1st overall in 1:20:13. Around the 10-mile mark, the trail was winding over rocks and roots and streams, back in the middle-of-nowhere in the forest. It was peaceful...serene even. Just as I began to lose focus, I turn a sharp corner, and the trail straightens out for 50 yards. At the end of the corridor was a man, in a baseball catcher's crouch, waiting for me as if I was a screwball. He is stoically silent, until I get within a few feet, when suddenly he yells, "GOOOOOOOO GET EM, CAT DAAAADDDAY!"
So I went, attempting to go get someone. Because one thing I know is that when someone asks if you are a God, you say yes. A new corollary to that is when someone calls you Cat Daddy and conveys his guttural urges very loudly, you attempt to heed his wishes.
Law school finals studying is a great taper. I curl up with a nice book on environmental regulations, and before I know it, my legs feel alive. Primarily because, after reading environmental regulations, it is impossible not to repeatedly stab your legs with a ballpoint pen. The gushing blood makes me feel like a kid again!
|Environmental Law makes exactly this much sense.|
Jogged around, said hi to some awesome people at the race (WoooHOOO Karen!), and toed the line. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I left my shirt on. For the first time in as long as I can remember, spectators did not puke in my general direction. Haha, spectators, joke is on you. I had lots of fiber for dinner, and wiping with leaves after a forest pit-stop just acts to spread the fecal matter.
For those playing blog bingo at home, you can check off the box for "Poo Joke." I actually think that is Free Space.
AND THEY'RE OFF!
Based on my dancing, extremely Caucasian.
Anyway, great, handsome (single? with a spare lock of hair?) guy Ben Godfrey took off in well under 5-minute pace. Why so fast? I asked as I came up to him, breathing heavily. Why not? he replied easily. EXISTENTIAL DREAM CRUSHING.
After he took a two-step wrong turn, I slipped by and began to push a bit on the single track. A mile in, his breathing vanished, most likely as he vigorously earmarked Kierkegaard. In the interest of full disclosure, I looked up Existentialism to make that reference. Though I did wear a Columbia beanie to the start line, so the misplaced intellectual pretentiousness was still dripping from my forehead.
|I give a fuck about an Oxford comma.|
Or that may have been fecal matter! Leaves are very inefficient. Aside from being rough on sensitive areas, leaves covered up obstacles on the trail. I use a controlled falling descending style, which was like playing ankle Russian Roulette on the rocky sections. I got lucky repetitively, especially on the creek crossings. Early on, I still felt spry and sprightly, avoiding sprains while spraying spralliteration. Crap, think I messed that up. Sprorry!
The course was really up and down, with lots of mud and rocks. At first, I tried to delicately prance over the trail, until, on one creek crossing, I delicately pranced right into some quickmud. When the mud eventually released the shoe, the laces were undone. My foot and ankle pores, however, were totally exfoliated. After that, each creek crossing resulted in one of those Rex Ryan mud baths. It was super fun to splash through the woods on a beautiful day, and I came through the 7 mile halfway point in 38:58.
|My condolences to awesome photographer/person Shannon. This angle probably left her permanently scarred.|
The only problem with the race was that their choice of start line music left "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO stuck in my head. By lap 2, the chorus had continually looped in my cerebellum about 6,000 times, and I would have become a puppy serial killer to make it stop. New rule: the song played right before the start cannot be anything that would best be introduced by Ryan Seacrest.
Anyway, felt really good on the second loop, with Cat Daddy Man spurring a new urgency around mile 10. The technical sections became a good bit slower, so I attempted to drop the pace to 4:40 or so on the flats. Although the pace on the second 7 miles seemed glacial at times, the time was a few minute course record over a former US Trail Marathon champ. And I popped a little blood vessel in my eye! That could be from exertion. Or it could be from Party Rock Anthem.
Thanks so much, for everything. It was so amazing to spend time at the race with Karen, Ronnie, Kim, and Shannon. They are awesome, and the type of people I strive to be. That last sentence, and most of this post, was non-sensically awkward, and I apologize if reading it caused you to pop a blood vessel in your eye :) Hope things are absolutely perfect, you guys rock!