Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Living History Farms (or Have I Lost My Blinking Mind?)


This is my friend, Ryan:

He & I have known each other since we were young pups of 16 (ish) & became good friends in college.  You'll never meet a warmer, louder, or more genuine person in your whole wide life...so don't even try.  I think he's the cat's pajamas, even though he nearly killed me on Saturday. 

For reasons all his own (& completely separate from anything that I like to prattle on & on about) it was a big deal for him to run Living History Farms this year.  When he asked me if I would join him (Dave was a foregone conclusion, but I took some convincing) I said yes (click here to see what I was getting myself into), but secretly hoped that everyone would just forget about the whole thing.  No one forgot. 

As time got closer, I failed to get nervous about my impending doom, which was a really bad thing all around because I was kind of cavalier about the whole thing.  Then Saturday rolled around & the reality hit that I had to do 7.2 miles, let alone 7.2 miles sprinkled with creeks & 6 foot banks & hay bales & Iowa-style mountains that required ropes & tree roots to maneuver.  I wasn't as prepared as I should have been.  It was miserable. 

I've put off writing about the race because I wanted to be able to say, "It was awful, but I would do it again in a heartbeat!"  However, that would be the tallest of tall tales.  I wouldn't do it again--once is plenty for me to say, "I've done it.  Period."  Everyone said that this year's conditions were the absolute best this race has had in years; I simply won't risk that it could be WORSE than what it was.  I was floundering & flapping & I completely flopped myself across the finish line in a manner that can only be described with the adage "what the cat dragged in."  If you don't believe me, see for yourself (big thanks to my brother-in-law for snapping this picture & not immediately dropping to the ground in uproarious laughter).

However, here comes the big but (snicker, snicker): BUT, when Ryan gave me a hug at the end of the race (he ROCKED it, by the way) he whispered to me, "No way either one of us could have done that a year ago."  And he is absolutely right.  It was cold, it was wet, it was muddy, it was hard, but once again, I proved to myself that I can do hard things that I never would have thought possible.  And for all of my distaste for the cold, wet & muddy, there was one good take away from the race.  In the last mile I had the realization that if I didn't have to worry about all of the shenanigans & stopping & starting through obstacles & being wet (I can't overstate how much I hate to be wet--I don't even like to take showers), that just maybe longer distances wouldn't be out of the question for me, with a little more dedicated training.  Perhaps that epiphany is enough to make it worth it.  Nope, it's not...but this is:

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