Monday, July 25

ORAMM Pre-race Report

Even though ORAMM was on Sunday, my story starts on Saturday.

Every year that I have done well at ORAMM in the past, I have rolled out of bed at 4:30AM and hit the road ASAP to get there early enough to use the porta-jons and sort out the drop bag situation. The only year I stayed in a hotel the night before the race, I had my worst finish ever (last year). That said, when I found out my friends Tim and Rob had a room at the Super 8, I went ahead and asked for floor space. My request was acquiesced. They didn't know what time they would get there, but they were interested in going out to eat upon their arrival.

I left my house at 11:55AM after downing a box of Annie's Organic Mac and Cheese. I drove straight to the Kitsuma Trailhead proper for a loop using Old 70. I brought my Tallboy so I could spin easily up all the climbs as opposed to blowing myself out in the heat on the SS (like I did last year). During my ride, just as it happened last year, Thomas Turner came blowing by me out of nowhere. At the bottom of the trail, I saw Zeke Lilley was in the parking lot, and although he was climbing up the more out of the way Mill Creek Road instead of Old 70, I went with him for the company. I got back to my car, and was back in air conditioned vehicular comfort around 4:00PM.

After finding the hotel so I would know where it was later, I headed to registration with a couple Gatorades and a bag of Chex Mix in my lap. Once there, I hung out in the hot sun talking to just about anyone who would plop down in the grass with me. When I finally called my friends around 6:00PM, they told me they hadn't left town yet. Andrea invited me back to her B&B to sit in the AC, so about a half hour later, we left the heat behind.

Semi panic stricken, I filled my bottles in her sink wanting to get something done to get a start on some forward progress. I started feeling hunger pains, so I ate a stack of Cliff Shot Blocks and one of the six Honey Stinger Waffles I had bought for tomorrow's breakfast. The pain just got worse.

The boys called and said they'd be at the hotel close to 8:00PM, and by 8:30PM we were sitting in Holy Guacamole with 24oz beers in front of us. Probably not the best idea, but when in Holy Guacamole, do as the Holy Guacamolites do. We were done eating shortly after 9:30, but for some odd reason, my stomach was in more pain than before. I hobbled back to the hotel and laid in Rob's bed watching Pirates of the Caribbean hoping my stomach would unknot.

When I started feeling better, I hopped in the shower. Feeling relatively better, I got out to dry off. When I went to turn the hot water off, the knob wouldn't turn. Flustered, I just pushed harder until my hand slipped and I jammed my thumb, pulling the end of my finger nail away from my opposable digit. I thought I was going to have to call management, but I figured out the tap was reversed... eventually.

Rob and Tim showed back up at the hotel with beer. Seeing beer being drank, I joined in with a Hopsecutioner to drink until Captain Sparrow made his daring escape. Heading to bed, errr the Thermarest on the floor for an evening of sleep broken up by periods of discomfort, I noticed it was 11:00PM. I shoved the foot of my sleeping pad under the minifridge/microwave table to keep my head in a location where it wouldn't get stepped on, unplugged the microwave, plugged in my fan, and laid there listening to Rob sort through a tub full of nine year old ride nutrition products.

I woke up whenever I felt uncomfortable, which was probably every 20-30 minutes. At 3:20AM though, I shot right up knowing something was wrong. I was wet. Not just "sweaty" wet or "drooling from exhaustion" wet, but my feet were soaked and my side was more than just clammy. Realizing the problem started at my lower extremities, I figured that one of the bottles I had put in the fridge was leaking. I opended the fridge to check, but that was not the case. It didn't take a whole lot of deduction to figure out that I had unplugged the fridge instead of the microwave, and the tiny iced-over slot known as the "freezer" was defrosting all over me.

I swapped the plugs and to check my work I spun the timer on the microwave turning it on and then shutting it off with a ding. Tim rolled over and looked at me obviously wondering why I was playing with the microwave at 3:22AM. I did my best to lay back down on the drier edge of my pad, covering up with the less moist portions of my sleeping bag, and attempted to go back to sleep. The idea of not being able to get back to sleep coupled with someone's earlier mention of bed bugs kept me awake for awhile, until what seemed like minutes later, the alarm went of at 6:00AM.

Welcome to ORAMM 2011.


Anonymous said...

Rich, What have you actually learned to do right in preparing for races?


Chris, Brigette and Norah Dusack said...

Good lord, that has to be the worst pre-race nights sleep I've heard of yet. This was the first ORAMM where I DID sleep the night before. Considering how well you did yesterday I am sure you slept HARD last night. My man and I ate at Holy Guacamole as well the night before and I was shocked at how many racers were drinking beer and how well they still did. I love my wine but it def keeps me up at night if I am nervous about racing. Great job out there!


Dicky I'm going to use the popularity of your site to advertise this; ORAMM lost and found- Bag with NASTY Kit, Sidi shoes, bottle of wine, misc other stuff and helmet found and turned in to race volunteers. Contact promoter if you want your stuff back...

Anonymous said...

I was woken up by a single beep from my phone indicating a text message around midnight and couldn't go back to sleep for two hours. The text message read "good luck tomorrow". Yeah, thanks.


Anonymous said...

still wetting beds after all these years, huh?

Anonymous said...

(I ignored C,B&ND's spoiler)
That's a lot of excuses...I don't like where this story is headed...