It’s going to be tough writing a good race report about the Cry Me A River 50k. I tend to overuse superlatives anyway, and this was a race that encourages one to indulge in a wide variety of superlatives. So let’s get em all out there right now: hardest, steepest, most unrelenting, most barf inducing, bizarrely located in Illinois of all places, longest 50k ever. I have run a decent array of 50k races over the years and I cannot remember another which inspired actual tears from participants. I saw two people weeping on this race, both doing the 50k flavor. Cry me a river, indeed!
I ran the Kal-Haven trail run this weekend, my first “official” ultra in almost exactly 10 years. The run is a point-to-point from Kalamazoo to South Haven Michigan on the Kal-Haven trail, a converted railroad bed. There are conflicting reports on the exact length, but my Garmin said it was 34 miles. The easy grades and crushed limestone made for a kind reentry into the world of ultrarunning. I never entirely stopped running over those years, but when I started structured training in December, I’d only run more than five miles once in the previous several years.
I wish I knew the actual number of blogs I have begun over the years. If you added those to the Moleskin journals I have also begun writing in, I am sure I am up to a couple dozen or so. In fact, at some point I started also making it a tradition to start this kind of thing with a preamble like this. So consider that done, I suppose.
I started running a little more seriously a few months ago. I have never really stopped, but this was the first time in years that I followed a running plan. The goal was to get in shape for the 50k I ran this past weekend. The title of this blog is a (bad) joke made via the title of a Haruki Murakami book about running — he’s a marathoner and one of my favorite authors. In What I talk about when I talk about running he relates that he really doesn’t think about anything while running. I’ve always found this amazing. I think about everything when running, from what I am going to make that evening for dinner to what the characters my book need to do next. I think of running time being similar to how people describe lucid dreaming: my body is occupied and my mind is free to wander around solving problems or mulling ideas or thoughts over. I can kill a ten mile run thinking of nothing but various strategies for packing gear in the van. No joke.
So anyway, sometimes I think things while running that don’t fit into other writing projects, so that’s what this place will be for.