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Interstellar Adventure
Adventure: the pursuit of life — Daniel Roy Wiarda

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A New Birthday Party Theme...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

EXERCISE! April, one of my friends from AT was celebrating her 29th birthday (again...if you know what I mean) this weekend and has added a new party theme to the world of birthdays. The plan was to run 10 miles and then do some obstacles on the bike, and then add in a smidge of volleyball, with time for food and beverages squeaked in. Whatever happened to clowns and magicians? So, Wrigley, Tori & I headed down to Dusty's house (April's sister) in Redduck (that's Red Oak for those of you who aren't from Texas) with my toy box (my box 'o fun gear) & bike, ready to run, pedal and play the day away. The run started at noon, which in "AT-time" meant around 12:30-ish. Foxy Roxy showed up with a variety of jello shots to get us started on our run. Dusty had planned a great 10-mile loop around town, starting from her house. Aid-stations stocked with water, gatorade, energy gels, fruit & beer would be positioned at the 2, 4, 6, & 8 mile points. AT members April, Becky, Gale, Lee, Lauren, Charles & I (with Wrigley & Tori saddled up) lined up at the end driveway and Dusty yelled "Go!". So, down the street and around the corner we jogged, ran, and otherwise mobilized ourselves on the start of a hot, windy 10-mile run. I quickly came to think "hmmm, maybe I should have left the dogs behind", for various reasons. Redduck is "country". This means people have large plots of land, and lots of room for multiple dogs of their own. My poor babies were going nuts! As we ran down the road, every dog in Redduck barked at us. Wrigley & Tori ping-ponged from one side of the street to the other, trying to be "polite" and bark back at their fellow canines. I'm sure the other dogs were barking "You go girls! Lookin' good! Keep it up!". Or something like that. This wasn't going to be easy. We crossed over one of the main roads into a quieter (fewer dogs) area. This didn't help my dogs concentrate any better though. In addition to dogs, there are other animals (and therefore smells) in the "country". With so many olfactory distractions, it was harder and harder to get a good pace going. We made it to the first aid-station, and they both headed for the shade under the truck, and they lapped up every drop of water they could get. I didn't think the distance was going to be a problem for them, but I greatly discounted the heat element. It was nearing at least 80 degrees. And, not only had they not run in the heat, but I haven't run in that kind of heat in a long, long time. Only 2 miles in, and I was starting to think they weren't going to make it. I decided I would take them one more leg, and then re-evaluate. They could hang out in the back of the aid-trucks if necessary, but I felt guilty about bringing them out and then having to leave them. The second leg quickly got hotter, and we felt the wind start to blow. Who ordered the wind!?!? Wrigley was angling for any bit of shade she could find, which wasn't much. Poor thing was trying to stop, and Tori was trying to pull her along. This wasn't working, since Wrigley weighs three times as much as Tori. So, we walked, and I gave them more water from my bottle. I knew we were getting close to the aid station, so I tried to pull them along a bit faster, even taking them off-leash since they nearly tripped me up a couple of times. Dusty was manning the mile-4 aid station. There were only a couple of bottles of gatorade left, so we emptied out the ice chest and let the dogs drink from the melted water there. Bad idea to bring the dogs out Egg. Dusty was so sweet though and said she would keep them there until the truck came back. I was reluctant to leave them, but knew that I needed to. Who knew it was going to be so hot! I'm glad I was with "dog people" too. Otherwise I would have quit myself. So, as Wrigley & Tori stared after me, I headed back out onto the road. My new MP3 player was filled with music to keep me going...lots of rock-n-roll! Then, the wind really kicked in. I turned the corner and I was hit head on with it, full blast like being blasted by a hair-dryer. My hat blew off, and I couldn't get it back on. My only bit of shade temporarily gone. I had a bandana to protect my neck, and I was wishing I would have dunked it in the ice-water back at mile 4. Putting my head down against the wind, I pushed into it and down the road. I would be turning another corner soon, and hoped to be out of the worst of the wind. Not so. Turning the corner provided no relief from the wind. I did manage to get my hat back on. Thankfully I had applied plenty of sunscreen to my face, neck and arms before I started out. Otherwise I would have turned into a Fried Egg! It was getting hard to keep going in the heat and wind. I'm a "night runner" or treadmill runner. "It's too hot to do anything" is one of my favorite excuses! But, there's no getting back except on my own two-feet power. So, I instead concentrated on rockin' out to my tunes. Nothin' like a little Skid Row "Youth Gone Wild" to put you in a great mood! Made it to the mile 6 aid station, refilled on water & gatorade, grabbed me an orange and quickly moved on. I got down the road a piece (this is a valid measurement value in Texas) and realized I had again forgotten to wet my bandana. Doh! Nothing to be done about it now. Fortunately there was a bit of shade on this section of the course. Not enough to really make a difference though. Still a nice break. Then, I saw someone running towards me. It was Charles. Mr. Donutman himself. 