A Very, Very Dirty Post

June 10, 2013

Humor

This weekend I ran the Dirty Half Marathon.  It was intense.  The build-up got to the point where at the starting line I was ready to do an about face and run the other direction.  Why?

First, my friend Mark who I run with signed us up, and I knew it was largely a series of very twisty, very rocky single-tracks through the woods.  Then I went to look at the map of the course.  Here’s the elevation graph:

ftzone_dirty_half_profile-w

Are you noticing that it’s basically uphill for the first 8 miles?  Because it is.  See that highest point around mile 7?  Looks like you’d need a Sherpa to get there, doesn’t it?

Then last week I bumped in to a friend who’s among the most hardcore athletes I know.  She’s run the Boston Marathon; she does Iron Man competitions.  She asked, “You doing Dirty Half this weekend?”  “Yeah, are you?”  “Nah.  It’s too hard.”

I’m sorry, what?

What she meant was that with work she wouldn’t have had time to prep enough to be competitive.  But still…

The race organizer gives us our last minute pep talk.

The race organizer gives us our last-minute pep talk.

So I trained as best I could with those minor distractions of work and a baby.  But then Mark and I were at the starting line, and the organizer was giving us our “pep talk.”

“It’s hot out there this morning, so stay hydrated.  If you’re having trouble, if you feel like something’s wrong, stop.  There are nurses volunteering at all the aid stations – let’s give them a hand.  When you hit mile marker 7, Doctor Something is working the water station, give him a thanks; he was among the first responders there where So-And-So died last year.”

He said more after that, but I don’t remember what.  I was thinking about the fact that someone died running this race last year and how interesting that is.  Just really, very interesting!

The race wound up going really well. Saw several people trip and go down, but neither Mark nor I were among them.

Stray observations:

  • A low point: At each aid station I would grab water, drink half of it, and dump the other half down the back of my head to stay cool.  The volunteers yell out, “Water! Water!” or “Electrolyte! Electrolyte!” so you know what you’re getting. My guy was shy or something – he said nothing. I grabbed the cup, Gulp; dump.  Ew.  That… that was not water.  I basically dumped sugar water down the back of my head.
  • It can be a fast transition to grumpiness when people are passing you.  “On your left.” “No problem!”  “On your left.”  “You bet!”  “On your left.”  “Gotcha.”  “On your left.”  “Yeah, I can see you.”  “On your left.”  “Whatever.”  “On your left.” “Fuck off.”  “On your left.” “Fuck off.” “On your left.” “Fuck off.”
  • On the flip side, passing people is awesome.  I don’t know why they get grumpy about it.
  • Both Mark and I finished on the positive end of what we were hoping for, and given the temperature and terrain I’m crazy proud of both of us.
  • On looking at the results Mark said, “So, if I could have just shaved an hour off my time, I’d have come in third!”  There are some ridiculously fit people where we live.
  • Instead of finisher medals they give you pint mugs.  Perfect for rehydrating, for dumping electrolyte water on your head, or for other celebratory beverages.
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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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78 Comments on “A Very, Very Dirty Post”

  1. busymindthinking Says:

    I await my wings. Congratulations on trying this run at all.

    Reply

  2. Michelle Says:

    Hey, congratulations! I’m silly proud of you guys, and anyone who runs any kind of marathon. I can’t run to my mailbox.

    Actually, I drive my car to the mailbox.

    Reply

  3. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    Never participated in any marathon not even walk seven steps….you are my hero
    May be that pep talk would have helped 😆

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      They’re actually a lot of fun – one of the things I like about running events is everyone gets cheered, from the winners to the people at the back. It’s an accomplishment no matter how long it takes.

      Reply

  4. Go Jules Go Says:

    The “end is near” picture and Sherpa comment killed me. Much like this run would have. I would have been the 2nd corpse. (Seriously? Seriously?!) This weekend, I kept picturing Uncle Jesse saying, as he glanced warily back at me on our hike, “What do I look like? A mountain goat?”

    Whatever you time was, I’m sure it would make me resent you. A lot. (Very nice job.)

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Dogs always have that sudden, heartbreaking shift, don’t they? From “This is the greatest! We should do this all the time, forever! Thank you!” to “I’m tired now. I don’t want to go any further. Please don’t make me. Can I have a couch and a chewie, please?”

