A couple of running buddies (also Boston Bound) and I took last Friday off work so that we could get our final (oh. crap.) 20 mile training run in a day early.
I wish I could report that after lunch (cider and chili) I went home and behaved like the dedicated age-grouper that I am and bathed, stretched, and foam rolled. But no, I headed to another bar, and fell off the Gluten Free wagon for the first time since January. And, I’m sorry, but the dirt in my teeth from the tumble tasted delicious. I thought I had made a clean “Cheat” getaway until about 36hrs later….weird. I don’t understand my body.
And let this lesson be burned into our little internet-addicted brains forever: not temporarily ditching a smart diet plan in the face of temptation is much easier than getting back on track once you’ve rolled in the green-green grass on the other side. Even with the aversive side-affects. All I want to do now is eat-eat-eat.
Or maybe I just have issues. I probably have issues.
Anyway, the motivation behind moving the long-run to Friday was that we could then be available on Saturday morning to support three other running buddies as they ran the Lakefront 50k.
I’ve gushed before I’m sure, about how impressed I am with the runners and friends that surround me. But seriously, an Ultra-marathon. Different animal. Counter to what you may expect, the atmosphere throughout this event was amazingly calm.
I was more worked up about my pacing duties for the final 10 miles than any of the competitors were during the whole dang 31!
For example, my girl Violeta, throwing the peace sign here: took 3rd overall.
The 50k course consists of 3 loops just over 10 miles each. Which though tedious for some runners, provides others with easy milestones to tic off, and it’s a spectator and support crew dream. I jumped in to run with my buddy Nico just before the 21 miles mark. He was going totally fresh and strong even that far in. I’m not sure you could call what I did “pacing” so much as I was just along for the ride, hitchhiking on Nico’s rollercoaster car already in motion. The last 30% of any distance race is hard (at least in my experience). That’s the time when you have to stay focused while your body and attention span are fatigued.
But the last 30% of a 50k, I can only imagine seems like never-ending grind. But David, V, and Nico didn’t give that away for even a second. I am so totally impressed.
I also provided the service of intermittently yelling whatever random mantra I could think of. Here we are about 600 yards from this guy scoring a nearly 10 minute PR, I think I was saying something that actually wasn’t very nice, was super dorky, and probably annoying like, “Slowing down is not an option” or something.
I wish I could run the end of other people’s races everyday. Is that a job? Because it would be a dream one.
Sometimes it’s also nice to be the one being run-in to the finish line. My nephew is an expert at it, here he is on July 4, 2011 (4 years old) running me to the finish line of a 10k in California.
Do you think he’ll be allowed to run me across the finish line at the Catalina Eco Marathon in November? I sure hope so, I’m going to need a hand.