Vote Charlie!

Race prep by day drinking

Posted at age 28.
Created . Edited .

Monday I went out for what turned out to be my only day drinking adventure of the week. I took it easy and went to bed early in hopes of being rested for the 50K race the following morning.

This entry is No. 4 in a series of 14 entries.

Monday, August 29: Slept ~01:00 to ~10:00. Unknown since Fitbit died unexpectedly.

I was again last to rise Monday, though still at a reasonable hour. Eric and Mike visited my yurt and summoned me out. I was pleased and somewhat surprised to see the shower still stood, a testament to my abilities to slay skeptics and maintain order in the face of great forces pulling in unpredictable directions.

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I built a frame to hold the shower bags, which weigh up to 50 pounds, out of 5 and 10 foot sections of 1 inch 200psi PVC pipe. I should have tested this, for upon putting it together, it was obvious how flimsy the structure would be. These pipes were less than $3 each, and the thicker ones were around $12 I think, but perhaps they would have been worth it. People suggested we switch to a pyramid structure, but I stubbornly wanted to see how stable I could make it by using paracord to pull the pipes from several directions so they could not bend too far. To my surprise, it worked, and the shower didn't collapse all week!

Erik and Phillip said they were heading to get ice from the local Arctica, on 9:00 Street. I didn’t get ice at all in previous years, so despite the redundancy of going at the same time as two others, I decided to go, too. I took the opportunity to try running nude so I could make an informed decision about how I would dress for the 50K race the next morning. I ran alongside the other two as they biked to Arctica, and it seemed fine. I didn’t feel any physical issues with swinging packages, but rather I questioned whether I should be getting so tired in my first mile if I were truly prepared to run more than 30.

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Waiting in line at Arctica 9 for ice to replenish our coolers.

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Waiting in line at Arctica 9 for ice to replenish our coolers.

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Waiting in line at Arctica 9 for ice to replenish our coolers.

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Waiting in line at Arctica 9 for ice to replenish our coolers.

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Waiting in line at Arctica 9 for ice to replenish our coolers.

While they waited in line, I walked around a bit and snapped photos of interesting bikes, and started getting used to being nude in public again. You certainly get fewer looks than you would in the default world, but it still feels a bit strange at first. It seemed they would be waiting another 30 minutes, so I excused myself so I could use the time for other good and perhaps get ice myself another day. I wouldn’t want them to feel inclined to go with me should that day come, of course.

I went to camp, and about an hour after they returned, the camp assembled for a group excursion. Eric and Mike, who camped with Paradise Motel this year, also joined, along with a couple of people I didn’t know. Since it was still before noon, I figured I had time to go out for a while before I should get to sleep to be rested for the race. Thus I went along – after quickly taking my first shower of the week with a sponge – and had a good time! Not all excursions are drinking excursions, but this one was basically a bar crawl. I would have felt at ease even without drinking, for the record. I often make excuses about how much I need to drink to feel comfortable going out and being around people drinking, but there was no such pressure here, and I hope to remember that! As is often the case at bars in the default world, not to mention in treks across different venues, nobody would have even known if I weren’t drinking.

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Being early in the first day after setup, but still a day away from my race, I went with the group on a bit of a bar crawl. We ended up in line at a bacon and alcohol bar, but I didn't realize till I was second from the microphone that you had to earn it by making animal sounds or telling a joke…

After the bacon for jokes bar, I think we stopped at Mudskippers and waited for a table, where about 10 of us were seated and ordered from a selection of cocktails with names sexually influenced. Then we ventured on.

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Between bars Monday morning, we experienced some nice whiteout conditions.

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At Fandango, Erik and Scottie entered a coloring contest.

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Scottie won!

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A number of us got "ass stamps" at a bar next door. I did not.

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Real life Grindr, though I am not sure how you are supposed to receive push notifications.

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Real life Grindr, though I am not sure how you are supposed to receive push notifications.

