Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Here Comes The Sun Fat Ass Therapy Run

Yesterday I went to Arvada, a suburb of Denver, and ran the Here Comes the Sun Lake Arbor 12 hour and 9 minute Fat Ass. March 21 was the first day after spring equinox, and the time from sunrise to sunset was 12 hours and 9 minutes.

My goal was to stay on my feet the whole time, I didn't care how many miles I got. I didn't expect much.

My friends Marissa DeMercurio and Pete Kardassis held the Fat Ass gathering in a park, on a 1.15 mile walking path around Lake Arbor. It was mostly flat with a couple of small, almost imperceptible hills. The park has a view of Longs Peak and the Indian Peaks.

It was one of those perfect spring days, it was sunny and warm but there was enough of a breeze to cool things off without making it difficult to run in the wind.

Driving down from Fort Collins in the morning I got lost for about 10 minutes once I got into Westminster. It was dark so I couldn't see the mountains, and I ended up going in the opposite direction that I was supposed to go. I pulled over and realized I didn't have my reading glasses and I couldn't see my phone to look at the map. Last week I got my first pair of progressive lenses and now I can't see $&@#!

Finally I found Lake Arbor. It was dark and no one was there except for a lone figure with a headlamp in the dark unloading stuff from a car. I pulled over, put my window down, and said, "Marissa?".

I set up my table in the freezing cold and dark, placing my Peeps on sticks all around.

Soon more people started to show up, and my running buddy Dale Perry, aka Sasquatch, arrived. He set up his stuff next to mine in the Peep garden.

At 7:00 we started, about 15 people were there at the start. Every time we completed a lap, we would take a stone out of a big jar and place one in our own jar. The stones looked like marbles. At the end of the run we would count the marbles and see how many laps we did. My friend Cat always talks about how you keep track of your miles by dropping a marble every time, and whoever loses their marbles first, wins.

I started out super slow, walking a lot, with a little running here and there. I only ran 5 full laps by noon. Dale and I stuck together for a long time, walking and talking. My friend Connie, Marissa's mom, was there early in the day, and Eddie Metro showed up later for a few hours.

There were a few speedsters accumulating laps but by mid-day most of them had disappeared. A few people would come and go, do a few laps, and leave. After a while it seemed like there weren't many of us left. Pete was out there doing fast laps in between helping Marissa with the event, and as far as I could tell, Dale and I were pretty much the only ones left. The two old farts, Ratched and Sasquatch. photo credit: Vince Gerber

Our friend Vince Gerber showed up and did a few laps, I walked with Vince and Dale for a while and then I started to run more. Vince and Dale continued on together. Later on Matt and Anne Watts showed up, they saw the pictures I posted on Facebook and decided to check it out. Matt joined me for a couple of laps. And Danie, an old friend from Western State College, showed up and did a lap with me.

Early in the day I had my iPod and stuck it in my bra for a lap because I had nothing on me to anchor it. I forgot to bring my pack on that lap. By the time I got around the lake to get my pack, I pulled my iPod out, and it was all sweaty. Then the stupid thing wouldn't work. It would start and play for a few seconds, then shut off. I thought maybe it got too much moisture in it, and it might dry out. Later on it started working again, but it would cut out every so often. I finally got frustrated with it and grabbed my old MP3 player with all the trance music on it, and listened to that.

My legs felt slow and tired but not too bad. I've only run 120 miles so far this year, an average of 12 miles a week. I have done a lot of walking, though. I think that helped. I was surprised that I had as much energy as I did, and I actually did more running in the last 3 hours of the race than I did all day. My back didn't hurt, either, that was the other thing I was concerned about.

In the last hour Dale was sitting in the aid station talking with Matt, Anne, and Vince, and every time I went through they would give me a hard time. Vince ate the butts off my Peeps and left the buttless Peeps on the sticks.

Late in the afternoon Marissa joined me for a lap and she told me how many miles I had. I was already at 40 miles, which I never expected. I realized I had enough time, if I did a decent amount of running, to hit 50 miles. photo credit: Eddie Metro

As the laps progressed, I found the motivation to run a few minutes each lap, and it was enough to get me just over 50. I finished with 50.6 miles at about 12 hours and 2 minutes, not enough time to do another lap. I had time to take pictures of the sunset, too.

Pete took a picture of me with a bouquet of buttless Peeps at the end. Looks like the Peeps ran their asses off. Fat Ass runs are not competitive, but I had lost more marbles than anyone, so I guess I got the official "lost the most marbles" award. I got to keep my jar with the stones in it.
It was the most fun event I've attended in a long time. A day with lots of sunshine, running in circles, and the company of many friends. It doesn't get much better than that. Marissa and Pete did a great job. I hope they'll do it again. photo credit: Pete Kardassis

I love Fat Ass runs, no pressure, no big deal, you just show up and have fun. And I was really surprised I whipped out 50 miles without too much effort or discomfort. That was encouraging. Maybe, finally, I'll be motivated to lose the 12 extra pounds I'm still carrying and be more consistent with running now. photo credit: Pete Kardassis

I gave away most of my remaining Peeps with the intact butts to a group of kids who walked by on one of my last few laps.

I drove home, and Dennis went to Whole Foods and got a pizza, and brought home some Corona beer. It was awesome.

I'm not moving too bad this morning, not sore or stiff except my toes hurt. My shoes were pretty worn out, so that might explain it. Sometimes it takes a couple of days before I feel it. I have some interesting tan lines, a stripe around my ankles between the compression sleeves and my socks. And a farmers tan on top, raccoon eyes, and the beginning of my annual watch tan.

I feel "normal" again.


HappyTrails said...

The peep garden is awesome!!! And 50 miles in one day when you have averaged 12/week - well that should give you some encouragement!!!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Yes I was surprised. It's Peep season you know....

Libby James said...

Hooray for you, Alene. Loved reading your story.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks Libby!