Oh, I don't really know how or what to call it - TWO big fursuiting gigs in one day. One in the morning, one in the evening, and then a whole 36 hour's worth of recovery time....I'm only just now feeling back to normal,( albeit sore muscles! )
The day started at 8 AM with caedman caedman and I suiting up and getting out front of Lansing's Cooley Law School (lugnuts) stadium to mascot for the Sparrow Michigan Mile, an annual event hosted by the Sparrow health foundation. Caedman and his character Snark were invited to officially co-mascot with Sparty from Michigan State, and Big Lug, the minor league baseball team mascot. I got added to the event through Caedman and I sure was glad to finally get to collaborate with him. We spent the first hour out front of the stadium, just meeting and greeting the competitors as they registered and picked up their race bibs. TONS of pictures and mugshots, though Caedman's handler and MY handler both slept in so we had no handlers and have no photographs
Once the raced got underway, we wandered down to the inner part of the stadium, and Snark worked through the people up top, whereas after a short gatorade break at the first-aid station, I snuck onto the field and made it to the starting line for the next heat of runners. I worked on whipping up enthusiasm for the runners, which were the ten and eleven year olds, and they were EASY to get fired up - - I even jumped to the head of the line, did my stretching and jumping jacks, a few round kicks and the splits, until it was time for the race to begin. Then I ran the first three hundred feet with crowd, and then cheered on the rest of the runners . >whew!< The children and the adults are GREAT fun, superb manners, nearly always polite, and terrific to chat with. EVERYONE's diggin' Tycho's blue eyes and moving mouth, and the illusion is working great.
Now, where was that water? Umm... water? Ergh.
Anyway, as I was looking for a water break, and the exit... Oh, can't figure out the exit. Heck, I don't even know what time it is. Ah, well - I still didnt feel too bad, so I ran a few more starting heats with the nine, eight, and seven year old runners. However, by now it was ten thirty, and I was really starting to feel the exhaustion which was coming on SUPER fast, so I finally broke down and ASKED someone how to get out, and they finally led me to the exit to the locker room. >whew<... my feet and calves were cramping up and wow, was it painful. I might've pushed it a little too hard... I'm soaked with sweat, and my head is pounding and I got to do this at 5 PM too?
I cooled off, drank a liter or so of fluids, got packed, went home and quickly washed the suit & dried it to prepare for the 5 PM appearance. I took a nap, and re-hydrated as much as I could. Then, I packed up and headed off to the Okemos event.
Wow, they expected two thousand, and I guess about three thousand showed up. LOTS of kids, of which a hundred or so were wearing T-shirts from the morning run at the stadium. They all were interested in meeting me and telling me that they saw me there
Of course, I performed for everyone, with dancing and playing, and THIS time, I carried my own camelback full of endurance energy mix: Two litre's worth that I sipped on in public from 5 PM to about 8 PM. THREE hours of dancing, and again, no good cooldown spot, and no spotter to help me find one. So I sat down at the bike corral and watched for fifteen or twenty minutes. Even there, the kids came running and I entertained from the seat of the chair, trying to cool off by not running about so much.
About seven PM, my wife and son came dropped by and took a couple dozen photographs with the Nikon, and these are the photos I will be uploading over the next few days. They show graphically the type of reception Tycho Aussie gets here in Lansing and Meridian Township - It's truly a total blast, and very addicting to laugh, dance, and joke with the kids, the older folks, and (heh!) the women *my* age who just want to cut loose and dance to the rock and roll with the big, blue dog! I am thankful that my wife is so understanding
Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to nine PM. It was about eight O'clock when the body gave up, and my legs cramped from the toes, through the calves, and into the tops of the legs, and I barely made it back to the gas station where I changed out of the fursuit in the shop's back-room.
Augh! Luckily the cramping went away once I cooled down, and I strolled back to the party and ordered me a beer from the beer tent. You know what? When you've reached the point of heat exhaustion, and you've exhausted your supply of potassium and salt, (and as I learned later caffiene), a single beer has a MOST intoxicating effect but it is also the absolute best tasting beer I have had in YEARS! One beer, a coney dog, and good conversation with the festival director and her husband as we watched the band play was absolutely refreshing. Celebrate Downtown Okemos is now my most favorite annual event ever.
However that night, I could barely sleep because of the pounding headache, the muscles and fatigue, which lasted all night, all of Sunday, and is only now just settling down on Monday morning. I guess I'm out of shape from all this computer sitting at the college. Also, I need to fine-tune how I go about these fursuiting sessions: Twin marathon three-hour sessions in one day, full of standing, walking, squatting, dancing, jumping, running and being all perky are just too hard on this late-40's fursuiter.
I need to condition myself, and prepare better, and by all means, keep a timekeeper handy who prompts me for breaks and water stops.
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Oh, and that headache?? Yeah. Unrelenting for 36 hours. Part of it was loss of salt. Sunday morning I had some salty snacks and that made me feel a bit better. However the headache remained. I suspect someone at my church likes to brew the coffee with LOW caffeine, so what I had going was a force-V caffeine withdrawl headache. As soon as I drank my Monday morning double-Cappuccino, it went away. Not even Motrin would touch it. I thought I was going to have to head into the med clinic this morning for fear that I'd damaged my head from the heat! I guess stress and heaps of hydration, and excessive sweat must flush out the residual caffeine faster than normal.
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Note to self: ALWAYS figure out your exit strategy beforehand, take regular half-hour cooldowns, EAT banannas before, during, and after, and put SALT in your endurance / energy drink mix within your camelback.
. . . and perhaps consider giving up coffee for the summer.