[Editor’s note: GROSS POST. Reader beware. The travails of the ultra-athlete are NOT PRETTY. You’ve been duly warned.]
Green Lakes Endurance Run (G.L.E.R.) = Good Lord! Enough Running!
(Please humor the author her overuse of the GLER acronym, and pronounce it in the voice of a crazed, piratical runner. Also, be not offended by frequent references to bodily fluids. Sorry – it’s just how I roll.)
Yesterday Madeline and I completed our most challenging run yet – a 50K trail run. We started out at the ungodly hour of 4:50 AM, so that we would allow ourselves sufficient time to reach Green Lakes State Park by 5:30. (The run did not officially begin until 6:30, but I could not allow the 5:30 AM continental breakfast to pass me by!) Madeline almost always provides transportation to our runs, but this time I drove. I am what one might call an anxious driver, and between my fears about my nonexistent night vision and those vicious, menacing deer who lie in wait for unsuspecting drivers, I was stressed before the race even began. Still, though, I was pumped. I had spent the previous two days preparing for this run the best way possible: Guzzling liquids, eating ravenously. GLER!
At the start of this run, M and I were grinning, lively, energetic runners. Thirty-one miles of rough terrain later, we were groaning, limping, exhausted runners (GLER!) It took us eight and a half hours to complete this run. Eight and a half hours!!! That’s an entire work day, people! I believe that there were a handful of 100K runners who finished before us, and the only 50K runner who I am certain we beat was a poor wretch with shoes comprised entirely of electrical tape. In our defense, however, we were expending our energy on staying injury-free rather than on being particularly speedy. We were what one kindly volunteer referred to as “tourist runners”, carrying a disposable camera in our pack and stopping for frequent photo ops. We read the numerous informative plaques which ring the lakes, we posed with
volunteers and stuffed animals on the Serengeti, we lingered at each aid station ingesting our combined weight in M & Ms, and we tried like hell (and to NO avail) to contain those pesky bodily fluids. Let’s just say that one of us desperately needed more toilet paper and less half digested salad [editor’s note: I do not remember this. I’ve blocked it out] , whilst the other should one day realize that sanitary pads are decidedly un-sanitary and USELESS when one attempts to adhere them to sweat soaked underwear. With each step I took that vile pad climbed up my ass, lodging itself firmly in the small of my back. This called for constant readjustment involving digging my hands down my pants and cussing while M. provided lookout coverage. And that pad was FAST…far faster than me considering our relative sizes. I KNOW that if that pad was as tall as I am, it would definitely have beat me to the finish line. So while the graceful, long, endomorphic runners were effortlessly covering ground, M. and I were bleeding and shitting. Gastric liquid eliminations: runny! Gooey, leaky, exsanguinous runner. Goes like enema-ed: repeatedly! GLER! GLER!! GLER!!! And it would be great news if menstrual blood and diarrhea were the worst of our problems, but we also were suffering from hideous chafe (Grotesque lesions exacerbated by running – GLER!), an attack by a malignant blackberry bramble, inexplicable finger blisters, and general exhaustion. Growing listless – energy receding. Grieving lungs extremely resistant. GLER, already.
Somehow, despite shit, blood, rain, mud, and severe chafe, we ended up having a fantastic time. This is a stellar run, with good food, good people and a good location. Got legs? Enter race! GLER!!!