I’ve turned into a bitter shriveled prune
I’ve lost all humor, wit, and zeal
I’ve not yet figured out how to share hospital experiences without violating HIPAA (although I really should share my experiences with rectal tubes) J Yet in my miserable pseudo intellectual career/life I find glimmers of hope
Hope that school will soon end
Hope that an employer will deem me worthy of hire
Hope that I will not accidentally kill a patient my first year on the job
Hope that I will one day bear children
But this is not about my miserable existence; this post is a dedication to Cassidy, my 11 year old compadre. You see, back in January, in the midst of absolute frustration with school and work, I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and sign up for a race. The Golden Gate Dirty Thirty, a backcountry trail run in the mountains of Colorado (except I was only signing up for the 12 mile trail run…not the 30). Now you have to understand my concerns at the time…TIME! No time to sleep, eat, study, void, etc. Where would I find the time to run?? Yet I decided that I would no longer leave my life in the hands of an evil socialist dictator (school/work) but I would take control and force myself to enjoy the finer side of life (paying too much money to go run in the woods with a bunch of hippies).
Anyhow, I somehow mustered up the energy to “train”. I shall use the term loosely as I never ran more than twice per week. However I was quite proud of my effort, as it is more than I have done in the past 3 years. My longest run was only 9 miles, but considering I had run a dozen or so half marathons in the past, I figured I could bust it out.
Well, I couldn’t have been more sorely mistaken! If you’ve ever done a true backcountry trail run you’ll know that they are not comparable to any type of road race. I probably could have figured that out pretty easily by checking out these trail photos on their website, but that would have been far too easy. J
The morning started out with the usual pre-race jitters, concomitant feelings of dread, excitement, anxiety, and four trips to the Port-a-John. Talking with my brother I was informed that the trail, which started out on a dirt road, would soon become a single tract trail.
Me, being my egotistical self, was fearful of getting stuck behind a bunch of slow trail walkers once we hit the single track. Being a natural problem solver J I did the only rational thing I could think of…I positioned myself in front of the whole pack of runners at the starting line. When the gun went off I sprinted to secure a position in the lead.
Within a ¼ mile I was panting for air…after all we were at an altitude of 9,000 ft and running uphill. Between dry heaves, I soon realized what an idiot I was. Now I would be holding up every runner behind me as soon as we hit the single tract. I desperately tried to maintain a jog but quickly had to stop and walk as my throat was slowly constricting and it was taking every ounce of energy to keep my breakfast down. Finally I just stepped off the trail, humiliated as dozens of runners passed me by.
To be continued…since I’m supposed to be doing homework. Stay tuned to hear more on Cassidy and the end of my 12 mile expedition.