My friend Frank is running his first 100 miler in March at the Antelope Island Buffalo run in Utah. While preparing for his goal he got a promotion at work that came with a move from Idaho to Texas. He accepted the job but told his employer that he had been training for this race and wanted to still do it. So, this run was a farewell as he makes his move.
Anyway, the purpose of a night run is to learn to navigate the trails in the dark as well as function while tired. We started out in Municipal Park in Boise just after 8pm. There were something like 15 of us at the start that planned on going various distances. I had committed to 12 hours or 50 miles (whichever came first)! It was a fun night of carefree running. We were conscious of our pace but stopped many times to take in the beauty of the surrounding city lights and one of the best moon rises I have ever seen.
By the time we finished the first 'loop' we were down to 7 people who were going to continue on. The first loop was about 27 miles which took around 6 hours. Several of the people who called it a night at that point had to get up and study for college classes in the morning! I never did anything when I was in college except work, school, sleep - repeat!
This is where the snow and rain started coming in harder. It was nice being low in the relative protection of the canyon while chatting away. We walked most of the uphill road section. Several friends who have lots more experience at these things were telling stories about what worked and what didn't in previous situations. I am still a newbie and always looking for a nugget of wisdom. Often, it comes in the form of a reminder to continue doing the things I already know but forget to do in long run. Like on this section, I was getting stiff from the miles as well as the cold and my friend Paul reminded me to do some high knees and butt kickers to stay loose. (Those may be fun exercises during a warm-up but at mile 35? they are a real chore). Walking lunges are another big treat when you get to this point!!
Once we got onto the ridge back on 3 Bears the rain was really coming down hard. I found that the water resistant characteristics of my clothing were inadequate to say the least. We had fun cruising the downhill section while staying in a pretty close group. Once we got down to town and started pounding the pavement again I knew I was done. When we arrived back at Municipal we had been out for 10 hours and 45 minutes. My right leg had been stiff most of the night from a spill at about mile 10 and I was ready to go home.
Part of the reason for the run was to cross a mental hurdle. Set a goal and don't give up until you reach it. Five people continued on for the full 50+. I didn't feel like I wanted or needed to cross that mental hurdle on this day. My race is a month after Antelope Island, so I still have time!
All in all it was a fun night! One drawback is I looked like a crack addict at my sons Cub Scout Pinewood Derby with my bloodshot eyes and bobbing head!