I went for a run this afternoon, and got a first hand look at the discrepancy in cultures between Ogden and the Cedar City/St. George area. A few hundred miles south of here, runners are greeted with encouragement, waving, and exaggerated peppiness. It’s a little sickening, actually. Today, in my hometown of Ogden, I had a different experience.
I hadn’t stepped but twenty feet off the curb of my condominium complex, when a middle aged dude on a motorcycle coming the opposite direction made eye contact with me and slowed his bike down. As we passed each other, he looked me square in the eye and growled, “Where in the F*** do YOU think YOU’RE going?!” I wheeled around and threw up my arms in the universal sign for, “What, bitch?” He didn’t stop, or even look back. I continued my run, laughing at both the guy for the unprovoked attack, and at myself for reacting so predictably ghetto.
The middle portion of my run was pleasant, albeit uneventful. My fellow Ogdenites, however, made sure the end of my run would be memorable. Approximately half a mile from my house, two teenage kids in an old Nissan began to slow as they approached. I looked up just in time to see one of the kids lean out the passenger side window. He belted me in the chest with a small rock while yelling, “Faaaaag!!!!”
The rock stung, but I didn’t even come close to getting angry at this point. In fact, I laughed my ass off the remainder of my run. Why did I laugh? Well, because I deserve it. Anybody that has known me for long enough knows some of the stuff I used to pull when I was their age. Karma, right? What goes around, comes around. All I know is, next time I see that dude on the bike I’ll be ready.
186 miles. Our 11 person team conquered the distance, but not without one hell of a gut check. We fought the course for a day and a half, with each runner taking on three legs composed of several miles (Mace ran double this amount) on little to no sleep. Most of us were fueled by protein bars, shakes, supplements, a snot-like substance aptly named “Goo,” and the occasional sandwich, but it bears mentioning Kody subsisted on Dr. Pepper, McDonald’s, and chewing tobacco (which he’d use DURING his run).
I’m proud of our team, and I’m quite happy with my own effort as well. I ran a total of 19.3 miles in that 1.5 day span, which nearly equals the one week total I had put in to training for the race. I traversed the most gorgeous settings Utah has to offer, including a 1700 foot descent through Cedar Breaks, a spectacular night run featuring a stunningly starry sky, and a brutal 8.3 mile trek towards the beautiful cliffs of Zion in sweltering heat.
It was incredible, but I’m definitely paying for my efforts. My legs feel as though they’ve been worked over by a baseball bat-wielding goon, my feet are so blistered they look like I have them packaged in bubble wrap, my stomach has been tied in a square knot, and my back is cramped from sitting in the damn van between my runs. You would think I’d never worked out a day in my life! With that being said, I’m definitely coming back for more. Running is a new hobby.
Today, I had the chance to do two new things in very familiar areas; jiujitsu and running.
My buddy, Miles (DragonEagle), asked me to teach his high school jiujitsu class tonight. I’ve been doing jiujitsu for close to three years, but have never taught. It was a bit more of a challenge than I’d anticipated teaching techniques I thought I was familiar with. The teaching process forced me to look at some of the minor details I take for granted when performing a technique, and then explain those details to the students in an understandable way. It was fun teaching, and I’d gladly do it again. It’s just that the process gave me even more respect for my teachers.
My other new experience in a familiar arena was in the form of a personal best running distance of 7 miles. It doesn’t sound impressive, but I’ve never done it before so I’m still going to go ahead and pat myself on the back. My legs are cooked. That is all.