Thursday, May 5, 2011

2011 Owl's Roost Rumble

 Kris Kross might have had a problem here with their over-sized backwards pants. 

Crapper Barrel
Craptastic Year
It seems that all race reports need to include some mention of bowel movements. For example, Der Scott's race report here.
So... the day began with a stop at Crapper Barrel at 6:50 am. Shannon and I have been to this establishment at exit 141 at least three times. Have never eaten there.

Besides the caffeine induced stomach churning, I was also experiencing a nauseating sense of ambivalence about the race. Like every other race this year, I was not sure if my degenerating legs would carry me the whole way. My last attempt at a long run, just the week before, resulted in me walking home 5 miles in the rain. Woe is me.

And even if I could run the race, it didn't mean I should. I obviously need an extended break from running.

On the other hand, this was Owl's Roost, one of our favorite races. This would be our third time running it, and we had signed up back in November. And despite the feeble amount of running I have been doing these past few months, my races have gone surprisingly well.

From left, Marc Jeuland, David Roche,  and Wayne Crews

Clash of the Skinny Fast Guys
The last 3 trail races we have done (Little River, Groundhog Gallup, and MST 12 Miler), David Roche has shown up and won with ease, setting course records in the process.
This is unremarkable in that shirtless douchebags who set course records are a dime a dozen.
But I have never seen one that can write an entertaining race report like Roche can.

This race he had competition however, as local super hero Marc Jeuland was there at the start line. Marc runs a 2:25 marathon on a bad day. On the ride down, Shannon and I debated who would win.

Check out  David's race report to see how that turned out.

Concerned for my health, an ambulance follows me closely
Shannon and I started in the first wave of about 20 people at 8:00 am, which unfortunately is called the "elite wave". Now, I wouldn't consider myself "elite" in any respect, except for maybe making microwave popcorn. But having done 40 or so trail races, I figured I could pace myself well enough not to get in anyones way.

The horn blew, and instantly I was in last place. The "elite" pack, including Shannon, all took off down the road before I could take my first step. My legs were like wood, and it was difficult to get moving. I managed to catch up to them as Shannon was snapping pictures behind her back, getting the one above.

The first mile is the fastest and the easiest of the whole race, so I decided to make the most of it and went ahead.

To paraphrase Rick James, "Tylenol is a hell of a drug".
I ticked off a few miles, waiting for the inevitable stabbing knee pain, but nothing yet.
In addition to resting most of the week, I had taken a few Tylenol and it seemed to be working. As I warmed up the legs felt stiff but OK. Still I worried about the distance.
It was an absolutely perfect day for running, and the sun gleaming off the lake reminded me to just enjoy the moment.

"Tree Love"
There was one spot where the trail opens up to a huge area of roots. I was scanning around to see where the trail continued and ended up running straight into a tree. My arm went numb for a moment, but escaped with just a small scrape and a bruised ego.

Not knowing how much I had in me, I tried not push too hard, even walking up up 3 or 4 of the steepest inclines. Even with that, I managed to keep a steady 7:15 pace, and even passed a couple of guys.

It wasn't until mile 11 that I knew I would make it. Even if something gave out, 2 miles wasn't far to walk.
I looked at my watch, and figured that I might even set an Owl's Roost PR if I hurried.

Shirtless Douchebag
So I let it rip. First I took my shirt off to enter "shirtless douchebag" mode. Taking your shirt off is like wearing red shoes.  Look fast to be fast.

I had been following a guy in blue shirt for a while, so I tried to catch him. We hit the open field followed by the long stretch of greenway. I stretched my legs and pumped my arms, flinging shirtless sweat on the volunteers at the last aid station. Blue shirt must have picked up the pace too because I couldn't get any closer.

The last mile is all uphill, and the last 0.1 miles seems more like 0.5. But I managed to hold on to the pace, finishing with my fastest Owls Roost yet, 1:32:58. Happiness is a good trail race.

Shannon demonstrates how to do a comfortable "plank "

Afterwards we hung out to socialize. Great seeing everybody out there!

Alan proudly shows off his new "Vibram One Finger"

Greensboro's Joel Tull ran the half marathon, then went right to work providing massages.
He put on the awesome "Run for the Rub 10K" last year. Hopefully he does it again.

George scored a little trail love

 I skipped the push up contest, afraid that I wouldn't be able to get back up.

Small owls for age group awards. Morbidly obese ones for the winners.

After scoring an age group award, Harold makes a daring  leap in a kilt.
Little owls make ya "jump, jump!"