Fellowship of the Idiots & Sunbelt Day 1

When two good events are on the same day and I can't pick either/or, the result is both/and. Fellowship of the Idiots, a 19.7 mile run from downtown Albemarle to the top of Morrow Mountain and back, and the 38th annual Sunbelt Swim meet both happened today. (Un)fortunately, the F.O.T.I. run is at 5:30 a.m., and my first event at the meet is at around 2 p.m. Just enough time to run, turn around, and head to the pool.

There were a lot of familiar faces from Charlotte and Gastonia at the run. Frankly, I wasn't the only idiot-wannabe who was willing to drive an hour to a 5:30 a.m. run. We started in the dark and the cold was almost unbearable. From downtown Albemarle to Morrow Mountain was about six miles with mostly gradual hills and some rolling hills. The steep incline begins at the entrance of Morrow Mountain State Park with two particularly challenging climbs. I'd say it's around 6-8%. Mapmyrun indicates that the average grade of the whole run is about 3.6%. Overall, it's a really fun run and Vac and Dash did a superb job organizing it. I finished the run in 2:43 and was given a shirt and a certificate to prove my idiocy.

View of sunrise from Morrow Mountain

After leaving Albermarle, I headed towards MAC for the Sunbelt Swim Meet. Part of me really wanted to bail. Half way into the drive, I had to pull over and took a nap. I arrived at the pool with a drowsy head and the only comfort was that all my events today were short distances: 50 Free, 200 Free, and 100 IM. 50 Free was quick. Once I stepped on the block, everything was a blur. I had a little more time to think during 200 Free. Although that dive was brutal -- I dove in flat like a plank. Surprisingly, the result was a decent (according to my speed) 3:06. 100 IM was fun. My backstroke is still the weakest. Not many people's breast stroke is faster than their back, except for me. Big shout-out to Mary Dore and Alis for qualifying even more events for Nationals this April. They are such inspirations.

I was that close to bail on the run and was even closer to bail the swim. At the end of the day, I am glad I stuck it out.
It's now 8:36 p,m., I've been up for 18 hours and I shall retreat to my bed and not move a single muscle till the alarm goes off tomorrow.

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