Monday, September 14, 2015

My first Naked 5k with Lyme Disease

I'm from Vermont. There's woods and lots of it. Unlike South Carolina, the trees aren't out to get you. The bugs aren't bigger than your thumb, there's very few poisonous snakes, no gators, all in all the woods in Vermont are pretty cool. Other than goddamn Deer Ticks.

My mother and sister have both had Lyme Disease. Both have told me it was the worst experience of their lives. And thank god, both of them were ultimately treated in time to hopefully prevent further complications.

After my Myrtle Beach GORUCK, I came home with a sore lower back. No big thing, it was GORUCK, you're going to be sore. Sunday however, the pain got worse, to the point I thought maybe I had thrown a disc. It hurt.

Sunday night, I am so uncomfortable I can't sleep, the pain is so bad, my head hurts so much and I'm so dizzy, I have to crawl to the bathroom. And when I get there, I can't decide if I need to sit on the throne or pray to the porcelain god. I honestly thought I was going to die right there in the shitter. I can barely think straight, let alone see straight. I'm now thinking I broke my back, or my kidneys are highly infected. I probably should have gone to hospital. If I'd insurance, I would have.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I slowly get better. The pain in my back subsides, I am able to walk. My headaches lessen, I'm able to read again. But my body temperature is still out of control. Cold sweats, when I could sleep I would wake up with soaked blankets and immediately start freezing.

Friday. I've got to get this looked at. After researching the long term prognosis of untreated Lyme, I decide to spend the money I don't have and go to Urgent Care. They test me for the Flu, makes sense. Look at the symptoms. Flu test is a negative. And thank christ, my doctor is cool and prescribes my Doxycycline.

It's been my understanding, and this happened with my Mother, that many doctors don't want to treat for Lyme without testing. The general public is now so suped up on antibiotics for little things that all of our bacteria are starting to become immune to antibiotics! But here's the damn catch. It's A) SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper to treat Lyme than test for it. B) the long term prognosis is fucking horrible. The doctors at Brattleboro Memorial refused to treat my mother for Lyme on her first two visits to the ER.  My doctor was efficient, empathetic, and thorough. I'm taking Doxy.

Months ago, somewhat on a whim, Heather and I signed up for Sunbare Whispers 5k. I forget how we heard about it, but she said it was on her bucket list, so we went for it.

Nudity is weird thing for a lot of people. I won't lie, I don't understand why it has to be weird. Everyone is naked under their clothes, right? If we're supposedly all made equal, where's the damn problem? Well anyway, I won't carry on to far with my runaway train of thought, because honestly, I've been training for this for years.

Back in my thirties I was an avid white water kayaker. Show me a kayaker that won't drop trow on the side of the river, road or anywhere just to get out of a urine soaked wetsuit or prevent hypothermia from paddling in the winter. You just do it because you have to and you get used to being (not staying) naked outside the comfort of your home.

I'm also a Hasher. Hashing never requires nudity. But after you play umpteen games of Strip Cup or Slippy Cup, after you've done a few UGHs, after you've been to a Camp Hash, you get quite used to being around all kinds of naked people. And it doesn't bother you, like lots of things in life, you get used to it. Many Hashers, myself included, often run regimental under our Kilts. So you get used to your boys being free to do as they will while running.

I woke up Saturday morning not sure what I was going to do about this race. I've got Lyme disease and pushing a 5k race pace just doesn't seem wise. But I'm mobile, my back no longer hurts and the Doxycycline hasn't started it's evil side effects yet, so I decide to run, NOT race this thing. I mean, c'mon! I'm sure I'll get to do another one of these, but I paid 30$, it's a great weather and Heather wants to give it a go.

Here is a link to Earth Wind and Fire's September. This is such a fantastic song.

Whispering Pines is located in Ocean Isle, an easy hour drive north from Myrtle Beach, about half way to Wilmington/ Cape Fear. It's a small gated community of permanent mobile homes, RV's, etc.

Respecting the rights and rules of the park, it's members, the competitors, and race organization, we took no pictures in the park, of other racers or at the event itself. Any pics referring to this event were re-enacted shortly after at a nearby location.

Once inside the gate, it's naked time. I mean, you get to park your car first. So our parking guide, who was also the park owner is completely nude. As it's still an hour before race time, we see just a few other folks about, drinking their coffee, talking with friends and neighbors, totally naked. It's pretty cool.

