I spent Saturday running. My last long run before the 50k in three weeks. I meant to run 42k but as I (as usual) made a wrong turn I ended up running 44k all in all. It didn’t feel good. It was hot and stuffy and it was like the air didn’t have enough oxygen in it. And I walked. There I wrote it. I walked. Out of 44k I probably walked 15. My calves didn’t hurt at all compared to how it’s been for the last five months, but my feet hurt. I was using my Asics long distance running socks that I bought in their flagship store in Tokyo, together with my most recent shoes. I haven’t used them before as they looked “weak” compared to my other socks but as this was a “special” run (first marathon distance since running the marathon in October) I decided to use them. Result: blisters after 10k
But before that. The race I am doing in three weeks is a trail run, looks like it’s flat at first and then hilly at the end (I haven’t looked at it too much as I don’t want to be discouraged). My course at home is the same, only I do it the other way around. Hilly first (140 meters up after 7k) and it continue for another 15k. So, I was thinking I should do it the other way around, to mimic the race course. But as I stood there, ready to run I went my regular way for ONE REASON only. Toilets. Running north I have a toilet coming up after 2k, 4k and 7k. And if I need a toilet it will be then, not later. Also, going south would put me among houses and gardens rather than nature… you get the picture.
So, I am off. Running, running, flowing even… I reach the top, see the lighthouse, see all the tourists, head in to the restrooms to splash ice cold tap water all over my face. I am burning hot. No sun, but the beams are coming thru the clouds anyway. I run downhill and into the forest. A German couple stops me asking for directions… I am running. I am wearing a backpack with liquid. I have a tube for drinking purpose. I am soaking wet. The German lady asks me if I have been SWIMMING. I try not to act offended and tell her no, I am running. Far. She most likely can’t understand anyone could be as wet as I am without swimming. I tell them to stay off the cliffs cause that is how tourists dies here…
Everything seems fine until I make a wrong turn and end up running 2 kilometers “too much” and after that it’s like I can’t run anymore and I start walking. And running. And walking. After a while I decide I need a friendly pep talk and I send a message to my hubby who is following me on Garmin’s Connect (in case I’ll hurt myself or get run over or what ever and he needs to send out a rescue patrol) that I need two large bottles of ice cold water, one with two tabs of High5 Pink Grape. After a long forever he turns up like a knight in shining armors on a white horse (silver Volvo) and gives me one look and one comment “need a ride?” followed with a deep and hearty laughter. I start complain while pouring water over my face and arms and fill my backpack with the new cold energetic drink. We talk for almost 15 mins. I inspect my feet and damn myself for not asking for new socks as well. And band aids. Both big toes are peeping out from the socks. The Mr “heart of ice”, aka the hubby tells me he got other things to do and “see you in three hours”! And off he goes, leaving me in dust and despair. I run…
44 kilometers took me about 7 hours to complete.
I am upset and angry. I don’t feel good about myself until 24 hours later. But when I start feeling good I am thinking, even if I’d walked 44 kilometers it would have been a generally impressive thing to do. I mean, it beats doing nothing, watching a screen of any kind or whatever people do on a Saturday when it’s too hot to run and too cold to hang on the beach.
But my worry is : am I prepared to run an ultra? I haven’t actually RUN 42k this year. There’s no time limit on this race but does that mean I can “use” unlimited time? I need your expertise on this!
Unofficially though, I now am an ultra runner, right?