If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you know I thrive on doing crazy things. I’ve never quite crossed over to an ultra runner or even a consistent marathon runner, but I love to do things like Ultra Ragnar (6 runs instead of 3) and multiple marathons or half marathons in back to back days. So, it should come as no surprise that I jumped on the Yeti 24 hour ultra. What may be a surprise is that I did that on Tuesday and then on the weekend, I jumped on another challenge – 42.5k in 42 hours. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was not in any way trained up for either one. But when have a I ever let that stop me.
For those who don’t know, the Yeti involved running 5 miles every four hours for 24 hours, basically 6 runs covering 30 miles. Because I’m a bit extra, I threw a little more on the early runs so that I could run a 50K total. I had planned to start with the night time runs, but somehow talked myself out of it. So I kicked off my challenge at 6:30am on a Tuesday.
Leg #1, 6:30am – I had a rough time falling asleep and staying asleep the night before the “race”. This is a normal for me right now as well as a normal for the night before a race, so I wasn’t actually surprised by it. I considered waiting and starting later in the morning, but decided to go ahead and get started. It turned out to be a good choice – the mid-40s temp and early hour meant I was able to do my “usual” 4 mile route and just throw on an extra 1.3. 5.3 miles done.
Leg #2, 10:30am – I did most of this run in a local cemetery, which had its good and bad points. Good: not too many (living) people and it was easy to avoid them. Bad: Hilly AF. But I got it done and enjoyed a light sprinkle of rain while I ran. 10.6 miles done.
Leg#3, 2:30pm – I was most nervous about this run from a social distancing standpoint, but Mother Nature did me a solid. It was a bit chilly and rainy, so I was able to do a similar route to my early morning route and still did not see many people. Win. I felt surprisingly good on this run, despite not having run more than 9 miles in a day since MCM 50k in October! 15.9 miles done.
Leg #4, 6:30pm – I had planned to run this one outside, but due to the clouds it was already getting dark. I just didn’t have it in me to find all of my night time gear, so I hit the treadmill instead. It was fine, I survived, but it was the sweatiest run I’d had yet. 21 miles done.
Leg #5, 10:30pm – I jumped on the treadmill to do this one as well. I should have opened the windows as I was absolutely soaked in sweat when I finished. I still felt pretty good, but my pace had pretty much gone to hell and the amount of walking had definitely increased. I could not resist adding what I needed to complete a marathon in the same day. 26.2 miles done.
Leg #6, 2:30am – I really wish I had done this one first. I was so bored waiting between Leg #5 and #6. I am not a napper, so I just hung out and played on my computer. Everyone in the house was asleep, so I was limited in what I could do and where I could go. Once I got on the treadmill, it was a total slog. I had to actually hang onto the treadmill (something I really never do) as I felt like I was one misstep away from falling. I technically did 90/30 run/walk, but honestly my run was more of a shuffle. I have never been so happy to finish a run before in my life! 31.2 miles done.
I’ll be honest, this wasn’t easy, but it was nowhere near as hard as I expected. I was tired and the bottoms of my feet hurt after plodding through my last miles, but I wasn’t even sore the next day. I was actually surprised at how fast I felt like I bounced back. In fact, I bounced back so fast that I joined my friends in another challenge.
The 42.5K in 42 hours was dreamed up by some Australians and the participants were from all over the world. I confess I got FOMO and jumped in when I probably should not have. The race started Friday and 6pm and went to noon on Sunday. Due to our virtual happy hour plans, I started on Friday at 4:30pm, which meant needing to be done by 10:30am on Sunday. This was the first of several poor choices. I only ran 1.2 miles. Yet another poor choice.
Saturday morning I surprised myself and woke up early enough to run in my neighborhood. I was a little dehydrated and sore from a leg workout, but I managed to get in an extremely slow 10k. Hmm, only 12k so far. Not great progress. Since this challenge didn’t care if you walked or ran, I tried to go out for a walk on Saturday afternoon. Tried being the operative word. There were people EVERYWHERE! It was impossible to maintain any sort of distance so I gave up after a half mile. My next mistake was to not get on the treadmill at that point. Finally, later in the evening, I managed to take a longer walk and ended up finishing Saturday with 17K.
If you are good at math, you’ve figured out that I woke up on Sunday with 25K (approximately 15.5 miles) left to go and I was supposed to be done by 10:30am. Every inch of my body hurt and I did not want to get out of bed at 6am. I came *thisclose* to bailing. But finally I decided to “throw away” the Friday hours and get back that hour and a half.
I set out to a quiet part of the neighborhood and found a 1+ mile loop that was basically human free. I ran it 6 times. (All those Mainly Marathon races came in handy!) I decided to head towards home, with a goal of hitting 9.3, grabbing a drink, and heading back out. Instead, I ended up managing 13.1 in little bitty circles, dodging all the people. When I finished that, I realized I had 52 minutes and 2.6 miles to go to finish at 10:30am. I was so done with people, so I walked it on my treadmill and finished at 10:25am.
Running one of these funky multi-leg challenges is crazy and a lot of fun, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed the extra challenge of social distancing. I miss my days of running around my neighborhood and seeing no one out. I mean, I’m happy people are getting outside and moving, but why do they all have to be in my space???
Next up: SRTT virtual Ragnar. I’ll be running 17 miles in 3 legs this weekend…