We park our little SpartanMobile and I step out wearing my kilt. No sooner do my feet hit the ground when from behind me I hear "A man in a Kilt isn't wearing pants".  YES!! My kinda place already! I turn around and immediately get to meet the Race Director (I feel like an ass because I can't remember his name), who is incredibly friendly and notices our Vermont plates, striking up a conversation about a race they used to put on north of Burlington.

Side note, a friendly RD (race director) can make a good race great. See my review on the Francis Marion Dirt Dash. 

At this point my girl is out and about, naked. And I won't lie, I'm pretty damn proud of her. She's not a prude by any means, but I honestly didn't know if when race day came, she'd have the stones to bare it all. Well, she did, and once again proved how cool she is.

We walk over to to the rego table, and I'm a little curious about bib numbers, chips etc. But no bibs or chips, or even Sharpie'd numbers, they're using an old school Carding system. We walk around the park a bit, it's really kind of nice, reminds a bit of Mohawk Campground where we used to GAP when we lived up north. All in all, I can tell this going to be a good morning.

The RD is also the Race MC, and he's doing a great job. He gives us some stats of some of the previous races here. The course record is 14:47.  That's a 4:45 mile. What the ffffuuuuckkkk. People are amazing. Can you imagine being that fast? I couldn't even ride my bike on this course that fast!

Well it's finally race time. 10am and we're going to start right on time. We line up in the corral. I'm just running, remember? But my girl is racing so she's right on the start line, where as I'm casually kicking around in the middle.

Hey, ya know how you go to a race or event and you casually side eye and check out the competition? Well, that changes a bit at a Naked race. Think about it.....there ya go. But we had all kinds of people doing this race. People from the community, which was awesome, and some people, like Heather and me, that drove in just for the experience.

A brief description of the course, and we're out of the gate. And it's AWESOME! I'm not sprinting, I've got godamn Lyme! I'm running maybe an 8:30 and it feels great. I mean everything feels great. There's no awful bouncing, no chaffing, no helicoptering, no clapping sounds. It's awesome. Awesome, awesome.

My first lap (1mile per lap), I feel great, almost forgetting I'm sick. Second lap I start wondering if I was dropped on my head as a child. Third lap I fall apart and occasionally have to walk.

As mentioned the course is 3 laps. There's no pavement on course, most of it packed dirt road. The exception being what the RD called The Sand Pits where the course moved on to grass briefly. In fact in the Sand Pits you could see some of the obstacles they use for their OCR (I gotta do that). There are volunteers in golf carts along the course. There's a water station and the very best....there's a gentleman with a garden hose ready with a fine mist if you want to cool off. And it was a nice warm morning, so this was an especially nice touch.

I wish I had felt good for this race.

But hey, life's a bitch right? At least I didn't have Lyme for my GORUCK.

I finished, running over the line, without dying on trail. I'm counting that as a win for this day.

There's some bananas, fig newtons, water and Yuengling at the finish. Btw, Yuengling makes a fantastic recovery drink. And even though I probably shouldn't have alcohol, I am a Hasher, and I did just finish a race. So eff it. I had one. And it was great.

We hung around a bit afterwards and cheered some other competitors thru the gate. We also had to kick around because Heather came in Second! Yaaay! (Here is her recap)

We did have to roll out soon after the awards, but the park offered some food and beer and a nice general post-race atmosphere. In fact, next year I am going to be sure not to schedule anything after this event and stick around for the day. In fact, In fact, next year I am going to try my best to convince others to come join us for this event. People have a lot of hangups with nudity, and sometimes jumping into the fire is a great way to get rid of those hangups. So if you're reading this, consider yourself invited.

Thank you Cape Fear H3 for taking this re-enactment photo!


  1. We're glad you enjoyed your time at our home away from home! Come back and hang out with us anytime!

  2. Thank you Debbie! We have definitely gotten a few more locals interested in next years event. Hopefully we'll have six or eight of us in tow. See you then!

  3. Sounds like a blast. I couldn't run with my girlfriend though. She would bet me bad and make fun of me for years to come.

    1. Totally worth it man!! You never know until you try.

  4. What in the world does all this herbal stuff have to do with the Whispering Pines Resort??
    Sounds like this Comments section has gotten trolled and taken over. That's a shame.

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