Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Questionable Decisions

So far this week I've done all triathlon sports within a 24 hour period. A one hour swim Monday morning, which was highly exciting because I managed to do the whole thing freestyle. That's important because that's how you have to swim in triathlons. It's a law. Usually I switch strokes because I get bored, but I guess I should break that habit.

Tuesday morning was an hour of spinning followed by 30 minutes of running. I can't wait until I can ride outside during the week more. It's way too easy to half ass a trainer ride at 5am while I'm half asleep.

Racing can get expensive, which means that just like anywhere else you may spend your money, it's tough to resist a good deal. This inability to resist a good deal has led me to some questionable decisions lately. I haven't really mentioned them, because mentioning them on the blog makes them real and real is scary.

On Valentine's Day, I cryptically mentioned that I'd made such a questionable decision but didn't elaborate. I"m finally ready to admit that I signed up for a GORUCK challenge. This is a super secret, overnight event. Basically you show up to a location that isn't announced until the week of the event (you know the city, but that's it) at 10pm, and are led through the city for 8-10 hours, covering 15-20 miles. Doing things like bear crawls, pushups, flutter kicks (during the part where they submerge you in water), buddy carries....the list goes on and on. It's super secret because the special forces members who run it don't really decide what exciting challenges it will hold ahead of time. 

Oh, and you wear a backpack with 4 bricks in it the entire time. 

My friend Mike did such a challenge a few months ago and has been trying to convince me to sign up ever since, and my first reaction was: no way, no way in hell, never, you're insane, not if you paid me, etc, etc, etc. 

Then they had one in Baltimore, and two of my other friends, Jackie and Colleen, joined Mike. That was a Saturday night, and on Tuesday Jackie emailed me to convince me to sign up for the upcoming Annapolis challenge with her. Since now I had girlfriends saying it was awesome, and they were throwing down their credit cards to sign up again before they could even walk down stairs, I was convinced to try it. 

The real clincher was that it was buy one get one free until midnight, meaning Lily and I could split the price of one entry. And that, my friends, is how loving good deals gets you in trouble.

One thing (of many) that really concerns me is the staying up all night thing. You see, Jackie and Colleen work as a surgeon and a police officer, respectively. So they have the advantage of not only being able to stay up all night, but staying up all night doing things like SAVING LIVES. I'm used to getting my beauty sleep so I can be at my best for this:

I actually had my friend come in and take this while I was teaching for authenticity (you're welcome), but my students said it looked staged and I never look like that while I'm teaching.

 I think I stayed up until 6am studying one time in my freshmen year of college. Then went to sleep. Now I go to bed earlier than my students AND my grandmother. Oh, and I have no upper body strength. 

That was just questionable decision number one. Questionable decision number two is that I'm running another marathon. A week from Sunday. I had no choice though - I was offered a free entry.

Kara ran the Lower Potomac Marathon as her first marathon last year. She was given a comped entry this year. She had already agreed to volunteer for the race, so she was nice enough to offer it to me, as well as room, board, baby drool, and pizza. Also, a running buddy for the last six miles. I'm excited to go visit her and run another marathon, but terrified because music isn't allowed. I truly question my ability to run 26.2 miles without Ke$ha. Just typing that was frightening. She told me about the entry last week, but I haven't admitted it on the blog or to many people because this is probably the most I've ever feared a marathon, including my first. But, I know I can run 26.2 miles, I'm not ready to do another ultra yet, and GORUCK and the Half Ironman aren't for months, so I need some sort of challenge....right?

What do you think of GORUCK? Would you ever do it (there are spots still open on my team!)?

Have you ever stayed up all night?

Do you need music to race? Maybe I should mention this isn't known as being a "scenic" or "crowd supported" marathon.


  1. It's plenty scenic! For the first half. :)

    I think GoRuck sounds awesome! Although, my BIL is one of those crazy Army guys and I'm not sure I'd want to follow him for hours in the middle of the night. I don't trust him that much.

