Joggling Lap 2
Just after lap 2 started, we picked up another bike spotter, John Kelly. He stayed with us the entire way after that. He also witnessed drop number 2 which happened 2:50 into the race. I don’t know why it happened. My right hand was in the right spot, but the bean bag hit my finger and tumbled to the ground. I stopped, grunted loudly and picked up the bag. Pain resonated throughout my body. As I walked back behind the drop line I took a deep breath and exhaled. This helps you get rid of pain.
Of the three laps, this felt the hardest. The wind constantly lashed hard and numerous joggling adjustments were required. Each stride brought more pain, but I kept up the pace. My bike spotters continued with encouragement which helped immensely. But what helped the most on that lap was when I came over the hill and saw my friends and family amassed at 31st street. A tingling sensation started from the back of my head and ran through my entire body. It energized me and almost made me cry. I was so touched and happy that they came out and braved the cold, cloudy weather just to cheer me on.
I stopped briefly to say hi and refuel. In this race more than any before, refueling had an immediate, noticeable effect. Also, you don’t feel the same same sense of urgency as you do in a marathon. I never like to stop in marathons but in the ultra, I stopped at every refueling station. Never for more than a minute but always for some time.
In lap 2, I first saw the girl in green. One of her friends riding along side her slowed to talk to us. He said she was doing her first 50 miler after already conquering the marathon. I was just impressed how strong she looked. Her pace was only a bit quicker than mine so I tried to keep up.
On the second pass of my cheering section, the crowd was even bigger. I was elated. My brother jogged along and told me how great I was doing. He started taking photos so I straightened up to put on a good show. My parents and sister and friends were all there. The pain got worse so I downed a couple of painkillers (ibuprofen), and popped a cough drop to fight a persistent sore throat.
“How ya’ doin’?” I heard.
“I’m good. In pain, but feeling good,” was all I could muster.
By the time we reached the end of lap 2, I had been joggling longer than ever 5 hours, 27 min. To kick off the final lap, I ran under the finish line, threw a bean bag over the banner and joggled on. The crowd went nuts! I had three hours to finish 16 miles, catch the girl in green and break the world record.