Bar hopping, wasted on gin!
On Route to Race
This is, unedited, what I wrote on the way to the race grounds.
This is the doom race.
Internally I’ve got a bleeding tooth and stomach cramps for days now.
Externally it’s minus fucking one and there’s snow on the goddamn ground. Good luck getting sub 135 time when you’re just trying not to biff and die. Also guess who doesn’t own any cold weather running gear? Short shorts and a tank motherfuckers. Bitches out here got thermal toques on and I’m just a hungover viking in a space jam costume.
Whatever happens happens kids.
And now I know its so much worse than you imagined young Alastair.
Luckily the free shirt that came with entry was a long sleeve so I was wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, my tank top, and shorts while everyone else was in thermal pants, jackets, hats, hoods, gloves, the works – when it first started hailing. I was already freezing standing around waiting to line up and one guy made the point that cold isn’t too bad as long as it doesn’t start raining. So it hailed. It also rained a lot.
Just rain and snow and hail and slush and mud and sub zero temperatures. I thought about the fact that men in 1944 did worse stuff in colder weather with people aiming to kill them with no idea when it would be over so I just had to find my hardcore.
I actually ran a great race all things considered. And I mean that literally rather than as an apologetic figure off speech. With the weather and the track conditions I told myself there was no pressure to get a better time, just run smart and safe. I could have biffed it on some slush and getting hurt in the freezing cold super sucks. So getting my baseline time in worse than baseline conditions means I still improved.
I was running strong almost until the end, better than ever before, until one hill at – of course – K 17 completely fucked me. I went from okay-for-the-entire-race to -dying-for-the-rest-of-the-race in 45 seconds. Then the last 4 K was entirely muddy gravel.
Worst of all when I finished I couldn’t rest. Normally I sit down and take my calf sleeves off, drink some water and breath but it was too cold to drink and the ground was just snow and mud so I kept walking – wanting to get to my jacket at the bag check. The adrenaline dump, the blood pressure drop, the soaking wet while now standing still in the wind just wrecked me. I got the spins, I was coughing, I was glassy eyed. At the bag check they asked me if I was okay and I said I’m not 100% certain that I am so they wrapped me in a tin blanket and put me by the heater. I was able to smile and make jokes within a couple minutes so I knew I was going to be okay.
And that’s-a my grapefruit, best grapefruit ever.
Then, of course, the sun came out and it got super nice. I traded my soaking wet shirts for Liv’s jacket and scarf and we hit the beer gardens, we got coffee, it was the great festival atmosphere I love.
We got fondue, we came home.
And we brought gin.