Guest Post by Alan Abbs
Thanks for asking me to waste my time writing this entry for a blog that no one reads except for you and your mom. You know, it was only 6 days after you announced your blog that you were e-mailing me to ask 1) if I’ve read it yet, and 2) could I do a guest post? Normally when people start a blog, they can at least put their own original thoughts in it for a few weeks before other people start doing the work for them. And didn’t everyone else start blogging in 2003? I can’t wait for the time when you announce that you’ve just discovered Facebook and you’re looking for friends other than sun-deprived and hairless Oregonners.
And while I’m thinking of it, why doesn’t lc have a blog yet? Isn’t that what “journalists” do when they can’t hack it in the world of local newspaper reporting- start a blog, post nasty comments on the online forums of their former paper, and write for the free alternative weekly? He could start writing about highbrow fare like “Life lessons from baby Alice,” “My favorite quotes from F Scott Fitzgerald,” and “How I stole the Tom Selleck painting from that little old lady.” And to think lc was such a promising writer, until he did that Sunday manlove piece for the Register Guard- “I love Craig Thornley, He’s Such an Awesome Runner.” We sure burst his bubble when we had to medical rescue you from Cal 2 on the Peace Run in 2007, and before you know it lc was writing “news” stories about barbeque chicken pizza and boxed brownie mixes, getting lost at Western (didn’t he go to training camp?), and puking at Leadville. Now, where was I?
Oh yes, the purpose of this post is to tell you what my News Year’s Resolution is, aside from more stretching and taking my daily vitamins. Now, it’s well understood that I’m the manliest runner of Team Sunsweet (my future entry- “White Trash: Manliest Sunsweet Runner, Slowest Sunsweet Runner,” or “Can we just once let Ed Willson come run with us so I don’t finish last?”) No, this resolution is more serious. I want to be a wife beater! Not just any run-of-the-mill reality show wife beater, although I think the dirty white tank top look will be fashionable in 2009- low cost, made in America, and a low carbon footprint from sparse cleaning. I want to beat my wife in an ultra, no mean feat considering we’re talking about French Kiss- Masters Ultrarunner of Year, National Champion for (fill in the blank with a year and distance), course record holder at blah, blah, blah. Shoot, she evens gets more enviro cred than I do by being in the Dec 2008 TrailRunner “Green Issue”, and I work in air quality and solid waste! What’s a guy got to do to get a little respect around here?
Let’s say I do 10 ultras a year, and over the various distances I average 10 aid stations a race. That’s 100 times I hear “You better hurry up if you’re going to catch Bev,” “You’re only X minutes behind Bev,” “Bev’s looking good (and you- not-so-good).” Then there’s the indignity of reading the post Western recaps, where John Medinger invariably tells how many wives beat their husbands, and that the husbands are going to be “taking out the trash.” Like I don’t know he’s specifically twisting the knife in my back!!! I’ve become the losingest husband in history- I’ll get you Medinger!
Oh, and another thing- I need to do this in 2009, because in September I turn 40, and like you I’ll become just a washed up masters runner, wearing my belt buckles to race registration and talking about my last great race. The big difference between us though is that I actually won a race in 2008. What about you LB- 2001, is it?
I did have some success in 2008. At the Trail Less Travelled 10K in Oroville I was ahead at the 5 mile mark. She passed me. At 5.5 she was only 10 yards ahead and I thought I might be able to pull it out. At a bend in the trail our eyes met- I knew what she was thinking- “I will crush you,” as she sped up, and beat me by 20 seconds! I would have even been happy to hold hands as we crossed the finish line together, but it wasn’t going to happen!
We had a deal for the Eastern Willamette Valley 10K Road Championships (aka the Oakridge Salmon Run) memorialized in my race report- I would win. Did I win? No, I didn’t win, I had to settle for a tie.
Then, some redemption. At the 2008 Peace Run, I did the whole thing from before Robinson Flat all the way to the River, after drinking 5 Natural Ices the night before. She didn’t do Michigan Bluff to Foresthill in order to rest some injuries. Since the run was “named,” I consider it a race, and I win. I ran more miles.
Then my big moment- I won the Auburn 50K. Granted, she was running with Leki poles and nursing her knees, hamstrings, and Achilles. So yes, I have beaten her, but to really mean something it needs to be mano a mano- no injuries, no excuses. It needs to be at an event that matches my strength against her weakness. It needs to be an all downhill ultra, the more rooty and rocky the better.
So I present a new race for you to put in the Oregon Trail Series- The 24 hours of downhill at Oakridge. Like one of those downhill ski events. Run down, get a ride back up. Repeat until your quads are jelly. Let me know the date and who the RD is, so I can work with them on spiking her bottles with excess salt or caffeine pills. Maybe we could do it at Willamette Pass using the ski lift, and even enlist a trail sabateur.
That’s all I can think of if I’m going to make this work, but there’s got to be someone out there that’s faced my problem and overcome it. Can you help a guy out here? What events should I do in 2009? Should I just declare “Mission Accomplished” because of the Peace Run and Auburn 50K? And don’t tell me to run more, because it just started raining down here in Cali, and only losers run in the rain. It’s really muddy and I just got a brand new pair of shoes.
Oh, and this is just our little secret right? If she finds out I’m plotting, she’ll never let me even get close to winning!