For those that are familiar with Hockey Goaltenders and Ultra runners you are well aware that they are a strange breed. I happen to be both and am certainly not the exception to the rule. Every fall i treat myself to an afternoon at least 2 breweries before tackling the Vermont 50. The day before the first 50k of 2010 wouldn't be much different. My wonderful lady showed up on Saturday afternoon with a bottle of tequila and a much raved about family recipe for margaritas that would knock your socks off.
Less than 12 hours later, i was trying to wolf down something to motivate me through the first 16 mile loop that laid ahead. Trying to replenish the food that i had eaten, then puked up the night prior. "Yeah it took me a few summers to learn how many of those i could handle" Leah jokingly told me. I grumbled in response. My looks obviously matched my feeling as the first thing that John said upon walking through the front door "wow, you look like shit!” Thanks buddy, good to see you to. He asks if he's going to have to put up with me throwing up like i did on last years winter excursion out in Dover. After assuring him that there was nothing left to throw up, we were off.
It was great running beside John again. We keep in touch via email, and read one another's blogs, but we don't often share the roads/trails. We have a strange kind-ship though, seeming to be walking along similar paths in our lives so it's always fun to catch up while running. Having run with the faster crowd and more in the know with the running community leaves him with a wealth of knowledge and gossip. It helps the miles melt away hearing about people that i generally only see once or twice a year.
We talk about how attention motivates us, and how John still gets hate emails from his blog. I'm always amazed at that. I don't know exactly why, but with the internet it seems like people have gotten into a habbit of being annonomus assholes. Feeling like their negative voices deserve to taint the motivated others. I've spewed plenty of negativity on the internet, in message boards, but never have i gone out of my way to actually email someone, a complete stranger even, and tell them that they are wrong and these are the reasons why. I just can't comprehend it.
Once we get to the top of "hell hill" we dip back into the Emerald Lake district and run past many of the homes that i've spend the last 4 years running by. After circling around Gould Pond and through the pot hole ridden section that John dubs the "mine field"we turn up the road with the home i've been trying to buy for the last 3 months. I say how sweet it'll be to finish up here rather then having to go up the next two hills ahead.
We wrap up the first 16 mile lap in 2:40
After a 30 minute rebuilt we head out on Lap 2 and Loni joins the mix
It's getting colder as the blue skys are now overcast. John makes his stance on compression shorts and how he’s "STILL GOT F-ING CHAFE!” We knock out the miles sometimes John running with me, sometimes me running with loni, leah going back and forth between the 3 of us. John had snagged his MP3 player and was treating us to some acapela jack black. I notice how my cheeks hurt I’ve been smiling so much, it's a nice change. John stops to snap a photo over the bridge leading into Henniker while telling Leah the story of how the natives named the river.Loni talks about cutting 3 miles off the loop but we convince her to push on into the heart of Henniker. Yay for peer pressure. Meanwhile John comments on the grossest pizza sign he’d ever seen and asks for a photo.
Each of us takes turn taking the lead, sometimes getting 50 to 100 feet ahead of one another but all pulling one another along. Loni’s starting to hurt a bit being the longest she’s run since her birthday, John and I as well, but with an additional loop under our belts. After making the turn at the Mobil we head back towards hillsboro and back past the Paisley house at Blueberry Hill. Here poor Leah was treated? to me singing a few bars from the classic Fats Domino song,
One last climb up hell hill, I make the comment that I haven’t peed yet today, which raises some eyebrows. We continue to laugh and kid as we get into the heart of Emerald lake. John comments how this part lasts forever. I tell him it must be his time for the vagasil. We all talk about how hungry we are but non of us can bring ourselves to eating another Gu. Knowing well aware that there was turkey beans, and beef stew at the finish line. Running when we can or when one feels like it, making the rest tag along.
Loni sences home and takes off leading the charge home to the finish line. We make it home well before dark. Not too bad, all smiles and happiness. We’d covered 32 miles in 6 hours and 20 minutes. Pretty good if you ask me, for 3 out of shape runners and an injured runner on a bike. Sure it wasn’t as big or as hard, or as populated as the Boston Prep would have been. I’ll be honest though, even though there was only 3-4 of us. It was one of my favorite ultra’s to date.