The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘race’

Race Recap

This past weekend I did my second trail race, and it was not terribly fun. I’m glad I did it, and it was educational, but boy was it painful.

Here are a few moments/thoughts from the run:

  • On Trails vs Roads

Until moving to Colorado I only did road runs. These are very different, and I feel like I still haven’t fully appreciated how different. With roads I could get away with some bad habits: if I started too fast, some days I got away with it because I was just in a groove and I could end up faster than anticipated the whole time (see: every time I have PR’d), AND I could get away with not eating or drinking enough to replenish myself because I wasn’t out there that long …

For trails, neither of those work out well. My last training run that was good was 15 miles, and the last few miles of that my stomach felt very off. But, it was short enough and I had enough to eat and drink during the run that I got away with it. 15+ led to uncomfortable woes.

At the run on Saturday, a 25 miler, I hit my usual woes at mile 11 or 12, but this time I was in the middle of a 2 or 3 mile uphill climb. I should have sat down at the aid station at mile 6 and eaten more, and ditto the aid station at mile 10. But instead, I left 10 feeling good only to quickly go to: NOT GOOD status.

Thankfully the run boasted beautiful views, challenge galore, and friendly fellow runners. A woman asked me how I was doing, so I told her, and she and I walked together for a while and she informed me I wasn’t eating enough. She gave me a packet of goo (sounds weird, huh?) which was 100 calories of goodness. The trouble was, I think I had jumped on the eating enough bandwagon pretty late in the game and it was a struggle every time I tried to eat.

Lesson learned? Eat more, eat more sooner, eat more.

  • On Emotions

I ran a half marathon one time which was tough because it was very cold, raining, and I had been injured so I hadn’t trained up very well. The weekend prior I had flown to Arizona because my grandfather had passed away.

I crossed the finish line and immediately had to fight back tears. I was very confused by this, but then the fact that I was about to start crying and I was so cold my lips were blue and I was surrounded by strangers made me laugh at the absurd situation – it was odd. But, I realized later, the running probably took a lot out of me so I was more emotional.

Videos of dogs and soldiers make me want to cry, sappy things like that, but ordinarily it’s pretty rare that things will inspire tears. At the run, around mile 12 when I was feeling quite bad, I wondered if I would need to drop from the race … I thought about having 13 miles to go and it made me want to cry. I thought, “THE HELL? Who is this emotional demon who has invaded my body!?”

At around mile 23.5 I had already seen the finish in the distance. It was all downhill from where I was … not like, getting worse … but as in literally going down a hill. Anywho, I heard the crowd go nuts over someone finishing and again those pesky weakened body state inspired emotions popped up and I thought to myself, “wow, they’re cheering for some random person like every person is the winner.” And boom, the desire to cry was there.

(P.S. There was another group of true insano-s running FIFTY miles. They started 2.5 hours earlier than us 25 mile plebes, and it could be that the crowd WAS actually cheering for the first place 50 mile female finisher. That is one fast person.)

  • On Aid Station Snacks

Here are some things I had while jogging: pretzel bites, m&ms, some salted caramel goo (thank you again kind stranger), granola bar, lots of water with powdered stuff in it, grapes, and coke.

Ordinarily the menu of a coder (minus the workout goo) … but looking at that now, yeah, I definitely didn’t have enough calories. I was out there a bit over 7 hours, which meant I should’ve had lets say 1400 calories, I maybe got half that.

Mistakes were made.

  • On Friendly People

You know what was awesome throughout? How friendly everyone was, almost everyone there is not competing, they’re just wanting to finish. But even the fastest people were probably friendly too, I just never saw them.

The 50 milers went 25 one way, then 25 going the other way so us 25ers saw them rush past us. With almost every one of them I exchanged a pleasant, “good job” or “looking good” or when tired it was shortened to just “job.” The first place guy I just stared at because HOW ARE YOU GOING THIS FAST?