We stopped by Paradise Motel, I think so Eric or Mike could check if someone was there. I took the opportunity to look around the back at their infrastructure.

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Eric and Mike camped with Paradise Motel, and they were entrusted with maintaining the shower, which has more cover than ours, but seems to be a center of attention.

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Paradise Motel's shower has quite a fancy floor! We just used a pallet with a rubber mat.

The group was next headed to 8:00 and G, but I opted to split off and go to the camp hosting the 50K race, Pink Lightning, to check in and get my timing chip and number, though I assumed I would not actually wear the number since I hoped to run nude. I parked my bike outside the shade structure and approached a lady at a table, figuring she was handling registrations. She turned out to be Kateri, whom I had briefly emailed a couple of times on account of Cherie, the race director, connecting us because we both live on Haight Street. Kateri recognized my name and introduced herself, and in our little chat either she mentioned Cherie said or Cherie actually walked by and said, “Charlie, the one who doesn’t respond to email.” I may have let the ball drop for a while, but I think I did respond, and I tried to explain this. I’m sure it wasn’t a big deal, but I already hoped to connect better with this camp and didn’t want any such reputation getting in the way!

With the race on my mind, and much else to finish, I wasn’t keen to rejoin the bar hoppers, but I did swing by to see what they were up to. Only I didn’t see anyone as I biked down 8:00, and without looking too hard, I returned to camp.

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By Monday afternoon, the yurt was already a bit chaotic, but at least the stuff mostly stayed in bins.

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By Monday afternoon, the yurt was already a bit chaotic, but at least the stuff mostly stayed in bins.

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By Monday afternoon, the yurt was already a bit chaotic, but at least the stuff mostly stayed in bins.

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By Monday afternoon, the yurt was already a bit chaotic, but at least the stuff mostly stayed in bins.

I didn’t end up doing much more Monday evening, though I did dwell a bit on my disappointment I had to poop many times that day and was gassy despite such a regular week preceding Burning Man. A month prior, I was delighted with my performance at The San Francisco Marathon, during which I only stopped once, to pee. That may have been due to my eating only rice the day before the race. I made a small attempt to do the same for this race, but I hadn’t handled any of the food myself yet and had no idea where Erik or Phillip were keeping the rice, and I was too tired to go digging. Oh, well!

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Erik made frequent use of the hammock he tried to ditch before I shoved it in the car!

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We had a pretty nice sunset Monday evening, and I tried to go to sleep soon after so I could be somewhat rested for the 50K race I had to head to at 4:30 a.m. the next morning.

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We had a pretty nice sunset Monday evening, and I tried to go to sleep soon after so I could be somewhat rested for the 50K race I had to head to at 4:30 a.m. the next morning.

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We had a pretty nice sunset Monday evening, and I tried to go to sleep soon after so I could be somewhat rested for the 50K race I had to head to at 4:30 a.m. the next morning.

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We had a pretty nice sunset Monday evening, and I tried to go to sleep soon after so I could be somewhat rested for the 50K race I had to head to at 4:30 a.m. the next morning.

The weather was great all day, and I figured the night would be pretty nice, too, so I retired early somewhat reluctantly. In the interest of not dying during the race, I went to bed at 22:30, with my phone alarm set for 04:20. I would have also set my Fitbit’s silent alarm were it possible to sync the Fitbit with the phone while offline. Perhaps one day technology will free us.

The story continues in Third ultramarathon fastest yet.

Entries in this series

  1. Unpacking Burning Man 2016
  2. The journey ‘home’
  3. Social apprehension
  4. Race prep by day drinking
  5. Third ultramarathon fastest yet
  6. Feeling astonished, validated, home
  7. Recovering, welcoming
  8. Lost at day, seeking friends
  9. Lost at night, seeking joy
  10. Joy, right at home
  11. Man burns, desert chills
  12. The Temple
  13. Return to default world
  14. Bonus: The golden stool

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