      Reply

  5. rachelocal Says:

    Running is hard. Running up hill is harder. When I run, I absolutely have to listen to music. When I hear my own labored breathing, it’s impossible to concentrate, because I’m like, “I sound awful. Am I dying? I should probably just sit down on the cool grass.”

    Looks like you and Jules both were industrious this weekend! Kudos!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I finally started listening to this awful, awful trance music with a steady 170bpm. Dreadful, but it’s handy for keeping up my pace. I agree, though – once you pay attention to your own condition, you’re sunk. “Hm, now that I think about it – I’m tired. Everything hurts. I don’t sound good.”

      Reply

  6. donofalltrades Says:

    Nice work. I ran a half a couple of years ago on semi flat concrete. A mountainous uphill trek on a trail sounds just awful.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I have one on a flat, paved, walking-trail in 3 weeks (them being so close together isn’t because I’m hardcore – it’s because I’m a bad planner); I’m kind of excited for it to seem easier by comparison. Not easy, of course, but I’m hoping that the contrast will induce happiness.

      Reply

  7. Denise Says:

    There are some ridiculously fit people where you live, and you sir, are one of them! That elevation chart….. and you ran it….sheesh.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’d love to think so, but it can be frustratingly humbling living here. A woman I went to high school with was in the race – she ran about as as fast as I can run 1 mile the entire way. I was done in 2:02 – which isn’t amazing but isn’t too shabby, especially for that course – and she was done 35 minutes before I was. That’s insane.

      Reply

  8. BrainRants Says:

    I don’t know whether to congratulate you or call you a fucking idiot.

    Reply

  9. Don't Quote Lily Says:

    I’m just so glad you lived to tell. You’re insane…but congrats on making it!

    Reply

  10. Charlene Woodley Says:

    You are indeed deserving of many kudos! I can’t even imagine imagining doing something like that as the only running/jogging, biking I’ve ever experienced was ‘in place’…longest 30 minutes ever! Hat’s off to you and congrats to your friend also! 🙂

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      On the plus side, in a race there’s no overly-perky person shouting motivational slogans at you – something that seems to come along with the stationary biking all too often.

      Reply

      • Charlene Woodley Says:

        Lol, yeah I get that a lot – especially when the slogans only refer to breathing or maintaining consciousness. What’s even worse with stat bike is loss of balance…for some reason I can’t seem to figure out how to work the breaks.

        Reply

  11. k8edid Says:

    I had to lie down after reading this…I’m still recuperating and reading this was too strenuous. You should be damned proud.

    Reply

  12. Lauren Says:

    Good for you. A half marathon of hills, a baby, and the end of the school year and somehow you’re still keeping it together.

    Your success makes me skeptical about my ability to function as a proper adult.

    Reply

  13. pfstare Says:

    I would be envious – but nope that one does sound too hard 🙂

    Reply

  14. mistyslaws Says:

    Intense? Pfft! I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t have done some editing at the same time. Sissy. :p

    And yeah, assuming that I could ever be talked into doing something insane like this (would never ever happen, but still), and assuming I got past that map (deal breaker right there), I’m pretty sure when the guy mentioned DEATH at the starting line, I would have run straight to the nearest bar and just sat there drinking. You sir, are insane. But congrats on finishing that monster. Bravo!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      My friend Mark actually signed me up. I didn’t know what he’d gotten me in to. Then I saw the map and pride kept me from calling Mark and telling him that I couldn’t because there was a thing I had to do that day. An important thing.

      Reply

  15. Dana Says:

    I think this post is confirmation that you’ve officially lost it, B-Man. Sorry to break it to you… but I’m pretty sure you’re insane.

    (On the flip side– now you can say that you are literally a ‘death-defying’ athlete. Oooh– so glamorous! So exciting! I think the cape and superhero ‘B’ on your chest are quite fitting now.)

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      There actually was a guy running it with a superman shirt, and superman socks (each sock had a little cape on the back). I remember doing a 10K a year or two ago, and a guy ran it as Captain America, which meant he was basically wearing a ski mask the whole time. He was not in good shape by the end.

      Reply

  16. UndercoverL Says:

    All right. Good for you! Jealous of your fitness. When I ran a 5k last year and people would pass me, I only had strength to exhale a little harder in response. I was walking. I am lame. I broke a sweat reading about your trials.

    Reply

  17. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Well done indeed! Extra props for not leaving after hearing the word DEATH.

    Reply

  18. Brown Road Chronicles Says:

    Nice job! That was painful just reading about it!

