After eating I headed back around to my car. I didn't really want to stop now at the beginning of another day but I felt like I really needed another nap so I set my alarm for 30 minutes and snoozed in the cool morning air. As I headed out there were more runners on the course than at any other point in the weekend with the 24 hour runners now on the course as well as another bunch of marathoners.
Once again after a 1/4 mile walk it was time to test the running legs again and once again they surprised me and responded well and I was soon clicking off some good miles. I say surprised because to be honest I was expecting probably the 2nd half of the race to be a painfully slow death march but here I was into the third day and still running well and the legs were still feeling good. My feet were not feeling too good but amazingly I had not gotten anymore blisters since the 1st day and even after running in the rain for most of the 2nd.
The air was still cool as I moved around in the morning and a breeze was still blowing so I kept on my long sleeve shirt. The sun was now high in the morning sky and a welcome sight. I sent a text to the Angels at 51:53 that I had passed mile 160. I said I had a little over 20 hours to run another 50 miles to get my goal. It sounded easy but I'm sure it won't be ! By now the brain was not functioning too well. I was trying to figure out what I needed to get my goal and somehow the numbers just didn't add up. I badly needed a 5th grader to help me with some simple math like figuring out how I kept coming up with 21 hours in a day but somehow I knew there had to be 24. Finally gave up on that one and just decided to keep moving,
I took a quick break to eat some more and headed back out. By now it was still feeling cool on one half of the course with the breeze but on the other side the breeze could not be felt and with the sun bearing down it felt very hot. I had put on my straw wide brim hat to shade my head and face and was getting a lot of compliments with folks saying I had the coolest lid on the course. Bill said I reminded him of David Carradine and he was expecting me to throw down some Kung Fu any minute !
Moving steady and I hit 170 in 54:37. I texted the Angels that it was sunny and hot but after the miserable day before in the cold rain I was finding it hard to complain ! Sat down long enough to eat an amazing cheeseburger !
As I said the 24 hour runners were out with fresh legs so I was being passed frequently. About mid afternoon I had a funny experience. There was one young pretty petite lady that seemed to be passing me nearly every lap. And then once she came up to me and slowed down and asked, " Are you Joey Anderson ?" That caught me by surprise and I said why yes I am. She said her name was Melissa and she was from Raleigh. She said every time she mentions that she runs ultra's to someone then they ask if she knows Joey Anderson so she figured I must be some kind of local legend ! How cool is that !
After hitting mile 180 at 58:30 I was ready to eat some more and get in hopefully one last nap. I had only taken the two so far for about 1:45 and was a bit surprised I hadn't struggled more with sleep deprivation. Unfortunately I just couldn't get comfortable and with so many more runners and crews around now it was still noisy at 8pm so I probably just dozed for about 15 minutes and then got on up and went back out.
With the sun going down it was cooling off quickly so I soon had my jacket and gloves on. It was still a bit breezy but not nearly as much as the night before. Once again the legs responded and I was soon adding on the miles and as best as my feeble mind could calculate I was still on pace with a little cushion. I was not happy with my feet though and I got really frustrated when I felt I was getting a blister on the right forefoot. I stopped and added a double layer of socks and hoped that would reduce the friction and keep it from getting worse. And it did seem to help.
It seemed now that time had stood still and the miles were passing so slowly but I just couldn't think about it. One mile and one lap at a time and repeat and slowly add up the mileage. I passed 186 just before 11pm and texted the Angels good night. I told then them it was getting colder and I was adding another layer and putting the ear warmers back on. One of them was so excited that she asked me to let her know when I hit 200 no matter what time it was. I told them it was time to get this thing finished now with about 10 hours and 24 more miles to hit the goal. I had no doubt in my mind now that I was going to do it.
I don't know, maybe it was just because I was brain dead and probably sleep running half the time but during the darkest hours of the night it seemed the miles were getting shorter. That was cool. It made it a little easier to face heading out for each lap.
Finally just after 4 am I passed through mile 200. I stopped at the car to wake up the Angel that there was her 200 and to go back to sleep . Then I tried posting the 200 mile FB update. Whoops. I dozed off right n the middle of it. I thought I had sent it but there I was holding my phone and some gibberish typed in. I cleared it and started again. Boom, nodded off again. Finally on the 3rd attempt I was able to post it. I had planned on going straight through to the end but that wasn't going to happen so I set my alarm for another 30 minutes and was out in seconds.
Much too soon the alarm was going off. A quick mental calculation and I decided I could afford to rest another 20 minutes. After waking then I knew I had to get moving and it was so tough to head back into the cold. I did get moving and once again ran pretty well but my feet were really hurting. I made it another 5 miles and had to get some relief. My feet had swollen so much and with the double layer of socks that they were throbbing. I didn't want to take a break but something had to give so I stopped and took off the shoes and socks and propped my feet up and massaged them for about 15 minutes.
Once I put back on one thin pair of socks and the shoes it did feel much better. It had worked to prevent the blister but I was just going to have to take a chance now that I could cover 5 miles without the double layer. About 2 hours and 5 miles. Can I do it? Normally that question to myself would sound ridiculous but right now I was serious in wondering if it was possible. Well it didn't take long to answer that as I was soon putting up some of the fastest mile splits in the last 30 something hours. Not only would I get the 210 but could easily get an extra mile for icing on a deliciously successful cake !
When I came around I still had about 11 minutes on the clock but I didn't want to put in the effort to try and beat the clock for another one so I rang the bell for the pr and waited for Bill to come across. He busted out an incredible 21:30 last 3miles to finally achieve his goal of 200 with a final tally of 205. We sat down with Alanna to wait for the final tick of the clock when Bill mentioned something about pushups. I had forgotten so I immediately got up and did 72, one for each hour just before the end of the 72 hours.
What an amazing experience ! Texted the Angels and then enjoyed a wonderful breakfast while we awaited the awards ceremony. After the awards I called The Marathon Princess to give her all the details before taking a badly needed nap before I could drive to my motel. I slept for about two hours and then got up and packed up the tent that I had emptied and left drying in the sun while I slept. Drove into town and had a chili cheese dog and the best chocolate milkshake ever ! Then on to the motel where I crashed and had a 3.5 hour nap of the dead. Got up long enough to find a Boston Market and stuffed myself with half a chicken and all the good sides and then back to sleep like a baby til the next morning.
Look for some last words in another post coming soon