31 miles bitches. And I still don't think that's enough to put me on top of the leader board. You other overachievers need to slow the hell down.
And while I was SOOO tempted to just write nothing, my compulsive need to write won't let me. Plus I think those crazy enough to like what I write might get mad. All 3 of you. And why can't I pick both the "blah" face and the "happy" face?
Okay, my day started at 0300 when my "internal" alarm went off and I thought it was time to go run. Turns out I still had two hours to sleep. And I tried. At 0500 when my alarm went off, I hauled my butt into the shower, cleaned up just enough to not offend anybody, then got my gear on. I was out the door and at the local gas station by 0530, picked up water, Gatorade, and ice. Loaded up and organized the coolers and dropped them off at the three designated aid stations (Mile 4, Mile 8.25, and Mile 12.75 on the trail). I made it to Mile 0, our starting line, just in time to beat Biddi . Karyl-Lynne T. showed up a few minutes later and we chatted a bit. We waited for Nebs for a few minutes, then left without him. I have no idea how long KL kept us in sight, I pretty much forgot about her once we headed out. Nebs did end up catching us just before Mile 1 or so and easily matched our pace. I set the pace to run a mile then walk a minute. I was a bit worried with Biddi being sick this week but she was doing well and Nebs was entertaining us so we kept going. And I can honestly say those first few miles with him were the best. He and Biddi had great stories that they shared and you could tell they had made that bond that runners do when they go the distance with each other. It's a mental thing and until you have that bond, it's hard to explain. It means a lot to me, I could see it with them, and it made me feel good to see it. Having said that, I'd love to crew, pace, or run with either of these goofballs anytime.
We made our first pit-stop at Mile 4, refilled water bottles, ate food, talked, etc. We carried on until Mile 5 when we had to leave Ryan behind sine he ran out of "me time" and had to pay with some smoochy time with his wife (not really, but it sounds funnier that way).
From there, it was just Badass Biddi and me. We made it to the Mile 8 cooler, refilled, and carried on to the next cooler just past Mile 12. From there we ran a short stint on the road, maybe a mile, to avoid some seriously tall grass. We eventually made it back to the trail at Mile 14 where I coaxed another half mile out of Biddi on the condition that we'd head back the same way and enjoy the ease of running on the road.
The way back was a bit more exciting than the way out. Our outbound leg saw just one other runner, Wayne - a local runner I've begun to see a lot on the trail. On the way back we saw five cyclists (two pair and one solo), one lady walking her dog, one runner, and two nudists.
Wait, did I just say nudists? Yup. Nude sunbathers. They weren't skinny dipping because the swamp isn't swimmer friendly. They may have been having sex but I didn't see any movement. Until they saw us when they jumped into the bushes and into their clothes. After we passed them I looked back but alas, there was no double-feature. Oh well.
Overall, the trail had lots of tall grass, a few briars, and a few deer. The spiderwebs were pretty sparse. We saw one snake which prompted me to do my lady-dance to the other side of the trail nearly knocking Biddi into the bushes. I'm sure she felt great knowing that I wouldn't be protecting her from the snake but instead shoving her out of the way to save myself. There were plenty of deer flies, my arch nemesis, but I came prepared today. In fact, I ended up winning the battle against them. I'll leave you with a little tease by telling you it's called "Deerfly Paper." I'll review them later but the bottom line is, that shit works.
What didn't work for me was the heat. Towards the end of the run I was running hot and getting dehydrated. But I pushed myself further than I thought I could. With 6 miles left, I was ready (mentally) to walk. So I just told myself to run/walk to the next half mile marker and walk from there. I made it another 4 miles doing this. Granted, I slowed way down, but I still had some run left in me. Once I got to the car with 2 miles left though, I was done. I ran a bit but my walking was most of my movement. Biddi on the other hand was still. fucking. running. She may have moaned and groaned but damn, she still moved.
