So I've assiduously assigned and reassigned my miles, and what it makes me realize, more than anything, is how lucky I am to have so many good people in my life. It's like a little sneak peek of how much it blows to figure out who to invite to a wedding. Anywho, I've tried to have a few more generic catchalls for groups of friends (all specific requests cannot be met, folks, though I tried) so no one got left behind. (I should mention, anyone who got their request in early totally got their request met. Just saying, it pays to be prompt.)  

The list probably looks like impossibly too much to remember, but if there's anything I've learned up til now, it's that occupying your mind is paramount during the painful sections of an endurance race... there couldn't possibly be ENOUGH to think about that isn't "goddamn when can I sit down!!!" That said, I think writing this out in detail will help me remember. I've got a brain like a sponge, but after biking for that long, I'll probably just be thinking of my numb ass for a bit.

This mile dedication experiment seems especially appropriate: despite the fact that I ultimately will be doing this race alone (terribly, terribly alone) I will be carrying all of you with me in spirit, especially everyone who's been so supportive the months leading up to this. It takes a village to run an Ironman.

1 This first mile goes to Gerardo, whose advice has never done me wrong. (Default, I'll be thinking of all my tri friends who hoofed it along through Griffith, too.) I do think I will be feeling "grateful and blessed to have both feet on the ground", as he says. :-)

2 This will be for all my Hometown Brazil friends... Minnie, I hope somehow to channel a little extra energy from thinking about your East coast racing! 

3 Per request of my friend Michael, I'm running this one for Jessica Kerivan. She's got cystic fibrosis and has been waiting for a lung transplant for months. I'll be sending some very positive thoughts in her direction, and thinking about how grateful I am for the air I'm breathing that keeps me moving forward.  

4 (First catchall! You don't like it, you come run this.) Mile four goes to my friends from the womb (TFC), the MXAT, and high school. You were all good and all nerds in a similar way that makes you special to me.

5 In honor of the class of '05, this one goes to my roomie for two years, Diana: for the HONOR of 641 Pyne! Everything about this mile is delicious. ;-)

6 Six goes out to Comediva-- gotta run strong to represent for the ovaries.

7 For my be fri Jay, who's known me longer than nearly anyone, and my godson Jason, who I hope will think I'm so cool for doing something badass and sporty.

8 Susie and Fle, for our eight grade memories (Trapper John and Twizzler Frank 4 life. Hah.)

9 Sarah Scanlon-- I'll be thinking of you, and trying my best to be strong AND graceful here, in honor of your amazing aerialist abilities. But yeah... my hamstrings won't ever allow me such grace. Nor will my astonishing lack of hand-eye coordination, probably. Oh, and since I won't have been eating much of anything except for sugar goo, I'll be fantasizing about that insane gourmet din at Oleanna. Let's go back  to Somerville for that... it's not too far, right?

10 German relatives: Matthias und Juliane, diese Meile werde ich fuer euch und meine andere deutsche Verwandten laufen. (Zu erklaeren, Samstag werde ich mein erster voll Triathlon machen—dass heisst, dass ich 2,4 Meilen  (3,86 km) schwimmen 112 Meilen (180.25 km) Rad fahren, und schliesslich ein Marathon (42.195 km) laufen. Es ist ganz offensichtlich, dass laufen am schwierigsten ist. Ich dachte, dass es helfen wuerde, wenn ich jede Meile fuer ein besondere Mensch—oder Paar Menschen-- meines Lebens laufen wuerde. Meile 10 wird auf euch (und auf Gunni, Heinz, Peter, Jutta, Steffi, Martina, Burkhard, Heike, Sebastian usW) aufgewendet. (Viele Gruesse an die Andere von mir!)

(For those who don't speak German, I promise I didn't say anything mean about you. But I don't promise that my grammar was 100% correct. That's deeply unlikely.)

