Running From The Santa Monica Pier To The Las Vegas Sign | The Speed Project 4.0

I’m sure you’re wondering why the heck would anyone want to run to Las Vegas. Well, I don’t really have an answer to that except that I guess it was something different and so why not?

After my last marathon (Surf City Marathon) on Super Bowl Sunday, I decided that running and I needed an extended break. We were already on the outs after the disastrous Mountains to Beach Marathon and we hadn’t been the same. I had barely trained for Surf City and I did something I hadn’t done since my first marathon – I ran it to enjoy it with the only goal of finishing with a smile on my face. I accomplished that but was now ready for an extended break of gluttony – away from running, fitness and keto. About a week later, my boss asked me if I’d be interested in putting together a team for The Speed Project 4.0 – a relay race from Santa Monica to Las Vegas – 340 miles.

And that is how I found myself crouched behind the world’s smallest bush on Easter weekend, listening to the sounds of speeding cars whoosh by me, and contemplating my life decisions. I wrote about it in more detail on goodrTIMES and you can read that post and see more pictures here (beware: I mention pooping a lot).

Here’s an excerpt:

The sounds of speeding cars whooshed by me as I squatted behind the world’s smallest bush, hoping that my invisibility cloak was working. I was contemplating my life choices and wondering how I got there in that moment, somewhere in a little, dry, hot desert town in the middle of BFE, nary a gas station or porta-potty in sight.

Before we get too much further, I’m just going to warn you that you’re going to find a common theme in this post about The Speed Project 4.0 and that theme is poop. So if pooping is uncomfortable for you, my grandma told me that dried prunes can really help. And I suppose that our ragtag team of 11 (eight runners and three crew), had it coming to us when we made the cardinal rule of the RV – No one is allowed to poop in the RV bathroom (because no one wanted to empty the “black water”).

Not 10 minutes into our trip, one runner broke the rule and earned the nickname #2. And thus, our 340-mile, ultramarathon relay began.

[READ THE REST: THE SPEED PROJECT 4.0 – A RACE RECAP]

The experience was an incredible journey through the desert of pain, perseverance, inspiration, friendship, discomfort, and ultimately, victory as 45 hours and 22 minutes after we began, our team crossed the finish line together. There was little fanfare for us, no banners and no medals. Just a sense of personal accomplishment that could only come from facing a monumental challenge and emerging victoriously.

My relationship with running is still complicated. I’m just doing what feels right, one day at a time. No goals, no pace, no pressure. I ran for the first time without a running watch and just went as far and as fast as I wanted. I don’t have any other races in the books and am looking to try some new things – things that scare me. Any suggestions?

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