Friday, September 27, 2013

Zombies Don't Like Fast Food (Run For Your Lives 5k Race Report)

(Full Disclaimer:  A few months ago, I was offered a free entry into the Run For Your Lives 5k Zombie Run in exchange for a race report.  Best part of this...a hometown race.  Score.  Before I go on...shout out to Nicole Kesten for being an awesome ambassador for the sport of triathlon and endurance events period.  Nicole runs/operates ChicagoTriBloggers...and her commitment to grow this sport is second to none.)

So, as I stated above...I get the email about two months ago.  The opportunity to run a 5k obstacle race was great...but to do it in my hometown?  I couldn't pass it up!  I was about a few weeks past Ironman Lake Placid...and looking for some small goal race to do for fun.  It was too good to pass up.  But wait a minute...zombies?  What's up with that?  So I checked out the website: Run For Your Live 5k...
Sold.  8:00am wave...I'm going out first to do some zombie damage.

Race morning.  Up at 6:00am...on my bike by 6:45.  Yep...I got to ride my bike to the race.  Race site was just outside town..about a 10 mile ride.

Arrived, and made my way through registration.  No problems...well run.  I headed towards what I thought was the start line...instructions were being barked out, so I figured I was in the right place.  I must have been in my own little world...because once I finally looked around, I knew I wasn't in the right spot.  I was among the dead.  200 zombies...looking at me.  Hey...don't mind me.  Shit.

The MC was making fun of being in the middle of nowhere, USA.  Thank god for GPS...but of course, we don't get a signal out in the sticks.  An announcement was made that the first two waves would start together since so many people couldn't find the place.  While I find that hard to believe...I had to chuckle.  So I waited.  A little frustrated...but once Ray Charles took off his pants...well, things got a little interesting.  Oh, I didn't tell you about Ray Charles?  Use your imagination.  Think Ray and a thong.  So that's how this was going to go.  I better be fast.  

I took a few strolls out onto the course to warm up.  Chatted with the race director.  Listened to the MC play "Walk This Way" and make fun of Byron.  Finally...go time.

A few up and down dirt hills and we were released into a pack of zombies.  My plan was to play it cool with the lead in numbers.  Until I realized, I was 1/2 of the lead pack.  Navigating a group of 20 zombies isn't so bad when there are 30-40 runners along side of you.  When it's just you and one other guy...that's a lot of dead hands grabbing at you.  I had three flags.  In order to not be infested...I had to finish with at least one.  1/4 mile in...I lost my first one.  Damn.

Made my way under the barb wire obstacle...getting me muddy to stay muddy.  Around the 1/2 mile we hit our second obstacle.  The Smoke House.  Crawling under the tent entrance the "house" was filled with smoke.  I dropped to the ground quickly and my worst fears were realized.  Hanging wires.  There was no doubt that those wires had some voltage...lucky for me, there were only two of us, and we were able to crawl freely around most of the wires.  Except for one f-ing wire.  ZAP.  Mutha...not a fan.  

Out of the smoke house we encountered a field of no less than 30 zombies...another flag down.  I'm not liking my odds for survival.  We had a nice 1/2 mile stretch of trail to run back in the woods.  I cranked up the pace and took a considerable lead, still feeling good.  A few quick obstacle and zombies and I was back running in the woods.  Things got interesting around the two mile mark as I made a navigation blunder and got off course.  I actually ended up doing an obstacle backwards...what was supposed to be a wet water slid DOWN turned into a challenging trip UP the water soaked tube.  Once they got me back on track, I had probably lost three to four minutes and was back in 2nd place.  Grrrrr...

Last mile was more of the same, with a few obstacles and lots of zombies.  With about 1/4 mile to go, I lost my last flag.  Infested now, I didn't have to worry about zombie avoidance and made a serious push to overtake the leader.  Once I caught him, I realized that he too was out of flags...we chuckled about the situation and continued on through the last few obstacle.  I dropped him over the last 200m.  Coming in the home stretch, I challenged the zombies to take my flags...all of them.  I ended up with lots of zombie high fives as I approached the finish line.  All in all, one hell of a fun race for a Saturday morning.  Except for Ray Charles in a thong.  That shit just wasn't right.

Strategy?  My best strategy was the Zombie fake out.  Since I didn't have slow people to sacrifice around me...I had to go with the art of deception.  Coming upon a zombie (or multiple zombies) I would slow down and act out of breath.  Sometimes even offer up a "whoa...holy crap I'm tired"...and then proceed with a burst of speed.  Seemed to work well.  Well, as well as losing all three of your flags could be considered as "working well".  And then there is the sprinter zombies, of which I was NOT a fan of.  They would track you down for great if I wasn't already tired enough.  SCREW THE SPRINTER ZOMBIES.  You were the kids that got picked on in gym class. 

So it WAS a great race and a lot of fun.  As a matter of fact, it was a lot more FUN than it was RACE. And that was cool with me...

Thanks to the Run for Lives 5k crew for the chance to run the race.    

Until next clean, train dirty.  And don't let zombies eat your brains.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

All Those Things That I Have Done...

Got to spend Sunday at Ironman Wisconsin.  Made me think of this video...
Eat clean...train dirty.
Don't waste a single day...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Beginnings...Old Traditions

(Note:  I figured I made it to Lake my "Journey to Lake Placid" is complete.  With that in mind...I've shifted my blog focus to just a quest to be awesome.  Thanks for reading...)

Lake Placid is over.  Like five weeks over.  Might as well be five years.

With time to reflect back on the race.  It was an amazing experience.  For my first Ironman, I wouldn't have changed a thing.  Not one workout, not one Gu, not one mile split.  Nothing.  Not everything went right...looking back, it all happened for a reason and I'm glad it did.  The Lake Placid over.

So what's next?


These past five weeks have been a refreshing injection of "awesome" into my training.  The tri bike is hanging on its hooks.  The mountain bike has been muddied and washed more times than my underwear and my trail shoes have developed a stank of epic proportions.  Just like the old days.

Short term goals are to work on strength...and get back to my trail roots.  A few trail races this fall/winter...perhaps a 50k in the spring.  As long as I'm having fun.

Long term goals take me back to LP.  In like five years.  Nothing to worry about right now.  For now...I run.

Eat clean...train dirty.