So when a friend asked me to be on his 12-person team to run a 36-hour, 200-mile relay from Madison to Chicago three weeks from now, I wisely said no … though I told him if he got desperate he should ask me again and we could talk.
I never heard back from him, but then a different friend asked me to be on his team … and then he asked again … and again.
And I thought about it long and hard. I weighed the pros (bragging rights, cool race shirt, forced cardio just in time for spring, make new friends) and the cons (no foundation of training, 15 new pounds of bodyweight [good bodyweight, just for the record] to propel through space and time, sleeping in a van with strangers, pooping who knows where) and I decided against it.
But then I did the math. I’d be expected to run three eight-ish-mile legs with breaks as long as it takes 11 other team members to run eight-ish miles each. And I can usually ramp up to eight miles within my first month of marathon training each spring. Plus it’s a hellofa way to kick off marathon training for the summer.
So I said yes. Hesitantly.
And my initial burst of regret tinged with slight panic was ameliorated when I received the runner breakdown and discovered that as runner number 9, I was responsible for three legs of only 6.5 miles each. Which is totally doable. I think.
So last night I started training. I dug out my specially fitted, custom-orthotics-enhanced running shoes, unlocked my hamstrings, stripped down to a pair of shorty running shorts (hey, I didn’t eat right and get plenty of sleep and lift weights to put on 15 new pounds for my health) … and realized as I headed out the door that I hadn’t charged my grotesquely expensive GPS running watch. But I churned out three-plus miles with relative ease … though my quads and abs made sure I knew that my last mile was very unfamiliar territory after six months of enduring nothing but squats and crunches.
And when I got home and scrubbed the stink off so as not to repel my poor domestic partner into the more redolent arms of a homeless junkie, I sat down to read through the event rules and other runner information. And I was shocked to discover the complete anarchy under which the race will be run:
- Obscenity Rule: any team vehicle that is decorated with obscene images or representations, use of obscene language Warning for 1st offense; 2nd offense; disqualification.
- Urinating/defecating or the appearance of urinating on public or private property that is part of the course including, but not limited to Transition Areas, will result in Immediate Disqualification