|Artwork by "Jimbo"|
Woke up at 6am the day after Christmas to the sound of a cold rain on the roof…. I thought to myself, are you really going to do this?? The forecast called for heavy rain and the possibility of tornadoes. Sounds like a great time for a run, right?? Actually in some crazy sort of non-normal way, I was looking forward to it!
Met up with Bill and Jim and we carpooled in the horrible weather on the new toll road to Sanford. Saw about 5 wrecked cars on the way there from hydroplaning. One car hit a power generator sign which probably read “keep safe speed, water on road”. Another was a company pickup truck which had drove over and had gotten stuck on the median wires. “hello, boss? Um yeah, I am going to be late, and I wrecked the truck…” Others had just run off the road into the grass at a high rate of speed. Scary stuff!
We made it to Kiwanis Park with plenty of time to spare. We moved our stuff to the protection of the shelter. It was still raining and was cold! 43*… I had a coat that was huge on me and said “Waterproof” so I was betting that it would work great. Opted to wear the capri length shorts instead of the longer pants. I knew the longer pants would be soaked in no time!
Jimbo started the countdown and at precisely 9:00am he said “go” but we all kinda stood there wondering who was going to get out first – just like the name of the race - LOL WTF? Took several seconds for us to move out of the shelter and onto the path. I managed to get out with the “lead pack” and was feeling pretty good. We started talking on who was going to go how far and at that point I was thinking I could “easily” get a 50K. Yeah, That was the plan! After all, who on earth runs a FA without going the ultra distance?
I felt great that first lap and came in first place for that first lap. “chicked” the entire group! Woo! It was not .25 miles later that I got “Shick-ed” by Trever, and he thought that pun was pretty awesome. Indeed it was!
I ran the next couple laps alone, and soon realized my “waterproof” coat was getting quite heavy and was not living up to its name…. Returned to the shelter and bummed a trash bag from Bill. Sometimes it’s not the coat or the tech wear that works the best, but a 25 cent trash bag…
I was running a pace that felt good to me, but it was miserable cold and lonely. I didn’t want to speed up and run with Trever, or I would not be able to make it the distance, but running alone was not workin for me either. I started slowing down some waiting for the chance to run with Gene. I knew from experience that running with him is a lotta fun. It was at this race last year that we met and I have run many miles with him since then.
Now many of you can remember a lot and put it into a great race report, but I am not as talented at remembering as most… Some things are kinda a blur with the cold weather and short mile loops… *no wonder people question my sanity* so the things that follow happened, but the order might be a little off ;)
Jimbo left to bring his dogs home and *insert accent here* “get a kettle” for hot chocolate. Gene and I were joking that he went home, sat in the lazy boy in front of the fire, talking about what fools we are running in the rain – LOL! He eventually came back with the kettle – that hot chocolate hit the spot! Warmed me up and provided energy for the next few laps.
People brought in cookies that were on the table and every few laps it was customary to grab a cookie or 2 for the trail. I bet I ate nearly a dozen. Hey, they were small!
Gene caught up with me and we ran and ran/walked together. Wasn’t long before the conversation turned to “ultrarunner” talk and his humor kicked in. Now I cannot remember all his jokes, but there were times I was laughing so hard that it was hard to run – it was good!
He made this amazing vegan soup which I sampled somewhere around lap 10. It was very tasty. It was super hot which helped again with the “trying to stay warm” theme of the day.
Meanwhile it was still pouring out. At times it would let up *some* but then the bottom would drop out again. I was in the shelter when it started to thunder and pour down again. I decided to wait out this big rain event for a little bit before heading back out. I think I waited 20 minutes or more before going back out.
Gene and I headed back out – this time with him sporting a kilt and a BRIGHT green shirt and bright compression sleeves. We were a sight. He in his kilt and I in my trash bag. LOL! The rain was starting to taper off, and the wind was picking up a bit. Some local folks started to come out walking on the trail, and we were getting some concerned looks from the passers by. Nothing to be concerned with, this is perfectly normal, right? ;)
Each time we came back to the shelter, we needed to record our lap on a score card. With each passing lap, it was getting harder to open the sharpie and write the line. By the end Gene was doing the writing. I had very little dexterity in my hands because of the cold. I was wearing gloves, but they were soaked. I took them off at one point thinking it would help, but it made it worse, so I continued to run with the wet gloves on. At least it offered protection from the wind.
With each passing lap, our pace got slower, we ran less, and laughed more. Finally for our last lap, we decided to walk the last lap as our “cool down” (as if we were not already frozen enough)!
I was happy with the 20 miles, all things considered. Sometimes you need to re-evaluate mid run and this day, it was indeed the best idea to cut back on the miles, run with a friend, and try to not get hurt. I injured my ITB at this race last year for racing at the end. At least this year I “Did Nothing Foolish” – lol – maybe it was foolish to start it, but it was a lotta fun.
Even with the low miles I managed to get first woman overall :D I think that was because there were a LOT of DNS…. It would have been nice to have the crowd we had last year, but the die-hard crazies that were there had an awesome time. *BTW, I am sitting here typing with the sniffles and sneezing… wonder why that is??*
Thank you Jim for putting on another great FA event. All the best to you in CA. I have enjoyed getting to know you over the past few years. Running at Pilot Mountain will be one of my fondest memories. You will be greatly missed in this running community!! Glad there is Facebook to keep us posted of your Rocky Mountain adventures :D
Thank you to Brick City Running who will carry on the CRAP fest as well as Boxing Day. You might want to contact someone in CA for the shirt artwork for 2013 ;) I hear its pure awesomeness.