Posted: June 27, 2013 by smrtnsasy in Uncategorized
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aid station

aid station

Sometimes, we have to go against all popular thinking on certain things.  In this case, it was related to my Trion Track 50-Mile Run.  I did this run on the community track in Trion, Georgia on Sunday evening, June 23, 2013.  I started at 9:06 pm under the ballyhooed  “super moon’s” second night.  This was just a training run, all be it a little out of the ordinary being on the track.  It was not a race or even a group run, just an individual running on the track.

The “against the grain” action involved my pre-event meal just one hour before I started my run.  Instead of the traditional carbohydrate meal at about two to two-and-a-half hours before, I chose McDonald’s Big Mac Meal at one hour before.  This meal was more fat laden than carbo loaded. This resulted in a very full feeling in my gut when I started.

My thinking was that as the run progressed, I would start deriving energy from Big Mac’s fat.  I started the run with the adage, “Go slow to go fast,” in my mind and continued taking left turns throughout the night.  I was wearing Newton Gravitas shoes for my second long run in them.  I was hoping they would feel as good as they did in the first long run, 100 miles.

The weather was great for such a run.  The sky darkened to show the “super moon” among scattered clouds.  The dark was pushed back by the track lights and the moonlight.  The temperature at the start was about seventy-four degrees and dropped to the high sixties later into the night.  It felt good throughout the run.

I felt very comfortable in the first twenty-eight miles while drinking from my aid station which consisted of my cooler on a picnic table and a chair beside it.  I drank water, grapefruit juice, and Coke.  All these worked fine in battling thirst and energy depletion.  Also, my daughter, Season, had brought me a bean burrito that was supposed to be a black bean burrito, but Taco Bell messed up on that one.  I planned to eat the burrito during the last half of the run for energy.  After mile thirty-two, I found out that my bean burrito was an imposter.  Still, I ate the burrito, and my energy level was sufficient for the rest of the run.

I had a little right Achilles tendon irritation in the last fifteen miles.  I considered turning and going the opposite direction on the track (taking right turns) to see if it would alleviate the problem.  But, I continued in the same direction…Why, I don’t know.  But, there must have been a reason that seemed like a good idea at the time.

zooming by

zooming by

While running alone with my thoughts around the track, I was visited by ghosts of people I had known growing up in this town.  The track was ringed with crosses bearing the name, rank, and military branch in which individuals served.  This was a holdover from Memorial Day when they were accompanied by U.S. flags.  Now, only the crosses remained.

I would see names of those whom I knew.  Visions of the person crowded my mind.  Incidents placing them and me in a moment in time was like a snapshot from the past.  I could hear them, hear and smell the surroundings of the time, and immediately be worm-holed back to that scene.  Some were multiple happenings because of the continued relationship with the individuals…such as the three coaches I had whose names appeared and their ghosts kept visiting.  Or, maybe, it was the lap after lap after lap of running.

running with granddog, Zane

running with granddog, Zane

uh-oh, someone is cheating...ran across the field

uh-oh, someone is cheating…ran across the field

I had spent hours on the track running lap after lap and got to the point when other track participants who were there jogging and walking or playing around in the grass infield began to drift away.  I was soon to be completely alone with my running, the moon, and the ghosts.  Getting used to this condition, I was surprised a few times by someone showing up at odd hours like 12:45 a.m. or 2:37 a.m. or 3:10 a.m.  They would come to the track, walk or jog one or a couple of laps and then disappear.  I would always wonder what motivated these people to come to the track at the odd time.  Also, what was behind their one or two lap walk or jog?

That quickly passed.  I was again alone running toward fifty miles.  Watching the moon.  Waiting for the sun.  Fifty-miles done.  Everything was fine.


Finish 50 Miles = 200 Laps

                                                                                                                Richard Westbrook


                    “Help! I don’t know where I am. It’s dark and I can hear laughter.”

                                                                                       Byron Backer,


  1. smrtnsasy says:

    Or maybe you chose the Big Mac because there was really no food at my house. LOL. You definitely wore Zane out. He laid down on the walk home, less than 400 meters and had trouble getting up the next day…very stiff.

  2. Dot Thompson says:

    Great Read!

  3. Kirk Singleton says:

    Sharing this and hopefully motivating my soldiers to run more.

  4. David Warady says:

    You’re an animal. Giving up a night of cable TV, NCIS, HGTV, ESPN, CHOPPED, AMERICAN IDOL, to run 50 miles with the nocturnal Artesians. Fat loading, in my humble (lol) opinion, is a valid strategy for longer ultras, multi days,… Prepping for TransAm, I did a 6-day prep race and ate 6-8 orders of bacon from Denny’s every morning before I started. Then, during TA, fat laden, peanut butter & cashews were my primary aid food. Of course, I would never follow that regime for marathon distances or shorter. Anyway, Animal, great read, thanks.

    • rlhwestbrook says:

      I remember those peanut butter and cashews sandwiches on the TA. I figured it was just one of those left coast things. Obviously, it worked well for you. I was sticking with milk, regular an chocolate. As always, good hearing from you. (Did I really say that?)

  5. David Warady says:

    Brothers from different Mother’s, obviously.

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