Yesterday I promised big things for this upcoming week. Today I did big thing No. 1, which was 20 miles on Leif Erickson. It was surprisingly easy, and I felt really good at the end, like I could probably have easily run a few more miles. Then I went to the gym and lifted weights for three hours before I volunteered at some really important cause for a long time and donated money to Haiti.
It turns out that most of those things aren’t actually true. I did run 20 miles on Leif Erickson, but it was the opposite of easy… difficult (I also didn’t lift weights or volunteer or give any money to anyone). I had initially planned on doing 19 miles, but 20 miles sounds way cooler to me, so I decided to do that instead. This is where Leif Erickson is dangerous for me, as I believe I’ve mentioned in the past. At 9 1/2 miles I’m still feeling relatively good, and going an extra half mile before I turn around is no big deal. At 19 miles I wanted to fall over and die. Or get a time machine and undo my extra half mile. In the last five miles I felt so crappy I stopped to walk a few times, only to discover that walking felt equally shitty but took way longer.
The best part of the run though, is that I got horrible diarrhea starting at mile 9. Kind of odious, I know, but bowel activity often becomes an extremely strong reality when running. I’ve never met a single runner who didn’t have a lot to say on the subject of pooping and running. Anyway, mile 9 was a really inconvenient place for this to start happening – any sooner and I would have turned back early, but at this point I was only a mile away from my turnaround point, and I thought it would only happen once anyway. Instead it continued happening every few miles, which made my run super fun. Leif Erickson does have two porta-potties, but they are between 1/4 mile and 1/2 miles up the trail. So when you’re at mile 9 and the situation is urgent, you have approximately three options:
- go in your pants
- hike up/down a super steep hill covered in thick vegetation until you’re out of sight, and hope you don’t sprain your ankle or slide down the hill on the way.
- go in a ditch on the side of the trail
I mostly opted for number 3, occasionally did some combination of 2 and 3. After a couple times it started seeming normal, but now that I’m retelling this experience, it’s sounding super gross again. So I’ll stop now. Except I do want to emphasize one point (which is why in some honesty I can say that this was a good part of the run) : which is that running when you have to poop can be one of the worst feelings in the world, but once it’s taken care of, the renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm you have is priceless. Although I may not have needed that renewed energy and enthusiasm if I hadn’t been having diarrhea for half of a 20 mile run.
Other good things about the run: it was ridiculously nice weather for the second half, and I was worried that 20 miles might be too much for Pascal, but he was still pulling ahead at the very end. Which might have more to do with how slowly I was going at that point, but I was still impressed.
I wish I could say more about this run besides just talking about diarrhea, but it really claimed my undivided attention for almost the entire run, and erased my memory of anything that happened before that. My goal for my next run is to not have diarrhea.
Miles run this week: 20
Miles run in 2010: 133