Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Dartmouth DEATH RUN

Um so you MAY recall my innocent, off-the-cusp remark about 'attempting...a long run PB of 45km (insert joyous, light-hearted exclamation mark here).' Thankfully I did cap this thought off with an 'Oh dearie.' That would be a much more fitting description of the reality of my initial attempt, henceforth known as the Dartmouth Death Run.

I went to visit my brother in Halifax for his 30th birthday last weekend. The keyword being THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY. Another important word being TRAVELLING TO HALIFAX. Ok those might be more than one word. Anyway, the point is that I forked up half of my graduate student stipend in order to go visit the fool with the only point of my visit being to celebrate with him. I also happened to have a long run scheduled for the day following the party...a 45k long run. Some would call that an ultra-marathon. Pretty awesome eh? So what was I to do? Be a sober, lame party pooper? Or do my sisterly duty and get my brother severely intoxicated? (Obviously, it is impossible to get him drunk without getting just as drunk myself). Clearly, I had no choice.

Happy Birtday Jepray!

I arrived at Porter so early this time around that I had enough time to sit in the lounge area. Imagine that, I've never actually had time to sit in the waiting area! It's a pretty nice place - big, soft chairs, coffee tables, little reading lamps, and best of all - free refreshments! Lounging there does make you feel pretty refined. I made a quick transition from sophisticated to sloppy, however, as I booted it from the airport to the bar to meet my brother. I arrived there and was greeted by him and twenty friends, all of whom I didn't know. So how do you cope with the initial awkwardness of talking to twenty strangers? Why, finish your flask of vodka and then order two martinis at dinner, of course! Yep, obviously I didn't do this...I'm just saying that would have been an easy thing to do, Rrrright. Anyway, after dins we headed to what is now one of the most amazing clubs I have ever been to. EVER. I have no idea what it was called, but we walked in - no lineup - and proceeded to pay a ONE DOLLAR cover charge. I don't think I've ever paid so little to get into a club. I spent a good two minutes staring at the woman in disbelief, waiting for her face to crack into a joking smile. Instead there was just an awkward silence. I was incredulous! In a euphoric frenzy I went straight to the bar and ordered a gazillion shots for everyone (this is how I end up saving money, not sure how I'm always broke), thinking I'd put down a good $100. Well, do you know what 10 shots cost in Hali? $20!!! I'm not kidding. I think I am going to move to Halifax, it is such a wonderful place.

We danced the night away without incident, so of course I had to make up for this on the way home. As usual, I ripped off my heels once we got out of the club (a la Shoeless Coolis, obvi) and insisted on walking barefoot (the first time I did this in Montreal I earned the nickname 'Bitch with no shoes'...from my BEST FRIEND. I think I started yelling at some people who were making fun of me across the street. Whatever, who makes fun of a poor girl without shoes?!.). I was warned against doing this again, so of course I started to stomp around barefoot proudly, promptly 'stubbing' my toe on the concrete. Everyone pretty much ignored my cries (I deserved that), until we got in the car and I lifted my foot up, which was now gushing with blood. Turns out I had actually sliced it open. Nice. When we got home, my brother's girlfriend handed me a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, which I apparently began to pour all over my feet. 'It doesn't hurt at all!" I yelled. Awesome. Unfortunately, three hours later I would wake up with a throbbing toe, a pounding headache and the spins like no other (interpretation: still drunk).

