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Dispatch from flyover country: Clayton NM

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The race today was at a site 30 minutes from the hotel. It started at 6:30 AM. That means, be on site at 6:00 AM. That means leave the hotel at 5:30 AM. That means be in the lobby for breakfast at 5:00. That means get up and get dressed at 4:30 AM.

The alarm was set for 4:00 AM.

Yesterday I had been up to the lake and the wind was howling at about 30 MPH. And this morning it was forecast to be cold ... upper 20s. In town. What it was at the lake was anyone's guess.

I also had a hard deadline to be done running by 9:30.

The alarm rang at 4:00.

I did not want to get up.
I did not want to run in the bitter cold.
I did not want to run in 30 MPH winds.
I did not want to bail with my last half marathon undone.

I was going to skip it all together.

But I had to pee.
So I had to get out of bed.

Once out of bed, my gear all laid out on the dresser shamed me into getting dressed. Three shirts. Wool knee sox. Wool kilt. Cold gear hood. Watch cap. Gloves. I was dressed. I had to go.

I made the in-room coffee. They do not give you enough sweetener and powdered creamer to make that stuff palatable. They can not give you enough sweetener and powdered creamer to make that stuff palatable. My God! it's awful.

I choked it down.

I went to the lobby. One lady said of my mode of dress, "Oh, that's a cute look." Cute is not what I was going for. Warm was my goal.

Out to the car. There was frost to scrape. This did not bode well.

The drive up to the lake sure was dark. There were no street lights. Just road and barbed wire fences. And yellow diamond signs with leaping deer on them.

When we go to the lake, there was only a whisper of wind. The dash board thermometer read 27ºF. It wasn't too bad!

Clint, the race director talked until 6:40. Come on Clint, I have a plane to catch.

And we were off.

I am so glad I did not skip it. I have my best, if not the fastest, run of the week. I was done by 9:20.

And what with driving in the real world rather than the one in Google Maps, I could have run slower and still made my flight.

But it just goes to show that in something like this challenge, it's as much a mind game, a mental challenge, as it is a physical challenge.

Obverse of the medal. On the left is a special medal foe completeing all five days of the challenge.

This shows the reverse if the medal with the state devices we got for each race.

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