The word describes my return to the Kneeknacker 5 years on.
I woke up in one at 4:59 followed by the sound of a distant but somehow familiar voice "crap!" ... my own. I've been known to oversleep on the odd occassion but have an uncanny knack of waking up just when Tom arrives to pick me up. Surprising myself with my mental agility at this moment, I implemented a diversionary tactic and sent him off to get two other people on his delivery route. That bought me a precious 8 minutes or so ... enough to awkwardly put running gear on a body that still hadn't woken up fully; put contacts in without getting an eyelash with them; stuff pack with gear i had laid out; drink a glass of orange juice (trying not to let the misery set in from not having time to make coffee) and head out the door hoping i had most things i needed.
The start was a press of people anxiously sizing each other up and jitterbugging around with nervous energy. Me? Nothing. Quite comforting really. I didn't care who was there or what was ahead of me ... I just wanted to get under way .. get my legs moving and get to the end.
The memory of the 5hrs:47mins it took to do that is ..you guessed it... a bit of a haze. It was rather surreal and I will just recount it with the random thoughts/images that stick out ... which should help keep it shortish.
1st half - Humid, heavy air. Not a whisper of a breeze in the trees. Thinned out racers. I hiked/ran dripping sweat onto the parched Black Mountain trail. John Foy sighted ahead and Rob Doyle. Slowly gaining and then catching them where we reach the open bluffs and still no damned breeze! Fun and a few laughs as the three of us run together to Cypress.
Cypress - A little faster than I wanted. Foy takes off into the Hollyburn section bitter and cursing ... at what i don't know. It seems pleasant enough out here. The air by the streams is cooling. Foy disappears - i run stride for stride with doyle for a while and talk about the world cup. Hollyburn .. a larabar ... holy those things are dry. I can barely get it down without choking. Down, down to the dam. Sun's heat is coming through now. Feel a little weak but nice to see familiar faces.
Nancy Green - with Mr Green .... walk/run .... walk/run .... chocolate gel all over my hands... bottles... frustrating little inventions. Back into the forest. Energy returns slowly. St George's bench - recovered and running alone.... pretty much from here to the end - kind of like it. I accelerate and it feels good and sustainable. Unlike Black mtn the forest here seems cool and fragrant, holding the light like wine in a glass.
Mountain hwy .. two blue shirts ... Mr Green and Tom .. dependable and efficient as always. He made it easy for me to run on auto pilot while i noodled with a different kind of race ... the kind where you don't know where the finish is! Bummer..
Lynn Canyon, tourist slalom .... girl hill ... john foy .. yes! gotcha. Hyannis, Seymour grind and it's down to the finish... relief, satisfaction, cherubs in the grass and hot water on the legs...
Good night from Seattle..