Scatter my ashes here...

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

There Goes the Sun 12 Hour Fat Ass

The sun was already gone.

I participated in this third ever Fat Ass event at Lake Arbor in Arvada, a suburb of Denver, last Sunday. I'd been looking forward to it for months, it was the only thing that got me off my literally fat ass to do some long runs this summer. I did actually train for this, with three long runs (and just about nothing else) so my legs and feet wouldn't give up in protest.

Despite the past two iterations of this event being blessed with nice weather, this time it was a rainy weekend, and while Saturday seemed to be the worse day for rain, Sunday was a fairly steady light drizzle, in between periods of not raining briefly, followed by occasional harder rain.

My goal for this run was to get 50 miles in. My long runs had consisted of 4, 6, and 8 hour runs on Centennial Drive hills at Horsetooth, plenty of pavement and vertical. I didn't need the hills but they are always helpful. The course at Lake Arbor is a concrete path surrounding a lake, with a few gentle rises and descents that are hardly noticeable, 1.15 miles per loop according to the sign at the park, but some people said it was really 1.2 miles on their GPS. Who's counting?

I arrived early to find Sasquatch, aka Richard Cranium, aka Dale Perry, sitting there in his car in the dark. I walked over, he said he thought the start was at 6 am, but it was 7. We started to set up our stuff under the pavilion, to protect us from the rain, though at the time it wasn't raining. Soon Marissa DeMercurio showed up. Marissa and Pete, her husband, put this event on, it's a low-key, family event, my friend Connie also helps out, she is Marissa's mom.

I set up my table and all my stuff as well as I could, being out of practice from the ultra routine. I arranged the peeps along the entrance and exit to the pavilion. I got orange colored pumpkin peeps this time. Then I set up Dale's favorite item, the enema bag. I have always threatened to give ice water enemas in the running circles I frequent, to the obnoxious guys I suffer, as my alterego Nurse Ratched, or, Ratched, RN. I decorated it with a tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce that I called the lubricant suppository.

Where else but in ultras can you be this crude and disgusting anymore? Life is short, you gotta have fun, you gotta say FU sometimes. I refuse to grow up and be a lady, like I told my mom over 40 years ago. Eyes on the prize.

Vince Gerber showed up from Estes Park, and Matt Clark from Fort Collins too. We started at 7 am and the sprinklers turned on near the starting area, necessitating that we get wet even before it actually started raining. Vince also added some color to the Peep collection. He got the reputation for eating the butts off my Peeps at this event one year. I guess he felt guilty...

As the day wore on, I realized how out of shape I really am, my body is not at all used to being on its feet for this many hours. I also made the poor choice of wearing my most worn out pair of running shoes. I stuck to my plan which was to run half the time, powerwalking the other half. I got three hours of running in by the six hour mark, but after that I ran out of steam, both mentally and physically. I'd say it turned into the last 6 hours of light powerwalking. I turned my tunes on and settled into a brisk pace, but not my usual power blast.

It was fine. I was out there with the ducks, the geese, a few of my favorite people and some other runners who were there enjoying the rain. All was right. Plus, Marissa made awesome grilled cheese sandwiches and heated water for our warm drinks. I changed my clothes around halfway, it wasn't raining hard enough to soak through, but when the wind picked up it did get cold. People came by and visited, including Dan Yap from the Donut crew in Fort Collins, ran a few laps, ate from the crazy food feast Marissa arranged. I missed out on the donuts, but that was okay. I got the grilled cheese.

By late in the day it was just Dale, Vince, and me out on the course. The rain persisted. I thought I saw a vulture in one of the trees around the lake, but someone on Facebook corrected me and said it was a cormorant. I guess I was just wishing a vulture would scrape my carcass up off the pavement at the time. I was hurting, well before the end. By the end of twelve hours, Dale and I shared the last lap and half together. We were the only ones left on the course. Neither of us felt energetic enough to squeeze in an extra lap, which would have taken speed that I don't think either of us had at the moment. Dale ended up with over 40 miles, I ended up with 46. I didn't get my 50, but it was a chore dragging my 140 pounds of dead weight around that lake, and I earned every mile.

Marissa is threatening to hold this event again next year. Uh-oh. I'm in trouble. I better get cracking. I'll start training tomorrow. Even if it means I have to run.

I am going to have to figure out, between now and the end of the year, how to get my body prepared for a 24 hour event. I don't have any mileage goals, but I sure would like to remain upright and moving forward for the duration there, too. I have a lot of work to do.

As the poet Eminem once said, "Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity"

"Til the next post...

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