May 16, 2010

Sunday run: First 50K

Today's run was mental. Ever since I decided to do the 50 miler, the fact that I haven't run an ultra before was bothering me. I crossed that mental barrier today morning doing a 32 mile run; a tad bit more than the standard 50K but I was loving it! Also the great 60s weather helped a lot too. So, I did my first ultra without any fanfare or a medal to show.

Miles 1-10:
Apart from the mental prep, I set out two packs of Gu and a bottle of Gatorade -- something I never do in my usual long runs.  I started out as usual towards the Harbor and then headed towards Eastern ave passing through little Italy and the latino neighborhood. After a brief detour at the Patterson Park, I made my way back to the harbor expecting the bottle of Gatorade to be near the flower bed where I had hid it. It was gone!

Miles 11-20:
This was mostly in the Canton area. I took the familiar Boston St. route. At mile 18, I briefly stopped at a  Starbucks and downed the first pack of Gu with the free water. Still the loss of Gatorade was on my mind. I didn't know if I needed it but didn't want it to f*k with my mind.

Miles 21-32:
This is where I started running towards Fort McHenry. I had to stop at the Royal Farms on Key Hwy to buy a bottle of Gatorade. Peace of mind. I continued running to the Fort. My Fort runs are never boring. The gorgeous weather inspired people and geese alike to enjoy the Fort. I made 7 loops around the Fort and the beginning of my second loop I saw this lovely old couple setting up picnic basket at a table overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. By loop three, I saw them eating cereal. Loop four, the lady was spreading jelly over a croissant. This made me hungry! It was mile 25 and I thought if this was the actual race, I would be half done. The Gatorade was unopened, so I had to have it merely to justify my purchase. Two quick gulps and I continued my loops watching the couple with great interest. The romance, the spark they had at this ripe old age was amazing and inspiring. During one of my loops I saw them seated, holding hands, and the husband showing a bird to his wife using his binoculars. My faith in the world is reassured. This brief anthropological curiosity made me run without realizing how far I had gotten. It was mile 29 already. This was going to be my last loop; I waved at the couple and headed home. La vie est belle!

Here's what a 50K in Baltimore looks like:

32.01 miles in 04:37:12

A summary of the week that was:
Mon - 7 miles @ 7:08 min/mile
Tue  - 7 miles @ 7:30 min/mile
Wed - 8 miles @ 6:52 min/mile
Thu  - 3 miles @ 8:20 min/mile
Fri    - 3 miles @ 8:20 min/mile
Sat   - 9 miles @  9:00 min/mile
Sun  - 32 miles @ 8:39 min/mile


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