|A strong visual always nails the concept.|
—Don Juan Castaneda, "Conversations With Maestro Sevende Sandia"
Seconds before the start I realized I’d left my hand-held back in the car, a quarter-mile away. Holy Shit! So I sprinted back, got it, and burst through the start. And everybody had gone. This was a definite first, a DFL start with Boner Mileage. It was a fitting preview bookend to my 10:00:35 DFL finish*.
The start was a clear, calm and very cold 28F start, a sharp drop from the balmy 44F at home. All you Midwesterners can go fuck, it's SoCal. I was feeling totally naked, and only half-afraid. It was so cold, that even the venerable John Vanderpot wore long pants. Ultra-couture aside, staying ahead of cutoffs at this late stage was my only goal.
Say goodbye to my little friendAs this is a physical sport, your body makes its wishes known clearly. Gwyneth Paltrow should take note.
At the first of several whiz-calls, I was busy admiring the northward view off the Backbone, well off-trail, when a woman who was busily singing along to Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits shouted “No fair!”
“Life’s tough!” I replied.
I passed her to escape the Manilow.
A mile later Mr Turtlehead awoke from his slumbers, and made his will known. It took some doing, but I found a convenient place to make the Squatting Dog Sun-Salutation. I was able to gaze out on the blue Pacific, and imagined that fateful day when Juan Cabrillo sailed past and thought “that’s some fine-ass land to conquer.”
But onward. The Race Beckons.
Brenda; “you’re a freak!”
Me: "I’m just a guy that loves women"
Brenda: "OK. This better be on your Strava then."
Thanks to you and all the amazing volunteers out there.
No, this is where the story ends, dammit.Had I not been so prodigal by wasting time at some fun aid stations, I probably would’ve hit the 10 hour finish by 1630. I also didn’t realize that in the Inexorable Logic of Ultras, the distance to finish line expands.
I squatched it as fast as my diminishing abilities would have it. Suffice to say I was happy as fuck to finish and be done with it. Note for next time: don’t jerk off in aid stations asking if they had buckle polish.
So at 10:00:30 is either a DFL or first in line DNF.
Data Mining at its Finest
Strava can be cryptic. I've made notations on this pace chart. Draw your own conclusions.
Nostalgia, And Shit
|The older I get, the faster I was.|
On this weekend in 1990, I ran my first 50-miler, 1990. Avalon Benefit 50, Catalina Island, CA. Cloth bibs no less. Field capped at 100.Finishing 10-1/2 hrs later I was a different man. Had I known in high school that athletics were this cool, I never would’ve bothered with drugs.
*whether this is a DFL or a respectable DNF is at the RD’s discretion. Only the UltraSignUp knows for sure.
Mug shot courtesy of Anne Convery. You can find it here.