Monday, July 16, 2012

My Birthday 50K Preview


Mmmm, cake
Thursday is my birthday.  True to middle aged** guy form, I’d rather the day pass by with as little fanfare as possible.  (Pro tip for all the guys: This is NOT the case for females. Make it an event.  Birthday weekend? Great.  Birthday week? EVEN BETTER.)  Usually, I’m okay with treating the day like any other by going on a run in the morning, going to work, and then hanging out in front of the TV with Chinese takeout watching reruns of CSI: Miami. This year however, will be a little different.  This year I turn 31.

Everyone knows that some birthdays come with major perks. 16 you can drive (or you used to be able to... now they’ve made it confusing as hell. When you turn 16, you can now drive only if it is sunny, your mom is sitting on your lap, and your cell phone is in the trunk.), 18 you can buy nudie magazines vote, 21 you can drink, and 25 your car insurance rates go down (SCORE!!).  After that, from what I can tell, it is basically a slippery slope to a trashbag full of Depends adult diapers with a few pit stops around 40 for some black “over the hill” balloons and birthday cards that make fun of how forgetful/gassy you now are.  No one associates anything with turning 31 – unless you are a crazy ultra runner.

Turns out, 31 miles*** is 50K!  While the baby distance of ultra marathons, it is still an ultra marathon in the true sense of the word. (That is, you're ultra-idiotic if you run that far) What better than to “celebrate” surviving another year by running a mile for each year of my life?....in the desert...when it is 85....and sunny...with no shade....oh god, I’m going to die.  Sign.me.up.

Hmmm, steak might be worth it....
As I was thinking about where I would run 31 miles, I thought about trying to find an ‘official’ 50K and trying to blast through it.  Unfortunately, those races are traditionally on trails.  Also traditionally on trails? Poop from ultra runners.  SNAKES! I’m not sure what scares me more, the thought of twisting my ankle on a random rock or stepping on a snake and having him sink his inch long fangs into my leg.  Since I haven’t done much trail training, I figured that it would be silly to assume that I could run that far on unfamiliar ground.  So, roads it is!  Punishing, soul crushing roads.

Essentially I’m going to run a long run and then run another long run afterwards. I'm not going to run it ultra marathon style with strange food as fuel but instead will essentially run it like I would a marathon. Also, since it will be so hot, I’m going with a loop course.  That way I can freeze a bunch of water and leave it on a corner and swing by every 4 miles or so. Some of the water will be for drinking, but I've actually been told that the true ultra runners stick it down their pants to really "feel the burn".  Who am I to argue with frozen naughty bits****? I actually tested this course out 2 weeks ago and it worked better than a 6 year old in a Nike factory.
The course. Loop baby, loop.


I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have any "goals" for this run.  While I'm not going all out like I would a race, I'm certainly going to push the pace more than I would for a normal run of the mill 7 miler.  I won't stop my watch for stoplights (which should be minimal) and I'll keep it going while I refuel.  Since my normal long run pace is 7:30/mile, I think that I could probably hold 7:45 for the duration.... which would be a 4:00 50K.

So, that is the plan this year.  I know I can do it, in fact, I’m pretty certain I could likely do it 20 minutes faster, but this time it is just a matter of how fun it will be.  But, I guess if I really don’t like it, I can just stock up on depends, black over the hill balloons, and birthday cards about how much I fart. That would be a Happy Birthday indeed.

What else should I do to celebrate turning 31?


**Now that I will be 31, am I considered middle aged?  Bleh, I think that I just made myself depressed.  Off to buy a convertible, a leather jacket, and some of those gloves with holes in the knuckles.
*** Ok ultra nerds, I know it is 31.07 miles. Yes, I will be doing the extra just like I did 1609m during my mile run.
****What does the training plan look like for freezing your man bits off?  Do I work up to ice cubes? Start with warm tea, then cool water, etc?

21 comments:

fancy nancy said...

Why didn't I think of that when I turned 31? I think I did run a half or something like that....31 backwards! I love it!

Meghan said...

I have a birthday month. Enough said.

This is perfect - I think you should freeze the Four Locos and put them at every corner. It might be the best 4 hours of your life.

Jess said...

31 is middle aged only if you plan to live to 62. I think 31 is still in the realm of spring chicken-hood.

Good luck with the ultra! Perfect way to celebrate!

Nelly said...

Every loop take at least a shot of 4 loko! lol that stuff is awful!

If you want to do something crazy, try the beer mile - 4 beers, 4 laps. I've only done it once, and it was not fun - I think I got around 14 minutes because I couldn't drink the beer fast enough and was totally full at the finish line, haha

http://www.beermile.com/

Yo Momma Runs said...

You guys have the exact same birthday balance as we do. Husband gets an off-key Happy Birthday. I get a week of the all-me-all-the-time station. It's not fair, but it's right.

Part of me wanted to say that your birthday present to yourself sounds awful. But then the other part of me put that same present on my calendar for my next birthday. You so smart!

Gracie said...

You aren't middle aged until you're 45. But that's too far to run, so I say go for the ultra and fuel with birthday cake.

M said...

I rode my bike 52 miles on my birthday....gave up running my age at 26...good luck...and HAPPY BIRTHDA!

Kathy said...

I don't feel middle aged and I'll be 52 this year. Or maybe that's just dementia? :) So far no Depends here...that i can remember...

Not So Doomed Runner said...

Dude. You are old. If you were in Europe, you could do a 31K... I wish I would have thought of something like this. No 30 for me on Thursday though.

Sue's Ramblings said...

Looking forward to your "race" recap. Maybe you should have a bib made too! Really. Seriously.

Johann said...

That looks like an awesome run to do. I love doing loop runs. I often do that for mental training...or what I think is mental training. Eish...I'm 49 in two week's time! My bets running years were age 34 - 42 so you have a lot to do still!

Betsy said...

What a great way to celebrate your 31st! I did a half for my 31st; I wish I'd thought of that. You'll do great!

I agree with you about celebrating, though. I just want my birthday to be like any other day, with maybe a little extra sleep. And a run.

Laura is Undeterrable said...

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF BIRTHDAY WEEK??????? I must now how to impart this knowledge to my husband.

BrianFlash said...

Good luck on the run!

When I turned 40, I said I had gotten halfway there. Now that I'm getting ready to turn 45, my plan is for that to be 45% of the way to completion. Still not quite 'middle-aged.'

Ax said...

When I turned 31, I spent the week running a 5k everyday. Not as crazy as a 50k, but it was still fun.

Stephanie K. said...

Too funny about the frozen man parts. it's hotter than normal here in Ohio, so I've started putting ice cubes in my sports bra! Keeps me a bit cooler!

Happy Trails,

Stephanie :)

Running Through Phoenix said...

Why don't you just strangle a prostitute like all other men do when they turn 31??

Half-Crazed Runner said...

If 31 is middle aged, I'm almost ready for death! Eeek!

MtUnpaved said...

Seriously you need to find and run a trail race. Preferably a 50K - Hills, dirt, rocks, roots and wild animals... really it doesn't get any better! I've ran 3 this year and after that road runs are just boring!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Awesome way to celebrate your birthday! Thank goodness mine is in October so I have plenty of time to debate what I am going to do.

And just in case I don't pop over tomorrow, Hau'oli la hanau and good luck, happy running, and smile!

Andy said...

I thought 35 was middle aged with the whole 3 score years and ten thing.
Having just turned 40 I'm well passed it, but I did celebrate mine by hiking a lot and playing on a rope swing.
Interesting idea about the loop running - I've been wondering how to get the distance AND the water in my long runs as I train for my first marathon. Do you keep the water in a cooler bag to keep cool?