So my friend, let's just call her Melissa(because Melissa is her name) is running her first 50 miler on October 22nd called Ghost Train. This is an annual trail race in New Hampshire that takes place before Halloween. I have friends that ran this last year and were raving about how much fun it. People dress up in costumes, and apparently spectators do as well, and hide on the woods and attempt to scare the shit out of you. Seems perfect. You can run any distance in 20 mile increments, and actually go up, or down during the race. If you are done at 40, then that's it, you are done at 40. If you want to keep going and run 80, or 100, then push forward! I was planning on running this race, and making it my first 100 miler. In January , I found out that I did not get in to Leadville 100 via the lottery, so I registered for race 1A, Javelina Jundred in Arizona. This race is October 28th, and waaaaaay too close to Ghost Train, so the latter will have to wait until 2017.
Melissa is following a training plan to a tee. Her plan called for a 50k run(31.1 miles) on Saturday October 17. I was pretty bummed out because up until two days before, I had a commitment and would not be able to run with her. She's been a great friend to me, someone who listens to me and offers sound advice, and whom I can confide in. She is great to run with too! Things changed as my schedule opened up, and I was able to run. So we started to plan out the logistics and route. Originally we were going to run along the Boston Marathon course in Newton, hit a few trails along the Charles, and log miles until we reached the 50k mark. We decided to take to the trails, after all Ghost Train is a trail race! We stayed local and planned on running The Western Greenway which is in Waltham and Belmont. We chatted about logistics a bit more and agreed to meet at Rock meadow(one trailhead parking lot), and drive to The Paine Estate(trailhead parking lot) 5 miles down the road. We would use both cars as aid stations, which had ample supplies of cold water, watermelon, Swedish Fish, steamed potatoes, saltines, and TAILWIND!
I set my alarm for 4:20. This would give me more than enough time to shower, stretch, eat and drink coffee, and use the bathroom twenty times. For the longest, 4:20 meant wake and bake, get coffee and go to the gym, work, or just to start the day. It kind of makes me chuckle still that I used to start my day like that almost daily. It is 5:25, so I drive a mile to meet Melissa at Rock Meadow. We arrived at the same time and started this days journey off by admiring the full moon and taking a bunch of crappy cell phone pics.
Since it is 5:30 at the Paine Estate it's obviously DARK! A lot of my long runs begin on the dark, including through here but I am well aware of the tricky tree roots and rocks that often trip me up here, so we start off at a conservative pace. It felt really cold and was humid which is a drastic change from last weekend's 50 miler which was hazy, hot and humid. It is 5 miles to my car at Rock Meadow. Our first leg was done in the dark, then we went back and the swamps seemed even cooler, and a fog was rising. Pretty eerie!
As we ran through the meadow, we noticed some freaky looking cobwebs that resembled a tennis racket without a head. I walked up to take a closer look and they were awesome spider webs with Spidey himself just hanging out. There were dozens of them. I have never seen anything like these before.
As we were about to leave my car, I noticed what appeared to be a Great Dane running down the road. It was not a Great Dane, it was a deer, then two more right behind it. They ran off in to the meadow.
As we got about halfway back to The Paine Estate, we noticed three more deers, or maybe the same ones. I was unable to tag them the first time around, I will have to work on my speed. I want to say that we reached the Paine Estate and started heading back and guess who we saw again? Our friends the deers that were now confirmed stalking us.
So back and forth we went, just enjoying the morning. The fog had lifted, the sun came out and there was a nice breeze. Optimum running conditions to say the least. We ventured across the street to the trails behind McLean's hospital. I noticed this welcome sign was not so welcoming.
On a side note, long training runs are great opportunities for practicing with new equipment, shoes, and also with introducing some new nutrition to one's body. My cousin Jack is the CEO of TruEnergy. I decided to try his innovative energy drink at the halfway point. I shot it down and actually forgot about it until I remembered somewhere around mile 20. I definitely noticed that I felt fresh, and had even more energy. It is a small sample size, but I am looking forward to using TruEnergy again Tuesday on my next long run. We ran through Waverley square, then through Beaver Brook, up to the duck pond and mill pond, and ran back to Rock Meadow. We saw that there were a shit ton of cars and people. There was a cross country meet there, so we RAN AWAY! At this point, we are both moving well still. Melissa's plan was to walk the hills, especially in the later miles. I told her that I was onboard with whatever she wanted to do. We took very few walk breaks and kept a pretty even pace throughout the entire run. We chatted about how important it was to have fun while running. Here are a few pix of our goofiness!
|Shrine at METFERN Cemetery.|
We both knew the end of this was inevitable. It was the perfect day for running. Also inevitable was at least one fall! Here you can see me as I landed hard with only a few miles to go...
|Thanks again for moving this out of my way.|
The first ever Full Moon Waltham 50k Run is in the books. It truly was a lot of fun.
MELISSA IS READY FOR HER FIRST 50 MILER, and I feel stronger and more confident about Javelina Jundred!
|After 31.1 miles, don´t we look fresh!|
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