Freestyle Friday: A Mudder at The Masters

4:57AM. You get 10% more blog post this Friday, just for visiting! Let’s go.

As a follow-up, I finished the No Longer 5K in an unofficial time of 23:45. That is my worst 5K time ever, but it is still a minute faster than I had projected. I’ve just forgotten how to run in that uncomfortable zone. I haven’t really forgotten how – you run so fast that your lungs burn and your muscles hurt and you feel like you’re going to vomit and there’s no way you can carry on a conversation during the race or for about 10 minutes after you finish – but, more accurately, I haven’t practiced running in that uncomfortable zone. If you don’t practice something, you can’t expect it to magically work for you on game day. The uncomfortable zone is really a good place to be.

IMG_0539Speaking of practice, we had badges for the Monday practice round at Augusta earlier this week. Neither Leah or I had ever been to Augusta National, so we were excited just to go through the gates and see the course.

We drove over Sunday evening, arriving at the hotel at 9:30 local time. We read the Sunday edition of The Augusta Chronicle and called it a night, knowing we would be awake in a few hours to get to the grounds early.

It seemed that about the time we turned off the lights that our iPhone alarms started going off. We got up, got dressed, and went downstairs to our breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express.

We, along with every other Monday patron, knew that we were going to get rained on during the practice round. We watched the weather and checked weather.com and knew that the rain would arrive in the Noon to 1:00PM range. So we, along with every other Monday patron, arrived early. It was a mob scene, but it was a golf crowd so it was very civil.

We got through the gate around 9:00 and it immediately hit me how green the grass is. Even under the haze of a misty fog and darkening clouds, it was the greenest grass I think that I’ve ever seen. We skipped the merchandise shop, opting to see the course first and hit the merchandise shop on the way out. We crossed behind the #1 tee box and walked the back 9 first.

We walked 10, 11, and the par three 12th. We saw where Phil hit his shot from the pine straw on #13. We watched a group including Brandt Snedeker and Andy North playing 14. Andy North used his foot wedge. We saw group playing 15. We watched their approach shots and then we walked over to the tee box area of the par three 16th. Just after Jamie Donaldson hit his tee shot over the lake, the horn sounded suspending play. A voice on the loud speaker asked all patrons to leave the grounds, and that all patron services (i.e., the merchandise shop) were closed.

So, the thousands of people who showed up early now made their way en masse to the gate again. It was a process. We finally made it to the car and, having 3/8 of tank of gas, decided to wait it out.

After two hours, it was announced that, due to storms in the area, the grounds would not reopen. So, somewhat begrudgingly, we our journey home. We didn’t get to stay as long as we would have liked, and we didn’t get to visit the merchandise shop, but it was a great trip and it was awesome just seeing the course. We’ll go back again, one day.

I’m out of time today. You guys have a great Friday and a great weekend. Find some place uncomfortable and grow in it.

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