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Six Squared

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”

- George Bernard Shaw

Today I did something I thought I did last year but now I realize I didn’t.

I’ve done it before but it was in Virginia.

I’m talking about running 36 miles. Seems I did a couple of 24s last year (this one and that one) but I’d have to go back to 2006 to find the last time I was this friggin’ stupid.

But yes, yes, I was that stupid today. I ran 36 miles and as you can imagine, it kicked me squarely in the buttocks.

I don’t know if you know this or not, but 36 miles is tough.

I was supposed to meet up with Sam, the General’s Aide, but when you are a General’s Aide, things come up. He had to bag again because the General needed him for Family Day at the Depot. So I was on this ride all alone again.

Which is just as well since it gets ugly at the end and probably best experienced alone.

Like always, I had my ups and downs but it got progressively tougher as the day went on. I was doing Penesquitos Canyon again. It’s a 6-mile out, 6-mile back routine I did 3 times today. That means I had two visits back at the car where I could scrap the rest of the run but I talked myself into going out each time. Barely.

I guess the only thing to really highlight was the drama so here it goes:

- On the second lap going out, I became very aware that I suddenly needed to get to the porta-potty. This was not a pull-to-the-side-of-the-road or find-a-bush situation. I needed facilities. So from mile 2 until mile 6 of the leg (14-18 overall), I had one permeating thought every step of the way: I need a toilet like Nurse Ratchet needed a bitch-slap.

I made it (of course) and the run got SOOOOO much better after that. The bonus was that someone came a-knockin’ while I was in there which pretty much just pissed me off. But I completed by Norquist and was soon back on the trail.

- I ate PBJ after the first 12 miles. It was pure heaven.

- I ate cold soup after 24. It was Campbell’s vegetable beef tasted like shit.

- The last lap was pure hell. I didn’t even want to go out and amazingly, a big portion of my mind concluded we were done but I forced myself to go through the moves as though I was still going to go out and finish. I filled my camelback, took off, cleaned out, and put back on my shoes, etc. When it came time, I just headed back out, ignoring the shrill cry of that voice that thought we were going home.

Another voice I didn’t listen to was the one that told me to put a Gu pack in my supplies on my last trip out. I had coveted my one Red Bull and thought I would down it at the turn-point (30 mile mark) for the last 6. I figured that’s when I could use it. So why would I need a Gu packet when I had a Red Bull charging through my system the last 6 miles?

Well, I did need it at mile 30 so I had that much right. The last 6 were everything I expected them to be. Painful, miserable, downright shitty…

But about 2 miles down the final path, the Red Bull wore off and my blood sugar plummeted. I mean, I felt to drop to the boom with an audible clunk. I was 32 miles into the run and I had nothing left.

Nothing.

I had plenty of water but nothing to give me energy. I could have so used a Gu packet or anything. I was considering a nice big mouthful of dirt on the off chance…

I was reduced to a walk which really pissed me off because not only did I feel like a failure for having to walk 4 MILES but also that it would drag out the time it would take to be finished. Before I could get anything that my system was screaming for.

So the whole way back all I could think about was food. In particular: burritos.

I wanted burritos like I can’t explain. I just fantasized over and over. Burritos, burritos, burritos.

Burritos is what got me through those last 4 miles of walking.

Burritos.

Whatever it takes, folks.

And I still only came in 20 minutes later than I normally would. Don’t know what that says about my normal speed but I’ll take it.

I died many deaths that last 12 miles and particularly the last 6. When I got back to my car, I stumbled over, opened it up, and started rummaging through my bag. I tend to throw all kinds of running swag I get so I thought there might be something in there that, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t touch but right now with my blood sugar level in the negatives, I could really use some energy beans or blocks or dirt-clods. Whatever, just let me get it in my mouth and into my failing system.

All I found was these shot blocks and they sounded ever so good at the moment. I tore open the package and popped one in my mouth with the fleeting thought of, “Huh, crazzberry…don’t usually like cranberries or raspberries…”

They tasted like gelated shit.

And that says something since anything remotely tasty would have been the food of the gods at that moment.

I ate two but all I wanted to do was change my shirt, grab a Gatorade, and get home to burritos.

I made it home and suffered through an ice bath for the legs, a warm shower, and then sat down for two of the most magnificent burritos ever to grace this earth. I had coveted these as explained above and even though I was tempted by two slices of frozen pizza on the stove when I stumbled in (I ate them), a few rolled tacos (I ate them too), and a few bagel-bites (I ate them three), I was still down to gorge on the burritos.

They did not disappoint.

Neither did the nap I looked forward to as my body started to recover from the day’s events.

I woke up stiff, racked with pain, and not all that feel-goody. I knew to expect this but I played vegetable for the rest of the day with the vague hope that I was sacrificing for the greater good. Those races are coming up and no matter how bad the first one is, I had done 10 more miles on top of it.

But then there’s the 50.

Oh boy.

Free Advice for Today: “Buy three best-selling children’s books. Read them and then give them to a youngster.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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