I’m packing for the 24-Hour Black Mountain Monster Relay
today.  No need for blow dryers or
lipstick—no sir.  All I need are dry
shorts, some ibuprofen and a roll of duct tape (to make sure my toenail doesn’t
fall off), and I’ll be good to go.  I
live for this kind of stuff, and there has been far too little of it lately to
suit me.

Two days ago, I dropped Isaac and Harper Lee’s plastic
playset on my big toe as we set up our yearly water slide and kiddie pool
extravaganza on the back porch.  It
didn’t even hurt, but as I watched the blood pool under my nail and then
quickly spread out all over the porch, I thought, “Add this to the list of bad
ideas before a long trail race.” 
Eventually, the bleeding stopped, and it really doesn’t hurt, but I
suspect it will fall off in the next couple of weeks so the duct tape is just
to help it stick around for the next two days if possible.

This whole thing should be interesting since over half of our
10-man team is not in “race shape” right now. 
Most of us are pretty fit, but only a handful have been doing any
speedwork, so it’s hard to say how we might do. 
I think we might surprise ourselves and hopefully some other folks too.  Despite my best efforts to keep my
expectations reasonable and to rein Deanne, the track Nazi, back in, I find
myself getting really psyched about the whole thing.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… we’re just going to have a good time.  That’s what I’ve been saying, but I can feel
that little competitive demon rearing its horned head and saying, “But it’s
fun to kick ass.”  And that’s hard to

A few years ago, a girl that was next to me at the start
line at the Muddy Buddy asked me a few questions about the course, and I
explained to her how different parts of it might affect the race.  She looked at me quizzically and said,
“Race?  I thought we were just out here
to have fun.”  I returned the puzzled
look and said, “I thought they were the same thing.”

And so it is.  Let’s