Casper

I realize that I’ve been talking about the Hood to Coast as if everyone should just know what I mean.

Basically, the HTC is a 195 mile race from Mt. Hood down to the breakers at Seaside, Oregon. The race is run relay-style by teams of 12. Each team has two vans carrying 6 runners each. Van number one starts at Mt Hood and meets up with Van 2 near Sandy, Oregon where the last runner from van 1 hands the baton to the first runner from Van 2. While Van 2 runners are running their legs, Van 1 is driving ahead to get to the next redezvous point. Hopefully somewhere in there they get a few hours to rest or catch a little sleep.

The race goes around the clock and each runner completes three legs totaling between 13-19ish miles, depending on which legs they are assigned. Some of them occur in the middle of the night, on dusty roads, without support from the van. Some of them go straight uphill. Some of them go straight downhill. Inbetween your assigned running legs you jump in the van and try to get some rest. There are 4 other runners with you in the van at any given time, and one on the road. When you’re moving on to the next rendezvous point all 6 runners are in the van together.

The gist of this is that everyone doing the race is basically fucking insane.

I lobbied for an easy assignment because, frankly, I haven’t really trained very well for this and I’m not my friend Ant. I can’t just magically pull a half-ironman out of my ass. So I have two four mile legs followed by one, final, grueling 8-miler during the heat of the day, without van support – which means I’ll have to carry my own water and fend for myself.

Of course, being the complete nutjob that I am, I am absolutely over the moon about the opportunity to experience this with my co-workers (this is a partially company-sponsored event but even with the sponsorship each runner still has to shell out $100 for entry fees, van rental, supplies, etc.)

Given that this race starts on Friday afternoon, I probably should have run today.
And yesterday.
And probably Saturday too.

Did I?

No. I played three softball games on Saturday and three softball games on Sunday.
I can hardly walk today I am so fucking stiff. Softball, if you are really playing it (and not playing in some pansy co-ed beer-drinking league – not that there’s anything wrong with co-ed leagues or beer drinking), will do absolutely wicked things to your body.

It hurts to laugh. It hurts to roll over. It hurts to cough. It hurts to walk.

Add to this the fact that on Friday night I was absolutely man-handled by a roving pack of mosquitoes. My little white legs are covered with huge, red bites that I am trying as hard as I can not to scratch. I am covered in Cortizone cream and Flexall 454. I am so fucking hott right now it’s not even funny.

(You can smell me from a mile away.)

So I am getting up at 5am tomorrow to run miles. Just to make sure my legs still work, really. Just to make sure my stubborn head still works.

My stubborn head will get me through almost anything so it’s imperative that it is in fine working order. Luckily it has been getting a lot of work lately. :)

On a final note, I may have acquired a new softball name this weekend and I’m not sure I’m very happy about it. Standing up in the box for one of my final at-bats in a game that we were dominating I see the most perfect pitch come floating toward me like a dream.

“Meatball!” I am thinking. O good lord I haven’t seen a meatball like this in ages. I am licking my lips as I hear Cath’s voice cheering from the dugout.

“C’mon Casper!!!’

An eruption of laughter.

I watch the meatball cross the plate and listen to the ump call it a strike. (yeah, no shit)

“Casper?!” I turn around, incredulous, and everyone points fingers at someone else. I know it’s Cath but I’ll have to deal with her later.

Coach is pissed. “Focus!!!” I haven’t been hitting that well so I feel a little guilty for losing my edge for a second, even if we are up by 15 points.

Casper?

Jesus Christ.

(And you know it’s gonna stick.)

Goddamit.
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