Pain Is Temporary, Stupidity is Forever
Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2006 @ 4:40 p.m.

It's been sort of peaceful around here for the last week and I couldn't quite figure out why but then it came to me - NO MAILROOM GUY. He must be on vacation! It's really a vacation for everyone, isn't it? I'm ridiculously overly nice to his fill-in simply for not being him. That's sort of sad, but in a hilarious way.

It's been sort of crazy in my world and I'm just now getting around to telling you guys about it. Last weekend was the XTERRA in which deluded people like me pay lots of money to suffer like fuck. Sincerely, WHAT IS WRONG WITH US? Hell, Kenny and I didn't even do the triathlon, we just did the mountain bike race and that was plenty, plenty, PLENTY hard.

I started getting nervous on Thursday because I like to be prepared, don't you know. It got to the point where I'd start thinking about it and my heart would race. Healthy! Kenny was waffling (mmm…waffles) right up until he registered Saturday morning. I pre-registered like the sucker I am. Can't miss the suffering! Must sign up early!

Saturday morning rolls around and the stupid weather guy proclaims it to be the hottest day of the year so far. Well, of course it is. We ate breakfast which I really wasn't in the mood for AT ALL and then geared up and rode our bikes down to the race. Yes, rather than drive down we thought it would be fun to ride our bikes three miles to Belle Island. Good plan, especially when you have to ride home uphill post-race.

On the way down we discuss all the things that normal people might be doing on a Saturday morning, things like reading the paper or eating donuts. Or sleeping in. We cried a little bit. Sad bitter tears of race remorse.

We got to the race site and got our numbers and whatnot and then I had a good hourish to get really churned up and nervous. My race was only 8 miles which seems reasonable, except that short races tend to be fast races - no need to pace yourself when you don't have to, I guess. Kenny's race nearly twice as long, poor thing.

Finally they lined us up and got started. We had to do a horrible run-for-the-bikes LeMans start (HATE) and naturally they started the sport women with the beginner men (HATEY HATE.) Please understand, I don't hate the beginner men personally, I just hate starting with them because they're all spazzy and nervous and they'll knock your ass over (accidentally) given half a chance. Sorry boys, but I've seen it happen.

Hey look! I'm in the lead! Okay, not really. (Image courtesy of Blake, who's permission I forgot to ask. Oops.)

So the race starts and I'm all breathless from the run and then breathless trying to keep up with the pack. We hit the long stretch of fire road I put my bike in the big chain ring and started picking them off. I passed a few people halfway down and reached the staircase right behind the 2nd place woman. (The staircase is hard to explain - it's an outdoor spiral staircase leading to a pedestrian bridge that you have to carry your bike up. It smells like pee. ) I paced her through most of the next section of singletrack and got passed by a few people who I later passed back on the incredibly narrow hilltop singletrack. Fun! Not stressful at all!

I finished out that section and tried to put as much distance between me and the others as I could. I was running in 4th place at this point. I crossed the big bridge and caught up with another woman who was really annoying and periodically made horrible retching noises. Now, I felt like I was going to puke a few times but I really don't know what was going on with her.

I followed her for a while until I'd had just about had enough. She was really... aggressively chatty and not terribly friendly. When I passed her she yelled, "I wanna know YOUR NAME when this is over!" Oooohkay then! That was all the motivation I needed. I passed her on the last long technical section of singletrack and knew there wasn't much left but a straight flat shot to the finish, so I put my bike into the big ring again and rode as hard as I could. I came in just over 45 minutes in 3rd place. Hey! Not bad. I didn't puke or anything! Kenny finished his race 11th out of 33, so that kicked ass too. Not a bad day for Team Lummox, overall.

On Sunday we went down to watch some of the XTERRA triathlon and dang, them some crazy people. I get the mountain biking, but I cannot IMAGINE swimming, then biking for 15 miles, then having to run. Not at all. I feel sort of weak and clammy just thinking about it. However, it was great to watch and we had a fun morning hanging out and cheering everyone on, except for the part where I got a ranty lecture about trail work from someone I'd literally just met. Thanks! Just a tip: It doesn't help your case at all when you bitch out people you barely know, but nice try.

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