Our RunVermont Grand Prix Quest Blogger Denise is at it again!
I realized it this past weekend on a road trip. I was brought back to the nostalgia of my college days on the long bus rides to soccer games (full disclosure, I was the goal keeper...there's irony for you, goalies don't run!!). I was on a bus full of runners from the GMAA heading to a half-marathon! Me...riding on a bus load of runners, most of whom I had never met. Everyone was so inviting, so inclusive in the club. Almost all were much faster than me, but there was no judgement, no snobbery. There were bags of pretzels, gold fish crackers, chocolate, Gatorade, and...BEER!!! I eavesdropped on stories of races past and tried to listen for subtle tips and strategies for race day. Some said, shower before the race, it perks you up. Others disagreed (you might get cold). Some swore by a certain flavor of GU, others had maple syrup packets. Some swear by pre-race ibuprofen. Some wore shorts, others wore capris or full length tights. All ate pasta, ice cream, and beer the night before (my kind of people). The weird things are that runners go to Goodwill to get "throw away" or "drop" clothes (picture a polyester '80s Hollister jacket). So, you stay warm waiting for the starting gun, then just ditch it at mile 0.75 when you warm up. Then, you don't risk losing your favorite, lucky, layering shirt. Runners also bring their own food (and lots of it). It's part of the race ritual and what has worked before. There is white rice, eggs, grilled chicken, granola, beet juice, tart cherries...I could go on. Sharing a bed with a total stranger doesn't seem to bother runners. If it's mixed gender bed sharing, someone sleeps on top of the covers and the other on the bottom. Runners will eat almost anything after a race. Sunday it was fried fish sandwiches and clam chowder. Supplemented by left over pasta, bread, ice cream, cookies, and of course, BEER. I really learned a lot this weekend, but the biggest discovery was a incredible new community! Give me some beet juice and bring on Half Unplugged (but I gotta make a stop at Goodwill)