Sunday, February 23, 2014

Umstead Marathon Mascotolgy Boycott

The Peoples 'Possum will not be denied!

Fans of the Umstead Marathon may be familiar with this blog due to the expert Mascotology analysis we provide every year.

I regret to inform you that there will be NO mascotology this year. We are boycotting.

The wife greedily hoards Umstead plaques

For the uninitiated: the Umstead Marathon has a different mascot each year which adorns the assorted race paraphernalia: t-shirts, finisher's pint glasses, etc. The top 15 finishers of each gender receive the coveted wooden plaques in the shape of the mascot. See here for more info about the shadowy group known as the "Conclave" that chooses the mascot.  Previous posts: 2010201120122103.

We will not be discussing how cool a snake would be, or  how long overdue it is.
Malevolent Overlords
Why are we boycotting?
Because the insular little cult of the "Conclave" has become a ruthless and bitter dictatorship.
Yes, they continue to give us the wonderful gift that is the Umstead Marathon year after year.

However, they have become mad with jealousy when it comes to the mascot selection.
Every year we accurately identify the best candidates for mascot, and The Conclave deliberately chooses something else! Just out of spite!
Despite the awesomeness of it,
we were denied a 10-point buck for the 10th anniversary.
Deerly Disappointed
2013 was the last straw.
Even though a 10-point buck was the clear choice for the 10th anniversary, The Conclave chose a duck.

Why a duck? Because back in 2012, I had mentioned that a duck would be "a disappointment".
They specifically chose a duck to disappoint us! Can you believe that?

I saw this opossum in a tree just outside Umstead in 2012.
A sign of the coming Opossumlypse

Obvious Opossum 
The problems began in 2010, when I identified the Opossum as being THE CORRECT CHOICE for the next mascot. 

They had picked a rabbit instead, but they knew I was right, and hated me for it. So instead of owning up to their mistake and giving the people their opossum, they vowed that it would never be an opossum! Ever!

You may think I am just being paranoid. But have been told directly by several members of The Conclave that this is the case. I even have it in writing! Look at this chilling threat I recently received on Facebook:

"I’m fairly certain that as long as you keep lobbying for [the possum], [The Conclave] will resist--just on general principles."

¡Viva la Revoluci├│n Zarig├╝eya!

Revolution in the Air
The last 20 years have been filled with people rising up to confront oppression to make things right:
The Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, the Rose Revolution in Georgia.

Well the time has come to end Opossum oppression. The Peoples 'Possum will not be denied!
It is time for the Opossum Revolution!

This year there will be an Opossum mascot... one way... or another...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 Uwharrie 40 miler


Deja Vu
I'll skip right to end.
I got to the 20 mile mile turn around in 3:40, which was too fast, and just plain dumb.
The volunteers were amazingly speedy and helpful. They got my drop bag, filled up my bottle and took my nasty used gel packs.

I slammed an Ensure, reloaded on gels and started back towards the finish. My legs were stiff and dead. Everything hurt, right hamstring, left achilles, hips and knees, but that was expected. Unexpected was a pain in my back and chest. I was breathing really hard just walking, and my heart was racing.
I still had 20 miles and about 4 hours to go.

In anticipation, I had brought pills. I popped some ibuprofen and caffeine, and started running.
I knew exactly what was ahead, because I was in the exact same place and condition 2 years ago when I destroyed myself completely.

Women's first place finisher tackles "the log"

About a half mile out, I came to a stop, stepped off the trail, and just stood there. Did I really want to hurt myself again? For what? A steady stream of runners passed by. As a testament to trail runners, every single one was sincerely concerned, and asked if I was OK.

"Yes! I'm fine... actually, I am great!". I was so happy to quit. I turned around again and walked back to the 20 mile station to drop out and catch the bus. Even walking slowly was difficult, and a laughed at myself for even considering going another 20 miles.

My lovely Ultra runner wife Shannon ran by, surprised to see me walking. "Oh, no no no!!"
She looked great and was running strong, yet she offered to drop out with me. "No don't be silly." I declined.
We both had the same goal of 8 hours, but she had paced herself much better for the first half.

At mile 22 however, the battery in her Garmin died.
The constant feedback of the GPS is what drives her. For her, if the GPS does record it, a run never happened.

For example, we have a route that we take our dogs that is exactly 1.1 miles long. We know this because we have run it hundreds of times. Yet, we still have to stand in the driveway holding 3 dogs until she gets a satellite signal.

Without the Garmin, she lost all motivation and finished in 8:27. It still was good enough for 2nd place female and 26th overall.

The experience was not a complete loss for me.
I discovered the the e-Gel that I was using worked GREAT... in more ways than one:

  1. As a fuel source. I had 5 of them, 750 calories worth, without stomach issues.
  2. As a glue. I had put the used packets in the front pocket of my shorts, and the residual gu had leak out. When it dried, it glued my shorts to my thigh with an incredibly strong bond.
  3. As a hair remover. When attempting to remove my shorts, I ripped out a large chunk of hair from my thigh. I need to keep this in mind when bikini season rolls around.

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