Yep--my tale of terror is about the Bo-Fest half marathon I'm running on September 5th. My co-worker, Michael, ran part of the route and quite frankly scared the bejesus out of me. I knew most of the route was on Otis Road, which is a blacktop that runs along the Cedar River; it's kinda out in the middle of nowhere (yet in the city) and not a place I would ever run by myself. He then told me that when you turn around to come back, you run on part of the Sac and Fox Trail.
This is the trail I took the kids on last week for a bike ride. Our bike ride lasted approximately 400 feet, when we turned around and walked our bikes back to my truck, put them back in the bed, and stared at each other in dismay. The trail had so much gravel on it, and the ground was so soft, it felt like we were riding on sand. We couldn't pedal and left deep tire tracks in the gravel. Apparently this is what I have to look forward to in the race.
Michael informed me that the part of the trail he ran was very muddy. I believe he said "Put your hiking shoes on". Oh crap. And also, bring bug spray. So now I will have another week of hyperventilating about this race. I'm pretty sure now I will be the last one to make it back in. I can only pray there are people who are going to run this race who feel supremely self-confident, but will wilt under the demands of a tough course. Is it mean to wish others don't do so well so I have a shot at finishing somewhere in the pack?! Shame on me. But I kinda mean it :)p
So now I have two prayers I'm sending out into the world everyday: Please let it be cool, and please let the trail dry out! Good news: water stops every two miles. Another bit of good news: a great 5 mile run today--no walking; just a short stop to retrieve my fresh, cold, sweating bottle of water from the garbage where some doorknob tossed it!