29 Cubed – the first half

Categories: Running   ultra

The day started well enough. I slept in a bit, then hit Starbucks and ran an errand. The goal was to start at noon, do eight miles, then meet Roman at 5 to do another 8. After checking my email and the status of everyone else running the challenge, I was eager to get started. The folks across the Atlantic were up into the 20 mile range already, so after running my errands, I decided to start a bit earlier, about 10:30. My first miles were going to be at Little Mulberry, here it’s a pretty flat 2.2 mile loop.  I strapped on my new racing flats, and away I went.

Although I had every intention of starting slow, it just didn’t work that way. My first mile was just over 10 minutes (2 minutes faster than plan), as was my second mile. As I headed into the third, I slowed slightly and took it easy. It was a very strange experience hitting three miles and saying to myself “only a marathon to go.”  A very cool feeling.

During that 3rd mile, I came upon a couple old ladies strutting around and having a good time. I said hi as I came around, then each time we saw each other (another 3 times), we got to joke around how they were beating me. I stopped at mile 4.4 for refuel. I’ve become a believer in these Powerbar gels…I felt real good starting up again.

Anyway, I finished 8.8 miles with no problems, then headed home for lunch and stretching. Had a good time catching up with everyone else online. The virtual camaraderie for this race has been great. Everyone has been very supportive of each other.

Come 3:00 PM, I headed out (early again) to head to the meet up. Being early, I indulged myself and bought a case of the Powerbar gels. Figured I might as well stock up, and it’s cheaper to buy them by the case. Then I went to my car to change shirt and realized that I forgot it at home. Well, I sure as hell wasn’t going to run in a cotton shirt, and didn’t feel like spending 30 bucks on a new one, so I just put on my vest sans shirt and went redneck style. (Being a vest, it has that whole wife-beater look to it.) Luckily, it was warm out, and actually quite comfortable.

I took off to start warming up while I waited for Roman. Hit a 1.33 miles as I saw him pulling up, so finished up. After a little bit of socialization and a quick picture, we took off. We hung together for the first mile at a 10 mpm pace, then separated so he could finish in a reasonable time. (He runs quite a bit faster than me.) I turned around at the 2.5 mile (from the store) to head back, figuring he’d catch up. At this point, it was going on mile 14 or so from me, and I started to feel it. After a nice walk for a few minutes, I got my wind back and casually made it back to the store.

Roman made it back, then we headed out again. I just did a mile with him, again at a faster pace than I’d do, then headed back. Total miles for the day, 17 and some change.

Just a casual 1/2 merry in the morning, and I’ve done it.

As a side note, here’s some of what’s come of this race: Sare, in the United Kingdom, has raised over 400 pounds($800+ dollars) for a <a href=”http://www.justgiving.com/sarah29” title=”“>charity she supports</a>. Both RicC and Sare both braved torrential downpours winds to complete their mileage. They have also both been interviewed by their local press and are now famous. Ande, in Australia, tragically burned out his treadmill and had to run outside. I think he’ll be okay. Everone else has been doing great, and I look forward to hearing their stories.

Written on February 29, 2008