13 of 52: Eternal Winter 6 Hour Run

Does this race make my butt look big?

This week I ran the Eternal Winter 6 Hour Run – twin race to the Endless Summer 6-Hour Run, held to benefit the Annapolis Light House Shelter and Pantry of Maryland. It’s what’s known as a Fat Ass style race. No – I did not run all 6 hours. That would be irresponsible seeing as I’ve only been running about 2 hours give or take. More give than take. Enough about me – let me tell you about me. Running this race…

…but first let me rewind to that big butt/fat ass thing. A Fat Ass race (as I learned myself this past weekend) is a laid back ultra race type of thing. No winners, no prizes, super low key, small field. When I went online to find out exactly what it meant I found that these type of races have been around long enough that there are some varying opinions about what is and isn’t a Fat Ass race. As with anything like this there are purists and progressives. I don’t know where this race fell on the continuum but it was a good time. Will run again.

Here’s a couple of links if you’re interested in reading more:

http://www.coolrunning.com.au/fatass/hq/index.php?title=What_Fat_Ass_Is_And_Is_Not

http://thetaoofrunning.com/writing/beginners-corner-running-wise-columns/what-is-a-fat-ass-race/

The Run

This race was probably somewhere in the middle of the Fat Ass spectrum. It was a small group. There were no winners. No time clock. No pomp or circumstance. There was a minimal entry fee – which would be returned (if you chose) as long as you showed up to the race with at least 5(?) food items to donate to the Annapolis Light House Shelter and Pantry of Maryland.

There *was* race support by way of a small heated tent full of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. After doing a few larger marathons as well as the smaller 50ks and races like this one – it seems as though the smaller scale of the race allows the support to be more personal. A reflection on the people helping.

Yeah – delicious.

The run was a figure-eight-ish loop in and around Greenbury Point, starting at the Nature Center. I don’t know what they do there, but they were nice enough to have the bathrooms open for us. Big move. One loop was about 3.5 miles around.

There were picnic tables where folks staged their gear and nutrition. Very low key. Jimmy and Brian and Kim and I had all parked near a spot we ran past on the loop so we just left our stuff in our cars and made quick pit stops as needed. For me that meant every loop I would stop for a drink and to make sure I had something to nibble on (cliff blocks).

The run went right on that sidewalk past the picnic tables – both directions.

You may recall that over the past couple weeks I’ve been putting some “speed” work into my 13.1 runs – and by speed I mean running faster than I would normally on a long run. On a long run (if you’re also doing speed work and tempo work during the week) you’re supposed to run uncomfortably slow in order to convince your body to make changes to it’s mitochondria. Don’t roll your eyes at me – I didn’t make it up. It’s SCIENCE! Anyways…

The plan this week was to run a solid effort for 13.1 (faster than my declining times) and then roll easy for another – hour? So not really a plan per se, but a rough outline. Fortunately for me Brian was down with the plan and willing to run my pace. He was on a mission to see how long he could keep moving which meant he would be running a bit slower than he usually does – perfect for me. (cus he’s fast)

There were a few small trees down on the trail which made for a good time – do we go over or under? I went under on the second loop – that was enough for my uni-directional knees for one day. You know what else was on the trail? PUPPIES! You know who loves puppies? BRIAN! This guy is seriously upbeat and friendly – he really helped me focus on running a steady pace for the first 13.1. We hit 13.1 right around 2:04 – which is right where I wanted to be.

I decided during this race that I’m going to try to PR the B&A Half Marathon. I have 8 weeks to train. My PR for that race is 1:55:33. Maybe I could lose a few pounds between now and then. That usually helps.

The perimeter trail. It has a name and everything – It’s actually a road… W Road. Not much of a name really.

After finishing 13.1 I took a break and Brian went on in search of more puppies. I took it easy, trying to keep my heart rate low(er) but once you’re in the bag it’s really hard to get out so I found myself walking to keep it down. A half lap later I decided to call it a day and get some soup and a grilled cheese. So good. 15.9 miles for the day.

Not the Run

I could feel the depression creeping back in this week. I will say this. Since I have been working out during the weeks more regularly (and this past week even more so as I start a new program) I am much better equipped to fight it off. I still feel it – but it isn’t debilitating. I have to believe that all of the musical exercise has helped as well. Now – If I could just get that spark of joy between 9 and 5 I’ll really be on my way.

Next Week: Freezing with Friends

3 Comments

  1. Another great recap! I feel like I’m out there with you. Which by the way should happen soon now that I too have gotten my long run up to 13.1 as of last week. Great effort to run a bit faster and succeed. Nice to have fast friends to push you. Staying busy should help with the depression and I’m always down for a talk if you like!

    Be well my friend

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. I love smaller races. I’ve never run one like this one but the ones I used to run on Long Island (maybe 150-200 runners or so) usually had much more food and amenities than the big races I run in NYC with 5000 runners. Also, puppies on any course sounds awesome.

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