11 Per Samara's request, this mile's being dedicated to our creative brainstorms of 2011. I therefore must also include, of course Aliza, and big time to Mister Stuart G. Murphy, who now on more than one occasion has been able to take the silly visions of my mind and make them into really really excellent viral vids… by the way, my mother just saw Slutty Girl Comedienne Rapperfor the first time last night and was utterly horrified… )

12 This one goes Stirling, but as it's the mile right before the halfway point, I'm gonna have to add in another catchall for my LA friends (miss Yeo and Girard), especially those through the improv community and Sit n Spin. This is where I've met some of the raddest folks in a city I don't necessarily always love so much....

13 For my ladies, Jackie and Kristen, the least drama queen girlfriends I have, ironically from drama school. Bagel, no one else could have lived in a shoebox sized room for three months in Moscow without ever having a fight: for that you deserve my undying love and devotion. Kristen, I will start the second half of this marathon invoking your incredible Alaskan badassness. This mile's nothing like hitting an italian pickpocketer in the face with an umbrella or catching an LA serial rapist, but I hope it's badass nonetheless. 

14 For my other ladies, Rachel and Emma: I hate that I don't get to see you more! But I will be thinking about the times we've had.

15 Dan and Julia, my venerable hosts here in wine country, who generously hosted me a year ago for Barb's, sight unseen, and are now putting up me AND my mom. Never have I been treated so well by people who didn't know me at all. You guys deserve like, twelve miles. (And Carson... thank you so much for the intro. I am lucky.)

16 Audie gets this one... under the condition that she agrees to hang out with me upon my return.

17 Joe and Nina-- love you both, and couldn't have gotten through school without you. Nina, I'll be invoking our runs through the Englischer Garten in Munich. Joe, my state of physical distress will just be a shoutout to Artaudian theatre of cruelty. What's more of a theatre of cruelty than this race, after all? Though I doubt anyone ever rang a cowbell at an eyeball getting cut. THOUGH IF THEY DID... (let's do it. Write the grant.) Hahaha. 

18 To get over the hump, I'll be thinking of Ed, my stepdad, and the many times we've run together. (Also will be thinking of Scotty and Evo, inevitably, and our Feliz Navidad margarita night, which I hope makes me laugh-- remember Ed's hair? HA!)

19 Cheryl requested this one goes out to all the women in entertainment who've gone overlooked. I'm going to dedicate it to her and all my talented ladyfriends (hi guys!) with the thought that everyone will get their lookings soon enough. We'll make it happen.

20 The last six are where the race "really starts", says some book I read. So for the start of this race, I'm gonna be running for America and Emily and our kickass womance movie, the writing of which will occupy most of my recovery time, I'll bet.

21 For William-- you requested a fast mile, or a happy one, and since the only happy mile is the first mile in the car after the race, I'm hoping I will at least have saved up enough to deliver some speed. Though I'm not sure how effortless it will be. This one's for the waffles and burgers and many miles in between.

22 For a man who loves the gritty part of life, this ugly mile goes to Robert Woodruff. If not in reality, I will at least be shouting in Greek in my brain. OI MOI TALAINA!

23 For my excellent 


 manager and always moral supporter, Jack. You saw me through the hardest races before this, and I know all your thoughts will be beaming across the country right at me. I'll run this one extra hard for you. Feed Ronny a tiny bit of beer and then squeeze him til he pukes for me.

24 Christine-- my sis, the doctor! This one's for you-- and I'm imagining a time when your knee will allow you to run again. In the meantime, I'll invoke the spirit of you doing cross country in high school, when you'd run to the Ramones in your head and run so hard you'd puke in the trashcan and then keep running. 

25 This one's for my Dad, who I hope will give me the extra push I need from the spirit world. I imagine if he were here, he would first tell me that it was a very impractical thing that cost way too much money, but then would be very proud. I'll be thinking of finding his face in the crowd, shining with happy tears at thing.

26 Of course this one has to go to my mother, who I have to thank genetically for this nice long running legs, and who made the giant trip (AFTER being in Nebraska for my sister's phD defense just a couple days ago) to support me. So grateful you'll be there at the finish, Mom.

And lastly, of course...

.2 = for me

Was writing this self-indulgent? Absolutely. But isn't doing this race weirdly, sadistically self-indulgent? And at the very least, I've already achieved a goal I was hoping for, which is feeling no longer afraid, but excited. 'Cause I have a lot of people to keep me company.

AuthorNikki Muller