I have a history of making rash decisions to deal with difficult situations.

When I was 18, two weeks before leaving for college, I was having a bad hair day. I was on my way out for a date with the boy who was very almost my first boyfriend and I could not make my big Texas hair do anything right.

So I took a pair of scissors and cut myself some bangs.

Big mistake. HUGE. Not just because bangs don’t suit my face at all (hello big forehead and large nose) but also because Texas humidity is zero forgiving to curly hair. Oof. I headed to College Station (the 2nd most humid spot in the world, I think) with the worst hair in my life. Also, I dyed it maroon. I don’t even know.

I think it’s to do with stress. When I’m overwhelmed, I do something crazy in hopes of raising my whelming-threshold. It’s the old pain principle: your foot hurts? Great! CUT OFF YOUR FACE AND THEN YOUR FOOT WON’T HURT ANYMORE.

(Or something like that.)

It happened again last week, y’all. I was stressed and sad and my whelming-threshold was non-existent. I was vulnerable. Weak. I didn’t realize it, but I was looking for any opportunity to distract myself from how I was feeling.

Enter iWill. Evil, villainous, treacherous (albeit calf-y and Ironman-y) iWill.

It all started last Sunday. I had 7 miles scheduled for my long run and iWill was officially beginning training for the Bridger Ridge Run (20 mile trail run in Montana in August), so we headed to Seward Park which has a nice mix of trails and easy running paths. It was also my first run with a Fuel Belt/Gu Chomps for energy. iWill hit the trails in the woods and I stuck to the path that runs along Lake Washington. Y’all. This was my favorite run of my entire life. I don’t know if it was the tequila (SO MUCH TEQUILA) I had during iWill’s Ironman Karaoke Extravaganza that Friday night or all the hydration I did as a result of my tequila hangover on Saturday, or maybe the oatmeal I ate Sunday morning, but my run was magical. I never wanted to stop, never felt tempted to take a walk break, even managed to have negative splits on my last 3 miles. I smiled the whole time, sang along to my music, and actually went 7.6 miles. I sat in the grass by the car, stretched, and when iWill returned from his successful first trail run (with his fancy new trail shoes), went all evangelical-running high on him with how awesome everything in the world was.

Then we ate poutine and eggs benedict and saw Rock of Ages (HAIR METAL FUCK YEAH ALL THE HAIR METAL) and everything in the world was perfect and magical.

So on Monday, I was still feeling great about my running progress, while also feeling incredibly sad about Kim and everything coming up. VULNERABLE. Which is how I was feeling when iWill emailed me.

(Note: most of the following is entirely verbatim and accurate. However, I’ve added CAPS where required because I mean really let’s recognize but everything else is really and totally completely honest and true and if iWill says otherwise don’t listen to him because we ran on Rainier yesterday (more on that later this week) and I think his brain has altitude sickness.)

iWill: Since your training is going so well I thought maybe you might like to add a pre-burningman race to set a PR at which you can then beat at the post burningman race but really all that matters is CHOCOLATE AID STATION.

(NOTE: I clicked the link and saw two options — a 4.5 mile run and a half-marathon. Surely he could not mean the half-marathon because that is happening in October, not August because August is JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY.)

Me: Wait. Are you saying I should do the 1/2 marathon? In August? SAY MORE WORDS. (But YES chocolate aid station and a finisher’s medal MADE OF CHOCOLATE.)

iWill: YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT YOU SHOULD. I’m not sure where exactly you are in your training plan but it seemed likely (AFTER MY AWESOME RUN ON SUNDAY 7.6 SO FUN) you’d be ready by then. So FUCK YEAH half-marathon with CHOCOLATE. (And by “you” I mean “us”… no way I’m missing out on chocolate aid stations! Assuming I haven’t broken something at BRR of course, which is the week before the half.)

(He logic’d me, here. And also we’d run it together, which is one of my favorite things. And also I was sad and vulnerable and needed to adjust my whelming-threshold and so before I knew what was happening…)

Me: I just did some training plan math, which means I counted on my fingers three times. (grabbing the metaphorical scissors) I’m six weeks away from completing my half training. (positioning the metaphorical scissors over my eyebrows) The Chocolate Race is seven weeks away. (CHOPPING BANGS) I’m in. We’re in. Please don’t break anything at BRR but if you do twist your face you can just cheer me on WHILE EATING CHOCOLATE. Register now, maybe? Before I lose my nerve?

iWill: Doing so now.

Me: Me too. Done. OH SHIT.

(Coincidentally, this was my exact reaction when I cut bangs that time.)

iWill: FUCK YEAH! MAKE IT HAPPEN! **I AM TOTALLY EVIL AND TRICKED YOU INTO REGISTERING FOR A HALF-MARATHON WAAAAY BEFORE OCTOBER BECAUSE YOU ARE ALL SAD AND VULNERABLE AND I’M LIKE A VAMPIRE — A RUNNING VAMPIRE WHO FEEDS ON YOUR EXHAUSTION AND YOUR RIDICULOUS TRAINING DECISIONS AND ALSO I LIKE YOUR FUEL BELT BETTER THAN MY OWN SO WHEN YOU COLLAPSE AND DIE DURING THE CHOCOLATE RACE, I WILL STEAL IT AND ALSO EAT ALL THE CHOCOLATE BWAHAHAHAHAHA. I AM THE PUPPET MASTER AND I PULL YOUR STRINGS. RUN, PUPPET! RUN!**

So this is happening. iWill is an evil mad sadist and I am a chump and now I’m running a half-marathon on August 19, which is the morning after the KISS/Mötley Crüe CONCERT (BECAUSE THAT’S TOTALLY HAPPENING) which means I’ll be running all those miles after a delicious night of tour bus debauchery and Mötley Crüe IN MY MOUTH. Or something.

(Mom, don’t read that last paragraph.)

October 28: The date of my alleged FIRST half-marathon.

August 19: The date of the actual first half-marathon.

Hyperventilating all the time right now.

So to sum up: iWill is a horrible, evil, terrible, no good, wonderful influence on me. I hate him and I hate his ass FACE. And also I’m going to die. Because omg omg half-marathon but actually I kind of totally think I can do it who am I is this real life omg CHOCOLATE FINISHER’S MEDAL.

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