Look at me, last year claiming I hate timed runs and here I am doing another! The original plan was to run 42 miles - or that's what Ray K wanted the two of us to do. Hey, you gotta set audacious goals - if you don't have them, how can you even get there?
First things first: THIS COURSE HAS HILLS.
The GLIRC 6 Hour Birthday Run gives a discount to those who are celebrating their 60th birthday. They have their own special age group (just 60 - not 60-65 but exactly those born in 1952). It's a lot of fun. It's friendly volunteers, great organizers, well-stocked aid stations (that unfortunately didn't suit my temperamental tummy), medals for all ultra finishers, and a wonderful spread of food at the end - pasta, salads, heroes, beers, sodas, cupcakes, etc.
The loop is at Sunken Meadow, where I used to run in high school. Fortunately, we don't have to run the brutal Cardiac and Snake Hills. But don't worry, they threw in a bunch of hills for us. HILLY. I seemed to have blanked out that there are hills and that was rather unpleasant to realize.
It's a 2.1 mile loop with dirt, a little bit of pavement, some sand. It's pretty, you get to see people on little out-and-backs, and if you squint real hard, you see the Long Island Sound.
I started with Wayne, who decided he would run 20 miles as a training run for the marathon (and then he left me to go kite surfing and eat olive-and-cheese sandwiches) so that was nice because I had someone to run faster with - though it probably would've been better if he ran the last 20 to push me. But alas, he listened to me whine when things got bad.
We ran 8s and 9s and told stories and ate gus and I felt pretty crummy. My feet started this numbness/painful ache in the bottom of my feet - I went to the doctor yesterday and he prescribed anti-inflammatories. I literally had tears in my eyes but I pushed on.
My parents stopped by. I was grateful to see their smiling faces, and to get the ibuprofin my mom inevitably had in her bag. It definitely helped and my feet did feel less horrendous.
My parents left and so did Wayne. I felt a little lonely. I ended up running with a really nice woman, who turned out to be married to someone I know. We chatted. I ran with Erin for a little while who was worried because of having rhabdo at the last six hour she did.
I ate my jellybeans. My stomach hurt. I tried to push but the pace felt sluggish. And then - 50k. A new PR: 5:15:40. Not bad, considering I felt like hell. Yes another loop please.
I tried to push the pace, but I just felt like such crap. I was all out of sorts - not eating enough because my stomach hurt, then I'd get dizzy because I wasn't getting enough nutrition, but then I'd need to eat and try and feel queasy and - it was a wretched cycle.
I finished the final 2.1 mile loop with 12 minutes left. I headed off on the mini-loop, which has a stupid hill. Luckily, when they rang the bell to stop, I was right about to hit it. Yay, relief.
At the Awards Ceremony, I was so pleased to learn that I was 3rd woman - despite my problems. Wooohooo. And 34.88 miles was very respectable, considering I felt like utter crap.
After, my stomach was a wreck and I could barely eat. Erin was feeling horrendous. Our lips were turning blue as we shivered in the cold. Erin and I wore our medals around our necks. Wayne told us we had to leave because we were getting hypothermic. We listlessly followed him to the car, where, like insane people, we drove in a crowded pickup truck, did extensive shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond, followed by grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. We tried to hydrate and eat, but really, the only thing I wanted was the chocolate peppermint bark that Wayne made fun of me for buying but ate half of anyway. And that's how it is.
Another day, another 6 hours, and oh my god, another batch of annoying hills. But it was yes, another great day. Happy Birthday, 1952.