BY SIMON \n I’m drinking my morning coffee, and toking my morning toke, as usual. However, I immediately start hacking like I have a furry invisible hairball as soon as the smoke hit the back of my throat. I’m standing crossing my legs, hoping I will not pee my pants as I cough up saliva and smoke. I hack so hard that I spill the bong water and almost knock over my precious morning coffee. I forcefully spit the earthy tasting smoke out of my mouth and take a minute to recover. Then I wrap my lips around the top of my bong to hit it again. I lightly laugh with my exhale, thinking to myself “this is how my 31 mile run is going to start today.” I grin as I draw in my next toke of floral scented indica dominate hybrid “rip Cindy.” A spin off of Cinderella 99 , which is sativa dominant strain. \n I proceed with my dynamic stretching feeling energized and uplifted. Almost simultaneously as I drink my last sip or coffee, I think about calling my parents. Wasting no time I dial their number while placing my feet onto the pavement for my warm up mile. \n Yep, I’m calling them while running and for what I was about to tell them wasn’t the easiest for me either. \n I’m a bit stirred me up, emotionally and the Cortizone in my brain was already releasing before my dad picked up. I go into fight or flight mode and quickly realize, I’m really stoned. I stumble over my words a little before I’m able to say “Good morning dad. How are you?” \n See, I’m about to tell my parents that I don’t want them at my hundred mile race in Zion national Park this April. At first I thought it was a good idea. I wanted them to be proud of me, to support me and feel included. However I’m eight weeks out and a lot of life has happened between then and now. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error, ups and downs, and some new ways to find myself. \n My mom gets on the phone and we have a cheerful good morning hello. Then I told her in a delicate and respectful manner that I really need her and my dad’s support in this race, but not needing them physically at the event. That I was needing more assistance with my children and scheduling. Which to me, is a big role and a huge component to me being able to participate in this race. \n See, I need to know that my children and my personal affairs are taken care of without me worrying about any of that while out on the course. I’m sure I’ll still worry but that’s because I am human and sometimes humans worry. \n Over all, I felt like my parents were very receptive and told me that they want to support me with my needs. Of course, I’m crying before I even get off the phone and I proceed to cry for the next mile of my run. At first I started to tense up and try to block the overwhelming feelings. However my altered relaxed body, with help from Cindy allowed for me to release the emotion as I said aloud “let go”. \n Only after passing a burst of morning traffic, do I whip my ugly crybaby face off and proceeded about my run. I admired the spring like weather as I planned my course through the urban jungle. I plugged my ears with an audiobook and ate half of a Cliff bar at mile five. Then I stopped to make out with Cindy at mile eight, just before entering the beautiful Portland waterfront. There’s lots of foot traffic there so I wanted to be a little bit more discrete about my smoking. \n As a cruise through the cityscape the skies darken and offer a raging downpour. It had been lightly sprinkling on and off with slight sun reflections behind the clouds pretty much all morning but this was a solid sheet of rain. For some odd reason something in the audiobook struck a chord in that very moment and I started to cry like the skies above. I continue to head toward St Johns and I eat some black licorice at my turn around point. Stopping at a taco cart for a Coca-Cola around mile 18. I drank the Coke so fast that less than a minute after finishing it I belched the loudest burp ever, secretly hoping someone near by heard. \n I stopped and made out with Cindy at mile 19.5 just before re-entering Portland’s waterfront. I ate some pretzels and a few more pieces of black licorice. Then another downpour and I too began to flood water from my eyes. I cry so hard my heart physically hurt but I don’t stop running. I notice a pattern by this time. It’s as if my emotions are following the weather. I was euphoric when there was no rain or light sprinkle and sobbing when it was stormy. I pondered that for a while. \n I called a friend at mile 24 to discuss a film project that is in the works. Also taking the time to message my cousin, Anna. She’s my crew boss for Zion and I wanted to inform her of changes in original plans and to process my feelings about my conversation with my parents. \n This woman has been with me all my life. We’re two months apart in age and grow up together. Anna can read my face and body language before I even know what I’m thinking. She is my rock star and possibly up for a challenging job being in charge of me for 100 miles. \n I stopped with only 5 miles to go to eat another serving of pretzels and drink some water. The sun is out with a heavy wind. I’m feeling calm, collective and present with the surroundings. I slip into the nearby portable potty only to wrap my lips around my pipe to inhale the sweet citrus kisses from Cindy. I know it would be my last took of the day, so I get myself nice and stoney before returning to my run. \n My feet float down The Springwater trail for a few moments before the rain returns with a vengeance. No fail, salty liquid fills my tear ducks and roll down my cheeks. I pick up my pace and allow for the emotions to fellow like a river and not giving them much mental attention. \n By mile 28 I was cussing the rain and frustrated with the amount of crying. I pretended to be a pony heading back to the barn as I made it up my last hill climb picking up speed knowing I only had a mile and a half to go. I’m singing softly “I really want this run to be over. This run is fun BUT now I am done.” \n Feeling blessed as my feet hit the porch just in time to witness a fierce sideways shower of rain. Stripping my wet clothing before opening the door. I sit on the bench in the foyer to remove my shoes. Amazed that I still feel energized and noticeably physical, mental and emotional lighter. As I walked to my dryer with wet clothes in tow, I kiss my boyfriend along the way, and notice my fatigued ankles and feet. I then pony gall-up to the bedroom and threw my damp body onto the bed. My face full from smiling, I realized that my body processed all this un-name-able emotions with the rhythm of the weather and I didn’t even have to put my mental powers to use. I giggle and think about how ripping on Cindy was one of many helpful component of my picnic by foot today.