Thursday, September 19, 2013

2013 North Shore Trail Half Marathon Recap (See: Hot)

I am a firm believer in the words “There is no try, only do, or do not”.  Thanks Yoda.  I am also a firm believer in this nugget of wisdom from the gentleman scholar Ron White, “You can’t fix stupid”. Right now I feel both apply very well to me.  Shortly after finishing (barely) the Psycho Wyco 20 miler I signed up for the North ShoreTrail Run Half Marathon. The intent was to really push the “no try only do” quote but as I found out, I was really testing the “stupid” quote the whole time and only working my way up to Yoda.


For those unaware, Kansas in the summer is insane at best. We may have 80 degree highs or 80 degree lows. I was very fortunate to have gorgeous weather for my first trail race. The second one, not so much.  I knew it could be iffy signing up for a race in Sept., so I signed up for 2 anyways (more on the other later). Come race day, I realized I should have known better. Highs around 100, 9 AM start, it was time to SWEAT.


So before we get to the flame kissed Sasquatch, let’s talk about the course and other pertinent stuff. I got some decent trail running in before the race. However, this trail was a wee bit different. Very rocky compared to what I had been running. Not devastating, just different footing. Next, it was a bit more flat, except the stairs of impending doom. Those were less than pleasant and thankfully few. Course itself was nice. It ended up being a 2 loop out and back due to some park snafus which may have been a blessing in disguise as people were dropping due to the heat. The race was put on by the local Trail Nerds, and Ben’s races are top notch. The volunteers did a fantastic job tending to the numerous “casualties” from the heat and rocks. I know one person got ambulanced off and I also know runners, a ranger and volunteers did an excellent job helping that person. A gentleman that was in front of me as I came to the finish had a particularly nasty gash on his chin from falling on one of the rocky sections.  We helped him up to the line. The day took its toll.


I was no exception. I started off strong and made it through the first loop strong. There, however,  things started to deteriorate. It was @#$%^&* hot out. Before I said I signed up for a second race. One week after this one I signed up to run a marathon on the same trail. Remember that fixing stupid line? That’s me. But it sounded like fun. So as I went through the gate and back down for the second loop I started thinking should I slow down and save a little something-something for next weekend. I tried to run-walk-run for a while and it just kept getting hotter. Then I slowed down even further. I pretty much walked the last mile and half and that alone was a bear. And not a Winnie the Pooh bear, but a bear-shark from syfy wreaking havoc all over. Finally I got to the finish line pretty much crawling across. I was done. I got my medal, got a drink, and promptly crumpled like a wet towel dropped to the floor.


Generally this is where the race recap would end, but let’s go a bit further, overtime recap if you will. I sat in the shade and watched the walking wounded stagger in for a few minutes. I was legitimately scared for a few minutes. I hadn’t felt this bad for a long long time. And seeing others miserable wasn’t helping. I still had to heft my deflated self up off the shady grass and walk what seemed like 20 miles (.25) back to my car. Got there, poured myself in, and then felt REALLY bad. At Wyco I had drank too much. Not enough electrolytes to balance it out and gotten to feeling miserable. Here, I drank too little and surprise surprise, was feeling miserable. On the way home I had to stop at convenience store to grab some cold water and a Gatorade cause I was shaking so hard. Suffice it to say, I learned another hard lesson. Hopefully next week would be better.

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