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Monday, October 18, 2010

Run Across NH

The report. :) I am anxiously awaiting Sherpa John's report, but here is mine from the last 40-45 miles.

SJ's fiance called me just before 9pm saying they would be at the aid station I was to meet them at in the next 2 hours so I should leave to come. I live about 2 hours from there so I got in my car and headed out. So much for a nap! I had been following his Twitter reports and had a 'feeling' earlier in the day that he might be having a tough time so I decided to meet him/them at mile 79 instead of mile 90 like I had originally planned. As it turns out, I got there at 10:45 and they didn't come in until almost 2am! I got another nap in while waiting (well, until the police woke me up asking me WHY I was hanging out....eeep!) They came in, ate, rested and we were off at 2:43 am. The next 10 miles or so were...interesting! There were 2 other runners, G, L and I along with SJ who was VERY tired at this point. We spent the next 3-4 hours on either side of him keeping him on the road and going forward. Actually, G and I each took a side and held him up while he continued to move forward...and sleep! It was amazing! He was literally sleep running! Out cold, but still moving. Wow!

Once it got light out, he was able to come back around. Anyone who has run at night or a long ultra can surely confirm that the night is the hardest time to run, particularly that 2-5am time. Once the sun comes up/it gets light out, you can rally. And he did. We hit a Dunkin Donuts and used the bathroom, some people ate and off we went. There were some new runners that joined us at that point for a few miles, as well as a young guy wanting to run his first marathon distance. SJ was running more at this point (we pretty much walked through the night- 10 or 15 miles, at a good pace) I had to switch to running movements, however slow, as my walking muscles were yelling at me.

We dropped of the two overnight girls G and L in the next 2 aid stops and ran for a bit until we picked up some new people. SJ was doing great, despite MANY physical things that were bothering him, wow. The weather had been pretty good throughout...until about noon. Prior to this time it had been cool and clear- overnight was chilly but certianly tolerable. By noon it started to rain, and sometime thereafter started to snow/rain. No worries though, at that point it wasn't awful. Well, there were a couple of bridges that made me a little nervous, but that could have been an equilibrium thing...The scenery was beautiful- country roads, ocean views, and downtown Portsmouth was amazing. Well, until we got lost...

Yeah, we got lost. SJ was trying to cut out some miles as he was hurting and he just wanted to get to the coast. So, in an effort to cut out about 4 miles we took a slightly different route...which probably didn't cut out anything at all, lol. But we went through a very nice neighborhood complete with sheep! I bleeted at them...they did not respond. Damn sheep. ;)

Once we found our way, and got to the last aid station I was simply giddy. 2.5 miles to go.We picked up a runner that had dropped earlier, and ran on as a pack of 5. About a mile out, SJ picked up the pace, wanting to sprint to the end. DUDE! This guy just ran 120+ miles and took off SPRINTING! It was all I could do to keep up with him on my sad, swollen stumps! We sprinted in to the Science Center with cheering fans shouting SJ's name. We ran to the beach and let SJ do his thing. He carries a vial of water from the CT river (the point he starts at) to put in the ocean. Very emotional moment for him, I am sure, but for me too. I was in awe of what he just accomplished.

After a few pics, we headed into the science center for a reception and dry clothes. My SIL, BIL and nephew came out to see the finish and drive me back to my car (which was SO awesome!!! Thanks guys!) and see what these crazy runners do :) I changed into dry clothes (no easy task, oy!) and hugged everyone and said my goodbyes. I had 3 hours of driving ahead of me so I couldn't hang out. I knew *coma* would be setting in soon, and I wanted to get home. (I made it home safe and sound, with only minimal hallucinating on the drive...the snow didn't help, lol...)

I have so much respect for SJ. This was a dream he had 2 years ago, and he made it happen. He is the only person to have ever done this. He has now done it twice. It was such an honor to be there and run with, support, and encourage him. Thank you, SJ, for allowing me to be there to witness your dream.

I got home and babbled some stuff to the family before showering and going to bed, where I immediately fell into the post-ultra coma. Woke up this mornin when my kids(who were going to wait no longer for me to get up) came in to wish me a happy b-day :) I feel amazingly good today, considering, I have the usual lower body swelling, but I am only minimally sore. I have the post-run lung *thing* which I like to call 'ultra-pneumonia' and I will spare y'all the deets ;) I expect to be back to running by Wednesday. Today though...minimal movement for sure :) I know I did not drink enough, as it was cool and I wasn't thirsty, plus I had some sort of stomach issue the whole time. Didn't eat much either, butI did ok. I know I need to eat and drink alot during these runs but I was prepared ahead of time which is what I think got me through. I inHALED 2 green smoothies on the drive home, along with a couple apples. Couldn't eat more than that, but I will make up for it today :)

Next up- STONECAT!!! :)