exactly one of those things. Reading about the author’s battle to cross the Leadville 100 finish line, I felt like I was listening to a sister tell me about the hardest, most painful, most important day of her life. Like listening to my friend Carol tell me the story of giving birth, naturally, to her children.

One day I want to run a 50 mile race. That’s the goal. I can’t even imagine doing 100 miles. I’m just starting to believe 26.2 is going to be completely within my reach. But every step of this writer’s 100 mile race felt like ones I’ve already taken, most of them were during those first few months of running, when I could hardly manage THREE miles, when my life and all the things I had imagined for it were slipping off in the other direction, and so all I could do was insist on the very concrete metaphor of putting one foot in front of the other. Running really did save me. That’s what I said, aloud, in the bathtub. As I cried.

I’m telling you all this because I want you to know why I spend so much time training. Why Dec. 11 is going to be a huge day for me. And you should also be aware of how crazy I am. It’s only fair.

Anyway, it was a GOOD cry, not a bad one, and it was PRECEDED by a wonderful, decadent breakfast: a pumpkin waffle with spiced apples, cinnamon butter and the world’s greatest turkey sausage. So don’t feel bad for me.

This was at Santa Fe’s famed Harry’s Roadhouse, where I went after some pretty grueling speedwork. That’s right, I inflicted my sweaty, smelly self on yet another restaurant of people. I needed coffee right away. I have no other excuse. And they were very nice. The coffee was good, too, just so you know. We all know how important that is. To me.

Also, a quick little aside, though it seems like a much bigger deal in my title, I went wandering around the infinite shopping mecca Jackalope a couple of days ago. I thought you should know. It’s a pretty interesting place. I didn’t buy anything. I didn’t even see half of it, partly due to the fact that a good deal of the place is outdoors. And I was cold. As I have mentioned. But it was a good way to while away a few afternoon hours, and the people who worked there were the best part. Warm, friendly, kind. It’s not like we became instant and permanent compadres, but still. It was exactly what I needed. Cool stuff, too, if you have a house to furnish and money to spend. So, for those of you who do …

A few pictures from an afternoon of trying to keep myself busy at Jackalope:

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