Monday, August 5, 2013

...And The Legend Makes Three

Once again I made my annual trip to Laingsburg to run The Legend Half Marathon.  The general history of this race and I is that it kicks my ass, and my time is usually a huge disappointment.  With my year not exactly going so well for me, and just my general lack of enthusiasm, I wasn't really expecting much from this race, other than finishing.  The Trail Half a few month ago was a 2:43, and I've been running very sporadically due to nagging injuries.

I got down to Sleepy Hollow State Park about an hour early.  This race usually doesn't require you to get there too early, unless if you want to hit the restrooms before the race, that's a different story. No J with me this year, but I did run into another friend.  So I wasn't just sitting around by myself before the race people watching.

We got split up just before the race started, so I just jumped into the corral a couple minutes before.  As with every race, people seem to just start of way too quick, but I figured I'd just go with the flow this time and stay with them.  Early on, I latched on to a guy/girl running couple that was keeping a really nice flow, and a little pack formed around us.

Somewhere between miles 3 and 4, nearly everyone in that group was stung by a hive of disgruntled bees or wasps.  I'm not sure which it was, or where they were coming from, but there were about 5 or 6 people immediately around me that were stung.  I also think that, unfortunately, one of them was allergic, because she swore pretty distinctly, pulled off to the side and looked like she was searching for something quickly in her belt bag (epipen?).  I'm sure that's one of the worst times to get stung too, when your heart is pumping hard and circulating everything faster.  I got a good sting on my right leg that actually bothered me pretty good for a few miles with a strong burning sensation, but it eventually lightened up.  I never really stopped to look at it or pull out the stinger, though.  I just kept running, hoping it wouldn't affect me too much.

About mile 9, I went past my pace couple, who stopped and pulled off for some reason.  So after that I was on my own for a while.  There were other runners around, but at this point in the race they just weren't going steady enough for me and were alternating fast and slow too much.  My mile pace finally started drop off a bit, but, barring a full-on bonk, I was actually in good shape to have my best trail half/Legend course time.  With my lack of training, I felt the bonk was coming, though, so I was just trying to save as much time as I could before it hit.

Luckily it never really did.  Sure, the last few miles of this race are really hilly, and my per mile times dropped a lot, but it was not like the last two years where I just felt I was dying.  There was no drop to a snail's crawl.  I just kept fairly steady at a fairly normal run pace.  I even kind of welcomed the sunny spots at the end and they seemed to do more to energize me than wipe me out.  I just hit the last few mile markers of 10, 11, 12, waiting to die off, and it just never happened.

I pulled on up to mile 13 and booked on through the finish, giving whatever I had left, crossing with the Garmin telling me about 2:21-something.  I grabbed my Legend medal and was handed my pint glass and medal for running all three of the Serious Series (indicated by the pink dot on my bib).

Mug, Legend Medal, Series Medal

I stopped at the curb just after, and pulled out the stinger from my legs with my nails (shocked it was actually still there and didn't pop out at some point on the trail).  Then I met up with my friend and sat down for a bit.  Eventually he had to take off, and I did my usual trip down to the beach to jump in the water, cool off, and rinse off all the sweat.  I think every summer race should end at a lake.  That's one of my favorite parts of this one.

Just PRed for a Trail Half.  I should look happier

After that, I swapped out for some clean clothes, and stopped at the Stone Grill Pizzeria in Laingsburg, where I completely undid all my calorie burning with their "mac & cheese pizza," which was awesome.  One day, I'll have to have a regular pizza there, not just penne with cheese on bread, because the crust was just perfect.  This time though, I had to go with something weird and off the reservation, because that's what I like to do at new places.

Mac & Cheese Pizza.  Yum.

