No I do not plan to run for 24 hours. Some people are though. My goal is to get to 50 miles in a decent time and then stop. The race is in Longview WA at Lake Sacajawea Park. It is a one mile loop around part of the lake. Flat with a couple of bumps getting up to the two bridges. Crushed gravel and some concrete sidewalk. At mile 25 I will have to take off my shoe to get a rock out, so I recommend gaiters for this one. Although 50 times around this loop sounds boring, it sure is convenient. I don't have to carry anything. Restroom every half mile. Just make sure that as I enter the start/finish area, the lap counter gets my number on the sheet. Jody and I will keep our own tally marks at our little station, sharing a table with M30 and MLaura. And as the day progresses, the course never gets too boring. Lots of people walking dogs, little kids learning to bike ride, families walking along the trail. Not so crowded, but I have to keep both eyes open.
Start - Long intro from the RD gets us starting about 7 minutes late, but it is a nice atmosphere and smaller event than I expected. It is cool and I have my jacket on. Once I get running it warms up to very nice weather. A little warm on the sunny side of the lake and a little cool with headwind on the shaded side. No rain, just big clouds with sun breaks.
Mile 1-10 - I have had a cough/cold for a couple of days. The last two nights were miserable with coughing and I was still coughing up until I started running. Now I am barely coughing at all. Problem is that I just do not feel very strong. By mile 10 I am running out of steam despite going at a very conservative pace.
Mile 10-19 - Getting worse. Not sure at all that I can reach my goals. Maybe I will really slow down and just finish 50K so the race can count for Maniac stats. Going alone. Everyone takes so many walk breaks and stops for who knows how long at the aid station, I am never with anyone for more than a few minutes. Still great to see my Maniac pals and meet some new ones.
Mile 19-25 - I know that I will be in bad shape soon. I invite Jody to run a few laps with me before I get into jogging/shuffling/walking. Maybe we can get into some kind of steady pace. In fact we do and it is great to have her with me till mile 25. I know that I will make the 50K mark now. Despite not feeling well, my spirits are fine and I am enjoying the day.
Mile 26-33 - Hit the marathon mark at about 4:30. Plenty of time in the bank if I want to keep going at a slower pace. Round and round. 50K in 5:29. That earns me the right to put the race on my Maniac page, and gets me Cowlitz County for my county collection. Also I have earned the race swag, a pair of Pac Rim pants. I don't think of stopping just yet though. But by the end of mile 33 I have hit a second wall. Wow, I am really out of it, low on energy. For a while now I have had trouble holding my head up. This happens sometimes late in the marathon, I realize that I am staring at the road/trail in front of my feet. I try to correct, but soon am back looking down. I hope that no pedestrians are coming toward me and not paying attention. Neck and shoulders hurt eventually and I know that this is bad form so I keep fighting to keep my head straight. Nearing the aid station I share my misery with a more experienced ultra runner. She says that I really need to eat something. I am sure that she is right, I have had a few fig newtons and pretzels but little else. Oh there were some really tasty salty baked potato pieces a few miles back. Hopefully there will be more of them out now, otherwise I don't know what to eat. I check in at the mile 33 mark and see that they have just set out hot pizza slices! I grab a slice and walk toward our chairs. Pass Maniac Heidi at her spot and she encourages me to at least get to my all time distance record of 34 miles before I sit down and perhaps drop out. I consider that as I walk the 50 feet to our little camp, but then I am just overwhelmed with exhaustion. I did not want to sit for fear of tightening up and not being able to move again, but I really need to rest and get some food in me. So I sit and Heidi gives me an incredulous look as she passes by. I force down half a slice of pizza and sit for less that five minutes. I can at least walk two more laps and get my distance record. I get on my feet, start walking and ease into a jog without too much trouble.
Mile 33-37 - Within a half mile I am feeling much better. Running long stretches and feeling like I have energy. That short break with food was just the thing I needed. Blow through mile 35, my all time distance for a day. Next up will be mile 40, tying my all time weekly mileage of 65 miles in 7 days.
Mile 38-45 - Cross that bridge and think, hey I only have to do this twelve more times. Is it too early to start counting down? Getting tired again. See three young women ahead, one a Brooks runner, who are having way too much fun. I join their little group for the distraction. They are going a little slower than I want to, but I am fine with passing the next couple of miles with them. At some point we do get separated and I go on mostly alone again. Now seriously thinking about making it to 50 miles and beating 10 hours. Looks like I can do 15 minute miles and reach that goal. I am able to do each mile a little faster than that putting a little time in the bank each loop.
Mile 44-48 - Jody joins me for a lap, sits out a lap, then joins me for one more. She has been so helpful and supportive, so glad that she came along. Last two laps I will do alone. Getting colder and the sun will be setting soon. I can't believe that some people will go on to run another 50 miles or more.
Mile 48-50 - I know that I will finish 50 and that I will beat 10 hours meeting all of my goals so the last two loops are a celebration. After 49 I go to our spot and sit in the chair telling Jody that I can not go on. She knows that I am joking, so I get up and get moving. Now feeling emotional. I tell Maniac Scott that this is my last lap and of course he encourages me to do one more. That would put me ahead in the standings of others who quit at 50. But I like the round number. I might like to do another 50 some time and then I could go for the PR. Not going to think about that just yet. Thankful that I have had little in the way of aches or pains. Right foot was tender for a while but not too bad. Lower back hurt some a while back, then I could feel it in my abs. Then there is the neck/head issue. But these will all be fine in a few days. Find energy to run fast the last bit and then I am done. Thank the lap checker woman who was tracking me just about the whole day and did such a great job. Get my pants from Wild Man Willet and head on home as many folks keep going round and round.
50 Miles - New distance record by 16 miles
9:44:46 - longest time running by over three hours
75 miles in 7 days - Highest weekly mileage by ten miles
Other results pending
Marathon or ultra #61