I woke up in the morning to the sound of voices, I open my eyes, and the sky is much brighter than it should be. I look at the clock, and it says 6:56. My race started at 6:30. I hop out of my sleeping bag, get dressed, and start running down the trail to the starting line to try to be my way back into the race. I catch a rock wrong, and feel a pop and slide inside my leg. As it collapses and I topple to the ground, I wake in my sleeping bag, uninjured, but with the worst charley horse in memory. Hour and a half until my goal race for the last several years starts, and I wish once again I knew a way to calm the pre-race jitters.
At mile one, I feel a sharp pain on my right achillies. Flummoxed, I look down and I see a bee holding on for dear life. I flash to HBO's (first?) 50k experince with the bee sting and resign myself to a long icky race. The sting pain spread and drifted for most of the first 10 miles before it finally faded.
The RD gives the usual spiel about being polite and the color of flags to follow and the refrain of the race "Don't let the cows out". There are on the course three cow pastures that you must run through each loop, and on each end of the pasture there is a closed gate. Somehow, six gates each have a distinct locking mechanism. Not a big deal early in a race, but solving mechanical puzzles after running for hours upon hours and exhausted is an interesting side challenge.
The race starts of with a half mile dirt road descent in an attempt to reduce the single-track conga line. It does, but it doesn't eliminate the line. As I'm waiting in the woods, I look down and see that my shoe's upper has toe-popped and I sigh, new shoes again?
At 6:56, my watch buzzed to tell me that I had gone two miles, and I'm cranky. 26 minute miles is not any way to get a race done. I don't wake up in my sleeping bag. I do math for a living folks.
AXE Body Spray
There was this couple that were just a little bit faster than me, but took forever in aid stations, and so we spend 16 miles passing each other (they got out just before me at the loop, and I lost them when I fell). The above wouldn't be noteworthy, but the gentleman had decided that he needed his lady's man game on, and nearly knocked me over with his scent everytime he passed me.
WWE Wrestler Move
So my fall around mile 17. I tripped on a rock, pulled a picture perfect WWE bounce off the rusted barb wire and then fell. Somehow, I managed to come away with just a single scratch on one knuckle. A mile and a half later, we irrigated and bandaided it (in the Morgue), and I didn't think of it again.
Injinji Toe Socks
So, at the end of Palmer's Pond, I had to rip my injinji socks off because they had become so tight, that I couldn't feel my toes. This wasn't just my feet swelling, as I still can't get that pair onto my feet. They must have shrunk in all that mud. This time's injinji's socks did just fine, and were not uncomfortable at finish.