Monday, December 7, 2009

What does it feel like to run 70 km in one day?

Well, I am now in a position to answer that question... It feels great, when you're done. Before that, it feels pretty crappy in the last couple of hours. On Sunday November 29th, Nolin, one of the guys from the Running Room running club, casually asked me if I felt like participating in a charity event on the following Friday that implied running all day and raising money to fight poverty in Trois-Rivieres, a city about 140 km east of Montreal. I asked Alex if she was up for a day trip and we decided to do it. Nolin told me you run as much as you want and when you get tired, you hop on the bus that follows the runners. He explained that you can run as much as 84 km. I figured I would run as long as possible.

When we arrived in Trois-Rivieres, we were given "Noel du Pauvre" T-shirts and little banks to collect money for the charity. There were about 15 runners at the beginning of the day and we were told to go into all the small businesses on our way and collect for the cause. I was astounded at how well this worked! People in Trois-Rivieres are quite generous. I collected more than just small change, including 20$ bills. Alex was recruited into driving the sweeper minivan and, although she was told someone would eventually take over, she drove that van for the full 9 hours! She definitely made her contribution to the cause.

As for the actual running, it was slow going with all the stops to collect money. However, by lunch time we had run about 28 km. There was a mix of hard-core marathoners and weekend runners, but everyone was able to actually run. There was a 40 km loop we were supposed to do twice. We were told the second loop would be faster because we wouldn't be collecting money at that point. We had to be at a telethon at 7:00 pm, so I knew there was no way we would complete over 80 km by that time.

We were joined by other runners throughout the day. Nolin ran almost the whole time, taking only short bus breaks. As we got to the final two hours, I figured out that only one other guy and myself had run the whole distance. The other guy was Patrick, a veteran marathoner with a best time under 2:50 (that is quite fast!). By 5:00 pm, I figured I might as well hang in there until the end, even though my calves were sore, as was my right knee. Cardio-wise, I was doing OK, as we never really went that fast. In the end, Patrick and I both made it and the bus odometer showed that we had gone 71 km.

We grabbed a shower at the local university and went out for dinner with the group of runners at a lovely pub called the Gambrinus (owned by one of the hard-core runners). We had to fiugre who was going to drive on the way home... Nolin had run 65 km and was not in much better shape than I was. I couldn't very well ask Alex to drive after she had driven for 9 hours in the sweeper van. As a result, I ended up driving us home. I guess I was still on the high from the run, as I never felt tired.

I am very happy with the way the day went. That run qualifies as the hardest thing I have ever done, physically, in my life.

Otherwise, I have been running with the gang from my local Running Room every Wednesday and Sunday (I took yesterday off, figuring I had deserved it). I am in pretty good shape.

My men's basketball team is on a roll, as we have won our last three games. I am playing pretty well, especially on defense.

The girls' team (Reine Marie Diamonds) finally won a game! It was a convincing win as well, 48-24, and not against the worst team either, as the losing team had one win and two losses before our meeting (we had four losses at that point). I hope that the girls see this as a turning point in their season.

Car wise, not much has gone on. Pascal has my race car at his place and will be working on it in his spare time.

Carl bought a new Evo. I am really jealous, but could never justify the expense of a new car, no matter how droolingly cool it was. Still, nice car. It made me check out the cost of used Evo's in the USA. Still too expensive!

Cool cars spotted:
Ferrari 360
Ferrari F430
De Tomaso Pantera GTS
Lotus Exige
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Audi R8
Audi RS4
Audi S6
Cadillac XLR
Nissan GTR
Nissan Skyline GTR R32
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 1
Bentley coupe
Maserati GT
Aston Martin DB9