Despite having a truly wretched cold last week, I got well just in time for Beltane. I was able to do my Walpurgistnach meditation on Friday night and then get up early Saturday morning to head to Spokane. I was a bit snuffly on the drive over and managed to dehydrate myself pretty badly, but was otherwise fine. We picked up our race packets and had a nice carb-tastic dinner.
Beltane morning dawned foggy and freezing, but the mist soon burned off and we were looking at a spectacular clear day. After a light breakfast we, and 50,000 of our closest friends headed down to line up for Bloomsday. In line people sand, played Frisbee with tortillas, and tossed sweatshirts into the trees (they later get picked up for charity). Finally, after standing around for about an hour, our wave got to begin the 12k walk.
There’s nothing like some good physical activity to get an out of shape person to really live in the moment. I spent my time thinking about my feet and knees, my posture, and my breathing and let stress melt away. It was actually quite lovely. I enjoyed the Beltane sun, listened to garage bands set up throughout the course and just let myself be. I could see the new leaves budding on the trees and watch birds flitting about and was able to really appreciate the new life that’s finally returning to this part of the country. It was a very cold, bleak winter and even a curmudgeon like me could really appreciate the warmth and greenery. The walk felt fantastic and I think it may have actually killed the last dregs of my cold. I felt better afterwards than before.
Of course, there’s always a price. I spent last week so worried about being well enough to do Bloomsday that I didn’t really think about any of the other things that you need to worry about when doing a 12k. I didn’t stock up on electrolytes or high energy snacks so by the time I got to the end I wanted a gallon of gatorade and about a pound of peanuts. I also completely forgot that I had not been in the sun, at all, in about nine months. Now I have a fair amount of melanin when I’ve been out in the sun off and on (thank-you mom). I do not have melanin when I haven’t even seen the sun for more than five minutes at a stretch since last August. Oh yes, I am sunburned. I often get a tinge of red on the apples of my cheeks and that doesn’t really bother me, but my chest is burned like toast. Yes oh gods of summer and sunshine, this winter baby went outside unprotected and got exactly what she deserved. *pouts*