Saturday, October 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Fatmarc!

Today is Marc's birthday. So what did we do? We went to a bike race of course. So today we loaded up and headed down to Hagerstown, MD for a cross race. It was a crazy race. It was a really short lap, really bumpy, and tons of turns to power out of. We ended up doing a billion laps. It was nuts. But it was a good day.
Somehow we managed to miss the rain yet again. So that's cool. I thought it was gonna be a sloppy mess today. Which I don't really mind. However, when it rained the whole way down until about 20min from getting there, I was a little concerned. It was quite chilly today and I do not like being cold. Yes I know, how can you like cross and not like being cold? Good question. I love cross. I'm not great at it, but it has always been my favorite type of racing. The odd part about it is it's a cold weather sport and I hate cold weather.
Last night I was packing everything I could find just in case it was really cold. Which means around 50 to me. As I got dressed I put on a ton of imbracation, knee and arm warmers, and an undershirt along with my shorts and jersey. I kept going back and forth about about a vest, but at last moment I decided against it. Though some people raced in just a jersey and shorts and looked fine and maybe even a little warm, I was perfectly fine. Never felt over dressed at all. After my race as I cooled down I started piling on the layers. I couldn't get enough. I had on a base layer, a short and long sleeve t-shirt, a fleece top and a heavy fleece jacket,plus I had knee warmers under my jeans and a wool cap and was still freezing. At one point during the A race I sat in Lisa's chair and bundled up in her blanket and held an umbrella to shield myself from the wind, while still cheering on Dan the man. Yes, I know, I'm a nut and they were making fun of me. But I can't help it, once I get cold I do not warm back up. But still this is my favorite type of racing. Go figure.

Marc and his hitchhiker (aka ratfuck)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fear in Fair Hill

The other day Marc and I had planned a trail run. I still hate running. Nothing has changed. But it's a necessary evil, so we were going running. The original plan was to meet up and run right after work when it is nice and bright and sunny. However, as it goes, plans change and we ended up meeting up later than anticipated and didn't head out until around dusk.
We decide to just run a trail near home to try to conserve some daylight. When we get to the trail Marc asks how far I'm going to run. He times his runs, I just run as far as I can and then walk back. So he suggests that I go one way and he heads off in the other and then we'll meet up out on the trail. I say that I don't think this is wise as I always ride the opposite direction and I was afraid of getting lost. He assures me I won't and we head off in opposite directions.
My run started off pretty well for a change. I was going at a decent pace (for me) and I didn't feel like my feet were going to shatter every time they hit the ground. Then I started getting hot. I had asked Marc if it was getting cold out before we left the house. He said yes so I put on a long sleeve t-shirt over my short sleeve one and wore pants instead of shorts. Though it had cooled down, it wasn't that cold. So I'm sweating my ass off and running along; going deeper and deeper into the woods. As I go in deeper I notice it's getting really dark. I start to hear noises. They're kinda creeping me out. Stories of wandering cougars start going through my head, but I keep plodding along. I come to a fork in the trail. Crap I don't know which way to go. I start to go one way and then rethink it and go the other. I continue to move along. I come to another fork and another. Then I'm on a fairly steep rocky downhill. This is odd I think. As I've never come up a rocky decent going up the other way. But I just keep going. I figure maybe it seems worse cause I'm running instead of on my bike. Suddenly I hit the stream at the bottom. There's no crossing. Crap, it's the wrong trail. I'm lost.
It's getting really dark. I pause for a moment contemplating whether I should cross the stream anyway and run across the woods as I know which direction eventually I'll find the trail and run into Marc. I decide against it cause then I'd be running in sopping wet sneakers and it's best to stay on the trail when lost. If I leave the trail then I'm really in trouble.
At this point, I'm lost, I'm getting tired and would normally start walking, but it's getting dark and I don't know where I am. So I turn back to run back up the trail. I now have to run up the steep rocky trail I had just come down. I come to a fork. I try to remember which way I had just come. I keep hearing noises. I figure Marc should be coming up behind me soon. But am I even on the same trail? I don't know how lost I am. I'm running and looking behind me. It's like a scene out of a horror movie where the audience is yelling at the girl in the movie to keep running and stop looking back. I'm tripping all over the place because I keep looking back. I'm completely exhausted at this point, but I can't stop running due to fear. My knees are screaming. I keep looking back. Still no Marc. Where is he? I look again, still nothing, a split second later he's behind me and closing fast. He must have been behind a tree or something when I had looked previously cause he was so close it scared the crap out of me. I screamed and almost fell down as I tripped yet again. I followed him back to the car and then we went home. I will no longer run by myself at dusk, in the woods, on a trail I'm not sure of, or with too many clothes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Here's a shot from Lilipons yesterday. I usually look like I'm either lollygagging around or coughing up a lung. But here I actually look like I'm working. I still look like I'm suffering, but that's ok, that's cross.

Thanks Mike for the picture.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Picture Pages

Today was Lilipons. Usually when you go to a cross race, it's a park of some sort. There's trees, a fields and some road of some sort. It's great for viewing the race, but never what you'd call picturesque. Lilipons was an exception. This was my first time going to this race. It was a great place for a cross race. The course was great, there was some technical little run-up's, which were cool, and there were liliponds everywhere. It was so neat looking. The race course weaved in and out around them. I saw some broken tape in some places. I'm pretty sure there were a few folks that took the plunge. I saw one guy for sure. Anyway, here are some of my favorite shots from today's events.

Marc, Wes, Amy and I loaded up the toaster with 5 bikes, a gazilion wheels and all our crap and headed off at 6:45am. My race was the first one and Wes's was the last. It was a long day. A good day, but long. I did better this week. I had a lot of fun, still very painful, but did better overall.

Wes and Amy riding along. Wes looks a little scared.

This is one of the cool little landscapes they have set up. Amy liked this little guy.

Marc and Ethan warming up before their race.

Tom, Mike, and Kurt cooling down after their race?

FFA makes a new friend.

Marc doing what he does.

Everyone hanging out after getting done races. One more to go. Of course I picked this shot cause Fred the Wonder Dog is in it.

Here's my version of the Tour de France sunflower picture. Yeah, you can barely tell there are racers in the picture, but who cares. It looks cool. I actually think that first little spec is Marc.

This was just some cool old dog that let me get down on the ground and play with him. He was nice. My first thought was he looked a bit rough and might take my arm off. But it turns out he's an old softy.