I don’t know what it is about actual race day- but any runner will tell you, the fastest working fiber on the planet isn’t something you eat. It’s the action of just putting on your race day gear. Through some metaphysical bio-mechanical magic, that gear jump starts the intestinal track. No one knows why this is, or how simple articles of clothing are able to make this happen, we all just know it can and will. And before you ask- NO. No, if you try to get things working on a non-race day by donning that EXACT same gear- the magic does not happen. You just feel like a semi-constipated moron in race day gear on a non-race day.
This year, I signed up for my first 15K. Ironically I did three half marathons before I did a 5 or 10K- so I may be a bit ass-backwards, but that just seems to be me in a nutshell.
The Chocolate Run 15K sounded like a great idea, fun and was a 5k short of a half marathon (which sounded less strenuous than it actually was), and since I have not been training adequately due to some internal/mental malfunction- I thought this would be a fun way to get back into the swing of running. Especially since next month I am supposed to be participating in the PF Chang’s Rock n Roll Phoenix half marathon. (Which I still haven’t signed up for. Procrastination be gone!)
In preparation the day before I figured I would eat things designed to “stick to the ribs” so I am not worried about “runner’s trots” the next morning. So, lunch was a cheese crisp, and I had some peanut butter- you get the idea. Wake up at 5:15am start getting ready- hoping that if any pipes needed cleaning it would happen early…Yah, no. Nothing. Dammit. Ok, maybe pre-race prep day worked? Ever optimistic, I head out to meet the friends to get my run on.
We line up in our designated corral, and uh-oh. Oh no! You have GOT to be kidding me!?!? I start getting the tummy rumbles. Fan-freaking-tastic. Too far away to get anywhere near a port a potty in time, and the first set of port a potties post start is not until the second mile marker. NOT GOOD. I see men hopping the corrals and sprinting off into the bushes in the desert. Well, I know what you guys are up to- and it isn’t speed warm-ups. In some situations, guys really do get all the breaks. While everyone else is chatting it up and stretching, all I can think about are previous bush-sprint excursions. Like the time I had to duck behind a bush on a mountain preserve because the effing park rangers locked and closed all of the “back country” bathrooms. That was awesome. Especially since I was wearing neon clothing at the time, and know that I was not well hidden. OR, the time that I hiked Squaw Peak with a girl friend and almost didn’t make it down the mountain. That was a great hike. Punctuated with lots of “sitting to enjoy the scenery” and sweating bullets. Didn’t quite make it to the bathrooms there either- Thank you Park Curator for the thick strand of Palo Verde trees surrounded by bushes in the creek bed half a mile before the bathrooms!
As you can see here- this is not a worry for any of these guys, and I am trying to remain optimistic.
We didn’t get to go until the third or fourth wave, so that added a good 40 minutes of sweating bullets and hopping foot to foot, because that is always so much fun. By the time we passed the first mile marker, and bushes alongside people’s homes on a MAIN ROAD started to look appealing and I knew there was a whole other mile before the first set of port-a-johns, I knew I was in TROUBLE. My friend spots an Albertson’s grocery store about 1/4 mile in the opposite direction of the race- and at this point I am quickly running out of options. So, I go sprinting across traffic (a big no-no, but I think would be a lesser offense than copping a squat in someone’s front yard, behind their prized bougainvillea bushes. Especially since those have some wicked thorns!) and into the grocery store.
As I run panting into the store, frantically looking for the restroom signs, one of the clerks looks at me and says inquiringly “Restrooms?”. I nod my head vigorously, he chuckles, points to the BACK OF THE STORE and says “Not the first, won’t be the last” (he means fellow racers as I have a giant race bib pinned to me, and my water holster on- I am not fooling anyone). Thankfully I was able to take care of business and get back to the race, but that extra half mile excursion cut me out of my group and I didn’t catch up with anyone until mile 4. I did however, see a 6’5″ tall Buddy The Elf, several candy cane princesses and two Hershey Kisses while I was running.
Those girls were hilarious. They did not realize it would be almost 80°, so they were MELTING. Who knew felt wouldn’t breathe well? HMMM.
All in all it was a beautiful day to be out and running, and although I lost my prized chapstick at the very beginning of the race (You all remember THE CHAPSTICK from The ChapStick Incident ?) and Vicky bailed on a bump, and we thought we were going to die..it was still fun. And a great reminder that we need to work out more consistently.
Not sure if it will let you view the video or not, but here is the link to the video of my finish line run. Pretty anti-climactic, really: Shoulda trained
Small addition…I was thinking of this in the shower last night, and it made me giggle. Sophomoric humor? YES!
#CreosoteCrouch #SageBrushSprint #SaguaroSquat #ShrubShuffle #BushBend