It’s amazing how much of a motivator boredom can be.  In the depths of this pandemic, a ray of hope dashed across my screen in the form of a virtual race. Jason Green with the Yeti Trail Runners came up with the Yeti 24 Hour Challenge. Running 5 miles, every 4 hours, for 24 hours. 6 total laps.

And that’s how I found myself toeing the starting line in front of my house at 1pm on Friday.  The first 5 miles were easy, of course. I was back home at my aid station in under an hour. Shoveling food into my face to digest before the next round.

5pm and it’s Round 2, the fearless Radar the Danger Dog paced me through this lap. Faster than the first by a bold 60 seconds.

Now, this is where things started to go awry. I came home from this lap and gobbled down some asian noodles. Delicious. Peppers, onions, soy sauce. All amazing. However, not really the most easily digestible meal.

By the time the 9pm round came around, the food was just sitting at the top of my stomach, coming along for the ride. My pace dropped as I tried to minimize the sloshing of my stomach. In addition to my stomach, my hips and legs were making their feelings known about not being consulted before we signed up for this endeavor. I ended up walking the last mile in, hoping that would help my food digest some before I dropped into bed within minutes of getting home.

3:00am start, dinner is still at the top of my stomach. Radar the Danger Dog paced/protected me through the late night miles. She eyed my stomach curiously, noting the noises that were coming from it. In spite of it all, my legs felt better on this round and my hips had stopped aching. I was also, surprisingly alert for it being the middle of the night. Home again within the hour and collapsing into bed. I had to jump back out within minutes as my body heat dropped dramatically and I was freezing.

I woke up naturally at 6:30am. My body felt relaxed and my mind was zen. I knew ahead of time that I wanted to take it easy this round so that I could finish strong. With the sun shining, my wonderful partner Elaine joined me for a nice stroll through the first 2.5 miles. The city was quiet still. I dropped Elaine back off at the house, turned on the most recent episode of My Favorite Murder and knocked out the last 2.5 miles quickly.

Home again for a quick breakfast and that sweet nectar of life, coffee. I had originally planned to east from 9am to 12pm and then knock out the last 5 miles in the 24th official hour. However, my body was ready and my mind was ready to knock it out so at 10:45am, I laced up my sneakers and was out the door. My stomach felt great, my hips were fine and while my legs were tired, I kept a solid pace the whole time and this ended up being my 3rd fastest loop.

Whew. This was certainly an interesting way to structure 30 miles. I would say it’s definitely easier to do it all at once. The stopping and starting plays tricks on your mind and body so that you’re never really able to get into a groove.