Same S**t, Different Day
Today I raced the Lake Stevens 70.3; I finished with a PW – personal worst. Rather than lament about another race gone wrong I thought I would share some of the interesting happenings and encounters on race day.
I stayed at the Roach Inn with severely poor fluorescent lighting, furniture that is too big for the room (I had to move a chair to navigate from the front door to the bathroom), a scintillating view of the parking lot, the most hideous bedspread and loitering chain smokers. I needed a shower to get clean from the shower. The icing on the cake, though, was at 4:30 race morning. I proceeded to the ice machine to fill my Camelbak and bottles. I pressed the button and all I heard was the whirring of an empty machine. Ugh. I darted across the street to the gas station and bought a 7 pound bag of ice. I should have knocked on the other racer’s doors to distribute it, but I was now pressed for time.
At some point on the bike I switched over from “racing” to “surviving”. While in survival mode, I passed a guy on the bike with sheer shorts. Very sheer. Think of pantyhose. We had the following exchange.
JZ: Dude, you need new shorts.
Dude: Why do I have a hole in them?
JZ: They are really see-through. I can see your crack.
Dude: Wow that must be bad.
JZ: It is very disturbing!
Here is the kicker, though. I had seen the same guy the day before and we had an equally interesting conversation. He was heading out for a ride with a bare torso.
JZ: Are you going to put a jersey on? You are going to get really burnt.
Dude: Nah, I am only going for 10 minutes.
JZ: That is hardly worth the effort.
Dude: I just hope I don’t scare anyone with my fat.
JZ: Well, you know what they say. Tan fat is more flattering than white fat, so tan the fat!
I spent a good part of the second run lap behind a self-talker. Most of his ranting was garbled, but I was able to catch a few coherent snippets.
“God-damn it, get going. Kona is way harder than this.”
“It’s the Fast and the Furious moving along.”
“Get the engines running now. Come on.”
“Are you Joanna Zeiger? Wow, I’m running with a pro.”
“Revving it up.”
“We’re almost there. We’re going to make it.”
I counted 5 people wearing the race t-shirt during the race. What is the rationale behind this? Did they decide beforehand that they had nothing to wear so they relied on the shirt? Or, did they see the shirt at check-in and thought the look, feel and quality was far superior to the shirt they had brought from home?
Many of the aid stations were low on water when I was on my second lap. They handed out cups with less than a sip of water. The people on their first lap were screwed.
I always say if you are going to suffer you should have something nice to look at. Today, I suffered. Today, I had something nice to look at. The course is beautiful. I really did enjoy the scenery and I do believe that the beauty had a calming effect on my broken spirit and helped me get to the finish line.
I was told by many to go get a drink. Drinking alone at noon is depressing and borders on dysfunctional. Instead, I went to Starbucks and ordered up a soy, coffee Frappucino. Nothing like a brain freeze and caffeine to cure the woes.
Since I can’t race for speed right now, I think I might just race for blog material!