Now I am a girl who loves her sleep, give me 6-8 hours or give me death! Well, not really…that is an exaggeration, the death part, not the 8 hours of sleep part. I awoke Saturday morning knowing that I would be running beginning at midnight (starting 3 hours after my usual bed time.) I had 7-8 hours of running planned, so I had to decide whether or not I was going to nap that afternoon to help me stay awake. I opted not to and instead went out with friends and ran errands at night to stay awake. I also may have given myself a hair cut, it was getting long and very heavy, almost past my belly button and I was having a hard time finding elastics that would keep it in place while I run.
Several friends planned on coming out at different times during the night to get in their miles and keep each other company. At midnight my husband and I and our dog Emmitt drove out to the trail meeting spot and met up with Remus and Cashe. Remus had started at 11pm and was hoping to get in 40 miles, Cashe was just out for fun! We geared up and set out for some single track, after about an hour we swung by the trail that leads to my house and said goodbye to my husband and Emmitt. We continued on for several more miles, hiking the uphill and running everything else. It had stormed earlier in the evening, so the trails were damp and slick, and the spiders were out weaving their wet webs to catch all the bugs that had come out to enjoy the damp summer night. Also out enjoying the summer night were several deer, bats by the dozen, and even a fox. At one point I stopped to eat and drink just as a screech owl caught dinner, it was an awful noise just to my right, I was not expecting that and I may have freaked myself out for a moment…I am an artist, what can I say, I have a wonderful/terrible imagination and at that moment I was imagining someone coming after me with a bloody knife. Note to self, work on running alone and shutting off your imagination…or it could be a very short 100 mile race!
Speaking of damp summer nights, here in NC most of the summer we all just accept the fact that even just walking will produce a nice dark wet spot on any and all clothing at any time, day or night. Remus thought he was going to avoid this by making wardrobe changes at the car every few hours. By the third outfit change I was beginning to wonder if he had brought his entire running wardrobe in the back of his Subaru 🙂
By 3am we had said goodbye to Cache, and picked up Lynx, and headed to some wider track to pick up the pace a bit. By now the fog was settling and anytime anyone picked up the pace or dropped back their headlamps would fade and you would feel alone in the dark. After a few hours the breeze picked up and the clouds moved off leaving the moon and stars overhead.
I was feeling good, for the most part, drank a liter and a half in 25 miles, and ate a few bars, (I have been following a mostly vegan diet for the last year, and am gluten intolerant, so I eat almonds, bars made with cacao and seeds, and my favorite, Coconut Chia Bars.) Though my energy was up, stepping in holes and roots was making my left ankle sore. I was thrilled when 6am came, because with it came the sun and NOVA! She texted to see if anyone needed anything, of course the response was random greasy food items, and beer from the guys. She did not have a burrito on hand, but she did bring some beer! We parted and I went back to the car to get Nova while the guys continued on. I was so happy to see her, its so great to have someone with energy join at the end of a long run, it seemed to give me a second wind! (I was at the end of a 130 mile week, while Lynx would hit 180 for the week) So needless to say we were not too talkative by 6am. Nova was looking ready to run and we headed off to rejoin the guys. by mile 33 I was ready to be done, I had hit my mileage goal for the week, and decided not too push it much further.
Remus continued on, accumulating about 42 total…meanwhile, I passed out on the pavement in the parking lot waiting for everyone to finish and head off for coffee and a comfy couch.