I live and I’m tired. I’m tired and swamped and work.
So here’s a bit of a recap via an update email that I sent to a friend…
Never in my life have I been as tired as I was in the final leg… Half mile in and I’m thinking, “hm. this is going to be interesting.” I was hoping to run at least an 8:30 pace but I am pretty sure that is not going to happen anymore. I am watching the time on my polar and it’s dragging so I switch to heartrate and make sure that I stay at 165. I don’t care how fast I’m running as long as I know my HR is at 165. I can run at 165 for a long, long time. It’s a death march. I get my first kill at less than a mile in. The road is long and straight – an old logging road, shady during some points, completely exposed to the afternoon sun during others. I can see for miles ahead of me. Little bodies struggling up the very slight, very sneaky grade that we are climbing. Some are walking, some are crawling at a slow jog. I look down and see that I’m still at 165 bpm. I must be doing 12 minute miles but I know I can’t think about that. The key is to keep moving, to keep my HR stable, to stay hydrated, to stay focused. I channel Ant on the last section of his half marathon in Forest Park. I wish that, like him, I would stop feeling my legs. I’m dragging bricks and the 800 mg of ibuprofen I took 30 minutes before my run isn’t doing a goddam thing.
I’ve never before considered the fact that I might not finish. I’m thinking, “what if I don’t finish? What if I stop? No one will find me here on this isolated logging road.”
Here we go.
Here we go.
Frequent readers will recall that I often vomit before big softball tournaments. I haven’t done that in a while but I have the same feeling today.
I know I’ll be fine. I know I’ll finish. Hell, I might even be great – you never know.
Friends have reassured me that if I just hydrate enough I’ll be just fine. I remind myself that I have a runner’s body, and a runner’s mind. (“But not a runners’ gait.” Anthony reminded me yesterday. He seems to have some beef with my form. Whatever, he can’t even finish a whole ironman. What is this “half” bullshit? Pansy.)
I just saw two of the girls from the Fleet Feet Team down at Kinkos printing signs for their van. I got that pre-track-meet pit in my stomach where you see your arch rival warming up for the 2 mile and you walk to the bushes at the edge of the stadium and yack until you have a headache. I didn’t yack into the bushes outside of kinkos but I sure felt like it.
I realize that I’ve been talking about the Hood to Coast as if everyone should just know what I mean.
Basically, the HTC is a 195 mile race from Mt. Hood down to the breakers at Seaside, Oregon. The race is run relay-style by teams of 12. Each team has two vans carrying 6 runners each. Van number one starts at Mt Hood and meets up with Van 2 near Sandy, Oregon where the last runner from van 1 hands the baton to the first runner from Van 2. While Van 2 runners are running their legs, Van 1 is driving ahead to get to the next redezvous point. Hopefully somewhere in there they get a few hours to rest or catch a little sleep.
The race goes around the clock and each runner completes three legs totaling between 13-19ish miles, depending on which legs they are assigned. Some of them occur in the middle of the night, on dusty roads, without support from the van. Some of them go straight uphill. Some of them go straight downhill. Inbetween your assigned running legs you jump in the van and try to get some rest. There are 4 other runners with you in the van at any given time, and one on the road. When you’re moving on to the next rendezvous point all 6 runners are in the van together.
The gist of this is that everyone doing the race is basically fucking insane.