Novel use for Condoms & Other Inspirations from the RMRR Dinner

30 01 2008

Well – that should get some attention!

I’m a member of the Rocky Mountain Road Runners.  I’ve been volunteering for them for a couple of years learning a great deal about short race support.  The vast majority of the people that I’ve met are really quite kind, but they’re so fast!  RMRR is also where I first heard about racewalking … that delightful sport that is slowly taking over my life.

I’ve been in a bit of a post race/cleaning out my life coma for the last month.  I didn’t quite realize how much until I asked my friend Joan to remind me that we were having dinner last Saturday night … on Wednesday!  As I was dealing with the, I kid you not, 10 loads of laundry that had accumulated over the past month and a half, Rosalie called and said “So – do you want to ride over to the dinner together?” 

Hu?

Well – fortunately she reminded me that I’d put in over 30 hours as a volunteer and I had a free entry to the Volunteer/End of the Year dinner.  I was also being given a Thank-You gift … and, fortunately, I had already RSVP’d as a Vegetarian.

As I trundled down to the laundry room (three working machines), I thought about how different this coming year was going to be with respect to me and RMRR.  I’ll still volunteer, but after one race, somehow I’m 3rd in the Racewalk standings … there are, however, only 4 of us!  Stuffing the machine with towels or jeans or blankets I wondered just what this party would hold in store. 

I’m not one of the speedy sneakers and I’m not one who does the adventure racing or ultra marathons.  I’m the quirky one who finally did a damn race who wanders all over the place … and usually has a pretty good outlook … and rather loud voice.  HOWEVER, to their credit, as I’ve been getting more interested in my Racewalking, members of the RMRR have been really wonderful in supporting me, offering words of encouragement … and teaching me how to handle water stops: crushing cups, not stressing about dropping it, getting a gulp and going.

So – I got the last 2 loads in the drier when Rosalie picked me up. The event was not a formal affair, but I dressed in some nice new black slacks and my black “Walkers Do It With Style” long sleeved T.  With the weight lost due to the little Condition, my new pants are loose, but whatever!

It was fascinating to see everyone dressed reasonably nicely … or dressed!  I’m used to 7 a.m. towseled hair, sleep encrusted eyes, shorts and sweat pants!  Everyone looked like “grown-ups”!

The Two Jim’s talked about their rather unusual races: 

Jim 1 talked about doing the Antarctica Marathon.  INSANE! He’s done an event on every continent!  Everyone was bundled up before the race like 2 year olds in sized snow suits.  Every time I looked up at the video he provided, I realized that the “runners” had shed the suits in favor of what really looked like Colorado Cold Weather Race Gear!  Watch out for water so the feet didn’t freeze, but other than that … keep moving … finish … diveinto warm bunny suit and boots and get off the ice!  I only know one person who would love that chilly temperature.  I loved seeing the penguins … I have an affinity for them!

Jim 2 is our multi-day stage nut!  He’s amazing and tells a good story.  He’s got an amazing personality coupled with a good dose of shyness that really made the next discussion rather … silly!  Jim explained that it was warm in the days and cold at night.  There were several people to a tent and showers were non-existent.  Whatever you wanted to have handy, you had to have on your back!  Anyway – someone asked about going potty.  It’s a reality that only a bunch of runners/racewalkers would bring up during dessert and coffee/water!  Since he was stuck on the far side of a cramped tent, he knew going out to potty in the middle of the night would be problematic.  His novel solution caused the very tall and very slim usually eloquent man to just blush and stammer.  “I brought … condoms … to … uh … um … and then tie off … uh …” It made completely logical sense … however … he never got a chance to try it out!  The box of condoms was in a bag of luggage that never made it to Peru (I think it was Peru … he’s also done the Gobi)!

Adam is one of those guys who can do anything and probably has.  His talk was sans AV spectaculars, but had a lot of humility and humanity attached.  I’d watched Adam run for long enough and overheard many of his stories to believe that he was indestructible.  Not the case in the Leadville 100.  His discussion was all about how when your body has all sorts of issues (his was with crusty Cytomax v. his stomach) the brain really has the swing vote.  As I sat behind my buddy Tom and next to one of the original founders of the club, Adam’s words really hit home.  I thought about how my head worked against me at Disney and San Diego when I needed it most.  The couple of things that kicked my brain back to where it should be was a text message from my buddy Brandon to keep going and reminding me that there were those who were proud of me … and that disembodied voice yelling “Good Form, Elisabeth.”  With my stomach and intestines doing the 2 step, I was able to talk with Adam for a moment or two to say “Hey – thanks!  Your timing is perfect!”  I’m a bit nervous about my general lack of being able to properly train for Surf City 1/2.

Kerry ended the program – and he’s always interesting talking about how one runs with a guide dog and how he does it with the diabetes etc.

The big thing, however, was Adam’s talk about the internal mental component of racing.  He knew he was faster than the people he was behind and in the end he completely kicked it out.  I’m starting to know I’m faster than a lot of people who jog and have used that drive to get across the finish line.  I told Adam about that and he said “Now you’ve got to figure out how to keep that drive through the whole race!”  He’s absolutely right, of course! 

Rosalie and I were close to the last ones to leave.  We chatted with Jim C (Jim-2) and it was great to finally look him close to in the eye as I was wearing1.5 to 2 inch heels.  he loved the photo I sent for my on-line profiel for the club (http://www.rmrr.org/rmrrProfiles/Members/rmrrProfile_LisShepard_01272008.html) He said it was truly me!  He did tease me that next year I’d be winning a beer stein as a racewalker … I’ve got to complete enough races first.  I realized that even for all my quirkiness and nervous energy, I’m being taken somewhat seriously … about as seriously as I take myself!

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