    Reply

  19. speaker7 Says:

    I only run downhill and when chased by zombies, otherwise forget it. I’m amazed that you did this.

    Reply

  20. PinotNinja Says:

    Congrats! That course map is simply insane. I’ve run plenty of 1/2’s in my time and nothing has ever looked even remotely close to that. I feel like it might not be legal.

    But, I love the fact that they give you a pint mug at the end. Finally, something that you will actually enjoy instead of a medal that will eventually end up in a box somewhere in the bottom of your closet.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I agree – I thought that was really clever. The medals are nice, but then… yeah. In a box you go, I guess. A mug you can flaunt to people constantly. “Oh this?” you can say, and then launch in to a 30 minute story.

      Reply

  21. Jackie Cangro Says:

    Respect! That elevation is crazy. I ran a 5k this weekend, and I’m exhausted.

    Do you have a marathon in your future?

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I don’t know. I really like the 1/2 distance – it’s tough but manageable, and your body isn’t wrecked. And you can train for it without losing entire days, practically. But, then, marathons are sort of THE THING, aren’t they? I might do one just to say I did it, but it’s not a goal, specifically.

      Reply

  22. strawberryquicksand Says:

    Haha I take it you survived the dirty race? Thanks for the laugh!

    Reply

  23. The Bumble Files Says:

    Congratulations! That looked like a killer. That took courage, that one. I’ll never forget the time when I raced my first 10k and in our “pep talk” he said “if this is your first 10k, you picked the wrong race.” I wanted to walk back to my car. I ended up doing it, and yep, it was hard!! So, good for you to stick it out.

    Reply

  24. Every Record Tells A Story Says:

    The first ever person who ran a marathon died straight after. How did it ever become a sport? In what other walk of life has that ever happened?
    Congrats on making it to the end.

    Reply

  25. Laura Says:

    Congratulations!

    Is it just me, or did the announcement sound like a less than enthusiastic endorsement of that doctor? It sounds like they’re saying he treated a runner (for a twisted ankle, or something), and the runner died, so this year they just have him handing out water instead.

    Reply

  26. Sandy Sue Says:

    You are an alien. Go back to the Mother Ship.

    Reply

  27. silkpurseproductions Says:

    Well done!
    People should mix it up a little bit and pass on the right once in awhile. Maybe you wouldn’t get to the cussing so fast.
    Congratulations.

    Reply

  28. mairedubhtx Says:

    Congratulations! I’m in awe of anyone who can run in one of these, let alone one that is mostly uphill.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It was a loop, so I know that by definition it had to be as much downhill as uphill (even though up takes it out of you far more than down rejuvenates), but it sure didn’t seem like it.

      Reply

  29. pegoleg Says:

    Yea, B-Man! That graph would be the picture of my heart rate if I even contemplated doing something that insane. What’s with all the epic climbing of things last weekend? I stayed on level ground and had a party. The pre-party prep and house-cleaning was practically as strenuous as your gig, and I didn’t even get a commemorative mug or t-shirt. Good thing the ordeal was lightened by ingesting some truly awesome sangria.

    Reply

  30. Blogdramedy Says:

    The closest I get to running is when I run a tub. So congratulations!

    Reply

  31. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Congrats on such a huge accomplishment! And for not dying! And for using my fave swear word a lot! Be proud, seriously. I need a Sherpa to make it to the bathroom at 2 am most days.

    Reply

  32. talesfromthemotherland Says:

    Ok, someone has to say it: The only thing I like more than a man who runs half marathons, is a man who runs half marathons and talks dirty. wink wink nod nod.

    Reply

  33. a2shato Says:

    I only wish I had the stamina and endurance to participate in events like this. Heat kills me, makes me sick, etc. So I say to you, you’re awesome! Keep up the fantastic stuff!

    Reply

  34. Andrea Says:

    Sounds like heaven…on flat terrain. Still, sounds fun!

    Reply

  35. Daile Says:

    This is why I stick to runs with names such as
    Color Run!
    Glow Run!
    Fun Run!

    Reply

  36. jadorelamusique Says:

    Great job! I know I couldn’t do it o_o

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Bra Is Stuffed (But I’m Still Hungry) | Go Jules Go - July 16, 2013

    […] Table did Insanity, Girl on the Contrary signed up for The Betty Rocker Challenge, The Byronic Man ran two half marathons, and Truth and Cake completed Tough Mudder. Just to name a […]

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