Okay, this is getting a little crazy. I'm sitting here 24 hours after I ran a 45 mile training run. I have been in the pool twice since I finished for recovery swims and was even out on my bike today enjoying the good weather. What has become of me? Last time I ran ultra-long was the Run Rabbit Run 50 miler, and I had to have Troy carry me up and down the stairs the next day. After we ran to Boulder I ran through extreme soreness and knee pain and ended up with an injury that sidelined me for 6 weeks and a major travel race.
Today...24 hours later. Yea, hummm, a little stiff when I get up, a little left over joint soreness. But pretty much, I'm fine. The stairs don't even hurt, up or down. The pool and my bike felt great today. Clearly my legs have some heaviness in them, and they aren't ready to go run for 3 hours or anything, but they are about 80% better than I have ever felt in the past with this distance.
Maybe it was all the friends that came out and ran with me. I had massive company the entire day. I thought that I would have to run like 3-4 of the 7 laps by myself, but no way. I rolled into the parking lot and Gaye was waiting for me. Keith pulled up with a work friend Melissa, and Randi pulled in just under the wire.
I posted a piece of paper on my window where I wrote what time I departed on each lap so that others would know when to expect me. I wrote down 8:03 and took off running. We had a great first lap, it went by quick, I knew my route by heart. Back to the car and there was a huge group waiting! Some friends I hadn't see in awhile and some that I see weekly. I had mandated a 10 min per mile cap on the pace so everyone was pretty jovial and telling lots of good stories.
I had most of them for two laps. Melissa was good with one lap, Randi and Gaye went two laps, Keith went three with me. Of the new crew that entered at lap two all of them went two laps with me, Tyler, Beth, Barry, Nicole, PIC Ford was there for one, Julie, it was a total blast. I showed them my fun single track trails and took them to my secret path in the woods. Nobady really cared, they were all chatting.
Ater lap three I was preparing to be alone for awhile. We get back to the parking lot and Anne, Tylers wife was there with her running shoes on, handing off the kids to Tyler, and off we went. I was so thankful to have her. The other great part is that Anne is super quiet when she's in a big group, but 1 on 1 running we just chatted it up. She left me charged up and ready for a solo lap.
Before I headed out I noticed Hilary and Ben in the parking lot. I knew I would have them for laps 6 and 7. So, one lap alone.
It's a good thing I had friends with me before, because if you let me run alone, and I put in my headphones, I'm going to look down 5 miles later and notice that I have been running 9:10 pace 25-30 miles into my run. I just relaxed and naturally the speed starts to happen. Which, who knows, but I'm probably setting myself up for a crash later on.
A blistering lap later and I'm on number 6. This time I have Ben with me and he's just transitioned from his bike. Ben is great, anyone would want him as a pacer because he carries on great conversation. He keeps up on the cycling world, and the message boards, and twitter, so he's got all sorts of interesting factoids and stories to throw at you. I was starting to hurt that lap. Things just get tight, looking back, maybe it was the fast lap, maybe it was the 35 miles. I was still "fine" but there was some pain starting to happen.
Lap 7 was my last and I had Hilary for this one. I knew that Hil was nervous that she wouldn't be able to keep up. I wish I had her a few laps earlier because I could have just slowed, or I could have helped her along, but she had me for the last brutal lap and at that point I wanted nothing more than to get it done. In fact having her there is probably why I'm not as sore today. If I had been on my own I probably would have run harder to get it done with, and thus been more sore today. There were times when she was barely hanging onto me, and a time when I looped around to grab her. She did great, but it probably wasn't too enjoyable for her. Sorry Hil.
I hit the car at the end of the 7th lap and my watch said 43.5. I dropped my hand bottle and backpack in the car, grabbed a long sleeve shirt and went back out for 1.5 miles. Can you imagine? I ran past people and I remember wondering what they must think of me in that moment that I trudged by. They don't know I've been out here since 8am, running around in circles.
So here we are. 45 miles used to be WOWAH-CRAZY. And now it's just wowah-crazy. I get why people do multiple 100 milers in a year. The more you do this stuff, the more you get used to the pain. The pain doesn't really lessen, but you understand and accept the pain. The recovery definitely gets better.
I called Troy to tell him I was done. He had come out to cheer for me for about 3 hours and let Annie play with all the kids. He was back home and I told him I was done and hungry. When I walked in the door this was sitting there waiting (chicken, quinoa, spinach, tomatoes, and puree of celery root...all ORGANIC):
I followed up that evening with a treat...I callled Chuckie. It was nice to talk on the phone with him, he's every bit as spunky as he seems. Thanks Coach.