Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
...in fact, the gurgling you may have heard (if you'd been running ahead or behind me in this morning's trail half), was my intestines. Too much liquid, not enough solids. No port-o-potties and just my sheer will (and an aid station a few miles away) to keep it in check. Other than my intestinal roiling early on, I felt great so I made a vow to myself to eat something (a PB&J bite and some Pringles) at the next aid station. I settled for a cup of water, a few chips and a bite of the PB&J bite --crust and part of the bread followed the empty water cup into the trash bin--and then I was off. There's something about that aid station that makes me run a little more purposefully. For the second year in a row, one of the volunteers has commented on how strong I looked as I re-entered the woods.
A few minutes into the woods and I'd already picked off my first runner and began progressing along the trail. I felt confident in my technical skills and that made up for my lack of speed. A few miles in I began a conversation with the woman ahead of me--I needed to remind myself that this was just a training run and I needed to save a little for my run tomorrow. So we chatted about last year's race, about JFK50, about trail fashion (I was wearing both a new shirt and new Inov-8s--that's a no no, right? It all worked out, thank goodness--no new blisters, no chafe). Chatting helped keep my pace steady/slow. At the last aid station I gambled on a cup of Mountain Dew. Can't stand the stuff in every day life, but there's something about that neon yellow liquid that gives me the extra push to finish well. And I did--finish well, that is.
As we entered the final 200 m I could see the historical cemetary ahead and to my right and I could hear the strains of some classic rock song. Crazily, it felt like the final scene in The Warriors--hearing that jangly music and seeing the Wonder Wheel and knowing I was home. It felt like that until I broke out of the tree line and saw the crowd in a small knot at the finish line. I was not on Coney Island, but in my temporary home further down the East Coast and I was done--at least for today. I ran through the finish chute and just stopped short and into a walk. My toes hurt a little (a combination of klutziness and new shoes, I suspect), but really I could have gone another 13. I feel good and closer to being ready to slay bigger dragons.