Friday evening. We had successfully finished our first leg of the relay. We were all smiles as we made our way to Taggart's, a tasty grill converted from an old gas station and bait shop hidden away in the canyon near Morgan. In the dining room, we joined many other runners and their appetites. I ordered the salmon and a cheesecake brownie to go, because at Taggart's, you can't not order dessert. The mouthwatering brownies, cheesecakes, tarts and cookies greet you in their pristine display case as you walk in the front door, so you're forced to think about them all through dinner.
After our meal, we grabbed our fresh clothes from the van and went back inside to change in the restroom. (We had considered stripping down in the parking lot, but then we noticed a couple of young boys sitting in their car with anticipation on their faces. We didn't want to be their first lady underwear experience, so we went inside.) There were only two w.c.'s in the restaurant: one for men, one for women. We six chicks stood outside the doors along with one tall, skinny guy. The woman before us exited the restroom, but because we were caught up in conversation, we didn't rush in after her. When we came to our senses a few seconds later, we noticed that the ladies' door was closed again. Tami tried the handle, but it was locked. Odd. We hadn't seen any other women hanging around the door. So she knocked. Nothing happened. She knocked again and pressed her ear against the door to see if there was an "occupied" response from within. As she was hugging the door, it suddenly opened and the tall man walked briskly out with a sheepish smirk on his face. We all burst out laughing at Tami who had almost fallen in on top of him.
Our hunger abated and our fresh clothes on, we settled into the van (still in the now dark Taggart's parking lot) to rest for an hour before we had to meet the other van at the next exchange. Despite the soothing lullaby of the breast pump being used in the front seat, we couldn't sleep. Someone had the giggles. So, despite our lack of rest, we moved on to meet the rest of the team and start our second leg. It took us a while, and a lot of turning around, to find our other van. By the time we met up with them, I was quite car sick. As soon as we parked, I got out of the van. Usually solid ground and fresh air will help soothe my upset stomach, but even after a long walk, I couldn't shake it. Finally at about 2 am, as Mellisa began her run, I took the two spots left in the back seat and laid down. As all my other teammates were running, I tried, unsuccessfully, to suppress the nausea and get some sleep. Finally at about 5:30 am, someone said, "Meili, it's time for you to get ready." I sat up and said to Mellisa, "Move. I have to get out!" I stumbled out of the van, leaned up against a rusted pipe in the makeshift parking lot in the middle of nowhere, and heaved my guts out. As I was puking, I was aware that I was standing right in front of a row of parked vans. But what was I going to do about that? Nothing. So I just kept puking. Goodbye salmon. Goodbye potatoes. Goodbye grilled vegetables. Goodbye cheesecake brownie.
I turned around to find my sympathetic teammates, shoes on and ready to run my leg for me. But, even though I had a pretty good excuse, I didn't want to let someone else do what I had come to do. So I visited the honey bucket (isn't that an awesome name for a porta-potty?), rinsed with mouthwash, sipped some water, ate 2 wheat thins, and laced up my shoes. Then I ran 5.5 miles around Rock Port Reservoir.
To be continued...