Grab your coffee and settle in for the good, the bad and the ugly…
The day started out in the most unspectacular of ways. I am so type-A that I set my alarm for 4:10 a.m., recheck it 20 times, then end up waking up at 3:00 a.m. Overachievers don’t need alarm clocks, is what I’ve decided. I could not poop before leaving home, because in the SUAR world, morning dumps arrive at 6:30 a.m., not 4:30 a.m.
Joie picked me up at 4:45 a.m. and we hauled ass to the start line, a 90 minute drive. This race is a point to point course, so you are supposed to park at the finish and take school busses to the start. I did that two years ago and learned my lesson. With that plan, you end up sitting in the cold for 90 minutes at 9,000 feet waiting for the race to start. I was so cold, I went into the gross porta potty to warm my hands over the steaminess coming from the deep dark hole. That is desperation. So, now we park at the start and have a second car at the finish. Genius.
We stopped at McDonald’s so I could poop. Perfect. I knew McDonald’s was good for something other than Oreo McFlurries and lard.
We sat with the heat on, cranking up our seat warmers. I farted a lot, which on a seat warmer is especially luxurious. Joie was not a fan.
The sun started coming up, it was time to race!
Home-made throwaway arm warmers are the bomb!
For the first two miles I ran with Marshall Ulrich, famed ultra runner and author of the recent “Running on Empty” book (see my review HERE). Marshall told me he was going to Nepal for some trekking and then to South America (I think?) to climb 20,000 foot volcanoes. I told him I might watch Bachelor Pad and eat microwave popcorn. He seemed impressed.
The miles flew by (8:04, 7:55, 7:49…). My goal for this race was “no goal.” I had no clue how I would feel after my half ironman six days before, so I decided to see how my legs felt and go based on that. The air was cool, my legs were strong, so I paced accordingly. I exerted myself, but kept some in the tank. I walked through every aid station, took a strawberry Clif Shot at the halfway mark and made the 10K mat by 51 minutes.
This is about the time where I realized gravity had taken its course. Not to get graphic, but my “down there” region got damp. I won’t go into detail about a “time of the month” surprise or other things, but suffice it to say, NASTY business. This was a distraction, but I was already at mile 8 and figured I could deal with it for the next five miles.
I came into the finish and saw my family while Sam snapped this photo. Still smiling despite the “dampness.”
I finished in 1:46:33 (8:05 avg), which is a PR for me by about a minute. I was 15/215 in my division, so can’t complain about that.
I tried to clean up in the porta potty best I could, but that was futile. That’s when the pain set in and I realized I had CHAFED TO HIGH HOLY HELL (bikini line area). In my three years of running, I’ve never chafed. Honestly, I didn’t know what the big deal was. Now, I get it. I am starting a support group called, “Race Chafers” where we can all share our war stories.
On a side not, the chafing was not the skirt’s fault. I wore this skirt for a full marathon and many other training runs with no issues.
Refuel was a sponsor of this race and a sponsor of me running the race. They did a great job giving out chocolate milk right as you crossed the finish line and providing milkshakes for milk mustache photo-ops! Hoping to see them at lots of future races.
Got some more pictures with Joie. I like her shirt:
By this time it was hot and I was getting REALLY uncomfortable. I hobbled to the car and knew I had to get my cheetah skirt off ASAP because it was rubbing in all the wrong places. I did not have a spare pair of shorts and I was desperate. I did the only thing I could do: stripped down and wore my race t-shirt like shorts.
Bake side view “2011 Finisher.”
It was not pretty, especially with the neck hole hanging down (good ventilation), but I did it. Normally, this would have been VERY funny, but I hurt too bad to even care. Later when I went into Starbucks wearing this (yes, I did. I am serious about my coffee) I was given looks like I’ve never been given in my 44 years on this earth.
The ride home was long and torturous for me. I am not being dramatic. This shit hurt. And, I knew it would hurt much, much worse when I got in the shower.
I tried to distract myself by noticing how pathetic my huge second toe looked. This “Mortons” toe takes the brunt of my running. The toenail is long gone and the toe tip is one big blister. I try to put polish on it just to spice it up, but it’s no use. I can, however, flip people off with it when they cut me off in traffic:
First thing I did at home was get in the shower. The water alone (no soap) brought on such intense stinging that all I could do was cry like a baby. It was like 100 bee stings all at once. Fortunately once I put on some Aquaphor, all was well.
Running is so damn humbling. Injuries, chafing, cramping, pooping. All I can say is, we must love it a lot if we all keep doing it. Despite it all, I would still say this was a GREAT day!