Sunday, June 25, 2017

THE FREAKS COME OUT AT NIGHT aka DOPE AS FUCK - Night Hawk 20 miler, Lake Clinton, 6/24-6/25/17

     I am writing this blog for 2 reasons, scratch that 3 reasons.  Reason #1 - the title.  That 6 word lyric has been in my head since I signed up a couple of weeks ago.  I find myself having sung it, out loud, at work, without even realizing.  I am hoping a good old fashioned rambling, way-too-long blog entry will put it back on the dusty shelf in my way-huge brain where it belongs...besides The Freaks Come Out At Night is dope as fuck and quite apropos for the subject at hand.  Reason #2 - I have a terrific idea (I really wanted to say dope as fuck idea, but...too soon) for another blog subject besides running so need a practice one to get the juices flowing.  Sounds dirty, not dirty.  Not that the emo running blogs weren't great.  That whole - I look at the picture of me finishing the 100 mile and all that came to mind was "I've always been my greatest disappointment" and related psychoanalysis - was gold (also dope as fuck, but gold is good).  But that gets old too....eventually you learn that thinking you are a piece of shit isn't doing anybody any good, so you get a more realistic view of yourself....personally I like to focus on all the dope as fuck stuff about myself and ignore the rest but luckily I have people in my life whose main role is to point out all the non-dope as fuck stuff that I need to work on.  That's cool....chalk it up to always learning, always growing.  I can deal with that.  Probably why I haven't written a blog in awhile....I'm ok, you're ok, OK, but BOOORRRRRRIIING.  Reason #3 - I can't fucking remember.  It took me so long to write Reason #1 and #2 (reason #2 is really reason #3 so I can't remember the original Reason #2).  Oh yeah (I remembered like 8 min later) .. It's the pics.  I didn't just want to post the race pics and say - Oh, here's a bunch of pictures of me that Rick and Kristy Mayo took so you know they made me look dope as fuck.  You better love, not like them bitches!   What better way surreptitiously post them than embedded in a blog with lots and lots and way too many lots of words??!?   Speaking of which:
Here we have the race shirt in red, notice the hawk with the....LOOK AT ME  DO IT NOW!!!

