Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Co-Run-A-Virus 100 Miler

It's a crazy time right now with this Coronavirus pandemic. People are quarantined at home.
~ Days blur together. Is it April 92nd?
~ Parents have been forced to do home schooling, and there are record sales of alcohol. Coincidence?
~ Salons have been closed so people have attempted to give themselves haircuts. That Jennifer Aniston hair style you were hoping for looks more like Cookie Monster. Ooops.
~ When cooped up at home, eating distracts from boredom. No longer is weight gain referred to as the "Freshman 15." It's now the "Quarantine 15."
~ The government has announced that lock down will not end until every man, woman, and child has watched Tiger King.

In the midst of all this craziness, I had a few days off work. I had already met my moral and ethical obligation to watch Tiger King. Yes, Carole Baskin killed him. And I figured this might be the only opportunity I'll ever have to run a 100 miler during a pandemic. (Insert Fingers Crossed emoji here.) So I set out to run the Co-Run-A-Virus 100! (Thanks to Hollie Reina for the cool name.)

I decided to stay close to home and run a .9 mile loop around the block of my house. I set up an aid station on my porch with running essentials: Dr. Pepper, peanut butter M&Ms, Doritos, and Swedish Fish. Are you new to ultrarunning? Don't give up kids! With enough practice, you can run many miles fueled by Nacho Cheese Doritos too! Around lunch time, I stopped at home for a few minutes to vacuum up at least 2,000 calories worth of nachos.

My friend Leah Lister heard that I was out running around the block. She knows that at any given moment, my blood stream is likely 30% Dr. Pepper. I saw her pull up beside me with a cold fountain drink. I could have hugged her. But then I remembered that I had been running in the sun for many hours, and I probably smelled like a rotting armadillo. (Unfortunately, I know exactly how those smell.) So instead, I gratefully took the drink and kept moving.

A few people asked about the mental challenge of running such a monotonous course. Thankfully, I don't usually get too bored, even on repetitive courses. #blessed Once I ran a 100 miler around the deck of a cruise ship. A few times I've run 100 milers around a high school track. Taking those into consideration, my .9 mile loop wasn't bad at all. As long as I have a good podcast or book to listen to, and an occasional sighting of a horse-drawn carriage, I'm happy as a clam.

Eventually I started to get sick of Swedish Fish and Doritos. Mel ordered some pizza for dinner, and I took a short break to indulge. I've eaten MANY pieces of pizza during long runs over the years. It ALWAYS tastes amazing. And I ALWAYS regret it. Before I knew it, four pieces of Little Caesar's sausage pizza had plowed their way into my stomach. This behavior will not rank anywhere on my list of Smartest Things I've Ever Done.

As evening started to approach, I could see some dark clouds brewing in the distance. If my legs are cooperating, I try to get a jumping picture during each 100 miler. This seemed like a good time to take care of that.

Once it got dark, my kids decided to join in on the "fun." (I use the term "fun" very, very loosely.) Talking with them was a good distraction from my legs that were starting to get a tad grumpy.

The level of "fun" decreased when a storm rolled in and decided to dump. No big deal. When life gives you lemons, just crack open another Dr. Pepper and loathe the fact that you're out in a downpour instead of getting into bed.

Later, the family went to bed. I started perfecting the art of sleep walking. I love sleep walking as much as I love cream of mushroom soup (exactly 0%). Sleep walking led to me almost stepping on a frog. It was time to change from an audio book to music.

Sometime way past the hour that a sane person would have gone to bed, my friend Josh Conner showed up. If you didn't know any better, you'd hang out with us and think "Those two are so quirky and nerdy that they must be brothers." As evidence of his athletic abilities, this man holds the World Record for the Fastest Half Marathon While Dressed as a Cowboy. Josh was patient with my slow nighttime pace, and kept me laughing for hours as I inched my way toward sunrise.

Then somewhere around 5:30am, my friend Turd'l Miller showed up. Turd'l has worked countless aid stations over the years, and he always seems to be at the aid station where I feel my worst. He has an endearing way of shoving food into my face to make sure I get the calories I need. There has been some ongoing trash talking between me and Turd'l about who could eat the most McDonald's ice cream cones in one sitting. (Spoiler alert: me.) At some point this competition will happen. But in the mean time, Turd'l called a bunch of McDonald's and managed to find some ice cream before coming out to meet me. That ice cream was heaven. I loved the hours he spent going around that damn loop with me.

Finally, light began to spill over Zion National Park on the horizon, and we were treated to a beautiful sunrise.

Mel shared many, many miles with me during the first day, during the night, and during the second day of the run. Just how many miles? Mel finished an incredible 40 miles during the time I was out doing loops around the block! I am seriously impressed.

At mile 98 or 99, we stopped for a minute and talked to Seret Rafferty who lives nearby. Later she shared this picture of me and Mel.

I finished the Co-Run-A-Virus 100 miler after 29 hours and 32 minutes. I really like these solo 100 milers where I can do my own thing, run my own course, and just have fun without the pressure of cutoffs. If my count is correct, I think I've done thirty five 100+ mile runs, and eleven of those have been solo 100 milers.

I bought myself a belt buckle for an award in case I finished the run. It is a handmade buckle by Bykali. I have many race buckles that have been made by her, and her stuff is always incredible. I especially love this one.

So in conclusion, you can go suck a rotten egg Coronavirus. And I'm sorry if your hair looks like Joe Exotic because your salon has been shut down so you were forced to give yourself a haircut. And to Doritos, I feel like I might be single-handedly keeping your brand in business. And I can't wait until regular races resume so I won't be tempted to run 100 miles around the block. When social distancing eases up and we see each other at a race, consider me first in line to give you a hug.