September 30, 2010

Saved by a Trash Bag

OK, so Hinson didn't go anywhere close to as well as I had hoped.

Did slightly more than 100km, 41 laps, before shutting it down at 4:20 a.m. Sunday after an 8 a.m. Saturday start.

In freakish 97F, I popped off 25 laps with my friend Suzanne in 8:00:00 -- on pace to crack my 100-mile PR by one hour!!! -- then the puke-fest ensued and I managed just 16 more laps in the remaining 12.5 hours. Well played, Goob. Well played.

I was eating. I was drinking. I was flying. And then, pretty much all at once, ka-BLAM! Stomach went South. I walked. Tried ginger ale. And kept walking. Tried candied ginger. Walked and sat. Walked and sat. Switched to really cold water. Tried cheese 'za. Even considered eating a bug that I found crawling across my lap about 3 a.m. Sunday, but it got away before I could close the deal.

I let my friend Donnie drag me back outta the chair and back out onto the course for one more lap shortly after the bug thing. I had one more lap to get to 100k. Donnie had one more lap to, as he so eloquently put it, "beat all the bozos who quit or will quit at 100k," so off we went. I had nothing left at all. Check that. I could still dry-heave great. Did that three times on that final 1.5-mile loop.

I went for it. I drew back a nub. Hinson Lake grade = Ep. ic. fail.

Solo trip home bordered on miserable. Cranky and tired from a fitful 3 hours of sleep afterward -- after practically no sleep Friday night -- and then a 6-hour drive with not close to enough stops. Proud that I kept trying and trying to find some sour belly answers before finally packing it in during the run, yet still pretty disappointed in the final outcome.

Short runs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Lotsa non-running time to sit around and feel like an old coot and an abject failure who maybe shouldn't even try long ultras anymore.

Then came a marvelous thing this morning. That thing? A Trash Bag Run.

Woke up normal time for a Thursday, 4:01 a.m. Coffee maker was perking on auto. Wait? What's that roar? Is that rain hitting the side of the house? OK. Lemme look a sec. Whoa! That's not rain. That's SHEETS of rain! Great. Outstanding. So I'm gonna go do a solo 2-hour runwalk in the dark in THAT? On still-probably-too-tired legs four days after a 100k puke-fest? Really? OK, so now would be a good time to try out that new Mizuno jacket Craig gifted me as part of my TRC gig. Right? Um, well, maybe not the best idea to test-drive it in THIS weather. OK, maybe I'll just mess around and go 30 minutes or something once it gets daylight.

And that's when it hit me. Oh. my. GOSH! I know EXACTLY what I need. Serious time for a first-time-in-a-few-years Trash Bag Run! Lemme check over here in the garage ... and ... bingo! ... still one big, honkin' brown leaf bag left from the fall. Sweetness.

So a 20-minute drive later, I'm shoving off from JMU's Godwin Hall parking lot wearing a trash bag as a rain jacket. Learned the trick at my first Old Dominion 100-Miler when I think everybody in the field was wearing one as the sky dumped buckets on us at 4 a.m. on that steamy June morn.

Wind is cranking. Rain is blowing. Temperature is mid-50s. And then there is me, with the bag covering my torso and my Outdoor Research Gor-Tex hat-covered head poking out of a hole I tore in the bottom of the bag. And I have the biggest smile on my face. And the happiest song in my heart.

Two hours of runwalk later, I'm ready to take on the world again. And all it took was a driving rainstorm and a brown trash bag.

Lucky, lucky me.


Rick Gray said...

Races come and go, but it sounds like your trash bag run was just want your soul needed. Funny how something so simple can be so special. Congratulations on a wonderful trash bag run!

ultrarunnergirl said...

NOTHING beats running in a serious rainstorm! Reading about that made my day.
Proud of you at Hinson, despite the result not being what you hoped. You rock, B!

Sabrina Moran said...

Heyyyyy I just found your blog! Haha, I LOVE trashbag running. That's awesome. Sorry about your barf fest at Hinson Lake...Been there, too! You're awesome. Great blog!

chris mcpeake said...

Everyone loves a trashbag run in the rain. Whats not to like