Monday, October 26, 2015

Cactus Rose Memories 2015

The Cactus Rose 100 this year was crazy, with Hurricane Patricia bringing chilly weather (compared to the mid-80s we've been acclimated to), wind gusts, and rain that alternated between downpour and drizzle all day and night.  Add that to the usual challenges of Cactus: tough climbs and descents, razor-like sotol plants, and rocks, rocks, and more rocks, and you get the outcome of 24 finishers out of the original 67 who signed up for the 100-mile distance.  Here are some random memories from the race.
The evening before the race.  Glad it wasn't raining yet!

Fun moments:
  • Running most of the first 3 loops with Matt Zmolek, and gradually realizing that he and I have memorized the same lines from The Simpsons, Tommy Boy, and Monty Python
  • Seeing my mom and dad at the Equestrian aid stations.  How lucky am I! 
    Me and my mom the day before the race
  • Exchanging Laffy-Taffy-style jokes with Matt.  Also, watching Matt re-enact the galloping scene from Monty Python with two rocks.  (Way too much energy for loop 2!)
  • Losing a bet to Zmolek and having to carry a rock up Ice Cream Hill on loop 2.
  • Coming in from loop 2 with Matt, pretending like we were fighting it out to "break the tape," as if it were the end of the race, instead of only halfway through. 

    Me and Zmolek, end of loop 2
  • Seeing Stefan and Rob as we came into Equestrian towards the end of the second loop, anticipating that I'd get to run with Stefan soon, and feeling thankful for a friend like Rob, who'd drive out to Bandera just to support us.
  • Hearing Stefan's stories about growing up in South Africa, and picturing a miniature version of Stefan sitting in the teacher's lap, reading a story to the class.
    About to start loop 3 with Stefan
  • Running loop 4 with my dad -- and actually having the ability to run on the fourth loop, for the first time in 3 years of doing this race.

Dropping off my supplies at Nachos aid station on Friday with my dad.
  • Finishing!  
    Glad to be done!  With Chris, race director extraordinaire.
Hard moments:
  • The first five minutes after every time I peed.  Chafing! Owwwwie!
Best quotes:
  • I need to keep these shoes clean.  I want to wear them to the mall tomorrow.  --Stefan, before starting our loop together.
  • What's the difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer? --Zmolek  (wait for it)
  • The taste.  --Edward
  • Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.  --me 
  • Ca-caww!  Ca-caww!  -- Stefan
  • Aah!  My @$$ cheeks!  --Anonymous
    Post-race.  Celebrating Edward's finish!

Lingering reminders of the race:
  • How hard it is to walk up and down the 3 flights of stairs to my apartment.
  • Pretty epic sotol scratches.  Why did I not wear compression sleeves this year to protect my legs?  
    2 post-race priorities: 1) elevating my legs; 2) staring at my phone

    my Neosporin-coated sotol-scratched legs

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