As I write this, I have just had my left ankle taped by superphysio Ramsey Ezzat. I managed to get a baby sprain this past weekend. The sprain didn't come from the 24km Phantom Run, (or, as I call it, the "Phantom walk slowly downhill") where I ran down muddy trails, along ice and snow covered boardwalks, and walked like a champ on a lot of the technical parts to finish 5th female. No, this sprain came 2km into my recovery run with Lucy the day after. I'll be back running in a few days (good news), which means that me and my uterus will have to brave a stationary bike for up to three days (terrible news).
So in the spirit of questionable run choices, I would like to have my blog's second contest (this was the first) for your story of your "stupidest"run.
Note on the definition of stupid run
A stupid run is not bad - it is awesome. It absolutely, completely, did not go to plan. If you had a chance to travel back in time, some things would be changed. It could have taken longer than plan. The route could have been shorter. Maybe certain injuries / embarrassing situations would not have happened. And it was an awesome run that you are so damn glad you did.
1. Submit your story of your "stupidest" run by December 21, 2013. You can submit: in the comments to this post, in the facebook comments, or if you're shy, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. The person who submits the best story gets warmer feet, courtesy of a $50 FITS gift card, and a bottle of wine, courtesy of me.
3. In the likely but still embarrassing circumstance that nobody submits, the prize will go to either to Lucy (who promised me a story) or to Barry (who I'm pacing next year so has to enter) by default.
My own "Stupid Run" story
On the July long weekend this past year, a group of us ran part of the Squamish 50 course. This is the story of how we covered 28km in a blazing 4.5hrs.
As with most of these runs, everything started really promisingly. We had a great group: Allison and Ramsey, Mary, Katie, and Matt (who has relocated to Ontario because he can't deal with the shame of me beating him in the Sun Run 10k next year). Ramsey had planned our run route, along trails with promising names like "Angry Midget" and "Mountain of Phlegm." He even had a iphone app to help us navigate. Mary had printed out a course description. I think there might've even been a map, which looked like squiggles on top of more squiggles.
We all met on time, and started the run as on time as multiple bathroom breaks could do. The issue - I believe on-time was around 10am. On one of the hottest weekends of the year. It was about 30C by the time we started. As soon as we ducked into the forest, it was then 30C and humid. We climbed and climbed, then descended on still-slippery soil, flailing down mountain bike ramps and shaking down switchbacks.
The navigation was going pretty well - the guys and Katie, with superior downhill - had gone ahead to scout out the corners. Allison had the first wipe out of the day on a slick mountain bike ramp. We kept going. The day got hotter. This was a rain-forest, the trees closing in green and close and sweaty overhead. Mosquitoes buzzed around stagnant pools. We had climbs through grass, skirting flooded trails. At the top, we broke out to see trees surrounding us, mountains and low hills. I brought 2L of water, and after 3hrs, most of it was gone.
The first real wipe-out of the day happened on the way off one of the many summits. The trail app confirmed the way to the "trail" was down a very steep cliff face. Matt, who has very poor self-preservation skills, was first to go down the cliff face. Miraculously, he was okay. Ramsey went next....and was almost okay. Except for his elbow, which was bashed-up and bleeding in a potentially-not-okay way. We kept going.
By this time, I was completely out of water, and was drinking Matt's not-very-much-water. According to the maps, we were supposed to be getting close to the last 5-6km. This was great...until we approached a track of semi-dirt road which was supposed to have a turn-off to the right. The trail on the turn-off was going to take us to "Mountain of Phlegm", on which we would finish our run on one last summit, then do a triumphant downhill back to our car.
We went back and forth on the damn road. I remember that we ran into a stray dog, that Ramsey tried to return to its owners (Ramsey does not necessarily remember this part). Finally, we decided to go through the woods on a trail that looked sorta-right.
The trail brought us to a 3-way intersection. We looked at Mary's route description. We consulted Ramsey's iphone app. Then we went by navigation through process of elimination: we tried every one of the three damn routes, which seemed to take us up to a different summit.
By this time, we had all pretty much run out of water. It was hot as balls. Matt kept trying to sit down at every opportunity. Certain people who rhyme with "Smalex" were doubtful of Ramsey's iphone's navigation abilities. However, we kept going.
It turned out that the fourth try was the charm: the trail that seemed stupid, all rock along a cliff face, turned out to be the right one. We tried it, said no way, then ended back up again. The sound of the freeway has never been sweeter.
On the final stretch back to the car, we were all seriously hot and thirsty. We came across a small child with a lemonade stand - amazing! Until we realized that none of us had money. I had to be talked down from begging free lemonade / issuing an IOU.
We finished our run directly in the grocery store. By the time we reached checkout to pay, we were scanned already-drained bottles of chocolate milk, coconut juice, water, and coke. We were sweaty and way too muddy. Our planned time to do the run? 3hrs. Actual time: 4.5hrs.
Doing it all again
The next day, we were out for another 4.5hours, and were overjoyed to "only" get lost for about 15minutes.