I ended up jogging/walking for a good while around the same people. One girl, graduating today (Sunday), who walked by a sign indicating we had 3.5 miles or so to go and she looked back at me and said the saddest ‘yay’ I’ve ever heard. It was hysterical.

Another girl I talked with after the run, she was friendly, smart, and I noticed she does not believe in shaving arm pits.

One guy, with about one mile to go, was going back and forth with me (passing each other) then we stopped and walked and he said, “we’ll finish together.” I said ok, cool. But then a half mile or so later he said, “ok, I need to stop, I don’t feel good.” He finished a few minutes after me, and we chit chatted after the run.

The volunteers at the aid stations were all friendly, weird, encouraging, helpful, and with an energy that my then tired brain could not comprehend. Plus, the snacks they had made were (presumably) amazing … snacks that, again, I should’ve eaten.


Donald Trump, 41 days into his presidency, announced in a speech that he has heard the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants” and he “always found that to be baloney. Other people might have to stand on others shoulders, but some people, like me, are great enough that they can just leapfrog over those giants.”

Following are a list of quotes from Trump. We can only assume that these are him “leapfrogging” over famous quotes from some of our nations past presidents.

“And so I said Mr. Xi Jinping [Chinese president], tear down that wall! I’ll build you a bigger, nicer, better, more likely to keep out the riff raff wall.”

“We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is … I mean think about it, it’s prime real estate.”

“The only thing we have to fear … is a two term limit. You really want some loser in here after you’ve gotten used to me? That’d be like going from caviar to some sort of loser-paste.”

“There is nothing wrong in America that can’t be fixed with what is right in America. And what is right in America is currently in a 12,000 dollar suit staring right at the camera telling you we should be embarrassed that the White House is so tiny. Here’s what I propose …” (And thus followed Trump’s famous speech that many thought was an homage to The Jerk, but no, he’s just that nuts.)

Death be Damned! Fun Run

You may have heard of runs like the “Warrior Dash” or the “Tough Mudder.” They have become immensely popular and there are a lot of other runs out there like them.

The Warrior Dash is a 5k (about 3.1 miles) where you run through obstacles – hopping through tires, jumping over a “fire pit” (it’s very controlled and safe), jumping over waist high boards (picture Army boot camp scenes in campy movies).

The Tough Mudder, according to their site, “Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”

Then, one day, I got an email, and this all just got silly. Introducing Iron Warrior Dash. “Iron Warrior Dash is an extension of the 5k course and is approximately 15-20 miles long.”

This is a neighbor feud in obstacle race form.

“Hey, dude, I’ve got a 3 mile run with obstacles that will totally – ”
“Wait bro, shut up, check this, a TEN to TWELVE mile obstacle course. You don’t “race” this, you “perform this!” … like comaraderie and stuff!!”
“Psh. Try this on for size. 15 – TWENTY miles. What’s that? Your name is Hoover? Because you suck.”

That’s how I picture the marketing teams for the two groups interacting. I will go ahead and skip ahead a few years and introduce you to …

Death be Damned! Fun Run

  • A 5-day, 110 mile obstacle course run!
  • Start at one side of the state of Connecticut and run across it!
  • Could you die? Maybe. But you could also come out of this with some tots mcgots sweet pictures.
  • Boo yah kah-what? Boo yah kah SHAH!
  • Befriend hunters, get them to kill some deer, and present venison to a panel of judges to make it past one of 427 obstacles!

Here are some of the many other obstacles!

  1. Pick ticks off your fellow runners bodies to prevent LYME DISEASE! TO THE EXTREME!
  2. Run through the backyard of a upper class white male wearing a sweater tied over his shoulders!
  3. Battle exhaustion, fatigue, and hallucinations as you live off the land! (Careful of poisonous mushrooms!)
  4. Canoe through some of Connecticut’s finest creeks!

Possibly lethal! Outrageously fun! See you there!

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