Tuesday, May 27, 2008

of Badwater and banana bread

recovering from a 3day weekend of par-tays. to honor those who've died for our country, on memorial day weekend we merkins consume belt-popping quantities of potato salad, coleslaw and variations on beef, washed down with lite beer and wine from boxes. good times.

caught up with kel at coach's Miller Lite fest. in july she's heading west for the
Badwater ultramarathon -- as in 135 miles of running starting in Death Valley, CA (where temps have climbed to 134deg F), climbing 3 mountain ranges and finishing at mt whitney. runner's world calls Badwater “one of the toughest, craziest races on the planet” and kel is doing it. well, part of it anyway: her friend signed up and at kel's wedding reception last year he proposed the idea that she pace one of his overnight legs. drunk on Brut and lurrrv, she accepted, and as a sign of their commitment he presented her with one of those white suits worn by crazy people who run in the desert.

- he gave you a suit to run at night? and you're not worried?? is there anyone else on his support team?
kel looked unsure.
- well, there's the amputee...
“the amputee” is
amy palmiero-winters, who runs with a prosthetic leg – or legs. kel says just like we have training shoes and racing flats, amy has a training leg and a racing leg, and she hasn't decided which to wear for Badwater.

this is kel's friend's second attempt at Badwater: the first time his kidneys shut down midway through and the medics pulled him when he could no longer pee.

- how long is your overnight leg?
- only 25 miles.
- “only.”

at Badwater you have to change your shoes regularly because after about 10miles the midsoles begin to soften from the heat. not just the soles, but the very
skeleton of your shoes. bart yasso, of Yasso 800s fame, writes about his Badwater experience in his new memoir, My Life on the Run. a third of the way into his race, yasso began noticing mounds of freshly-baked banana bread on the side of the road. he wasn't hallucinating, as he first thought: one of his competitors up the road was sponsored by chiquita and at regular intervals was throwing up bananas which cooked nicely in the 160deg asphalt. when he began passing mushy, uncooked piles yasso knew the quarry was close.

- has amy done this before? does she have to worry about her prosthesis melting, or getting so hot it burns her?
- i don't know, finn. why don't you come along and run a leg?
- ha! you're a funny one. grab me that box of pinot won't you.

for the next 15min she tried to cajole me from 80 different directions but i was having none of it and eventually D distracted her with details of his pond-running proposal. if i had to make a deal with god whereby i could run again only if i did Badwater i MIGHT take him up on it after long deliberation.

oh who am i fooling. there would be no deliberating. i miss running that much.

1 comment:

fatmammycat said...

Chunks of banana break? Ah, yack.