Sunday, August 12, 2012

You call that Hell?

Saturday was the run through Hell. All along I was anticipating upper 80s, high humidity and killer hills. The reality wasn't nearly as terrible as my expectations.

After a summer of hot dry weather, Hell morning was overcast and cool. The exact same weather that had me moaning and complaining before and during the Martian was a welcome relief in Hell. It was cool and super humid, but the humidity kept breaking into a light drizzle that was very welcome! The morning started cold enough for a sweatshirt, but I took it off within the first few feet and slung it over the gate at the ranch, hoping hoping hoping it would still be there when I was done.

The route started the same as the Halloween run, then turned left instead of turning right. The hills weren't too terrible, yet I know if it had been 85 degrees, they would have seemed like mountains! The biggest problem on the course was that the rain made the road slick and I was marginally concerned about slipping and falling on a downhill.

Something really good about Hell is that I somewhat ran it with someone. Well I saw him at the start line, at the finish line and a few times on the course. I've been emailing with a guy since the Martian who is transitioning from 5k distance to the Free Press half marathon. Hell was his first "long" race and it was fun to be his cheerleader. I saw him a few times throughout the race and tried to yell encouragement his way. When it was done, he was in great pain and having trouble walking. I couldn't help laughing, not because I was making fun of him, but because I've been there and I knew exactly how terrible it feels.

With very little hill training, my goal was 2 hours. Yes, I know that's only a 12:00 average. Obviously I hit it! :) I wasn't running super hard and I felt awesome within 5 minutes of finishing. I could have gone harder and faster. I'm not sure why I didn't. I was struck with how incredibly easy the race was, which tells me I was being way too easy on myself. Most races when I pass a mile marker I think "ugh that was ONLY 4 miles???" My reaction yesterday was more like "sweet, 4 done already! I'm cruising right along. Almost half done."

Finished the race and headed back to the gate hoping my shirt was there. It was!!! Sweet! I found it years ago on the clearance rack. It's nothing special, but I like it.

The race shirt, by the way, is hideous!!! It's super cheap quality and the design looks like something whipped together in 3 minutes. My friend got there before I did and picked up my packet for me. I saw him walk toward my car with a pink shirt in his hands and I thought "oh, he decided to do the weenie run (4.8 miles)." Nope, it was mine and it's going straight in the "painting / yard work pile." Race organizers - if you're reading this, I'll design your shirts next year! I'll do it for free!!

After the race I saw something tied around my side mirror. I had no idea what it was, or why something was on my mirror. I untied it and someone had tied a red "run through Hell" shirt to my mirror. My best guess is that one of my friend's friends did it. We saw them before the race started and we all chatted about how hideous the shirts were this year. There was a tent selling shirts from previous years. Did they buy me one? Did the man dressed as Satan send it my way? The women parked nearby who liked my pre-race snack of cookies and "Mexican" Coke with the real sugar? Whoever you are, thank you :)

Both shirts are in the washer now. I always order an extra large, because my 2010 Free Press shirt is an XL and it's none too big. The Hell shirts seem to have come from the XL section at the big and tall store. I'll post pics of both shirts after I attempt to shrink them.

Not the greatest race I've ever done, but not the worst either. 10 miles of rain and hills were tons better than the flat 15 Hal had prescribed. Would I do it again? Yeah, probably. See you all in Hell! he he he

Update: here are the pictures. I used the PhotoBooth program on my iMac and the pics are all reversed. Flipping them wouldn't fix anything :(

Race shirt front

Race shirt back

Mystery shirt front

Mystery shirt back


  1. Great Race Recap Michelle. Congrats on your race from Hell. There were a few at the Milford Memories that ran that Saturday I over heard. What a difference in weather between Saturday and Sunday. It was nice to not have any rain for all the rolling hills out there.

  2. I always wondered if the Hell races are worth it or not. Do you think its better to do a Halloween one, for the theme??

    1. The Halloween race is a blast! The majority of people are in costumes and it's super fun. I definitely recommend that one!