Sunday, October 28, 2012

Run Like An Egyptian

...Or How Turn a 99 Cent Value Village Pillow Case into a 75 Dollar Gift Basket.

So what idea do you get when you see a pillow case, table fabric from my sister-in-law's wedding, calf sleeves, the bow from a birthday gift, spray paint and a bag of beads??

Ok, that is a silly question. Because the answer is so obvious: run 50 miles dressed as Cleopatra!!

For the last three years, I have been on the starting line for the Autumn Leaves Ultramarathon, telling myself it is an excellent "training race" for other races later in the season, but really I'll take any excuse to run in a costume!

Costumes bring a whole 'nuther layer of excitement to an event. Like last week when Mr. Mike told a room full of six year old boys that they could wear costumes to karate class on Tuesday. My son Liam was literally jumping for joy. Because already the kid knows there is something inherently awesome about doing side blade kicks while dressed as Darth Vader. And what could be more exciting than doing loops around the Willamette River Valley channeling the spirit of the last Pharaoh of Egypt!? Sure she slept with her brother and was a little slutty with Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, but isn't that part of her allure?

So I gathered up all the necessary objects from around the house and came up with this:

Ok, I actually got the pillow case from Value Village (for the stated 99cents) because I couldn't bring myself to cut up one of my own, but I am sure it was fine Egyptian cotton to keep with the theme. :) Everything else was from around the house. (Well, not the eyeliner either. That was a massive $7.99 investment at K-mart, but now I can finally check "Use liquid eye liner" off of my bucket list!).
Don't you wish that you had a laundry room "craft cupboard" that looked like this so that you too could create your own rocking free costumes??

The liquid eyeliner- All I had to do was trace one of the "crow's feet."

I was pretty pleased with the result. 
When my mom saw it, she asked, "Did Cleopatra wear sequins??" 
"No, Mom, but she had lots of jewels."
"Well, why don't you wear a bunch of necklaces?"
"Mom! I have to run 50 miles in this thing!"
So no, it is not an exact replica of Caesar-era Egyptian garb, but it's not bad for 99 cents! 

Goals for the race were:
1) Defend my costume title
2) Get in a good training run for a mid-December long race (I guess that is confessing my true insanity)
3) Win the Lululemon gift certificate. Because making sure your ass looks good is one of the more important things in life.

On a 6.25 mile loop course, I wouldn't have thought one of my goals would be "Don't get lapped." But as the race unfolded, this became a serious concern. Olive Oil Joe was just cranking in the 50k, such that lap 4 was my fastest lap all day because I had to get it done before he finished his lap five. But even more concerning was Zach Gingerich, who was unreal in the 50 miler, practically keeping pace with Joe in the 50k and breaking 6 hours for the 50 mile!

Overall, I had a great day and accomplished all goals, including not getting lapped (barely!). It poured buckets for all but about 90 minutes, but I ran pretty steady all day and snuck in a hair under 6:32 for almost a 15 minute CR. I passed last year's winner around mile 49 for second place overall, but like I said, Zach practically lapped me! And while that Cleopatra get-up might work in the arid Nile delta, it was a clinging cotton rag by the end of 50 rain-drenched miles! But a basket full of candy and beer made it all worthwhile. Oh, who am I kidding? I would've done it for nothing!

Who would've thought a pillow case could look so good??
All that for merely running 50 miles in a pillow case!


Trisha said...

Congratulations on your race! You look like a lovely Cleopatra.

Maureen said...

Congrats!! What a way to work a pillow case--nicely done. You had a big smile on your face at every lap, even in a sopping wet pillow case! (I'm that random crazy lady on the course that shouted out your name as we passed)

Bret said...

I think Gail and I spend more time shopping for those two gift baskets as we do planning for the entire race! Hope the kids enjoyed them.