Rock/Creek

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Very Cary Korea Trip

Cab Driver who I thought was kidnapping me.
No this is not a race report. However, If you know me or have read my race reports, you may enjoy the stories and description of my trip to Korea.

Made it to the Incheon Airport...walking around looking like a tourist, a man asks If I need a cab. I nod and he grabs my bag and takes off. Struggling to keep up and assuming he is actually a cab driver I follow the best I can. We make it to his van and before I can ask any questions my bag is locked in the back. I get in the van looking for any "official" taxi information or a meter or something....nothing. While he is taking off I am looking for my seatbelt. He had modified it because he installed bars blocking the luggage area from the back seat. I guess someone else must have freaked out, grabbed their bag and fled. When he reaches 140KM per hour, I begin to take pics of him and any road signs, in the event I have been "taken" and was about to be sold into sex slavery. You think I'm kidding?

I make it to the hotel, walk off the elevator on the sixth floor and walk towards my room. On the way I hear a woman screaming. I stop in the middle of the hallway shocked, and wondering what I should do. Is this woman in distress? Do I need to call for help?. As she continues to scream it finally hits me what is actually happening. Lets just say she was not in distress.


The following day, tensed up from the 15 hour flight and still in disbelief of the mating calls from room 627 I venture to the Siloam Sauna, a Korean bathouse. Ok, this was a recommendation from Joo Kim, to which I told her NO WAY! However, I thought about it, researched it, and found it is safe and no "627's" happen there. This is not like a German bathhouse where men and women are together. The men and women split for the bath portions. I walk in, strip down, and make my way to the bath area. All of a sudden I am surround by 45 naked Korean men. First thing is shower. Second make your way to one of the many pools. As I got in each pool I read the "benefits". First the massage bath, then the salt bath, followed by the jade bath. I got to the mugwort bath but refrained from going in since the sign stated that it was a good vaginal cleanser. I walk over to a group of dudes in spandex. These men spend their days exfoliating other naked men. So when in Rome...I lay down on the table praying and ensuring I do not think about room 627 or my wife at any time. I did not want to be the laughing stock of Korea. The man begins to scrub me with a belt sander. Thank the Lord for the pain because there was no way I was going to mistakenly derive any pleasure from the experience. Back, legs, and sides done. It's now time to turn over and let him sand blast my top side. So far so good. Then he makes it to my mid-section and without hesitation, grabs my lil smokie moving it out of the way so he can scrub my inner thighs....I almost flat-lined.On my third trip (yes I said third) to the bath house something weirder happened. First I thought the symphony was in town cause one dude walked in carrying a bassoon between his legs. Look, it is impossible to be in a room with that many naked people and not see anything. There is the b-hole surprise room. This is a room where there are 4 nozzles hanging from the ceiling and what looks like a massage table. So I lay on the table and there is this button. Well of course I'm gonna press it. Lets just say, make sure you are in the right spot or else a jet stream from one of the nozzles will sodomize you. The next room I enter is the "Salt Sauna". I walk in and can hardly breath due to the heat. There is a 90lb old Korean man in there taking salt from a bin and rubbing it all over his body. I begin to do the same. He looks at me with two handfuls of salt and motions for me to turn around. UH OH! So I turn around and he rubs the salt on my back for me. I will never disclose whether or not I returned the favor.

On the way back to the hotel I pass by Seoul station where I see a couple of homeless Koreans in an argument. One man and one woman. All of a sudden the man starts throwing leg kicks while a cop stands in between trying to stop the situation. The whole time I'm singing the song "Kung fu Fighting".

I think I met a Korean relative. We are on a tour bus to the demilitarized zone...the border of North and South Korea. Leaving the city we drive through the country where there are rice fields all around. Suddenly the bus drive pulls over on an elevated highway. Actually, he doesn't pull over, he just stops in the right lane. He opens the door, grab's a box of tissue, looks at me and points to his stomach. Yep, our bus driver just exited the bus, and was hanging off the side of the road taking a poop. As he came back to the bus, I could see him wiping off his fingers with tissue.

That's all the funny stuff. Now the cool stuff.
Korea is absolutely amazing. The food scares me. In the open market they were serving stuff I had never seen, and one I knew exactly what it was. The area I stayed in was not a tourist spot, rather where everyday Korean's go for. I literally ran all over the northern section of Seoul (north of the Han River). Ran by some Palace's, up an old wall, around the complex where the President lives, along a river running through the city and to Domino's. Yes, I was so tired of Korean food I had to find a Domino's pizza. It cost me 220,000 Won but I did not care.

The sites, people and smells that I encountered will give me a lifetime of memories. Best part of the trip was finding a handmade jewelry shop where I purchase my wife a silver wedding band.

