Sunday, February 10, 2013

Slaying a Mountain Goat


Is that what you've been wondering? It's been over 3 months since my last blog post. What's up with that?

Well, I could give you the excuses of "I've been busy." "This house is taking up a bunch of time." "I just don't have time." But the true reason is likely this....

I've been mad. At running.

The one thing this blog kind-of centers around....I've been pissed at.

We need to go back a last post was the night before the Conquer the Mountain Half Marathon in Franklin, NC. Oh...OOOOHHHH.... So, was it bad? Did I DNF? Yes and no...for both. I DidNotFall if that's what you're thinking.

You know there was some let me give you a race report first....Then I'll eventually tell you why I was pissed at running.

The night before the race, which let me remind you was named "Conquer the Mountain", I was trying to decide if I was going to just 'run it' or to 'race it.' And let's be honest...the only person I would be racing was myself. (And of course Megan because I so wanted to kick her butt.)

The morning of the race, my nerves hit the stratosphere! I woke up at 6a.m.; ate a bagel; debated my wardrobe choices; pace about; stretched; ate more bagel and drank more water; and pretty much had a nervous breakdown in the hotel room. I finally convinced myself to lay down and relax.

And I kid you not, the very freaking second I drift off into relaxation and a bit of a nap, the freaking fire alarm goes off. What the hell is it with me and hotel fire alarms before a big race???

After going downstairs and sitting in the lobby with everyone else in their pajamas (which is the only time adults are allowed to wear PJs in public!), Megan finally picks me up and we head off to the start line....

Let me stop right there....there was no "start line." It was a bunch of people huddled about and one guy says "3,2,1, Go."

...Back to the start. I finally made my decision and shared it with Megan. I felt that if I didn't get a personal record on this course that I'd be disappointed, but I'd be even more disappointed if I didn't try to get that personal best. So...there it was...I'm racing. Megan said 'no problem' because she's a sweetheart and tried to make me feel like I was going to leave her in my dust. But when the guy said GO, she was OFF!

Here's the start of the race. That pink jacket is Megan. That blue jacket is me. I don't think our strategy was to get in last place, and see how many people we can pass. It was more like, 50 people were standing in a huddle and one guy said GO and shot off a gun. For some reason, everyone else started running and we were like "Oh, we'd better GO!"

I won't bore you with too many race details (yet)....except....

1) Much to Megan's disappointment, I didn't get to whip out the Mace and go all ninja on killer dogs. My guess is that there were so many runners ahead of us, that their bellies were full by the time we passed!
2) NEVER sign up for a race that has anything about "hills" or "mountains" in the title!
3) Do not trust small town, inaugural races to have tons of timing chips that were not made in the 1970's. Seriously....we were wearing ANKLE BRACELET TIMING CHIPS! We looked like a group of escaped parolees.

Or to have race bibs that have the name of the town on them.....

Which is about 100 miles from Franklin...

OR....something special at the finish line....

My "official" race time was 2:26:13!

That means I shaved a hair under 2 minutes off my best time!! (And a few minutes faster than Megan!! SCORE!!!)

So why am I not so excited about that? Why am I at a loss for words? Why can't I come to grips with that kind of accomplishment?

When you run 13.1 miles, and you are not a true 'marathoner' that runs 13.1 miles like every weekend, you are tired. You are a bit delirious. You have no idea what you are doing, except looking for a banana and a place to lay down.

When I crossed the finish line, some guy stopped me and was taking off my House Arrest Bracelet. Then some other guy handed me something...I didn't know what, I assumed my  medal...I just wanted a banana.

Normally, after a half marathon, someone hands you a finisher's medal. That's what I was expecting.

I am a hardware-whore. I expect a medal after running anything over 10 miles. I EXPECT a medal after running a half marathon. I EXPECT a medal after Conquering a Freaking MOUNTAIN!!!

Wanna know what we got???? Look closely and you might figure it out!

Do you see it? Can you see it? Where's the medal?

I see it. But surely not. They surely didn't give you......

 A. Sticker. ???

Oh....yes. They did.

A F-ING STICKER!!!!!! And not just any old sticker....a special, "unique" finisher's sticker. Apparently a Bumper Sticker!!! Because after having visions in my head of what a "unique" finisher's medal would look like for a race called "Conquer the Mountain", a Bumper Sticker

How in the name of everything holy, am I supposed to display a Bumper Sticker with my other finisher's medals? Oh, I'm supposed to put it on my truck that has 130,000 miles on it that will die within the next couple of years so that some grease monkey at the junk yard can steal it and say "I conquered a mountain!" ????

A. Sticker.

Maybe I should have re-read the race info on Facebook:

"Long Sleeve T-shirts will be given away to the first 100 registered racers & a limited edition half marathon sticker (so you can tell individuals, "Boom! I did a half marathon!) Please email your t-shirt size to:"

Yes. It said I'd get a sticker. But I thought that meant in the Goodie Bag!!! (Which did contain men's deodorant.) That description also said....Boom! What the hell was I suppose to think? With a cool logo like this....

One would expect a freaking medal that looked like that!!!

To "conquer" also means: To beat, beat up, better, blank, blast, bulldoze, clobber,  cream, deck, drub, exceed, excel, flax, floor, get the better of, knock off, lambaste, let have it, lick, master, outclass, outdo, outshine, outstrip, overcome, prevail, put away, shoot down, shut down, surpass, take care of, take down, tan, thrash, top, total, transcend, trash, triumph, triumph over, trounce, wallop, waste, wax, whip, whomp, whop, wipe out, wipe the floor with, wipe, zap

And if you do all of these, my friend....will get.... a sticker.

If you want a medal...then you'll just have to get creative!

For my rack of medals so that when I'm 95, I'll see it and remember I Conquered a Mountain!

Despite the fire alarm, the House Arrest ankle bracelets, the recycled race bibs, the men's deodorant, the bumper sticker....the stupid-funny part about the whole small-town-inaugural half marathon is that this guy won it...

I shit you not. An exchange student from Kenya.

So there's the funny part about Conquering a Mountain....tune in later for why I got pissed at another 3 months or so....

Gotta run...