To celebrate my birthday this year the only thing I wanted to do was to run my age. Oh, and eat cake. When I posted on Facebook this past weekend that I planned to run 31 miles to celebrate turning 31 years old, my mom commented that after my run I should eat 31 pieces of cake! I promptly revised my birthday goals to include this suggestion.
Unfortunately, I did NOT meet my cake quota (though so far I’ve had 4 pieces in 3 days, so that’s not too shabby!), but I DID run my age for the first time ever!
Peter and I drove to Bear Brook State Park on Saturday morning where we set out on the most epic birthday celebration I’ve ever experienced.
I had planned out a huge 28-ish mile loop, mostly following the course for the Bear Brook Trail Marathon that takes place in July, and we figured that at the end we’d repeat the first part of the loop to add on whatever mileage we still needed. The trails were mostly really well-marked, but we did get off course a few times, so I was glad that we had that mileage buffer.
We enjoyed a BEAUTIFUL morning with the sun streaming through the trees, lighting up the remaining foliage.
Most of the trails are in the woods, but we ran a loop around this very scenic beaver pond about halfway through.
We kept a really good pace for the first couple of hours, averaging 5.5 miles per hour. The trails were very runable with no significant climbs or technical terrain, so we hoped to complete our run in less than 6 hours if all went well.
Unfortunately, all did NOT go well at all. Partway into our 3rd hour, my stomach started rebelling. BIG TIME. As in total digestive shutdown. I felt like I was starving, but also like I would throw up if I jostled my poor bulging stomach even the tiniest bit. Wait, am I re-writing my Joe English Twilight Challenge Recap? It feels like it… :/
When I first started feeling awful–notice how far ahead of me Peter is. :/
We spent the next couple of hours crawling ever so slowly up and then down Hall Mountain. I actually stopped twice to lay down for several minutes hoping that my stomach would calm down.
No such luck. After a few pity-party tears (I was so miserable but so desperately wanted to complete this run), I finally decided we needed to bail out and make a beeline for our car.
Even with making a “beeline” we were still several miles away, but as the miles slowly ticked by I started to feel ever so slightly better. I even perked up enough to take a picture of this pretty little pond:
Soon after that I started revising our revised plan as it appeared that 31 miles was within the realm of possibility after all! We decided to continue to the car, where I could get some bread and water (I didn’t dare eat or drink anything else), and then head back out for an additional 6 miles to complete our goal of 31 for the day.
For our last stretch we chose a route that went up and down Catamount Mtn. This was a pretty short climb, but it was fairly rocky and steep, particularly near the top of the mountain. There were two lookouts at the top where we rewarded with a nice view!
We did a bit of meandering on our way back to the car to make sure we got in the appropriate mileage, and finally ended up at the parking lot by Catamount Pond about 6.5 hours after we started at Catamount Pond.
We were tired but grateful for the journey we had completed together.
Happy Birthday to Me!