Hi, all. Before Steve gets the video up for the race--he ran fantastically by the way, setting a new PR of 15:02 in the process--I wanted to give you my perspective, since it was likely missed by our videographer, who also happens to be Steve's mom. (I was in the woods for a good part of the race, where there were thankfully no cameras.)
Without getting into the gritty details, I've been battling a GI bug since Thursday. I thought things were under control until about an hour before the race when my body said otherwise. The good news is that the legs and cardiovascular systems felt good for the part that I did run. That counts for something, right guys? Guys?
The gun went off around 10:30, with a steady drizzle coming down. Unlike Steve, who went to the front, I tried to reel in my pace off the bat, since going out in ~4:41 hadn't panned out for me at Bucknell. I was near the back for the first mile, splitting the first mile in 4:49 and feeling pretty good aside from the unsettled stomach.
Hopkins had been right in front of me for the first few laps, and I think I passed him just after the mile. (He would finish in around 15:40, a somewhat disappointing result for him.) I came through 3k in just under 9:10, meaning I had obviously slowed down for the better part of the second mile amidst my growing intestinal angst.
It was a culmination of discomfort and the realization that there was no way I was going to be able to come back with a negative split feeling way worse than I had when I started that made me drop out. Additionally, while I didn't think about it at the time, I do have races coming up on Friday (road mile) and Sunday (road 10k), so I figure now that there's not much sense in a wasted effort at this point. I believe I dropped out at 3600, running straight off the track into the woods where I was met with prompt relief.
After the race, I got my wet clothes together and headed back to my car as fast as I could. It was almost 11 at this point, and I had a long, drizzly drive in front of me.
Around 1, I stopped somewhere in the Poconos where a few hotels were visible from the highway. I grabbed some McDonald's (fries, salad, ice cream sundae with a packet of peanuts) and called a few places. While en route to the cheapest place I had called, I saw a motel on the side of the road that beat the place I was headed to by a good 20 bucks. I seriously don't know how this place makes money charging what it does. What was the motel like? Imagine one of those places in a television show where criminals hang out whilst smoking cigarettes, shooting up with dirty needles, and raping people.
The guy on the phone (no one was at the motel office, but there was a nice note on the door) told me to just "let myself into" one of the rooms. He recommended 111, as it was a non-smoking room. Room 111 had a window open, which I closed, and, thankfully, a functional door, which I locked. I showered, ate my Dirty Clown food, peeled off the cum-soaked bedspread, and went to sleep. And here's where the night gets interesting...
At 5 am, I woke up to the sound of scurrying. As much as I tried to convince myself that it was just the prostitute next door, it became evident as my somnolence cleared that the scurrying was coming from something more "animal-like."
I grabbed my phone from the bedside table and used its light to peer around the room. Nothing.
After about five minutes, I summoned up the courage to put my pants on and walked over to the bathroom, where the noise seemed to be coming from. Again nothing.
I peeked around the bathroom door that was blocking the closet. Is that my package of peanuts from the McDonald's sundae scattered across the ground? Yes. Is that a bunch of trash from the meal I had just eaten four hours ago strewn across the stained carpet? Yes, yes, yes. I wasn't hallucinating after all!
I never spied my night-time visitor, and truthfully, I didn't stick around much longer to ensure that I did. Instead, I got my shit together and got the hell out of there.
Upon leaving, I called the motel office again (once again, no one was physically there) and was told to "just leave two twenties in one of the drawers and leave the room unlocked." I told the guy that it was fine with me as long as he was sure the animal wouldn't steal his cash. I then filled him in on the night's events. To the guy's credit, he told me not to worry about paying. He also nicely asked me to consider his establishment the next time I was staying in the area.
A free hotel beats sub-15 any day, right guys? Right? RIGHT?... Guys?