So even though this was only a 20-mile run, I haven't run a trail race in awhile.  It was a nostalgic feeling when I pulled out my hydration vest.  There was also a feeling of nausea since it smells like wet socks that a diseased rodent wore on it's nether-regions.  I'll get a new one, don't judge.  I almost threw away a GU that expired in Aug of 2014, but I kept it.  Before too long I will be the one saying "I got GU's that are older than you" to my fellow runners.  I got to hang out with Ashley S and Megan (Ed with the brief but witty cameo) and Darci and Bianca (who lent me headphones thank you, angel from heavens above), Kelly and Janee and Brian and you get the picture.  We took photos and I told them all how I had been at the KC Veg Fest earlier and worn out the only dog I have that could have done 20 miles with me.  I have an old one, a mean one and the young runner one I wore out earlier.  Looks like it's time to get more dogs!!  But I digress....back to Veg Fest KC.  I also told my story of how I ate a jackfruit sandwich and had a big bottle of kombucha because when in Rome.  Well, before the race (once in the fucking VegFest porta potty where I am of course sitting inside and Becky is outside, but still on leash.  So she is running around pulling on the leash wanting to go sniff that butt and chase that dog and do anything but sit fucking still for 45 seconds and I am trying to be fast 'cause it's a porta potty and they are all gross even if they are brand new (which this one wasn't) and hang on to her without her tearing the goddamn door off but it's hard because WHO THE FUCK IS STABBING MY INTESTINES FUCK PLEASE JUST LET ME DIE NOW diarrhea is happening.  But in just a few minutes I'm done and I am happy I didn't die in the porta potty at the 1st annual KC Veg Fest. Then the same thing happened right before I left to drive to Lawrence for the race, but I was at home, so being stabbed in the intestines wasn't such a horrible experience that time.  Race hadn't started yet, but I'm already overcoming hardships.  Dope as fuck.  Spoiler alert: I had zero stomach or butt or intestine issues so no on the trail diarrhea stories.  But if you think you are done hearing about my diarrhea, you are so very wrong.  
   So I am feeling like a million bucks and even though I am way undertrained (I've been running like 5 miles at a time for a couple of months now...and I feel good doing it and am enjoying running again, thank you baby jesus but don't say it out loud or you'll jinx it), I am excited - I can't wait to be out there in the middle of the night running around like a crazy person.  Sorry, like a freak.  Who comes out at night.  And is dope as fuck.  I'm not fast and the benefit of that is I don't have to plan how much time on Loop 1 and what I'm gonna eat and am I on pace, blah blah.  My goal gets to be to finish and have fun.  I think fast people are dope as fuck and I genuinely admire their athletic ability and amazed about what their little human bodies can do, but I don't strive for that myself.  Which is good because I have no natural athletic ability, so I'd really be "oh my god I suck so bad everything is my fault" emo then.  When I beat a time I had before at something, that means I was fast as fuck that day.  Finished near the top of the bottom third of finishers, maybe an hour, maybe two behind you, but in my head, all I know is I was fast as fuck.  That's how that goes, dear reader.
     We start and I listen to other people talk and wait for it to be dark and start thinking about what I'm gonna eat at the aid station.  It's not until mile 6.5, but I wanna be ready.  Keep my eyes on the ground, follow the person in front of me, enjoy the endorphins, normal stuff.  It gets dark and I put on my headlamp.  I couldn't find my real one, so I'm using like the first one I ever bought and the headband elastic is all fucked up and I can never get it tight enough unless I safety pin it.  I meant to do that before the race, even got an extra safety pin pinned in my shorts, but I chose to tell diarrhea stories instead.  That was like the worst thing, and it's not bad at all.  Winning!  I walked a couple of hills but ran most of them which is not like me but is now.  I used to never run hills.  Like hardly ever never.  And sometimes what I deemed a hill was hardly even a slope.  Now I can't NOT run them.  I'm not sure what the catalyst for this change was.  I have a good idea though, hear me out.  Sometimes I buy a PowerBall and a MegaMillions at QT.  I never win.  I've won like $2 maybe 3 times and once I won $7.  So what happened is one of the times I meant to buy tickets, I forgot.  It happens.  I'll be wherever next and think - shit, I meant to buy lottery tickets.  Oh well, next time.  Maybe, just maybe what is really going on is... had I remembered to buy tickets, I woulda hit big and been supermegarich for life.  Now, before you get all "money can't buy happiness", "lottery winners end up broke and depressed", just hang on a second, I get that.   I really do.  I am not saying that I get supermegarich and life is going to be supermega awesome and no more problems for Erica!  But, I have passions (I can't think of a better word, but not 50 Shades of Grey passions, those are better when they are cheap and easy, my friend) but my passions aren't something I can make a living at, so being supermegarich from the Missouri lottery would be dope as fuck in my book.  Let's just assume that's how it is for the sake of argument.  So, I don't win the lottery, but I am able to run hills now with not speed (we've covered that), but with enthusiasm.  So I think I've been given this great gift out of the blue, but really I've paid a price.  That came dangerously close to sounding like a Rush lyric, so on with the race.  
   I see Rick Mayo and know he's usually camped out before Land's End.  And just like that, BAM!

