Friday, May 20, 2016

Hills at dawn, loops at dusk

Thursday morning, I went to Cobb's Hill to join Greg's 5:30am hill workout. Earlier in the week I'd done Fit1, stair climbing and two spin classes, all to build up a bit of physical and mental fatigue before my 3 hour run Thursday night. So far in my Candlelight 12 hour training, I've romped through the woods from 3:00-6:00am and 12:00-3:00am, so now it was time for an 8:00-11:00pm run. On July 23rd I'll have to put them all together and run from 7:00pm-7:00am but that is way too daunting a prospect, so I've been breaking it up into three hour chunks. I can run for 3 hours. I have no idea how I'm going to run for 12 hours. I've never done anything for 12 straight hours, not even sleep.

So I did a few hill repeats at Cobb's Hill on Thursday morning under a beautiful dawn sky, for a total distance of about 5 miles. After working all day, I was yawning and thought about taking a nap but decided against it. I wanted to go into this run feeling tired because that's how I'm going to feel during the race. Laura, Alison and Bob came over and we ran to Corbett's Glen at 8pm. There's a nice two mile trail loop that we repeated as the sky grew darker and the trains thundered past. We ran for 3 hours and about 14.5 miles under a nearly full moon, encountering 6 trains, 2 potheads, far too many spiderwebs, several texts from Jeff on the AT, and 1 Jeff McB, but luckily no werewolves.

Infinity of thanks to Alison, Laura and Bob for always being up for adventure, day and night. And to Jeff McB for pointing out all the trail offshoots and especially the gnome garden (There's a tree hollow at Corbett's Glen that has tiny gnome figurines in it! How awesome is that?).

Night views, werewolf free
Going into the run I felt tired, but once I started moving I was suddenly wide awake, high on endorphins and excellent company. I've always been more early bird than night owl, but surprisingly I'm really enjoying all this nighttime running. The darkness is a bit disorienting, creating a dreamlike atmosphere where anything seems possible. (Now if only I could train some bats to hold flashlights and fly above me so I wouldn't have to wear a headlamp.)

As we got loopy into the night, I was thinking about why I signed up for this crazy race. The short answer is: to see if I can do it.

The long answer is:
Because the hard things are the most worth doing.
Because I need something to keep me busy and happy and distract me from missing Pete.
Because I don't know what's going to happen, but I know there is one surefire way to ensure that you spend the rest of your life with someone awesome. And that is to be that person yourself.
Because I am drawn to adventure like Cookie Monster to a snickerdoodle.
Because I'm my happiest, best, most Jen-uine self when I'm running.
Because we were made to run wild into the night.

Lyric of the moment: "I spend a lot of nights on the run. And I think, Oh, like I'm lost and can't be found. I'm just waiting for my day to come And I think, Oh, cause I don't wanna let you down. But something inside has changed, and maybe we don't wanna stay the same...And I don't want a never-ending life, I just want to be alive while I'm here..." ~The Strumbellas "Spirits"

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