Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Run2Philly - Preview

"What are you? Dumb?" - My loving sister

That's about as accurate an interpretation as any.

I'm leaving at 1:30AM tonight for a quiet 34 mile quest from my doorstop to Philly.
Arrival at the Please Touch Museum.
Trying to get there in time for the 9AM "Run with Dean 5K," one of the final stops in Dean Karnazes' Run Across America.

He has been running across the country to raise money and awareness for Action for Healthy Kids.
Get our kids up and moving. Eating healthy.
Basically rejecting the USA culture that wants us to gather the family in front of the TV and pass around a bag of potato chips.

We do our best at home. And the Action for Healthy Kids organization puts programs in place to help kids across the country.

I've read Dean's blog and followed him on Facebook. He has many accomplishments under his belt and he is always finding some cool new challenge.

I thought it was great when he accounced the Run Across America.
When they offered a 5K in Philadelphia, 1 of only a dozen across the country, I signed up right away.

A few days later on Facebook, Dean offered the following message:
“I hope you’ll meet me at one of the 5K’s when I Run Across America. For permitting reasons, runners can only join me at one of the sanctioned 5K’s. For those of you who want to go farther, I suggest running some great distance to the start of the 5K. I can’t wait to hear the stories!”

A few clicks later on Google Maps, I had a route and a vague belief I could run to Philly.

Some fun tidbits about the run's logistics:
  • Run 5+ miles to Business Rt. 30
  • Run a marathon along route Rt. 30
  • Then depart Rt. 30 for a few miles into Fairmount Park
  • Route 30 is a "mother road" that itself goes across the country. Fun Wikipedia reading
  • Towards the end of the run, there are a few not-so-nice neighborhoods
    • Hence I bought some pepper spray today
    • And will probably spray myself by accident
  • My fuel will be gatorade and gummy worms
    • The kids saw all of the candy and now associate "Running = Candy" Great!
  • I've only worn the CamelBak hydration pack once. And now I'm gonna wear it for 7 hours or so. Should provide some terrible chafing
  • I should have been asleep 30 minutes ago
The trip would not be nearly as approachable were it not for my friend Bob who will drive along the route with me for 3+ hours. There are some stretches of Rt. 30 that are just not pedestrian friendly.

The best part about running Rt. 30 is that it takes you down the Main Line. Nice areas, should produce some good pictures. If the sun is out.

Sunrise is just before 6AM by the way.
At that time, Bob can go get some shut eye and I will have about 10 miles left to go.

34 miles is rather intimidating but I have looked at it in 2 ways:
1. I ran 31 miles on my birthday 2 months ago (though it feels like a lifetime ago). A few more miles can't be THAT bad.
2. 34 miles is 4 loops in the 20in24. Good practice!

I am not sure why some runners have a desire to run far.
I am not sure what holds the average runner back.

At this point in my simple running career it's pretty clear that cardiovascularly, you know like heart and lungs, you should be able to run forever.
But, here are the things that can go wrong:
  • Dehydration. Temperatures will be cool and I'll have plenty of Gatorade, which Bob will carry in his car! And the CamelBak loaded with 32oz of water
  • Pain. Oh the legs, or feet, or joints. They can all start to hurt pretty bad
  • Bullshit injuries. Spraining an ankle in a hole or something weak like that
  • Blisters. You'd be surprised how crippling they can be
  • Cramps. Not stomach cramps, really. Those are cute. Leg cramps can shut you down. Usually related to dehydration or a fueling insufficiency
I'll have blister pads to address any hotspots. A sprain will end my run.
I'll try to walk through any cramps.

Worst case, I have a train schedule with me. Septa runs along Rt. 30 and I can confidently catch a train any time between 6:30AM and 7:30AM and still make the race. Though I might not have enough money to get back home.

As for running with Dean. That will just be, um, spectacular.
He's a running rockstar, and he's sacrificed nearly 3 months of his life for this Run Across America.
It will be great to show support beyond clicking "Like" on a FB post.

And when it's all done.
I want to chill in the Please Touch Museum and exhaust their supply of chocolate milk.
Walk through the city, catch a train home.
And then run a few miles home.

I'll be a real pleasure around the house tomorrow afternoon!

Thanks to everyone for your support. You're welcome to join me next time!
And if you're slacking tomorrow, watch Regis and Kelly, maybe you'll see us Live!


Anne said...

That is crazy! ...and amazing! I can't wait to read all about! I'm in awe that you are even considering doing this. Go Mike :)

Lindsay said...

Wow. I would have considered it if I was closer... Not quite 34, that intimidates me! But def a cool idea - I just wouldn't actually follow through on it. I mean, I can barely make myself do a 15mi run in marathon training! :)

Dear kids,
Running also = m&m's ....

Denise said...

how cool is this?!?!? i knew dean was doing this but didn't know about the 5k in philly. i might have signed up myself! can't wait to hear all about this!! good luck!

Anonymous said...

Super fun! I hope you will give a play by play update!

ihaverun said...

I'm kind of with your sister on this one. You are one crazy runner. But I can't wait to hear all about it!!!

And forget Dean. Regis and Kelly should be talking to you. You rock!!