run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Part 3: I almost threw him off the mountain in a fit of ridiculous bitchiness.

As we rolled into the Aid Station #9, Vandy Montana immediately ordered me to "get him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich." And he immediately went over and sat down in a chair. I looked around and the first table we came to had bread, peanut butter, and jelly. Ummm... you have to make your own? I looked around the table and saw no pre-made sandwiches. Hmph. I thought to myself, at my aid station we had them all already made and covered up so they wouldnt get stale. I shrugged it off and proceeded to make him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As I was just pressing the two pieces of bread together, an aid station worker came over to me and said, "the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are on that other table." I looked in the direction she was pointing and saw that just ahead to the right, there was indeed a table that had a stack of pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I glared at her, thinking.. why the hell would they put THAT table ahead of this table???? Told her thanks and took the sandwich over to Vandy Montana.

Simultaneously, the guy from the previous aid station that was impressed by Vandy Montana's personal attention was just rolling in and had a seat next to Vandy Montana. "Ahhh..." he said... "still taking care of him, I see." And then Vandy Montana immediately responded... "Yeah, put your order in to the waitress."

WHATTHEHELL??? At that moment, my first reaction was to take that peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I had just MADE for him after I had just climbed a friggin' mountain for him and shove it into his mouth and try to suffocate him with it. I mean, are you kidding me? Don't mess with a tired, thirsty bitch. There's a long way down that mountain, hoss.

I was just opening my mouth to let him have it, when I stopped myself and turned away. I looked at the mountains and tried to Zen it out. He's delirious or he knows that he's in a position where I'm there for him and not complain about anything and he's taking total advantage of that fact by throwing in cheap shots whenever he can. He's been out here for 40 miles and he's just climbed that friggin mountain, too. And I let it go. (But obviously, I didn't forget it. haha).

In hindsight, I realize he was joking. And under normal circumstances I wouldn't have cared, and would have had the oxygen to come up some kinda zinger about a tip or something. But under the present circumstances, it touched a nerve.

After filling up his water bottle and getting him some chips that I didn't realize were salt and vinegar till he cried out at how nasty they were once he ate them, I started comtemplating my own existence. My water bottles were bone dry. All of them. And it was another 4-5 miles to the next aid station. But, the location of this aid station made it difficult to get supplies and water to. They were actually getting the water for the aid station from a freaking creek. So, instead of taking care of myself and filling at least one of my bottles up with water, I decided to leave the water for the runners and continue on with empty bottles.

It was a decision I would regret.

Just as I was getting ready to start nicely nudging Vandy Montana out of his comfy seat and back on the trail (which I had been trying to do for the last couple of minutes and kept getting shot down), a gentleman to our far right start puking and just like that.. Vandy Montana was ready to get out of the aid station.
Chilling at the aid station.
A broader view of the aid station happenings.

The next mile was all downhill. Which was awesome, but it was also all downhill in snow. And not Tennessee snow that is like 1/2 inch deep. No people, we're talking SNOW that people ski on. Snow that isn't completely compacted and so with every step you're  one, unsure if your foot will slide forward and out from under from you making you fall on your butt in slow motion.  Two, if your foot will slide off and down the side of the trail making you lose your balance and topple off the side of the mountain. Or three, if your foot will crunch right down into a foot deep hole which makes you fall forward from your other foot.

Good times.

Once we finally got out of the snow we were able to cruise down the mountain pretty rapidly. I was super impressed and proud of Vandy Montana and his mental stamina at this point. He kept putting one foot in front of the other, we RARELY walked (only if the footing was precarious) and only took a little break for his feet every 20 minutes or so. We rocked down the hill and for the most part, I felt good, too. But, I felt like I could have spit fire from my mouth. I was DYING of thirst. All I could think about was getting to that last aid station where I was going to drink a gallon of water even if I had to kneel down at the edge of a creek to drink.

After being told by multiple hikers along the way that were "just about there" when we were actually 20-30 minutes away usually (FU hikers) we finally started hearing people and knew we were coming up on the last aid station.

Aid station Number 10. HALLELUJAH. And best of all, it was in a public park with PLENTY of water. I took care of Vandy Montana's multiple cups of coke and then got myself a huge cup of water. Ahhhhhhh. Relief. I filled my water bottle up this time, too, even though we only had about 4 miles left to run.

Once we left the aid station, I was ready to get this mofo race DONE with and I'm sure I unfairly pushed the pace a little on my fresh legs...

It was at this point that I felt like Vandy Montana needed me, but I didn't know what the hell to do. I didn't know if he wanted me to talk the entire time to try and take his mind off it. I didn't know if he wanted me to stay quiet. I didn't know if he wanted to take his handheld water bottle and beat me to a pulp and leave me for dead. And, I suspect, that he didn't know what he needed (if anything) except to see the finish line. I was beginning to feel like I hadn't really done anything to help him. I mean, sure at aid stations I took care of him, but other aid station workers would have done that for him, if he had asked. I felt like this was my time... the time that I was supposed to be doing something and that I was supposed to intuitively know what that something was. But, I didn't. Vandy Montana is one of my best friends and I know him really well, but for once... I didn't know what the hell to do. So... I ran.

And apparently, I annoyed him by looking at my watch too much (which, would have annoyed the shit out of me if I were in his position, too). As soon as he told me to stop looking at my watch, I felt his pain. I knew at that moment, that he was in that stage... that raw stage where you'll obsess and drive youself crazy over any little random thing. Like.. your running partner looking at their garmin every 2 seconds.

Finally, it was time for us to break off. We had already discussed that he wanted me to "sprint" (muahahahaha) ahead of him so that I could be at the finish to video tape him (with his flipcam) crossing the finish line. I took the camera from him, and told him I'd see him at the finish line...


Beth said...

WOW. I'm catching up on my blog reading ... this is a completely crazy race. Those pictures are ah-mazing!!!!!!!!

OK, how about those Gamecocks!??!!??

corcovado said...

Wow, this is by far the best running blog ever. Your brutal honesty is hilarious and refreshing. I love the fact that there is not one bit of false modesty --an annoying characteristic that is present in just about every other running blog. You write very well, another rare talent. Keep going!!