1st overall in 17:32. You know you need to rethink your finances when a hilly high-elevation 5k doubles your net worth. Right behind was Tim, one of my all-time favorite people who I respect so much. Of course, after articulating emotions such as that one, he probably is slightly nervous around me because all evidence points to my compression shorts fitting just a bit tighter. Don't judge, I am just trying to keep my bearings by pointing in the direction I want to go. Well....slightly to the left of the direction I want to go. Anthony Weiner made it cool.
|Battle of the liberal bulge.|
Last weekend, I "raced" in Vail, Colorado. It was like watching a baby gazelle learn to walk...directly into the jaws of a lion. I proceeded to be chewed up, shatten out, swallowed again by a hyena, thrown up into a bush of red berries, when finally the berry/poo-vomit mixture was eaten by a monkey. Which then smeared his colorful feces onto the forehead of a lion cub.
So that was humbling. Along with my spirits, it broke a 10+ race streak in such emphatic fashion that I doubted I would ever race again at elevation. The only positive was that, in the past, I would not have finished. Walking over the snow, I was inspired by a perfect girl back on the east coast right now, and everything she has done, to finish what I had started. And I sent my poo-vomit berry idea to Gatorade! I expect royalty checks any day. At the very least, it's better than G2.
The last two weeks have also been my first working at EDF. It is so inspiring to be surrounded by brilliant, amazing people who are fighting for what is right. Because of people like them, the world will be a much different place than it could be. And that...well, that makes it so incredibly exciting to wake up each morning.
As does coffee! So after free-basing Folgers, I drove to Camp Eden, a beautiful religious camp at 9,000 feet. Mapmyrun said the course had 197 feet of climbing. Note: Mapmyrun also thinks the average ruler is 4.5 inches long. Warming up with Tim, we talked about everything. After test-running the first hill, everything mainly involved grunting.
He also tried to psych me out with humbleness. I SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOUR HUMILITY LUCHO. Strip to underwear (HEATHEN), attempt to hide the bruise from a snow-induced fall last week (LESION), explore the surrounding flora (PEEIN), AND THEY'RE OFF!
The race director started things directly up a climb, which doesn't seem very Christian. Repenting in Tim's slipstream, he took it out hard to the first 180 degree turnaround. I admire how he raced so much--he went for the win right away, realizing that if I went into the red, I probably wouldn't have been able to come back. Luckily, things went back down the hill, and we caught our breath while exchanging pleasantries. "Something something great job!" I said. "You fucking asshole!" I thought. "Sorry!" I felt. "Badly!" I write.
It was a long descent past the start, and I opened up the stride in an attempt to get a gap before the major climb. Somehow, I had a few seconds after a section around 4:40 pace, which gave enough of a cushion that there was still a slight gap after the uphill. At the crest, we did another turnaround, and went flying back down the hill. I felt good, but knew that I could not allow there to be hope or I wouldn't win. That last part is also the slogan of the Tea Party.
The faster running was quickly replaced with 8 minute pace slogging on the final major climb. At the final turnaround, I took a quick glance across the sandy road, and saw that the gap was enough to survive to the finish. Tim gave a congratulatory wave, while I gave a smile that probably betrayed how badly I felt like I had to poop. Crossing the line, all of the camp workers and spectators were so amazing, and really made me realize why I love Colorado so much. Though hilly 5k's at altitude would be better at Lent. Especially if you were giving up both breathing and bowel-control.
Thanks so much to Tim, and to the race director, Jason. Tim, Oliver, and Ben (as always) were awesome in every way, the race was so much fun, and the 100 bucks should delay the descent into selling superfluous organs. And thanks to you, for reading. I owe you guys so much, and I really appreciate everything. Hope your summer is off to a perfect start!