It's the biggest pic 'cause it's the coolest. I'm superhappy to see Land's End and I know it's coming, this ain't my first rodeo cowboy.  Besides, there's a sign that tells you 1/4 mile to go to aid station.  Land's End comes and Shawn with his Shawnness is nice.  They had a buffet and I was the only one there, but they were on it and offered me all kinds of stuff, which I love because so many times I haven't realized I needed something till they ask me.  Like "Oh you need a wipe" and you are like "Shit, yes I do.  I spilled sticky stuff all down my shirt and need to wipe it off".  That wasn't the case this time, I told them I didn't need one because that's what my pants were for, and everybody laughed which they have to do because they are supposed to keep you uplifted and be supersupportive.  Anyway, so very glad they were there.  So only 3.5 miles to go to halfway done and of course the last 3.5 miles of the loop is really like 8 miles but I'm still running all the time and digging it.  Loop 1 done and Shay comes out and totally does all my drop bag shit and grabbing stuff out of the back of my pack shit (I get to listen to music the second half, it's a reward for not being a loser quitter.  I've been the loser quitter before so now I have safeguards such as this against it.  Most of my brain time is spent coming up with ways to psych itself out) because Heather ignores me other than to acknowledge my presence.  I think she thinks if she is nice to me I will whine about wanting to quit (I am not a whiner.  At all.  For real. But she was my pacer at Rocky and got whining all fucking night long I don't know how she did it.  I would have told me to fuck the fuck off and then shoved me down and kicked me in the face, only 'cause there were no curbs on the trail to stomp my head on.  Maybe a tree stump stomp).  Anyway, I wouldn't even consider quitting, it's only like 10:30 so the good shit hasn't even started yet.  So off on Loop 2.  When you first enter the woods Heather's kid and Kristi and Rick's kid are there to tell you which way to go.  So I go that way and start messing with my phone and headphones so I can listen to music.  I already decided I was going to listen to Disturbed - the album with Down With The Sickness.  It came to me in a flash before Land's End even though I haven't even thought of Disturbed in years.  Seriously.  Limp Bizkit is my guilty pleasure.  I want to not listen to them, but sometimes I have to and I want to not love it, but I find myself singing asinine lyrics about dirty butts like I'm the Infredible D myself.  
    Anyway, I'm wrapped up in getting Disturbed pulled up on Spotify which I do and start running again.....before too long I hear little girls yelling - Go Runner, Nice Job, blah blah.  WTF?  Apparently I wasn't paying attention while f'n with my phone and ended back at the start.  I am telling everyone it took like 10 minutes.  It's more like 5, tops.  So I re-start Loop 2 and see where I probably went wrong.  Looks like I turned left and went down the path that had a big WRONG WAY sign in the middle of it.  Details, details.  So by let's say Mile 13 I am not really running.  It's like when you are at mile 50 of something.  I know I am going to be sore as hell the next day.  But I am all amped up on caffeine (filled my water bottle with a Grape Rockstar at the turnaround.  Don't care what you say, I count it as one of my better life decisions) and other asundry chemicals in a RockStar, so I keep moving.  There was a group of 5 or 6 girls that I knew were going to pass me,  And they did but then I got in the middle of the group and hung on for a bit, but I could tell that was WAY too fast to be sustainable.  I kept stumbling over shit and it would have been a matter of time before stumble becomes fall and head meets rock or knee meets rock or head meets tree on way down to meet rock where knee already is.  So I slowed my roll more.  We crossed the road where Leia was....I forgot that part.  So at the beginning they tell us that people are gonna win free shoes.  Not just those that place, but random others based on how they finish.  Like the manner in which they finish.  So I immediately think, well I'll just finish with no clothes on.  Give momma her shoes.  Well, after a second thought I realize I can't do that.  It's not feasible and there's kids and I am sure there would be some flack to deal with and I have had enough conversations and lectures on what is appropriate behavior and what is not to last me for like 8 more lifetimes.  It just wasn't worth it.  So there's a road crossing and my friend Leia is there to guard it I guess.  Maybe direct traffic, but traffic is just a random vehicle and if they're gonna hit you, Leia, although a superhero, isn't gonna be able to stop them.  You know, maybe she would, who am I to say.  Anyway, I tell her my finish line dilemma as I cross the road the second time on the first loop.  She suggests cartwheels, which disappoints me.  I get it, you're just trying to help, but you can do better.  You ARE better than that.  So I tell her she has a few hours to work on it.  So this time she tells me I could do an interpretive dance of my race.  OMG that is so along the lines of what I was thinking!  I could only get as far as doing some over-the-top acting of something, I was missing the something and Leia got the something.  I also thought I could yell Coming In Hot and then stop drop and roll (explaining what I was doing to the audience of 4) over the finish line.  It was early, I had time to come up with a dance.  But things are hurting and where the fuck is mile 6.5?  I am not sure if I'll see Rick or not before it (I did, but I didn't know it was him and he was facing the other way).  It finally comes and goddamn those volunteers are awesome.  I forgot how at night with the lights and the sweet food all the gnats come out and get in your mouth and up your nose and there's no getting away from them.  By the way, Shawn, please explain this:

