Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Have you ever just had one of those days? You know what I mean right? Where it just seems everything is stacked against you, nothing goes right. Well I thought I had but unfortunately I was about to have one better....
4:30 AM...Rick for some reason calls our room at the Super 8 in Salina way to early, wakes myself, John King and Mark Stovall up for no good reason other than to let us know he is awake. We were staying at the same hotel so we could ride to the start together.
5:40 AM...We are in the hotel lobby ready to head to the start of Rockin K, John calls Rick to see if he is ready to go, Rick says he's in the lobby also?? Ummm, only one lobby here. Yep, we made our reservations at different Super 8's. No problem we will just meet up at the start. I think I know the directions but ask the lady at the desk who tells me a better way to get there, no thanks.
We hop on I70, wrong direction, turn around and head west. I called Rick to check the directions and we head south on 135, except we drove all the way to to the Louisburg exit. This is definitely not right.
6:15 AM...We sit in the car for 15 minutes trying to figure out where to go and finally get ahold of Rick, he says we have to go all the way back to Salina to hit 140, which is right by the Super 8 he stayed at. I think we were looking at his hotel and drove right by our exit the 1st time.
6:30-7:20 AM...John drives really fast we get to the start and watch everyone running off in the distance.
7:25 AM...Me, John and Mark all get started running, I haul off and at the first turn, run about 1/4 and see someone waving there arms,,yep I went the wrong way, 1/2 mile wasted.
Now I was seriously pissed off,,,I was Dead last place starting out, was going to be stuck all day out here by myself and I decided to just see who all I could catch the first loop. I caught Mark then John then some other guy who said "thats what you get for sleeping in late" I think it was supposed to be funny but I had no sense of humor. For the next 26 miles I ran like forrest gump. I passed a lot of people on that loop, some I knew, some I didn't. Every time I saw someone ahead I ran a little faster and caught them. I was really trying to catch up with Darin, Stuart or Greg and hope to hang one to one of them for the second half of the race, not to try and beat them but just to have someone to run with. I saw Stuart and Darin running along the fenceline the other direction, they were about 3/4 mile in front about 3 miles from the finish, so I was hoping maybe to catch up by half way through the second loop.
I finished the first loop in decent time. I refilled and headed back out, man the wind was sucking big time, I seriously had thoughts of turning around about 1 mile out on the second loop. The second loop is 2 miles shorter though, it wont be as bad.
I noticed an inbound runner go past the turn to go across a beaver dam and I pointed it out to him and also made a mental note so it wouldn't happen to me coming in. I was feeling a bit of dead legs but just kept running as much as possible. I ran out of water again and again, the wind was really drying me out. I knew there was a turn for Alexanders cutoff coming up soon. I was trying to make sure I would not miss it and add 2 more miles to the course. I saw the sign for the cutoff and was relieved to have not missed it, ran down the cutoff to the brick crossing but didn't see the ribbons indicating where to go, ran back up a bit, back down, hmmm.
I saw some blue ribbons to the right so I went off following them until I saw some striped ones also. There were a few footprints on the ground so I knew I was at least going the right direction. I ran for what seemed a really long time and finally came to the gate 6 aid station after being out of water way too long.
I saw Mark standing there, he had missed bluff loop on the first loop and then shorted it on the second loop so he was heading in to call it a day. He asked why I came in forom the wrong way...huh? Phil Sheridan got a big grin on his face and said I ran the double marathon course. I told him I took the alexander cutoff but got lost and went out the wrong way, he congratulated me for runnning an even longer route than the double marathon and sent me on my way to the bluff loop.
Sweet, now I have about 4 miles extra in for the day but oh well, at least I only have to fight this 40 mph wind for another 14 miles. I took it pretty easy on the bluff loop and was headed on the home stretch to the finish. I was going to try and finish strong and kept my head down running pretty good for a while. Actually kept my head down too long,,,realizing I was following the wrong color ribbons now.
Good thing I made that mental note about crossing the beaver dam when I saw the first guy pass it huh? I made my way back to the beaver dam adding another 1/2 mile or so to my route. Oh well, almost done now. Cue the big gust of wind....yep big gust and me falling off the beaver dam into that really thick black sewage stuff at the bottom of ponds. I sucked me in but I was able to use my water bottles to break the fall, no more drinking out of those sludge covered bottle for me.
Eventually I hauled my sorry butt across the finish line and just sat there for a while wondering what the heck was going on. I was supposed to run Brew2Brew the next day but Stacy and Rick talked me out of that, good thing, the way my luck had gone I surely wouldn't make it through all those railroad crossings in one piece!
All in all it could have been worse I guess, I did manage to avoid 3, yes 3 rattlesnakes on the course, that is a positive right?
KUS and the Sheridans did another great job with Rockin K, it was at least memorable. I wish I could have seen and talked with more people but maybe next time, see you at Free State.
It doesn't matter really, it was just another long training run working towards Western States. Every time something bad happened I would think about Western States and get past it. Bring it on Mr. Cougar, I will be waiting for you....