Thursday, October 6, 2011

Trailing Ali

I love blogs.  I love seeing what people are up to, in pictures and words, whether it be baking, sweating, accessorizing, or just musing.  When I get busy, my time to read blogs shrinks drastically (since I try to prioritize things like reading my Bible and sleeping)...but there are a couple that I usually manage to squeeze in. 

Good start to a crazy day?  I think yes.

One of these crucial-to-my-happiness-especially-on-Thursdays blogs is Ali on the Run.  Ali's a working/running gal in NYC with a competitive streak and a killer sense of humor.  Recently she ran her first marathon, raising money along the way for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.  Part of her fundraising efforts included these killer "I ♥ Sweat" tee shirts.  Since I'd been stalking her blog for months, I figured it was time to pay up and support a great girl and a great cause.

I was super psyched when the shirt arrived in time for the last long run of our half marathon training program!  We decided to do the Snoqualmie Ridge 5 mile trail run, which coincidentally was the day of Ali's marathon.  Obviously I planned to be a vital part of the long distance cheering squad.

It came!  Woohoo!!!
We had heard that you should test out any pre-race fueling ideas before you run the race.  This gives you a good sense of, "wow, that was gross" or "hm, not enough energy" or "crap, I've spent this whole run desperate for a bathroom" so that food won't crash your race-day party.

Being avid magazine subscribers and cooks (well, one cook and one hobbit - good team), we decided to test out Gesine Bullock-Prado's Long Run Cake (yup, Sandra Bullock's sister).

Tons of chocolate...and it's made with black beans.  Who knew?

Finally used the Twinkie pan my dad gave Jared

Good news:  This cake is super delicious and actually fairly good for you.

Bad news: If you eat it before a run, you will REALLY want to support anything to do with Crohn's or IBS or...anything, because you will spend most of 5 miles in the woods debating whether you'll last till the end of the race or have to hop off the trail and improve a porta potty out of  bushes.  I kid you not.

Race recap beyond the TMI above?  Sure thing, but be warned.  It gets gross.

It was chilly to start, but a beautiful clear morning.  There were only about a hundred runners, which made it kinda nice.  I could've kicked myself for not starting farther's too easy to get caught up with the speedy starters and charge ahead...and then poop out towards the end.  Which is pretty much what I did.  Jared, being sweet, ran with me the whole race.  (Even held my hand at one point...I like that kid.)

Go Ali!!!
A few miles in, when I was enjoying not running on pavement, past office buildings, or breathing car exhaust, I smelled something very unpleasant.  Like a person who had not showered.  Ever.  Sure enough, this old dude passed me up, reeking of body order and clearly auditioning for the role of
"plumber" on some TV show.  He had the shorts down, at least.   Literally. 

I decided since we were running for fun and not to win, I'd let him get a good head start so as not to see him or smell him anymore.  About a mile later, Jared and I were climbing the tallest hill of the race...when we came upon the same dude, coming out of the bushes...and smelling worse.

This pretty much confirmed for me that however uncomfortable that cake had made me, I was definitely going to wait till the bathrooms at the finish line.  We tried to avoid breathing through our noses, but there's only so much you can do when you can still smell someone whom you can no longer see.  We sped up to pass him since clearly letting him go first had not worked out in our favor.  (Shoulda done that in the time might have been better.)

As luck would have it, the last section of the course was poorly marked, so we and several other runners got a bit lost.  We figured it out and came back to the right part of the trail...just in time for stinky dude to catch us up.  Seriously?  Yes, kinda colored the experience a bit.

We finally made it to the end and I made a beeline for the bathrooms.  Then we took off since we had a pretty full day ahead.  I'd say, even with the stinky guy and the ill-fated long run cake, I enjoyed the beautiful course and had a fun time. 

Plus I got to wear my new shirt.  And Ali ran her marathon like a champ and raised $20,000.   Happy all around.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the race — even if you had to battle a tough stomach and a foul-smelling dude. Seriously, he sounds terrible. Ugh. But way to power through!

    Also, a Twinkie pan? That is awesome. I've never even had a Twinkie, but I want the pan.

    And thank you thank you thank you for your incredibly kind words. You are so sweet. Thank you for buying a shirt and supporting me and being a vital member of the "long distance cheering squad." It means so much.


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