Now Entering the Non-Running Portion

Anyway, I'm sorry I haven't been on much and haven't written. A lot's been going on. I did over 100 hours of bus riding back and forth to Las Vegas to be in my best friend's wedding and make a speech for that. I didn't really think I'd like Vegas much (I don't gamble and I'm not usually allured by flashy towns), but I actually had a really good time, without dropping a lot of money. I got to spend some time up at the old strip and the new strip. I drank several weird, new beers. I had my very first In & Out Burger. I got to see a Queen LED light show. Saw a few hours of the World Series of Poker live at The Rio. That, plus seeing my friend, his new wife, his parents, and his friends (some I've met, some not) was all worth it. Even the hotel stay was nice, for the very very few hours I was there and actually sleeping.

Hello Cowboy

Me by New York, New York.  The only photo proof I was in Vegas
until the wedding pictures show up.

Getting there and back was a bit more dodgy, though.  There was a bus driver that abandoned us on the way there.  I had a guy on my bus that said he was the second person to invent electricity and that the government had stolen his two Nobel Prizes.  This man was also at one point shirtless and eating barbecue ribs on the bus, making a mess of everything.  That same man actually was on the same bus as me when I headed back home a few days later, too, but he seemed more level.  Maybe he went to the City of Lights for a medication adjustment.

Anyway, the way back was a nightmare.  Our first bus broke down at the station.  I missed my first connection in Denver, and that cost me 5 hours, and rerouted me to Indianapolis.  I was supposed to catch a bus home from there that I missed by 30 minutes, due to our driver taking his sweet ass time, taking all breaks and not even bothering to try to make up some time.  So when I was told I would have to ride back to Chicago and get home 10 hours later than I was initially supposed to, I had a tantrum in the station that I honestly am surprised didn't get me detained.

Usually, in a travel situation, if you are a person threatening lives, throwing baggage around, calling the city/state you're in at the time a "sh*thole/Northern Mississippi/A place that should be completely dug out, filled with water, and made into another Great Lake, punching signs and knocking them over, and screaming obscenities to where the entire station can hear and is looking at you, usually don't get too far.  In this case though, I just got back on a bus for Chicago, not much more than an hour later.  When all was said and done, I was home 12 hours later than planned, at 1:30am.  Then I had my wife take me to Taco Bell, and some idiot chick in the line ahead of us, who apparently didn't get her cinnamon sticks, tried to back right back up to the window without looking and hit my wife's car.  Luckily it did no damage, but I was in a mood and got a lot of nice choice words in.

Last weekend we did our annual canoe trip.  This year we did it without canoes, though.  Everyone else wanted to try tubing, and I just kind of went along with it.  We had a nice Friday night by the campfire talking, eating food, and having a few beers just before the rain hit.  My brother-in-law talked me into shotgunning two of them, and with my 5am wake-up that morning, I didn't last much past dark, retiring about 9pm.  We chose the 3 hour tube trip at 10am, and that was a wise choice.  We got rained on a little bit, but we still were able to float down and get a good chunk of sunshine, and the 10am start was late enough for us to grab breakfast at a little diner in town.  As soon as we got back from tubing, though, a really heavy, relentless rain hit, and we all said, "screw it" and picked up the entire camp in 20 minutes and went home.  It's no fun being in tents when it's pouring, and we already had one night of rain.  It was a good decision.  The rain up there never stopped, and as we were heading home, it was dumping buckets down, enough that it was actually really tough to drive in.

Vacation Hats in the On Position

Vacation Hat Couple

I think I've chosen a signature pose


Tubing is Alright


  1. Great job on the half! I want to do it next year. At mile 8 or so, when I just wanted to be done, I kept thinking about the lake and how great it would feel on my legs once I'm in there. We were probably in there at the same time. I was standing near the guy screaming about his burning nipples, if you were there for that. lol

  2. Damn it Brent! I was eating my lunch reading this and I nearly spit out my food when I got to part about digging out another Great Lake! Laughing and coughing do not mix!

  3. Well done on the Serious Series! My friends you met at the first one, were out there finishing up the series as well. Love the shirts and medal. Ugh on the bee sting.

    Why on earth did you bus it? That sounds miserable, I'm glad you eventually made it home. Hopefully the great trip will overshadow the shit trip to/from.


Locations of visitors to this page