Nevermind, I get it now.  This is what a moth would look like as it goes to the flame, as it always does.  Except instead of a moth, it's a 6'5" redhead.  Of course, silly me to not see that right away.

Anyway, I had Shay put a Coke in my pack (they always run out by the time I get there) way back when and I now got it out and poured it with what was left of my grape Monster.  Winning combination, I assume nobody else is gonna try it - that's cool, just take my word.  I had no business being there and feeling fly, yet there I was.  Next, me and my winning combination leave Land's End and only have 3.5 miles to go.  Longest 3.5 miles of my life (well, except the last 3.1 or .2 or whatever of FlatRock where time and space don't match up....I know I've been lost between 2 parallel universes in that last 3 miles and have spent more than one eternity there, I know you don't believe me but I am telling you something weird happens out there and its not good, I feel like I've narrowly escaped something akin to when certain people take acid and they never stop tripping) and I can't really move well and my body is pissed that I am doing this to it so it acts like it all of a sudden forgot how to move.  But if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you eventually get to the end.  You have to.  It's a rule.  I finished the Disturbed album, got some Die Antwood and Tribe Called Quest and right when I needed it the most Til I Collapse by Eminem came on so we (me and my winning combination) turned that shit UP and we were flying!  I am quite certain I was hitting a solid 16 minute pace, but it fucking felt like flying to me.  Oh yeah - at some point along there I get really pissed about this whole finish line shoe thing.  Not really sure now exactly why, but I decided to scrap it all - not even a stop drop and roll - and I'd just buy my own goddamn shoes.  So that's what happened, instead of me rolling on the ground or reenacting the emotional journey (I came up with doing animal noises to accompany it, which wouldn't have translated well in photos anyway), you get this.  Which is still dope as fuck, smells like victory, of the freaky variety, but still victory.

So I'm all done and Megan isn't too far behind me and Darci is all done with her first 10 miler and Ashley is all done with her 20 miler.  She got second but didn't tell anybody.  I would've told everybody but that's just me.  So instead of getting the chance to heap accolades on Ashley, I told Carol (who was there to volunteer so was not present at pre-race discussions) about my diahhrea.  Leia was there and hadn't heard it either.  Ashley had though.  I guess it's kind of an award, hear the diarrhea story twice.  I added stuff though for her benefit that I hadn't brought up before.  Like how the poo looked and that it required a butt washing, not a butt wiping.  Then Carol told us how some guy didn't understand why he shouldn't mate 2 puppies from the same litter, so as a way to explain, she asked him "Well, what happens when you have sex with your sister?"  Leia swore she was going to start answering all questions with this one, so please please please ask Leia a stupid question next time you see her.  Then I went by the fire and talked smack with the Mayo and the Cotten and whatever Shay's last name is kids just to end things on a high note.  So, that's what I was doing Saturday night from 8 till about 3 am when I left, aren't you sorry you were sleeping like a little baby and missed all the fun?  Grow up and be a freak and come out next year.  THE END.
PS - Don't bother stopping me if you've already heard this, but I wasn't sore the next day (well, only a little) because I am like the Terminator, which is dope as fuck.