I LOVE KOREA...See you in October Korea.




Inside the Room where you cross into North Korea

Middle of the buildings is the line. Big Building is North Korean




CT Paek, and Simon: Some big wigs in the City



Monday, May 8, 2017

Strolling Jim: Suunto, Sword and Shick



Before and during the race several people come up to me, some I know, and some I don't and ask me how my "anus" is. To provide some context let me share with you my Facebook Post from the Thursday before the race.


TRUE STORY: Just got one of the phone calls from an Indian Scammer...

Scammer: Mr. Long, I am with "XYZ" Company, this is in regards to your medical care.
Me:Ok
Scammer: Do you have any pain right now.
Me: Yes I do.
Scammer: Can you tell me where?
Me: Yes, it is in my anus.
Scammer: Your anus? Anus... Does it hurt right now?
Me: Yes
Scammer: I can provide you some cream to make the pain go away. You will apply it to your anus...Are you interested?
Me: Heck Yeah!
Scammer: Can you tell me exactly where the pain is?
Me: Yes on my anus, you know, my butt-hole.
Scammer: Your butt-hole?
Me: Yes...Do I rub the cream on myself or should someone else do it.
Scammer: Your butt-hole? I am sorry I cannot help you.

Me: Do you want me to send you a picture of it



Laz is standing next to a mud puddle watching cars drive in the pot hole parking lot. I walk over and introduced myself even though I have met him a couple times. You see I don't expect people to remember me, yet I hope they do. "Hello sir, my name in Cary Long." In that smoky high pitched voice he replies, "I recognize that name." Ok, so Laz recognized my name...I'll take it. Probably the only reason he recognized it was because I posted a FootPath map of the course with the south loop going the wrong direction to which he promptly replied "The south loop is the wrong direction!" The other post he may remember me from was when I posted and used the word "hundo", and he replied with a paragraph of his disdain for that word. Maybe I should work on Sandra...At least Terry Durbin likes my post every now and then.

Pre-race is full of bro and sis hugs from Olaf Wasternack, David Riddle, Jeff Deaton, Travis Esterby, James Suh, Gina (Spanish Lover) Loyd, and Brooke McLananhan. Kim Crow quickly comes over to say hello and tell me she is going to avoid me because she is afraid of screwing up and me calling her out in a report. 

I came into this race over confident and undertrained. Prayed that I wouldn't suffer, and off we go. Quickly I find myself running with Annie Randolph of Georgia and we seem to be set on the same pace. 9:30-9:45 on the flats, walking the hills, and 8:00-9:00 on the downs. Sun out and temps in the high 40's-60's gave us hope of the perfect conditions.

With my new Suunto Spartan Ultra, which is so much better than Garmin (Martin Schneekloth), I monitored my run continuously and ran with relative ease. Somewhere around 10 miles Richard Shick and some bald dude I had never seen caught us...Turns out it was Joe Fejes, I quickly introduced myself hoping he would say, "Yeah Cary, I know who you are." Nope! I even talked about how we had just talked about him on the podcast.....nothing. So we cut up a little bit, he complemented my matching RC team kit and he and Richard leave us. 

This is the point where I tell you how everything went wrong, I got stung by bees, crapped my pants, chopped the end of my wanker off, etc...Nope, nothing happened. I was having a great race. I stuck to Sword and supplemented with Honey Stinger gels, and waffles. It was all I needed. Surprisingly I caught Richard, Joe, and the silver bullet Karen Jackson, who I don't think I have ever beaten. However, my nemesis Christy Scott was no where in sight. Out to the main road for the last grueling 2 miles, I see her off in the distance. I gave it everything I could to just catch her. One mile to go she turns around, sees me, moons me, and we decide to just run in together and let the chip timer decide.

To top it off, talking with Brooke and Kim are talking to some dude name Joshua...It was frickin Joshua Holmes. I introduced myself and he said "Yeah Cary, I know who you are."

In 2016 I said "Never Again!" But 2017 held some great first times for me...New Suunto, Sword carried me through, and I beat the Shickhead.

I love this sign.






Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mount Cheaha 50K: The Shickhead and Yoga Lindsey





Photo by Gregg Gelmis-We Run Huntsville
http://werunhuntsville.com/

7:15 p.m. Janice and I meet Christy at a local restaurant in Podunkville, Alabama. Our waitress was one of those ladies thats 150 lbs from the waist up and 35 lbs waist and below.


Angel: "Hey my name is Angel."
Me: "Did it hurt when you fell?"
Angel: "No, cause I fell straight to Hell!"
Me: "......................................................."

