Sunday, January 7, 2007

Birthday FA

My birthday FA was successful: I ran my age, 41 miles. In good time for me, in about 8 hours (there was a watch malfunction; and I waited at the start for ten minutes for people to show up). My 50K time was 6.09, which is incredible for me!!

Wearing shorts in Cleveland Ohio in January is also amazing. It rained for two days prior to Saturday, flood warnings were issued. We were running the Rocky River Reservation, between two rivers, the Cuyahoga and the Rocky River, and many parts of the Cleveland metroparks roads were closed due to the flooding.

I arrived at 615 right when Kurt and Mike showed up. They were out to run their first 50 miler today. They also had the brilliant idea to just run and out and back and link up with everyone else at 7am back at the parking lot, so I decided to do that too.

We did two miles out and back. Other runners warned us that the road was closed ahead due to flooding. We met up with lots of other runners for the 7 am start. The Cleveland West Road Running Club also meets there at 7am, so along with the ultra runners for the FA, the parking lot was full. There must have been 30 runners or so milling around.
I got some looks since I got too hot in my windshirt and had already stripped down to a short sleeved shirt and my shorts. In fact, once my friend Tom showed up from Erie, PA, we left in advance because I had been standing around too long and was starting to get chilled.

It was a good solid run. Tom ran the whole run with me, what a nice birthday treat! We run pretty well together. He was only planning the 50K, but added a few miles on to the end. When we got to the 40 mile mark (we were both pretty tired) I remarked “I bet you wish I was just turning 40 instead of 41”. He replied “I wish you would have said you were turning 29….”

Best laid plans and all…Colleen had sent out great maps, I’d plan to run 8.5 mile out and back loops. The first water flooding was at 3 miles. It was only ankle deep. It did stop a lot of the road runners, but you know us ultra runners…but in fact that was the only water crossing we attempted.

Luckily, on this flooding, the bike trail went up the hillside and we bypassed the floods. Some of the more hardcore (I think the synonym for that is crazy) ultrarunners merely waded on through. It was only thigh high after all.

Roy had caught up with us on one loop and told us about the bigger water puddle another mile down the road, so on our next loop we thought we’d go look at it. No, it was pretty long and looked like a current was flowing so we didn’t attempt it. Roy and Frank reported later it wasn’t too bad if you were going with the current, and didn’t get swept into the Rocky River.

It rained on and off most of the run. The only bad time was where it was coming down rather heavily and windy. I was thinking of turning back on that loop and getting my windshirt, but then the rain quit a ½ mile down the road.
After we finished, it was on to the party at Colleen’s. She had tons of fun set out, a birthday cake for me!! Debby showed up soon with the hot pasta, and it was great fun to sit and chat for actually hours afterwards.
I got a great birthday card signed by everyone, a button that said “ageless wonder” and Mike and his wife gave me a present, some SmartWool socks-that was so great!

That was actually my second longest run to date. I felt a bit beat up afterwards, but I blame that on road miles. I did experiment with some Perpeutem on this run, and it seemed to work well for me. I also supplement that with my usual supply of Payday bars, PB&J, some gels, and salt & vinegar potato chips. I also tried an Adrenaline energy drink about mile 32 or so. This originally tasted nasty, but not as nasty as the RedBull. I did manage to drink the whole can of it. It did cause some burping and there was one moment when I thought it was coming back up, but it stayed down, so I will try that again on some training runs, and that might be a good snack for a drop bag.


  1. Nice job! And Happy Birthday too! I can't think of a better birthday present to one's self...a long, long run.

  2. Way to go! Good call not attempting to cross the moving water. You don't want to end up on Storm Stories.
    Happy Birthday!

  3. What a spectacular birthday celebration! And congrats on your improvements. That's gotta feel great! :)

  4. Happy Birthday and what a great way to celebrate! Congratulations.

  5. Congratulations. It looked fun out there even with the water. 6:09 50k, nice time.


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