Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Some days are just not meant to work out the way you plan them. Maybe I should have listened to myself. After last year I said I wasn't going to run the Estes Park Marathon this year. I needed a year off from it, run a race too many times and it can get old.

I might have jinxed myself too. A few weeks ago my friend Heidi who lives in Tucson wrote me after the Keys 100 and I told her humidity is my friend. 87 degrees and humid is one thing. I didn't mean humidity and 45 degrees.

The weather forecast for the weekend was looking dismal, which turned into abysmal. Dennis is out of town for the weekend. I couldn't fall asleep Saturday night and then woke up at 2 am, was awake for a while, then finally fell asleep sometime before the alarm woke me up Sunday morning at 4:00.

I hit the snooze for 5 minutes, and when it went off again, Iris rolled over against me, exposing her belly, and started making her big baby whining noise that she does sometimes in the morning when she's not getting enough attention. Isabelle pounced on me and licked my face. I was so groggy I could have fallen asleep again but I made myself get up.

Don't wanna!

The girls were not happy. I made coffee and went downstairs to check the weather forecast and looked out the window at the steady rain. Maybe if I was lucky it wouldn't be raining so hard in Estes Park. All I really cared about was that it wasn't going to become a raging flood down the canyon when I had to drive home afterwards.

The forecast was for thunderstorms all day long in Estes, high in the 40s. Fantastic. By the time I got ready to leave the house at 5 it was a steady mist. Not too cold, but 2000 feet higher might make a difference.

Driving up Big Thompson Canyon the water was so high that some of the front yards of the houses along the river were close to being flooded.

The rain was pounding down for the whole hour before the start, I sat in my car after I picked up my race packet and waited, trying to decide how much clothing to take.

The race packets had these foldable plastic cups that we were supposed to use in order to have a "green" event, no paper cups. It was called the Hydrapouch. You're supposed to fill your little cup at the aid station out of these special dispensers.

My first thought about aid stations is the nasty bugs that can be spread around by people not being conscientious about how they fill the mouthpiece on their water containers. It sort of grosses me out...

What if they have Epstein Barr? Or herpes? Or something else contagious?

When it came down to race time, I noticed how many of the hydrapouches I was seeing on the road. Were people just tossing them? Then I realized why- mine flopped off of my waist band twice within a mile. The clip that held it on the waistpack was flimsy.

By mile 2 I wasn't warmed up yet, and I was starting to worry that I didn't have enough warm layers on. I had my long sleeved shirt under my rain jacket, a hat, gloves, headband, and my medium weight drylete tights. My feet were soaked through by 1/2 mile from the puddles and runoff in every intersection.

My hands were freezing and I could barely pull the thing off my waistband and squeeze it open to fill it. I ended up with gatorade all up my sleeve, and I was already soaking wet and trying to stay warm. I think I let out a few expletives at the second aid station when I soaked my gloves that I had finally managed to pull over my frozen hands. The aid station volunteer told me that was the general consensus of the runners.

The Hydrapouch sucked.

Someone will come up with a better design. Not me. I like my trusty old inconvenient screw-top water bottle. I reserve the right to be a fossil, I've been doing this long enough.

The rain seemed like it was letting up around 5 miles but then by 9 miles it was a downpour again. I am too well-adapted to the heat, I guess. I was getting almost warm going up the hills, and freezing my butt off going down, even though I tried to run faster.

My hands were frozen the whole time and my rain jacket was soaked through, all the way to my skin. Time for a new rain jacket. I had tights and a headband on and my legs and ears were warm, but I was cold everywhere else.

I kept thinking I'd make a detour off the course and go to my car and get my marmot rain jacket, my big bulky winter outer layer, that was in the car. I knew I'd have to add about 2 miles in order to make that happen. No big deal, because I was only out for a training run, and it didn't matter how long it took me to finish. Except I was feeling crappy- I had a bad headache above my left eye and my nose was running. It felt like my sinuses and head were going to explode.

Finally around 10 miles, I stopped for a bathroom break and when I went back out in the downpour, I decided it was enough. I wanted to find the quickest way to the car, drop off my chip, and go home. I wanted to be with the Buffaloes and I didn't feel like running in the rain for another 3 or 4 hours, which was what it was going to take at that point. I was cold and soaking wet and I really didn't care if I stuck it out.

I asked one of the course marshalls near the bike path by Lake Estes what was the quickest way back to the high school. Sometimes it's not worth it. I could not care less, really. I was NITM, NOT IN THE MOOD and I didn't care if I DWFed, DON'T WANNA FINISH.

So I ran to the high school track, dropped off my timing chip, and drove back to Fort Collins in the driving rain. I could barely dig the key out of my pocket and open the car door lock, my hands were so numb. It took until I got to Loveland before I could feel my hands. I figure I got 12 miles of running in for the day. Not much of a long run, but at least it's something. I figured maybe if I got a nap I could go out for another 14 or so on the bike path and call it good.

I came home to big smiles and wiggles from the Buffaloes, and I heated up some soup, took a shower, and then was thinking about a nap. I went into the bedroom and started to climb between the sheets and SURPRISE!

Mud, gritty dirt, wet grass, wet pawprints, all over the bed. It looked like they had a party while I was gone. Like they dug under the covers and got it as muddy as they possibly could. Was it revenge?

I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning. Now I have extra laundry to do. And it's still raining. At least it's not snowing.

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