This was an epic weekend of firsts for my son & me: it'd be his 1st time joining me to a race of any kind (as a spectator) AND we had decided to camp out. It's difficult relating to your own angsty/moody teenager sometimes, so I was so happy he'd be joining me that i almost decided not to run. I think the main reason he went, though, was because a fellow trailer (John McDonald) had offered to pay him to watch his three dogs while he ran the 30k. You might remember my son - he was the 1 that was being walked by 3 dogs (instead of the other way around). He loved dogsitting although I could tell he was a little nervous once the introduction to the dogs was made.
Eventually, I decided to run the 30k instead of the 60k. I wanted to run and hang out with him before midnight as opposed to finishing sometime at 5am when he'd be asleep. A big thank you to Mari for keeping an eye on him (shhhh, he doesn't know I asked her to do so).
The following are some highlights of our great weekend.
2. Showers are underrated. We camped out on Friday/Saturday, and our only shower was the hose on the fish cleaning table as you enter the park. If you wanted to shower, that was it…So we showered.
3. Camping rule # 1: DO NOT LEAVE FOOD (especially candy) OPEN IN THE TENT. After my race ended, I went into our tent to crash. Immediately I felt the unmistakable stinging of ants. For the record, my son denies that he left any food open. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume ants just liked our tent.
4. Squirrels make odd noises. We awoke Saturday morning (at 5am, no less) to a weird huffing or puffing sound coming from the trees. From my tent, we looked up and saw a squirrel was the 1 making this sound. I was intrigued. We both agreed that nature can be very noisy. Cool but noisy. What can I say - it’s the little things.
5. Friends sitting in the dark under the stars is priceless. Friday night, we were 1 of a handful of campers (of what would be a tent city by race night). We spent several hours until about midnight sitting in the dark gazing at the sky and shooting the breeze. Added bonus: getting to watch shooting stars.
6. Cows are badasses. We were among 4 vehicles making the long & winding drive into the park when all of a sudden we all came to a halt. Once the dust cleared, we saw there was a cow that had stopped in the middle of the road. After what seemed like an eternity, it went along its merry way across the street. It moved when it felt like moving. It didn't care that we were in a bit of a hurry. Cow, you da man!!!
7. Hokas are the best. The best. After any trail race, 1 thing is certain - my feet will be sore. A little sore or quite a bit sore, but they WILL be sore. My feet felt incredible during the race, and they feel incredible right now. This was the perfect terrain to test how well they’d protect my feet, and they performed really well. I rolled my ankle a couple of times, but I have a feeling that would’ve happened regardless of the shoes I was wearing.
8. The tripping & falling streak continues. I fell 4 times during the race Saturday night. This might have been the most times I’ve fallen (and can get up) during a trail race (day or night). My previously broken hand is a little sore but no serious damage - just a couple of scrapes and bruises on my hand, elbow, side and back. It has become a tradition for me to fall at least once during a trail race.
9. Maybe glasses are a must. I’m near-sighted. The only time I wear my glasses is when I drive at night (or go to the movies). I have never used my glasses during a trail run - even a night run. It may just be me, but I’m thinking there might be a direct correlation between running at night with no glasses and falling. I have planned a scientific experiment during my next 60k night race on 09/01. I will wear my glasses during the race. Stay tuned…
10. 2012 Capt’n Karl’s Colorado Bend 30k kicked my butt. I started a little faster than I normally would and that was planned. By mile 4 or 5, I knew it was quickly becoming spent, but I decided to continue with that pace. I figured: it’s only 18 miles so I’ll be ok not worrying too much about hydration and/or calories. WRONG. I barely finished and was suffering the effects of dehydration from 11:20ish pm until 6am this morning. I am used to getting sick during the latter stages of a race, but I’ve never gotten ill (and continued being ill) after a race. I was finally able to hold something down at breakfast this morning. Lesson learned (but, of course, I’ve said that before).
Overall, the best part of the weekend was having my son there with me. Not only do I love him, but I actually like him and am proud of the young man he's become.