After three weeks of staying inside and being inactive, I went to Tyrone, PA and had a weekend of just to run. It was one of my first running camp ever. Unofficial running camp. The RD said most people only run for one day, but my friend and I stayed the whole weekend (I arrived on Saturday night).
I have been very low key after getting back from Atlanta. First was the self quarantine, but after that was done, I was just low in energy and motivation. I found excuses not to run every day either due to the heat, or not enough time, or rain. Can you believe we had thunderstorm every evening last week? And every day was 100 degree?
I went to Camp Anderson this Saturday and Sunday. It was a virtual run. They called it run your own race RYOR (like bring your own beverage). The race was organized by the Allegeny Running Club. This was their second year hosting. Unfortunately due to COVID the event has to be virtual.
We all picked a day to go there and run. Most would pick a weekend. I think there were 30 plus people signed up. With this past weekend being the last weekend of July, a lot more people showed up. We had a night of free camping too.
It was a tight knit community. My friend is from Morgantown, WV and he was there was there after work on Friday. He brought couple of his people up from West Virginia. He was posting on his facebook page about doing loops at 3 AM. I like running friends like that – just going and run in the middle of the night or at any hours. I was so excited. That is the crazed passion I have and Aaron was one of the first people I met who shares the same craziness like me.
Our race does not require us to start at a particular time. It was an endurance race. We could do a 3 hour, 6 hour or 12 hour run. It just required us to run the time in a single event. Majority chose to do the 12 hour. My friend did the 12. He started at 11 PM on Friday and ran to 11 AM the next day. He was the only one doing it in the middle of the night. The rest went to sleep. Night time running was hard and I found that out when I arrived on Saturday evening and had my own night time running.
I arrived late because I was dragging my foot the whole saturday morning. I finally got into my car by noon and it took about 4 hours to get to Pennsylvania but I ran into heavy traffic on my way out of town. I was falling asleep behind the wheel. After couple pit stops for coffee, I arrived at the camp. I started my run at 6 pm, planning to run till midnight.
Aaron was still there. He joined me on my first loop around the camp because I said I didn’t have the course map. He said, he would guide me for my first loop. That was amazing endurance for him haven’t been sleep for more than a day and has done 12 hour run the previous night and was still out there to do a loop with me. I am telling you it was not easy. The course was not easy either.
The course is over all was not the most difficult one I have done. It was about two miles long, which is not bad…shortest ultra course ever. The first mile is just running around the field. I know. When I first signed up, my thought was this is like in elementary school where we had to run around the field to do our mile. How can that be fun? Now years later, we consider that is enjoyable given there are 10-15 people cheering you each time you pass by.
The second mile is climbing a ridge. It is not the highest ridge I ever climbed. It is just couple hundred feet. The first few times, you can run it but as the night progressed, running became walking/crawling. The elevation wears your muscle out. I am all sore after two days of doing this.
By the 7th loop, I said to myself I don’t think I can do any more. The heat got to me. I was running much faster than I thought. I pushed on doing the 8th loop. When I reached the top of the climb I felt light headed. And after taking several steps, I felt naseated and I started throwing up. Everything came pouring out. That was the end of the night for me. I felt better actually now but I felt it was wise to call it a night. I only finished 4 hours.
I stayed for the night. The next morning I felt better. More people came. We started early. I tried again to run my 6 hours. I did it this second time with no problem. After four laps, I was basically crawling. My goal was only to do eight. I was much weaken because I did not eat the night before. I know too not having run for three weeks, my cardio strength has declined. I did pull 10 laps by the 6th hour and finished before the heat of the day kicked in. My last lap did not count because I came in after the 6th hour but I am happy nonetheless. It was hard with the heat and climb.
Mileage wise it was not a lot. 20 miles in 6 hours? Normally that is a time for a marathon or a 50k. I take the 20 mile this time.
I stayed for the rest of the day to watched people struggled their remaining 12 hours. The final field was only four people. One was struggling quite badly at the final two hours. The day was hot. I passed by a bank on my way home, the temperature showing there was 99 degree, and at that time it was past 6 pm. The temperature must be over 100 during the afternoon. I think one runner was suffering from heat exhausion (like I did the night before).
It was a wonderful weekend for me. Camping, running, meeting new people. I felt it was one amazing weekend.