Scatter my ashes here...

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Eighty Miles for an Ice Cream Sandwich

After the Summer DIY mis-adventure, I was feeling a bit frustrated about my progress in running. I needed something challenging that I could do with a minimum of preparation and fuss. I wanted to get 80 miles in 24 hours that day but it was not my day. I decided to fall back on a strategy I used while getting ready for Badwater, which was back to back long days. I decided to do 80 miles split up into two days, which would give me the opportunity to recover between the runs by sleeping a full night, as well as two consecutive days of running, like the 48 hour I am training for, and to avoid worrying about a safe place to run at night, as I would be done before dark, or close to it.

I chose a Friday and Saturday so I didn't use up my whole weekend, and I'd have time to rest on Sunday. I wanted to get some work done in the garden, pick some grapes to make jelly since they were getting ripe fast, and get to the Farmer's Market for green chiles on Sunday. The plan was to run 40 miles each day, for a total of 80. I wanted to get each day's miles in under 12 hours each day if possible. I didn't know how I'd feel and it was supposed to get fairly warm, around 90 degrees. I planned to do out and backs from the house and shorten them up as the day got warmer so I could access the ice for my neck. I also wanted to get a minimum of 6 hours of actual running in for the weekend.

I woke up at 4 am on Friday and got out the door at 4:48. My first stop was at Lamar's donuts to meet the donut Friday group. I figured I'd get a few miles in before I met everyone, run a few with them, and hang out for a short time before going on to get the rest of my miles in. I ate two donuts, one before the group run, and one after. It was nice and cool in the morning and I took advantage of it.

As it got warmer I decided to stop by a convenience store I have been to many times and get an ice cream sandwich. I went in, and they had no ice cream at all! This is after 30 miles of running! I was getting close to the end of my day so I decided finish up closer to my neighborhood and I went to two more different stores, and NO ice cream sandwiches!

I finished up soon after at 2:55 pm, getting my miles in their entirety, with 5 hours of running, and the whole thing in 10:07 which included all the stops. I felt good about that, and I didn't feel tired. I felt like I could have kept going, but I didn't want to be greedy. I wanted to get some good miles in the next day.

I ate dinner, had a beer, got some sleep, and decided to save the ice cream sandwich hunt for the next day.

Saturday morning I woke up early again before my alarm went off. I left the house at 4:55 am, and ran toward the east side of town. About two miles from my house I was near Fort Collins High School, running through a park, and looked up into the sky, which was just barely getting light, and I saw a giant meteor- it looked like a comet! The Perseid meteor showers were that weekend but I had not planned my run around them. I saw a few other sparkles in the sky after that but nothing like the huge flying spectacle I was lucky enough to catch.

I ran a loop around Rigden Reservoir. Looked like someone had quite the party the night before- with fast food trash bags and syringes. The opioid epidemic is here, too. Unless they were someone's insulin syringes, but I doubt it- why would they use so many?

The morning stayed cool and I stuck to the neighborhoods on the east side of town, they had plenty of shade. I didn't even go home until 22 miles to put ice on my neck. But I did stop at the corner of Timberline and Vermont, near the high school, at 15 miles, it was only 8:47 am, but I didn't care- and they had one last ice cream sandwich, just what I was looking for, in the case. The traditional vanilla ice cream between two rectangular chocolate wafers.

I savored every bite of that sandwich and kept going. I was so excited to find the ice cream sandwich that I forgot I needed to buy more cold drinks, so after a short out & back, I had to go back to the gas station again. Good thing I ate the last ice cream sandwich or I would have probably bought another one!

The day got a little warmer than Friday, but I was still making good time. I only ran a little over two hours on Saturday, but it put me over my goal for the weekend as far as running time, by more than an hour. And, I decided to hit the gas station at Lemay and Harmony for another ice cream sandwich around 30 miles. Just as I was headed south on Lemay about a half mile before I got there, I got a text from my friend Serena.

She and her boyfriend Colin were out shopping, saw ice cream sandwiches, and thought of me, and they decided to find me and deliver one to me! They caught up with me right around 31 miles and I got to indulge in another delicious perfect treat. Serena and Colin are moving to Reno next week, which I am sad about, but very happy for them, because they have a great opportunity there.

It was warm the last few miles but I was still feeling good. I made it home at 3:17 pm, after 10:22 on my feet including all breaks. I could feel my feet a little, but I still felt good and had plenty of energy.

But mostly I was happy to have made my goals for the weekend, without any trouble, and exceeded my expectations. I was worried about being so unfit and not ready for my plans to train for the 48 hour at Across the Years, but this run put my mind at ease and I feel so much better.

I had plenty of energy left on Sunday to do all the chores- I peeled and packaged and froze a bushel of green chiles, I picked 20 pounds of grapes, and a ton of tomatoes, made a pizza with sauce from those tomatoes, and felt like the training is finally paying off.

It is really hard to come back from a break- much more so than it was even 5 or 10 years ago. I can feel the difference my age makes. But I've been persistent for a year now, and I feel I am finally getting some of the endurance back. Speed will come later as I choose to work on it- I'm not looking to get fast, I just want to do some more intense workouts to help build my strength and be able to hold a faster pace for longer. Just for ultras. And that's not really speed. It's just for running more comfortably at a little faster pace than my current 11 minute mile average.

I did go to boxing on Monday and I got so sore. I expected to bounce back from the weekend, but I don't know why I thought that. I was tired. I ended up taking Tuesday off and this morning, Wednesday, I ran the girls 6.5 miles early in the day and found my legs pretty sore afterward. I'm no spring chicken.

But I am happy now. I have Marissa's 12 hour run- There Goes The Sun- coming up next month. And then I'll have 3 more months to train for the 48 hour. I can finally say I'm looking forward to the training. And with the cooler weather, hopefully there will be more ice cream sandwiches available...

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