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The Bourbon Chase - the Day After
OMG.  It was fun.. very much fun.  And I am sore.. Calf muscles, especially near the ankle area.  This morning, I woke up shaky, eating some grapes now (thank you Marty.. I think this tupperware is yours!)

First Leg:  Leg 8, Heading into Lebanon  Friday Afternoon 4:30pm - map, speed, altitude - HR, altitude

I started off very strong and happy.   Nobody in front of me, nobody behind me- its very different from running on a 5k, where you can pull motivation from the folks around you.  Kept my HR at a good 172..

And then I thought I heard somebody behind me.  Check.  Nope, nobody.    Might be the echoes of my own feet.  (later, I figured it out - it was my number flapping on my chest)

As I got to the intersection, just past mile one, I had a momentary panic - wait, which way do I go?  I didn't see the sign (didn't know what to look for).. but since we had driven the route earlier, I made the right choice.  And looked behind me. And far away, there was this dude.

As I got to the Hampton Inn, I noticed: that guy had gotten closer!

As I entered town, he was right behind me.

Screw this.  I bumped up my cadence, and took off.  Kept inching up my speed till I got to the finish.   Almost didn't recognize Jen as I ran up to her. 

Talked to the guy who came in behind me.. shook his hand.  He said: Wow, you took off. That was amazing. 

Thank you.. that felt amazing.

Second Leg: Leg 20, Harrodsburg Saturday Morning 4:30 AM - map, speed, altitude - HR, altitude

Very different from the first leg.   For one thing, Night.  Another thing, COLD.  And due to our 2 hour delay, we were now with the thick of the other runners, so definitely not alone.   Muscles not particularly sore.. warmed up nicely.

Waiting to start was very different.  The first leg was all laid back, lounging around.  This one, because it was dark, you could't recognize your runner from a distance.. so as they came in, they would (barely whisper) their number to a bystander, who would yell it out:  ("Two Thirty Eight!") and the crowd would relay that up stream ("Two Thirty Eight!")  and their team would start cheering ("GO CHARLENE! FINISH STRONG BABY! SMUSH IT!") and everybody else would figure out the person's name and start shouting ("YOU CAN DO IT CHARLENE!") ... yeah. Way fun.  I had good lungs.  I was loud.

I was on a high.. pumped up, ready to go.  Monica came in, and I took OFF! ... and realized, crap, I forgot my holder to put my phone in.  Oh well.  Kept running, with gloves, holding phone in my hand. (Phone is what tracks Endomondo for me).

And..  more crap.   There's gravel on the pavement, which doesn't work well for 5-fingers (as in, ouch).   And the headlamp I was using wasn't mine, it had a single bright spot in front of me.. and partially blinding me.  Okay.  Off goes the headlamp.. put the tail lamp on the back of my shorts (all while running, you can see the dip at 5 minutes)  .. much better.  Now I could splay the lamp at an angle, and I wasn't blinded, so a lot of the moonlight illuminated things.. And I Ran.

I Ran well.  I passed a LOT of people.. nobody passed me that I can remember.  I would give each one a "Good Evening! I mean.. Morning!" as I passed.  Annoyingly peppy.  Some dogs barked at me, I yelled back "HI PUPPIES!".  In no time, i was off the highway, and onto the back streets (MM#2)

Having driven it earlier, I knew that it felt deceptively long.. so I conserved till about the #3 Mile Marker.. then I put on the "turbo" (cadence, then stride), and finished very strong.  This time, I did recognize Jen.    The exchange point was right by a really awesome ice cream and coffee shop.. but, we didn't have time, so we didn't stop.  Off we went to the next stop.

And got stopped by a train. Jen was lucky, she was ahead of us, didn't have to wait.

Third Leg:  Leg 32, Horse Country. Sunday 1:30 pm - map, speed - HR, altitude

Oh, I was SO Sore.  I could barely jog.. tried loosening up my right ankle, but it stayed tight.   Crowd was a bit sparser - spaced out a bit more.   And very warm - Sun shining, 80 degrees, black shirt.  Oof.

Monica came in from the "Pity the Fool" hill climb - high fived me (we had lost our slappy wristband thing).. and I took off..  pretty slowly.     Got past Hwy 60 with only a little wait. 

The hills.. oof.  Hit me hard.   The congruence is not lost on me, as these are baby hills, but man, with that ankle being how it was.. it was hard.    Of course, the hills were actually puny compared to Leg 29 :)

As our van passed by (cowbell and honking horn), I sprinted to keep up with them.  Wow.  That was a fun mistake. Took me a while to get my HR back down.   You can see this at 7.5 minutes in.  (Note how evenly my heart rate slows down.. that's the sign of a good cardio system, or so I'm told.)

I passed two people who were having more trouble than me.    One of them, a lady - she was walking.  I walked up that hill with her.  Told her, "You are not alone". Minute

A van pulled up in front of me- gave water to the guy in front of me.  Looked back - yelled: "You need some water?" (Yes Please Sir!) "Okay!"  he poured some in a glass and left it on the side of the road. "Keep Running, i'll pick up the trash later" (Thank you Sir).  NICE FOLK. 

Some elderly folks sitting on their porch cheered me on. 

Coming over a hill, the sky stretched out above me, the hills were green and rolling.. beautiful.

I experimented with different strides.  If I kicked my feet up into the air behind me, it hurt less, so I did that for a bit - but having not trained like that, could not keep it up forever.

Folks would pass me.  I applaud them as they came up:  "Keep Going! Good Job!" ..  they would answer back with something similar ("You can do it!").  Good Eggs.

After for frickin ever, I got to the turnoff (hidden around a bend, cannot see it till you're right on it), kicked it up a gear, and finished as strong as I could. 


Would I do it again: Yes, but i'd wan't to be a better runner.

How much does life hurt the day after:  OMG.  Couldn't walk down the steps this morning without yelping a bit.  But as of Sunday night, i'm pretty normal.. could ALMOST go play soccer.   Following a suggestion, I had soaked my sore bits in ice water last night, going to do the same tonight.

Would I recommend the Chase to somebody:   If you can do a 5k, and still go for a light jog the next day, you'll probably survive the easy legs of the Chase.     If you can survive it, its a ton of fun, all the people on it are very supportive and kind.     So, yes, with adequate preperation.   (don't want you to hurt yourself overmuch, is all)

Things to bring on the Chase:
- travel pillow and small throw (if you're sleeping in the van), OR: get a hotel room in some adjoining city. (you can use the room twice during the chase - and wow, carpet is so much better than van floor to sleep on.  AND garunteed clean potty access.  Worth every penny.
- binoculars - to figure out if its your runner - or walkie-talkies - to post somebody out there to catch the runner.
- Some way of van-to-van communication (cellphones with text messages work great)
- Somebody bring a 24 pack of water, and somebody bring a 24 pack of Gatorade (or other).  Personally, I went through 3 gatorade-type things, and 3 waters, and one chocolate milk.
- One running shirt per run (ie, 3), one after-run shirt (get the wet off) per run, and one long-sleeve shirt (technical) for the midnight run
- Long technical pants for the midnight run
- One sweatshirt or hoodie
- A garbage bag for your used clothing (especially if it rains)
- Comfy footwear between runs (I brought flipflops)
- Money for two meals (I used my debit card)
- Each van should have two vests, two headlamps, and two rear flashers.
- One cooler.

Thank you to my employer, SHPS, for sponsoring the team - without that level of support, I would not have signed up.  They made it easier for me to take a health towards my increased Health.   Thank you for that.

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Good job!!

Good job, Sunny.


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