Tuesday, October 27, 2009
24 The Hard Way
While I am excited about my 24 hour run this past weekend, I have to spend a moment remembering someone else.
My cousin Jimmy (Married to my 1st cousin) died last week. He had Leukemia but chose not to tell anyone, including his wife and daughter. He aslo refused any treatment. So when he went into the hospital a week ago Saturday (Oct 17th) and died two days later, it was a big surpise to everyone. Who am I to question his decision. All I can say is the man was fun to be around. He was a coach and a teacher, and the funeral was packed with his fomer students and atheletes. Less than twenty-four hours after finishing my run, I was driving in the pouring rain to his service south of Dallas. And now, back to the run.
I got up Saturday morning not knowing how the days run was going to go. The plus is since this race was in Oklahoma City, I didn't have to travel, and could sleep a bit later than usual. Our race started at 9:00 A.M. Saturday morning. We started, and I started running very slow. This was a .97 mile loop so I was trying to keep my early loops under 12 minutes. As the day wore on, I was able to pick it up just a bit. I didn't ever want to go much below 10 minutes, because I knew I had a long way to go. After 30 miles, I decided to take a 45 minute break. The other nice thing about this being a local race was I could walk to my car. I laid down and listened to the start of the OU-Kansas game. After returning to the course I continued to run into the dark. While you might think that this continually running the same loop would be monotonous, it really wasn't. As night wore on I grew more fatiqued and decided to take a longer rest. When I came back I was into my 3rd time hitting the wall. I tried various things to get over it, but in the end only time would work. The night running was hard but I was never sleepy and even during my rest times I never went to sleep. When the day broke I had a mild recovery and continued to try to keep sub 20 minute miles. I was now walking the slight up hills and "jogging" the downs. They had a computer monitor just as you crossed the timing mat, and you could see where you and others stood. My friend Bill, who helped crew and pace me at my first 100 mile race, was running his first ultra. I could see he was getting close to 100 miles, and was hoping he would make it. That's him with me crossing the mat for his 100th mile. He ended up with slightly over 100. My total ended up being 87 miles. While that is my 2nd highest total ever, I was a bit dissapointed in having taken the breaks. Without them, and assuming I could have kept going, I should have been able to get to 100 also. On the other hand, it also tells me to be able to run longer without breaks, I need to train longer. My longest training runs were around 32 miles. I probably needed a couple of 50 mile runs. I'm not sure I need to do this again, but I'm sure I'll want to later.