29 June 2011

Oh Hi

Forgive the extended hiatus. I have done literally nothing worth alerting the interwebs about. I had composed a little ode to summer in Brevard, but it rang hollow when I reread it a few weeks later--true to form, after a May of quasi-bacchanalia and carpe diem-ing, I have reverted back to my natural state of book- and blueberry-devouring lounge lizard, ready to call it bedtime at the drop of a hat.
Race weekends and epic runs have passed me by with little effect. Nothing looms on the horizon except a trip to Italy (the idea of which seems too unreal and ephemeral to talk about) and this weekend's alley cat (sure to be the social event of the century).
Nonplussed by all this inactivity, I decided (with the usual hemming, hawing, flip-flopping, and backpedaling) to sign up for the Uwharrie Rumble in two weeks: half marathon on Saturday, six hour mountain bike race on Sunday. Highest scoring woman wins the coveted Queen of the Mountain title.
A whole new flavor of stupid, ne c'est pas? (Oh crap, I can't even say that in Italian.) Prompted by my desire to check out Uwharrie, I've committed myself to an entirely new way to discover that I don't like racing. Yay! It also appeals to my secret love of omniums--I may be mediocre, but I'm consistent, gosh darnit. Fortunately I'll have the emotional/logistical support of the Saint...although it will assuredly be peppered with I toldja so's when I'm a whiny, cramping wreck mid-race Sunday...
Always good to have a positive outlook. Stay posted. I promise a scintillating synopsis of the alley cat as well.

01 June 2011

Burn 24

This weekend the PAC sent quite a posse to the Burn 24 Hour race at Dark Mountain. After much jostling and last minute changes we presented ourselves to the (rather annoyed) registration people as a three-pronged juggernaut of co-ed fury. We were all smirking and nudging each other, fully expecting a podium sweep by the pasty mountain folk.
Twenty-four hours later, the pieces hadn't exactly fallen as we'd expected. Granted, the KOP (who is allergic to failure) and his loyal cadre had scored the win, but trailing them by only a few minutes were some (wicked fast) randos from Charlotte or something. Third by less than ten minutes was T Cowie's team, and then in fourth was my team--we had judiciously chosen to skip the last lap because our shot at the podium had grown slim at that point.

Look at all those scofflaws who think they don't have to wear kits on the podium!

That said, the competition was intense the entire time. Every lap out was a battle of titans--the margins were tiny, the stakes were high, and everyone had a goal, whether it was fastest lap time, catching the old man in front of them, or just staying upright on the slick off-camber roots. It was not a mellow twenty-four hours, in any case.
The course was fabulous. None of the climbs were too hard so you could concentrate on pinning it and ripping the ridiculously fun descents. But by night the pace had taken its toll. I felt like we were all floating in a bowl of tepid soup and all my clothes were either sweaty or dewy. Oatmeal cream pies had lost their appeal and fatigue had set in. Laps in the witching hour weren't my favorite--stumbling out of my tent in clammy chamois to wait once again in the transition area for the ghostly emergence of a teammate from the fog begged that tough question: why the eff are we doing this???
But sometime around 6:45am I went out for another and discovered why people race these silly things: the first lap of dawn is a glorious thing. Caution and timidity flee and you're overwhelmed with irrational euphoria--I can see everything! The sun is a beautiful thing.
Afterwards, placated by free BBQ and many hours of sleep, I realized that it was a durn good time and the PAC represented like champs. I got fastest women's day AND night laps, which was pretty exciting, and had lots of fun with everyone.