Mile 35 and the Psychotic Break

14 Aug

I think in my last post I talked about talking to myself, singing, and dancing on my runs and how I think that’s a good thing. Well, as of last Saturday a line has been crossed. I don’t feel okay about the information you’re about to read…

I ran 38 miles last Saturday. I told a friend that the other day and he didn’t believe me. It was frustrating. I’m trying to see it from his point of view. I guess if two years ago someone I knew that seemed normal told me they ran 38 miles I’d probably think they were either crazy or extraordinary. I don’t feel extraordinary so…

I just feel like me. This ultra running thing isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. It’s a lot of lonely miles through towns where people seem to scuttle away from you, or keep their dogs from mauling you (thanks for that btw). I’m thinking about making a running shirt that says, “It’s okay, you can talk to me.” If that doesn’t work, I’lll go with, “Tell me about your hemorrhoids, I’m desperate for conversation.” It gets crazy lonely out there and you sink more deeply into yourself than you’ll probably like. You find a lot of doubt and fear deep down at the limits of your strength.

The More You Know…

…the more you realize how quirky, no, just plain nuts you are. I’m happy to report that I’m a loveably funny crazy person. I’m not quite sure what happened at mile 35. I don’t think I dehydrated. I guess it was similar to all-nighters with friends in college. Okay, it was straight up like being drunk with fatigue. Not that I know anything about that. Back then I was either silly with fatigue or annoying with drink. This was like a combination of the two.

Oh to Have a Microphone

I have a mic on the earbuds to my Ipod on which I plan to podcast for y’all in the near future. I’m not brining it on the really long runs. Or maybe I should…

Either way I’m going to chronicle a few of the more amusing conversations I had with inanimate objects after I snapped from miles 35 to 37 on my last run.

Conversations

When my Garmin GPS watch blinked “low batteries” I started shouting at it (loudly) to “Shut up!” Thennn a guy walked around the corner and found me clearly alone and he was clearly disturbed. After he was safely around the next bend I continued to berate my tracking device. After all, I wasn’t allowed to quit, why should he… I mean it. I’ll just gloss over the fact that the watch has 8 hrs battery life on full charge. It read 100% at 6am.

2. After some negative thoughts of my fatigue and how far I had left, I shook my head vigorously and shouted, “No! I am going to make it!” Then I turned my head and upon spotting a goldenrod plant I said, “And you, golden-haired beauty are coming with me! Let’s go!” She did not follow.

3. A few minutes later I was running though a field of corn on both sides of a narrow trail. Claustrophobic feelings must have gotten the better of me because I started challenging the corn to a fight with this: “You know, you corns think you’re tough, but you’re only tough because there are so many of you. If you me man to corn stalk I would win. I could probably take like… ten of you at a time. Bring it.” I was then promptly gang-beaten by the corn field. Oh wait, that was me stumbling into it. I lost.

4. I then beseeched the chirping crickets to to show themselves for the cowards they were hiding in the grass. Later in the run one jumped in front of me and I screamed.

5. Last and least, I randomly yelled “I love you!” “Everybody.” Okay this is sounding exactly like college now.

So now that you know about my little “episode” I feel like I’ve taken one more step to becoming an true ultra runner. Apparently hallucinations aren’t uncommon when you run for 24 hours. So far I only need 8! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I really don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into this time. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to go reconcile with my GPS.

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