Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Year end dealy.

Here we are, cats and kittens, on the brink of a new year. I don't do much in the way of New Year's resolutions, since I'm always struggling with day to day resolutions, but I still have quite an affinity for this time of year. I like the feeling of a fresh start, even if it's only in my mind.
Cats and kittens, ready to party into the new year.
As you may or may not remember, 2015 was the "Year of the Ultra". And it really was. I had set out to run at least one ultra distance per month. At my last count, I think I only missed the mark a couple of months. I ran 5 official ultra races, from 50K to 100K, and DNFd a sixth one. I managed to bang out hours and hours on the treadmill, binge watching Agents of Shield Once Upon a Time, and Supernatural, repeatedly logging 30+ miles in a single go. I avoiding injury all the way up to September, when I somehow pulled a hip muscle at the Little Grand Canyon marathon. I healed up in time to injure myself of the course at the Javelina Jundred. An injury which has healed enough to allow me to run in the Across the Years 24 hour race over New Year's Eve.
Nuff said.
I was pleased to be able to finish off the 2015 racing season with a fantastic event called the Baker's Dozen. This incredibly fun race is put on by ultra runner extraordinaire, Cory Reese. The point of the Baker's Dozen is to eat as many treats/pastries/doughnuts as you possibly can. Oh, and there's some running involved too, I guess.
An accurate representation.
I've run this race twice now, each time signing up thinking of the warmer weather that Southern Utah is known for. Except that both years that I've run this race, the weather has not been so cooperative... Last year, it was cold and rainy, this year was cold and windy. And not a gentle breeze either. Serious wind. It was fitting that the race was held in a town named Hurricane.
Pretending that we're not cold, like at all. Also, that arch in the background wouldn't be up for long. Because wind.
As you can see, I recruited some crazies to join in the fun. Jamie, Desaray, and I were in for the half marathon, Scott was in for the 5K (this will be important to remember later). As we lined up to start the race, Weird Al's "Eat It" was playing. So appropriate.
It's also important to remember that this race isn't officially timed. That's a good thing, because it takes quite a while to stuff your face at the Sugar Shack every 3.whatever miles, a task some took much more seriously than others. The person who ate the most treats ate over 60. Scott ate 10. I ate a whopping 4 treats. Yeah, I'm hard core.
Sugar shack, baby sugar shack. Tin roof. Rusted.
Scott decided he was going to stick with me through his 5K loop. It's always nice to have someone to share the miles with. We knew to look for the photographer to get our race jump picture taken. There's a contest for the best jump, so everyone was giving it their all.
I'm getting hit in the face by my braids. Most epic.
As we were getting through that first loop, I mentioned to Scott that since it wasn't timed, he could always get a little more mileage in and run the second loop with me. He was game. He runs the 10K distance fairly regularly now, so no big deal, right?
They had dirty Dr. Pepper, too. DELICIOUS.
I had lots of time to stand around and drink that Dr. Pepper while Scott ate even more tasty treats. He was so hopped up on sugar, he thought he'd go ahead and run the third lap with me as well. Why not?! On that lap, he ran the farthest he had ever run before. Another stop at the Sugar Shack and he was chomping at the bit to go the last lap with me.

So, I don't know anyone who accidentally runs a half marathon. Well, I mean, now I do. But I didn't before... Since I don't run a blistering pace, it was easy enough for him to keep going along with me. The wind was relentless, adding another element of difficulty to his accidental half. But when you get swept up in the running mania, wind means nothing.

We came in to the finish, where a most epic medal awaited us. We were fortunate enough to talk with Cory afterwards and upgrade Scott to the half so that he could get a medal too. He ran the distance, he deserved the medal! Cory is the nicest guy, and let quite a few people pay the difference and collect the sweet, sweet swag.
Half marathon finishers are so hot. Just look at that attractive group.
There were actually a lot of people that I knew at this race. So many friendly faces added to the party atmosphere. We're planning on an even bigger group for next year (Jill, Wade, we're planning on you being there). With great swag like this, how could you resist?!
That's good stuff, right there.
I can't think of a better race to have had as my 75th half. I highly recommend this party, errrr, I mean, race to anyone who likes a good time. Which I figure is all of you reading this. I don't think that fun haters read this blog... However, if you are a fun hater, feel free to comment and let me know you're out there!

I really need to gather up all of the medals I've earned so far and take one epic swag shot. It would be interesting to find out if I can stay standing under the sheer weight of that many medals... It's amazing what you can accomplish in just over 4 years of running. I've made some fantastic friends, been to some incredible places, and survived things I never thought possible.

I'm going to wrap up this little blogging adventure with a comic from Zen Pencils. It's too epic to try and paraphrase so click that link and enjoy it's awesomeness. No matter what your passion is, take a little bit of time and actually pursue it. You won't be sorry.

I spared you all the super mushy stuff for this year's wrap up. But know it was a good one, one I am incredibly grateful to have had. Here's to a new year of adventuring. Until next year, happy running!

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