Abject Suffering

I’ll admit my preparation for this year’s Abe’s Amble was not the best. I am still trying to regain some form from my injury. I wasn’t even sure I was racing until yesterday afternoon. I hadn’t planned on running because the plan was to go boating and camp out on beautiful Lake Carlyle. The camping plans fell through but the boating thing was still on. So I spent the day on Lake Springfield drinking a 12 pack of Milwaukee’s Best Light (The Beast) and eating ribs, ribeye, and chicken. It was a long day in the sun that left me pretty exhausted.

Fellow HardyBreed, Lance Cull, registered me the night before so I was locked in. If not, when my alarm went off at 05:45 this morning I would have bagged the day. Instead I rolled out of bed, brewed some coffee, drank my NO Xplode, ate some oatmeal, then opened my eyes. On the drive to the race, in my impaired driving condition, I remembered I forgot my Garmin, DOOAAHH!.

The first mile of the race wasn’t so bad. I was passing people and feeling alright. I was trying to pace off Lance and wasn’t having any problems staying on his wheel. Like I said the artwork on the road definitely kept me going.

AbesAmble2008_HardyBreed 406

At mile 3 I was 21:16 into the developing misery. This is the farthest point, around the Veteran’s Memorial and this is where Lance left me behind. He kept the same pace on the hills and I was struggling to creast everyone of them. Then, in a panic, to recover before the next one.

At about mile 4 I was falling apart. I just wanted to get it over with. The hill before entering Lincoln Park almost brought me to tears. But I couldn’t cry in front of the 12 year old girls passing me. I was passed by quite a few people on my way to the smell of mini-doughnuts.

Boy was I glad when I entered the Fair Grounds. Bryan Glass running backwards on the course and cheering everyone on snapped me back into reality and I tried to pick up the pace for the last 0.5 miles. You’ve got to admire him for that. He has no ego. Anyway, the increase in tempo did nothing but make me look out for nearby garbage cans as I thought I was going to blow chunks. I kept The Beast down and ended with a time of 44:54, 6 seconds under my goal. Ironically, I have only done this race one other time, in 2006. My time then was almost 2 minutes slower but I felt better then, hmmmm.

10 minutes after finishing I was still sweating and was shivering. It took me a good 30 minutes before I felt good enough to talk or enjoy after party. My abject suffering did not feel good but I’m actually glad I did it.