    I'm so excited for spectating my first marathon. :)

  2. I'd do a GORUCK. It sounds fun! Just saying that makes me insane, doesn't it?

    Apparently even when music isn't allowed in races, it actually is. Just strap on your iPod and pretend you own that place.

  3. Wait? What? GORUCK? Yes, you are certifiable. There is no doubt now ;)

    I always raced with music until the Army 10 miler in 2010. I stressed about NOT running with it a lot, but it was actually pretty nice. Ever since, I have been weening myself off. I now do maybe one run a week with music - usually when I am tired and cranky. It's now more of a crutch than a necessity.

  4. Replies
    1. I second that sentiment...a marathon this soon after your last one (that was only about a week ago), and then GORUCK.

      I am in awe of your ability to crank all this out...you must be made of steel (or have the recuperative powers of Wolverine).

  5. 1. There is nothing wrong with milking one marathon training cycle for all it is worth.

    2. You don't need to do freestyle in a triathlon. I've contemplated doing butterfly just to show off/piss people off.

  6. Why on God's green earth would they NOT let you listen to music? It's your freakin marathon right. Thats stupid. Oh and I'll do the GorSUCKS with you. Haaaaa Oh this is Kristin btw (aka professional teacher photographer)

  7. That GORUCK race sounds awesome. I signed up for a marathon this spring that is a no headphones race and seriously considered not signing up for that same reason but it fit the schedule well and is super close to home...I might regret it but we'll see.

  8. GORUCK sounds insane.

    Must you torture me with other races I should enter? Now I'm comparing Lower Potomac to RnR and wondering which I should run. I can always switch to the half for RnR...which is better for St Patty's Day celebrations. And Lower Potomac has a nicer elevation profile. But no music?? I'd have to hide an iPod on me somewhere. I've run races that say "no music" and I've always seen people with iPods. I don't think it's strictly enforced.

    Oh decisions!!

    1. I will play music loudly out of my car during the Lower Potomac race. No other race will have that. :)

    2. And that was the deciding factor. ;) Just entered the Lower Potomac race. Suddenly I'm REALLY nervous!

  9. I seriously am fascinated by this GoRuck deal! I wanna do it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. yea - I'm so excited that you officially posted about goruck....now there is no backing out :-) I'm also excited to see how many people would consider doing it! I was seriously skeptical at first, but it was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. Everyone should sign up!!! Annapolis - 4/21, 10pm.

    And no headphones????? WTF???? I rely on music around mile 18 to pump me up...and yes, Kesha is on my playlist as well :-)

  11. That sounds like an insane race/event and I wish you luck - but I would rather be prepared for stuff! You're more hardcore than I am. I would need an itinerary before I could commit. Even doing Ragnar scares me because I love sleep SO MUCH.

  12. omg, omg - you are nuts! not so much the GORUCK challenge but another marathon!!!!! damn!

    GORUCK, although crazy, sounds fun!

    your comment about sleep cracked me up. i could never stay up all night. i could barely do it in college. and i go to bed at 9PM now.

  13. I may have done the Lower Potomac one year. Piney Point sounds familiar. As for that (insane) challenge, you go girl. No way I'd do that. That tough mudder was enough upper body strength challenge for me to figure out I am No Upper Body Strength Shelly and proud of it.

    You are crazy...but it does kinda sound fun. If only I were stonger.

    Don't talk about staying up all night. I still don't know how I'll do that for Massanutten!

  14. I can't do water so I couldn't do a GORUCK or a Tri. I've never raced with music and I've only run with it once or twice. I honestly can't count the number of times I've stayed up all night!

  15. Am I nuts because I saw your link for GORUCK, immediately went to the site and looked up the Ohio dates? I might do it but I'd probably die. You, on the other hand, are totally bad ass and can do it all.

    Good luck with the marathon tomorrow! You'll be awesome!


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