At the end of the first 24 hours and with 90 miles and a bit of a cushion , I allowed myself my first extended break having breakfast with the feet propped up on a picnic table under the shelter near the start/ finish. Sent out updates to the Angels and FB. I must say it felt good and it was oh so tempting to just stay there but I still wanted to go for as many miles as possible. I wanted at least 60 for the day and every minute sitting was a minute lost. It's tough to balance how much rest and how many miles to push especially if you've never done anything like this before. Finally after about 30 minutes I got up and headed out to walk a complete lap before resuming the running.
It wasn't much later that the rain started coming down harder and it was getting chillier. I hit the 100 mile mark in 27:40, or 12:40 in the afternoon and took a short break in my car to dry off and put on some dry clothes and put on a poncho. I told the Angels I was sick of rain and my left foot was a blistered mess. But as soon as possible I was back out on the loop.
By this point it was almost like I was living in a time warp. The rest of the world was pretty much forgotten. and all that mattered was trying to move as fast and as comfortably around that same old one mile loop, one step at a time. I had wondered what kind of things I may think of being out there for so long. Well, I have to say there was not much deep thinking going on. It seems nearly all my thoughts were just doing mental calculations of how fast I was moving, how long could I afford to take a break and still stay on pace, when should I eat again etc. Life had become very simple for me.
And it rained. And it rained. And the wind blew and swirled. And it sucked ! I was getting so miserable. And to make matters worse, as I went by my tent around 2 pm I saw that the wind had blown it half over and it had gallons of rain in it. No sleep yet and I would not be relaxing in my tent any this weekend. :(
Mile after miserable rainy mile we trudged on. Lots of runners were taking shelter and waiting it out but those of us with big goals just kept going. You don't know how easy it would have been to just say forget this, I'm done but I had no excuse not to go on other than I was wet , cold miserable, tired and my feet hurt !
Finally around 6:30 pm I noticed that I felt ok running but as soon as I begin to walk I was woozy and having a hard time not staggering. My run had turned into more of a shuffle too so I knew it was time to take that first nap and get out of the rain for awhile. The car was already crammed full of stuff but I was going to have to make some room to stretch out. This was not going to be the ideal sleeping arrangement but at least I would not be worrying about getting too comfortable. I changed into dry clothes again, texted the Angels I was at mile 115, set the alarm for 45 minutes and was soon nodding off. I woke up at the alarm and decided to give myself another 15 minutes of rest before heading out.
It was tough to pry myself out of the seat but I had a long ways to go. The rain had slowed to a sprinkle so I was hoping it would be over as I headed back on the loop. I walked about 1/4 mile before trying to run. I was dreading the attempt to get moving again but was pleasantly surprised that some zip had returned to my legs and I was running along at a good pace once again. I was not happy that it started raining hard again and I was soaked by the time I got back around to the car to get the poncho back on.
After a few more hours the rain finally stopped about 11pm but I kept the poncho on for another hour just to make sure. It stayed windy all night and cold too. I put on my jacket and I was very happy that at the last minute I had packed some ear warmers ! The cold and lack of rain kept me motivated to keep moving and I was able to put in another night of good mileage. As usual most of those were lonely miles as I watched the fast guys from the 48 hour pass me regularly and I would pass the slower runners, mostly walkers at this point in the 72. I have to say I was very pleased that I was still running well and sticking with my marks to start walking and when to run.
I wish I could tell you the thoughts that went through my brain but I'm afraid there still wasn't much wisdom going on in there. Sometimes in long races I have designed houses, written stories and songs, planned vacations started business etc, but now I was really just counting very slowly one mile at a time and doing those same mental pace calculations over and over.
I was so happy when daylight began to return once again and I could see the clouds moving out and an actual sunrise ! I pushed on until I was done at the 48 hour mark and was elated to hit 153 miles, 3 over my goal pace at this point. I continued around to my car and texted the angels and updated FB and then headed back around for some more breakfast.
To Be Continued.