|I love seeing this sign...it's actually kind of spooky seeing it in the dark...|
HOT TO TROT 8-HOUR RACE:
This is my second timed event. We get 8 hours to run around a 1.18 mile track as many times as we can. If you've read my friends' blogs you know the details. But here's the jist of it:
- To start things off it was 985ºF outside with a relative humidity of 600%.
- The hills were covered with broken glass, punji sticks, and set at a consistent 98% grade.
- The flat spots were booby trapped with swarms of killer bees, scorpions, and venomous black mambas.
- At one point a crocodile was seen coming out of the water of "Piranha Creek" with a freakin' grizzly bear on it's back.
- The aid station was being controlled be Monsignor Frank who continuously forced his religious beliefs on everyone.
- On my penalty lap they made me walk barefooted across the hot charcoal briquettes from the grill.
- Oh, yeah, and I also got arrested!
The thing I love about the crowd I run with is that at these small races I know a good percentage of the people. It really makes me happy to talk to my friends before, during, and after the race. It's really hard to explain.
HERE ARE MY HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE RACE:
Jenn (Yes, you get top billing this time!)
Jenn has become my nemesis on the trails. After beating her only once she has kicked my ass every time since. I've lost one bet to her and almost a second one this weekend, fortunately she does not remember our conversation from Friday about me running one more lap than her. We started the race out together and ran probably about half of my miles together. It was awesome. She would sing to me, yell to me that she could see my blonde hair (as she caught up to me), and did just enough pickin' to keep me on my toes but not so much that I wanted to kill her. I have to say that I have some mad respect for the way this chick runs though. Don't let her pretty smile or sweet southern accent fool you...She can, and will, lay the smack down on your ass and run circles around you while you hope for death. (OK, enough being nice...I am going to get sick.) For real though she did great and I was happy to run her last lap with her, which, yes I did get credit for even though I stopped running an hour plus prior to that.
|My nemesis and me...she slowed down so I could catch up for the picture.|
(Photo: Sean Oh)
A couple of weeks ago after a training run my friend John warned me that there was going to be some heckling going on at the race. Little did I know that he would slap the cuffs on me and throw me to the ground only to let the other runners kick dirt in my eyes. It was no fair, and probably cost me winning the race, but oh well. I definitely had it coming. John, that really made my day!
|Officer John doing what is right...I was bad...|
One of my favorite running friends on Tuesday nights, always offering sage advice when I need it most and he even started a fund raiser to help me get air conditioning for my old car! Now, that's a friend. Every lap he filled my handheld with holy water, and as the race went on started reminding me that I needed to drink more. He was right! Even the heckling as I got back from my ankle ice breaks was great. "Aaron, it's been an hour...where have you been?" "You need to run this nest mile in 8 minutes." "I don't know what's wrong with my holy water. It doesn't seem to be working for you."
Mostly everyone out there knew I was running with an injury and it seemed like they were keeping an eye on me. Sean came over and hung out with me for quite a while on one of my ice breaks. We talked about everything from his new coaching job to exercises I can do to strengthen my ankle to how much better and recommended it is to do shots of tequila while you are running. Sally, who eventually told me that I was done running (and then later told me to run one more lap) was a lifesaver. I think she knew I was contemplating continuing on and told me what I needed to hear...I needed to stop. The fall is right around the corner. She also offered some suggestions on how to make myself stronger. What a cool group of people!
Thanks to everyone for not letting me feel too down about not making my goal...even, and especially those not at the race but who told me that they were really proud of me for what I had accomplished. It all means a lot to me!
If I want to be able to follow in the words of Bill Keane I need to recover. I really want to get back on track and beyond where I was in January, where I am now. I am excited, but at the same time know I need to take it easy.
Anyone want to go hiking?
I did the strike-through because, well, it was depressing to me, but I needed to save it as a reminder.