Torture Report: Eagle Up & Down & Slackers All Around

(G): Over the weekend, Swaggy J and I headed to Canal Fulton, Ohio for Eagle Up 24-hour running event. It was an up and down experience for us both. We got to the race camp site around 8:30 p.m. Friday and quickly set up our tent. Meanwhile, Swaggy mocked those with real tents that have to be assembled whereas ours is more akin to a popup tent. It practically assembles itself in 90 seconds. Clearly we are not real campers.

A few hours later we awake to the sound of pouring rain on our tent and then repeatedly are disturbed out of our slumber either due to slamming porta-potty doors or the fact that we are uncomfortable as we try to sleep on cots with metal rods slowly burrowing into our backs. John tried to claim we had so much stuff it could be categorized as glamping. I promise you, if a porta-potty is involved there can be no glamour.

At 5 a.m., our alarm went off and we were up for the 6 a.m. race start. It was a bit muggy from the overnight rain but otherwise promised to be great weather.

We started the race together as I was allowed a 5-mile run and that was also conveniently the same distance of the race course loop. Later in the morning I went out for another loop and about halfway in I knew it was a bad choice but I got back to the camp site and iced my foot for the second time that day.

The rest of the day was spent as crew chief extraordinaire. When you are attempting to run/walk 50 miles having someone cheer for you, prod you to eat, and encourage you is vital. I am not sure I did all those things well but I tried hard. Just like my day had highs and lows in a much smaller proportion, Swaggy J had the same. He was cruising through 20 miles and then the effort of the day and likely the poor night’s sleep leading in were starting to show.

Check out that personalized race bib, Swaggy J!

At 35 miles, he was struggling and said he was going to walk it in the rest of the way. I said, OK but didn’t really think that was true. This was one of those times I really wished I had been physically capable of walking a loop with him. Having some solidarity always helps but I wasn’t in any kind of shape to do that. Well, at least if I wanted to be able to walk the next day it wasn’t a good choice.

Instead, I grilled up a veggie burger, poured some cool water on his head, and before long he was ready to go again.
And then, as can happen in a race of this extended length, he rose from the dead and when he returned to camp nearing 45 miles, Lazarus was running.

After 13-plus hours, Swaggy brought home another solid 50-mile finish for the year.

(L)  Congratulations to Swaggy J on his 50 miles.  Impressive as always.

The Slacker Half Marathon was this weekend and once again we had a great time.  There were 6 of us running this year and everyone stayed at our house the night before. I love nothing more than a house full of people eating pasta, sharing stories and preparing to give it their all on a Saturday morning.  I was even able to convince my friend, Mary, who had just arrived from Atlanta and had NOT been training to sign up for the race.  I knew she could do it and probably still beat me to the finish line.

As we all staggered to the kitchen around 6am everyone fixed their own pre-race breakfast, stretched, slathered on sunscreen and debated whether we should wear shorts or capris since the temperature was a mere 38 degrees. Most of us decided on shorts as the weather forecast promised 68 degrees by the time we finished.

Andy who has been our driver on many occasions during this training season offered to drive us to the start rather than our having to take a bus.  He may start charging me for his uber services if I am not careful.

We arrived at the start with full sun and not a cloud in the sky.  We could not have had a more perfect day for a race.

At Loveland Basin ready for the start.
Karly and Gene ready to break some records.

As usual we had an eclectic group of runners with one thing in common:  We all had goals and we all were there to have fun.

At 8am we were off.  While it’s technically a downhill race (we start at 10,500 feet and end at 8,500 feet), it’s still 13.1 miles.  No matter how you slice it the miles start to wear on you.  Granted, we weren’t running 50 miles like Swaggy J.  Fortunately, my running partner, Melissa, kept me on task…and running. I was watching the time very closely as I was bound and determined to hit my goal.  I also kept looking for Alex and Mary as they took off at the start to never be seen again.  I envisioned Mary sitting on the curb, eating a popsicle waiting for me to finish. Once I crossed the finish line and realized I had made my goal I was thrilled.  Then Andy asked where Mary was…

Not sure why it looks like I am doing an Irish jig at the finish, but I was happy to be finished.

Wait, what?  Suddenly, I had visions of my friend vomiting at some random mile marker and I had convinced her to run this crazy race!  I pulled out my phone to see if she had called and she had texted me 5 minutes prior to my finish.  It was a photo of mile marker 12 so she should be crossing the finish line anytime.  I walked back to find her and cheer her on.  She was good and she made it across the finish with time to spare!

In the end it was a successful race and we celebrated with margaritas all around!

Maybe next year I will get G out here to run the Slacker.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G



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