So what's the bottom line from today's run? I can do more than I think I can. My pace was good. Slow but good. My fueling was okay but a bit lighter than it should have been. My hydration was fine until the last 8 to 10 miles when I needed to increase it. My electrolytes were fine. My lubrication was much lower than it needed to be (I'm currently nursing some chafe that I didn't feel until I finished). Same goes for my feet where I don't have chafe but have some warm spots and maybe a blister or two (on my two problem toes). I need to install velcro on my Lone Peaks so I can wear gaiters. They would have helped a ton. I needed to pack towels to dry off with at the aid stations (and to also get wet to cool down with). I guess a rag instead of a towel would work too. I needed a cooler at my car so I could keep my beer cold instead of using a bag of ice so it leaks all over my car floor. I don't need music to run with. I carried my iPod Shuffle the entire way and was tempted in the final miles to use it but once I got close to the end, I wanted to prove to myself that I didn't need it. Running with somebody is sooo much better than running solo, especially over long distances. Biddi is a badass but she's also a goddess for putting up with my shit for 31 miles. Nearly 9 hours with my sweaty, stinky, whiny self and never once did she flinch. In fact, she was badass enough to give me a hug at the end. And I was topless. Dear God is she crazy. Oh, did I mention that she thinks I sound like a movie star? What. The. Fuck. Is she crazy or what?
Temps started around 55F to 60F and ended around 70F to 75F. The sun was out. There was a breeze. The humidity was light.
Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a banana and a small can of Starbucks Espresso. I have no idea what I ate today. Or how much I drank. So I'll guess. I had a few Ritz, a few Oreos, two bags of chips, a couple of Hammer gels, at least three bottles of Hammer Perpeteum, and several bottles of Hammer Fizz. I also had plain water and about two bottles of Gatorade. I also had a small can of Starbucks Espresso and a banana. Recovery was a beer followed by a bottle of Hammer Recoverite then dinner (ham, potato, corn, and wacky cake).
Aches and Pains:
I took a few spears to the toes and stepped on a few pointy rocks. The worst was the rocks in my socks and shoes. My nipples started to chafe a bit towards the end but some BodyGlide made things better. After I finished, I felt the chafe in the nether regions. My legs and back were hurting at the end too but nothing unexpected. Knees, ankles, feet, hips, thighs, everything.
I opted for handhelds today to test them out over the longer distance. They worked fine. I did struggle a few times with the cold when I put ice in them, but outside of that, they worked fine. I wasn't sure about the weight over the duration but managed just fine.
Codename - What Happens Here, Stays Here
There's so much said out on the trail that I could write a novel about the content, back story, and implications. But alas, what happens on the trail, stays on the trail. Well, most of it. Not everyone would understand how a right-handed snake that's a dentist but uses their left handed for the moon cup would frighten me.
Miles 1 and 2 - 21:54 (10:57 average)
Miles 3 and 4 - 26:12 (13:06 average - includes aid station)
Mile 5 - 10:45
Mile 6 - 20:42 (includes a rap session with Nebs before he left)
Mile 7 - 22:21 (includes some equipment adjustment and the gun range bypass)
Mile 8 - 12:27
Mile 9 - 17:15 (includes aid station)
Mile 10 - 16:20 (I think this had more equipment adjustments)
Mile 11 - 12:22
Mile 12 - 12:02
Miles 13 and 14 - 37:46 (18:53 average - mostly on the road - includes aid station)
Mile 15 - 18:32
Miles 16 and 17 - 43:06 (21:33 average - mostly on the road - includes aid station)
Mile 18 - 13:14
Mile 19 - 17:18
Mile 20 - 12:20
Mile 21 - 28:42 (includes aid station)
Mile 22 - 16:48 (includes a bit of extra walking to let the nudists dress)
Mile 23 - 16:15 (includes gun range bypass)
Mile 24 - 14:41
Mile 25 - 14:58
Mile 26 - 23:34 (includes aid station)
Mile 27 - 14:27
Mile 28 - 14:38
Mile 29 - 14:51
Mile 30 - 18:10 (includes grabbing a water bottle and heading right back out)
Mile 31 - 17:35
Finish - 8:29:26