10 miles wasn't enough for him, he had to turn around and run it the other way! I only wish that I could run half as fast as him. With practice, maybe one day... Setting goals of running from this point to the next, then walking for a bit, and then running from point-to-point got me to mile 8. Water & gatorade. Sweet! Ugh, then I tried to take an energy gel, and for the first time since I started running in November, I thought I was going to be sick. I couldn't stomach the texture or the flavor. I handed the package back to Misty (who was one of the fabulous aid-station workers that day, in addition to Dusty & Nicole...THANKS!)Charles also had already made it back to the same station (he must have turned around shortly after he passed me). That dude is FAST! I also finally remembered to ask to wet my bandana. Doh! Not enough water in the bottom of the ice chest to do more than make it damp. Better than nothing though! So, I grabbed a few more ice cubes and stuffed them in the back of my bandana. Then, I grabbed a few more ice cubes and stuck them the only other place I knew they would stay...my jog bra. Oh yes. Wonderful, cold, refreshing ice. Hey, when you're hot...you'll do just about anything for relief. Poor Charles though. Sorry you had to witness that! Almost done! Back down the long road to the house. Thank Elvis Presley for rock-n-roll! Bach & Beethoven just wouldn't have gotten me there. I crossed the main road, and then pulled out the map Dusty had made and counted the cross streets. Just 5 more blocks...point to point. Near the final street corner, my MP3 player got to the end of the playlist. I knew I needed 2 more songs to get me to the finish. Skid Row again, and then my download of "Eye of the Tiger". I know, I know...CHEESY! But hey, what inspires you? Then, as Sebastian Bach (the long-haired rocker, not the wig-wearing dead guy) finished his last yell, I started to fast forward to my finish-line anthem, and the darn MP3 player froze up! NOOOOOOO! Not 500 yards from the finish, and my last source of energy was gone. Crud. Oh well. So, I put my head down and decided to finish strong. I had it in me, I just had to dig deep to get it. As I neared the corner, the rest of the group spied me and started to hoop and holler (also Texan for yelled really loud). Put it into 5th gear girl! I told myself. Sprinting it in at the end, I made it back to the driveway and the end of 10 miles. In heat and stiff wind, MP3 player crapped out in the end, and yet there I was. Happy to be done. "Did I win?" HA HA HA! Yes! I had won last place again. But, I didn't see any other crazy people out running 10 miles in Redduck on Saturday. The burgers were grillin', and the dogs were runnin', and the beer was flowin'. We had a great afternoon chillin' in the backyard, tellin' stories and laughin'. After we ate, a couple of the guys set up the obstacle course for the bikes, but I decided I had had enough physical activity for the day. So, I sat back and watched the pros at work. A few falls, but more successes for those who did mount the two-wheeled monsters. We decided it was too windy (or we were too lazy) to set up the volleyball net. Then, the guys broke out a couple of trick-kites. These drove the dogs crazy. They barked and barked as the kites buzzed and zoomed loudly over head. Wrigley & Tori played nicely with the other dogs at the party. Wrigley was being a bit of a slobber-bone, especially with Becky. Sorry Beckster! She loves you though, what can I say. Or maybe it was the blonde wig that attracted her to you. Great impersonantion of Napoleon Dynamite. I've only seen the guy on Dave Letterman, but from what I can tell, you've got him spot-on. I'll have to watch that movie soon. If it's as good as you guys say it is, I'm in for quite a few laughs. The sun was starting to go down, and I was starting to get cold. Despite my sunscreen, I had definitely caught a few rays, and the wind on my arms was giving me goosebumps. Time to load up the pups and head home. It was a great day. I was filthy from sweat, dirt, melted sunscreen, and dog slobber but I was surrounded by similarly smelly people. None of us cared too much (well, except Becky, but hey...she took a shower! what gives!) and we just enjoyed a relaxing day. Wait, did I just say running 10 miles is a relaxing day??? I must be getting sick. Hope you had a happy birthday April!

3/13/2005 07:22:00 PM :: ::
1 Comments:
  • Yeah... I dodged my GPS unit and cut the run short -:) Y'all did great runnin' in a warm/windy day. The condition at The Grasslands run should be much better.

    -Donutman

    By Anonymous donutman, at 3/15/2005 11:05:00 AM

     


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