The good things about the GLER:
I now don’t have to run for a few days. Sanctioned (mandated, even) rest days are good.
It’s over. And I did finish it.
The food. I’ve never been fed so well in my life: a buffet of delicious fresh fruit, turkey and cheese on wheat, candy, chips and pretzels, and all manner of technical electrolytic replenishment (gu, gatorade-like fluid, and even some crazy electrolyte tablets I’ve never seen). The post race lunch was subs from Wegman’s. Good stuff.
The volunteers. I wanted to hug all of them, all the time. Especially the one guy at the bottom of the trail whose every muscle tensed in anticipation as I came careening toward him, completely out of control. Unlucky for him, I regained my balance (complete with arms up for “victory”) and he did not get to actually catch me.
D. I can honestly say I would have had my first DNF with this run had it not been for her. My pleas for her to “just go on…I’ll catch you at the next aid station” fell on some very stubbornly deaf ears.
The weather. It stayed overcast all day, sprinkled and misted during our second and third loops, and all-out rained on several occasions but only briefly. It was cool and lovely.
A regular marathon will now seem like a more reasonable distance. Because THIS run, this 50K, was damn near unreasonable.
Which leads me to “le ouch.” I actually felt well-prepared for this distance–I just was not prepared for the terrain (see above where I nearly hit a volunteer). Had this been a flattish trail, or a road course, I’d probably be ok. But 31 miles of uneven terrain and where’s-my-rappelling-gear type ascent/descent just about disintegrated my ankles. Well, maybe I exaggerate a bit. However, on one of the middle loops (it was four loops of 8ish miles; I remember the first loop and the last, but the second and third kind of blur together) D and I connected with a dude from the Syracuse Track Club that we’d met on the bus to the Boilermaker this summer. Dude was a volunteer, biking and hiking the course, manning the aid stations, and directing runners. He spotted us as we were making our way up one of the steeper ascents and decided he’d run with us to the next station.
Ha. Yes, he was the “fresh legs” I wished for (and be careful about that!). So, D and I ran with him briefly, and he told us a great story about the near-disaster that was last year’s Halloween Bagel run. I wanted to hear the story, so I mustered what I had to keep up with him (D was having little trouble). In doing so, I turned my left ankle, probably on a tree root (pronounce that “ruht” in your head, please, to get the full sensory experience of my narrative) but really who knows what it was because I was not looking at the ground like I should have been. It was a quick turn, I didn’t fall and D and dude did not notice. And it hurt a little, but many of my parts were already buzzing with small complaints. Not a big deal.
Until we were done. Now my left ankle is pretty messed up. The rest of me, all things considered, is quite well; I walked to and from campus today slowly but not in agony. I did ride the elevator down from my third floor class (going down stairs will be hard for a while–going up is not a big deal).
I recommend this run to ANYONE who is considering an ultra in the CNY area. It’s got amazing support, it’s fun (especially when you take a disposable camera!) and you can swim in the glacier-made lake when you’re done.
I’d recommend some trail training, though. 🙂