....a few minutes later



Me: "Gracias"
Angel: (speaking something is Spanish) "Do you know what I said?"
Angel: "I have big hairy balls."
Me: "......................................................."
Janice: "Don't say another word to her."
Christy: "I bet she smokes weed."

Photo by Gregg Gelmis-We Run Huntsville
Race morning we are at the starting line at 6:30 awaiting a 7:30 start. I see the blue poo shelters and have the urge to send them some refugees. I was a little scared cause I looked in there and they were fresh. Last time I used a fresh one, the initial deposit resulted in a geyser of blue water covering my white seat cushions.

Favorite part of races is seeing familiar faces. Ryne Anderson, Trey and Dreama Campbell, John Brower, Jennifer Raby, to name a few, and meeting some new people like Hunter and Season Lane. Also feeling a little uncomfortable when I saw Lindsey Dial checking out my sweet Rock/Creek Race Kit. 

Buses are an hour late and the race subsequently starts an hour later. Beautiful clear skies and the temperature rising, "Sweet Home Alabama" begins to play and we run 20' to the trailhead and walk for a 1/4 mile. I purposefully started about 3/4 back to ensure I did not go "B's" to the wall. A couple miles in I find myself in a train of people with a guy in front walking the flat part. He never looks back to see 50 people behind him. I risk an ankle twist and take the high side to get around.

Photo by Gregg Gelmis-We Run Huntsville
John Brower
Eventually Birmingham's favorite redneck Jared catches me and we team up and run conservative. Everything is going well until we catch Lindsey Dial. If you catch her it's because of one of two reasons...You went out too fast, or she is running very slow. Nevertheless, I was intent on being able to claim I beat her. Feeling great at this point we run strong and she pulls us....however, I was feeling great, yet a part of me knew this was too fast. 2-3 miles of banter and talking about Hot Daniel, David Riddle, Emily Ansick and farting in Yoga I feel myself beginning to struggle. Finally, Lindsey hits the downhills like a little tan fawn while Jarred and I pound them like Wilderbeast with a Lion on our back. I look back and see Richard Shick and get a little pizzed. How did this 67 year old shuffler catch us? I tell Jared he is about to "Get Shicked", but he doesn't know what that means. With Lindsey out of sight, we back off and get to mile 15 aid station. I realize the past 3 miles were a huge mistake. Had I not taken a bladder and Skratch, it would have been much worse. Beautiful sun and upper fifties were taking a toll. Every cool breeze, Jared and I would thank the Lord and move on.

After mile 15 the trail begins to level out somewhat yet it is a constant around the mountain to a corner drainage, slight up and repeat over and over and over. Relentless rolling single track. Up to mile 15 we were on a 6 to 6.5 hour finish. We finally made it to the bigger creek crossings where Gregg Gelmis is awaiting. I immediately get in the water and get on my hands and knees to ice my legs. Unbeknownst to me, Jared is behind me air spanking me in front of the camera. What he didn't know is that I was draining the bologna-pony right where he was standing. With Gregg was my buddy Chris Strope who was quitting there. I looked at him and simply told him to come on. Lied to him and told him the dirt road was only 3 miles from there. 

Leaving the water we climb again to the most beautiful section of the course. We climb over and around the side of a wonderful waterfall with pools. The three stooges settle to walk any and all hint of a climb and Curly shuffle the flats and downhills. The trail NEVER ENDS! A couple Birmingham chics catch us and Jared feels compelled to leave Chris and I. 

You know that point in the race where you have no more and you accept the death march? We were there. To the dirt road, paved road and to the final aid station excited to begin the final climb called "Blue Hell". Non-stop climbing we get to this little rock chute where Gregg is above taking pictures. Chris and I stop in utter despair to rest a second. Such an amazing cool breeze in blowing up the mountain and through the little chute, when all of a sudden I smell the smell of rotting flesh mixed with cat urine and dog anal pheromones. I turn back to see Chris with his head turned and a grin on his face. 
Photo by Gregg Gelmis
At the POOT CHUTE

Once you get to the top, you are not finished climbing. Todd Henderson rerouted a little to a new trail that looked like it was built by Beavis and Butthead. WHEN IS THE CLIMBING GONNA STOP?!?!?! Back to single track out of the woods, with about .2 mile to the finish. I walked through the finish, staggering, on the verge of passing out. My worst Cheaha by almost an hour. YET! It was wonderful to be out there. Praising God to be done, I laid down and Dewayne Satterfield'ed.

On the way down the mountain my stomach is hurting and I feel like I may can squeak one out and nobody know. Janice hollers and I turn around to see Christy's head sticking out the window. 

I love you, my wife, son, and my Savior.

Photo by Gregg Gelmis