So according to my countdown app, we are 33 days, 9 hours, 4 minutes until the Cactus 100. I'm mostly excited, but that excitement is mixed with nervousness, anxiety, and a little fear. To soothe my troubled nerves, I'd like to compose a list of reasons why Cactus will be better this year:
1. It can't be worse than last year. (Right?)
2. Stefan will be pacing me on the 3rd loop. Need I say more? He is amazing, and it will be fun, and I might request a mini-dance party in the woods at some point. I also know that he is weirdly entertained by profanity, so prepare to be amused, Stefan!
3. My dad is going to pace me on my 4th loop. I already know how awesome this will be, because he did the 5th loop of Rocky with me in January. If this time is anything like that loop, I can expect a fun, memorable experience replete with fart jokes on demand.
4. My mom will be hanging out at Rockhopper Central. That means mom hugs twice per loop!
5. I know from previous experience that anyplace on the trail is a good place to take a nap.
6. I've made friends with the sotol, and they've agreed not to scratch me at all.
7. I've been doing strength training at the gym three times a week, so hopefully I will hold up better and recover faster.
8. New mantra: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Eat mooooooooooorrrre!
9. Third time (running Cactus) is a charm?
10. I've been watching a lot of Bear Grylls lately, and I feel like I've picked up enough survival tips to survive in the wilds of Hill Country State Natural Area, in case I get lost. His tips are very practical, so I should be good, as long as the situation calls for killing a snake, skinning it, peeing in the snake skin, and drinking my own urine.
Admittedly, some of these reasons are better than others. At any rate, come the night of October 25th, I'll be eating donuts and drinking beer. So if worse comes to worse, Future Julie, just remember: This too shall pass.