So, what do I do when my alarm goes off and I'm still drunk? Bail on the run? Of course not! 'At least,' I thought, 'I'll run off the hangover!' I got dressed and out the door by 8am, at which point I fully realized I wasn't yet quite hungover. My head was spinning and I was a mess. My plan was to go to Dartmouth, where there is a lake I could run around for up to 30km. I tried for about 20min to find the bridge to get there (in my defense, it was strangely foggy that morning...and it WASN'T just my head!). I finally figured out how to get on the pedestrian sidewalk and into Dartmouth, and after about 45min I started to feel better. My head cleared up, and my legs felt good. My stomach, however, took a turn for the worse. I stopped at a gas station, which made me feel better...for about 20min. Then the cycle began: start 10min. Stop 5min. Start 10min. Stop 5min. It was like failing the Running Room run-walk program. This continued for the next hour, until the stops became even more frequent and I felt increasingly ill. Finally, 2hrs15min into my 'run' I called it. I was done, and I wouldn't run another step. I looked around. I had ducked into some trails by the lake and had absolutely NO IDEA where I was. To make matters worse, it was 30 degrees, sunny and I had no fluids on me. Compound the fact that I had been drinking all night and had consumed exactly zero ounces of water, and you might begin to understand how dehydrated I was. Not to mention starving. So I just started walking. About 45min later, I saw a sign saying 'CAMP SCHUBE'. 'Yes! Civilization!' I yelped. I found the main office and walked in, making the woman at the front jump in horror. I must have looked like a drenched, ghostly, starving, lost wild animal. Her reaction made me question whether I had also forgotten to take last night's makeup off; perhaps I was more raccoon-like than I had thought. I asked if they had anything to drink and she quickly pointed to a fridge at the back. It instantaneously lit up like a heavenly archway. Pepsi? Lemonade? Gatorade? Orange Crush? I salivated at the sight of everything. I wanted one of each. How was I to decide? I settled on several bottles of Pepsi and Lemonade, convinced that I would be able to chug 2L on the spot. I then asked the woman how to get back to Halifax. 'There's a bus stop around the corner,' she began, 'but you have to HURRY! It will be there any minute! You have to run! Now! Go! Goooo!' She became increasingly shrill. I let out a loud belch, thanked her for the pop and lazily made my way out the door, completely ignoring her frantic cues to hussle to the bus stop. I pretty much didn't care at that point - there was no way I was running. Plus I was pretty happy with all my sugary soft drinks, which I had already began to chug furiously. I got to the bus stop and big surprise - no bus in sight. So I decided I would hitch-hike. I figured Nova Scotians were a pretty friendly bunch. So there I stood, one thumb raised into the street and the other hand lifting a bottle of Pepsi to my visage, burping and chugging away. Several cars went by, but no one stopped. I couldn't understand why, but I began to get pretty discouraged. Then, I saw a big truck in the distance - no, not a truck, it was train. No, a train wouldn't be on a road, would it? Wait, could it be a...yes! Yes it was! It was a BUS! HALLELUJAH! The bus was late! I jumped for joy. I hopped on and eventually made it back into Halifax (small town buses seem to like to take a lot of detours...). I got off at a random stop - the right one by complete fluke - and managed to find my brother's place. By this time it was almost 1pm, and my brother and his girlfriend had just woken up. I walked in and they began to shower me with congratulations 'You did it! Wow! We are so impressed you got up and did your big run!!!' At which point I had to explain to them how I was out for 5 hours and only ran for 2 of them...nice. Ashley made everything better with copious amounts of scrambled eggs and sausage, however, and soon enough I felt back to normal. If I accomplished one thing on the Darmouth Death Run, I definitely got rid of all the alcohol in my system! So at least it was good for something?

Theodore Tugboat! (Not really related to anything in this post...)

An essential visit to SWEET JANE'S. Sweet Indeed!

So last weekend being a total FAIL, I pushed the long run to this weekend. I did it yesterday and in comparison to last week, it was about one trillion billion times better. I started out around 4:45-50/km and after 25k brought it down to 4:40s, then 4:30s and finished with 9k or so at 4:20/km for 50km total. The best part was how easy it felt...umm, perhaps because I had such a horrible comparison?! This is why, my friends, training off vodka can help you in the long run (in more ways than one!).


  1. Hi Jane!

    Love your blog. Were you running on Mount Royal yesterday morning? If so, I saw you just past the statue. If not, then there just happens to be a tall, fast runner with a blond ponytail in Montreal. I used to be on the McGill track team and someone directed me to your blog. It's great to see former Martlets competing at the level you do. Which marathon are you running? Toronto? Chicago? Keep up the great work!

  2. You make me laugh out loud every time I read your blog. Please keep it coming. Although I am no where near your level, I enjoy living vicariously through you.

  3. Thanks guys! Anonymous #1 - no, that was not me on Mount Royal...though I wish it was! I miss Mtl a lot (I live in TO at the moment). I am training for Chicago. When did you graduate? Anonymous #2 - glad you are entertained by my stories. Believe it or not I didn't even exaggerate in this one! It was the most terrible run I've ever had!

  4. Wow, you are a trooper. I started reading your blog after seeing your "that's what she said" comment on Le Blog du Rob.
    Awesome posts!

  5. Thanks Lawrence! Gotta love the TWSS. Though I was a little concerned Watson's subsequent rant on inappropriate TWSS's was somehow directed at me...I pretty much whip it out at every opportunity (TWSS?!).

  6. I've been following your blog for a while now - you are truly inspiring in your dedication!! Talent + hard work will pay off in the end. Keep it up!

  7. I saw your twin in Montreal again! She's not very tall, but otherwise a dead-wringer. I'm in my fourth year at McGill. I was only on the team for a year -- I quit for some other commitments.I actually think I saw you at Cabin Grecque a few years ago for one of those epic Cabin nights (i think you were visiting? or maybe it was your twin... again?) Oddly enough,I will be in Chicago to watch my boyfriend run. I ran it last year and was registered this year but got injured. It's an awesome course (and totally flat!). Miles 14-16 are kind of barren because it's the least residential area of the city. Miles 20-26 don't have much shade, so if it's hot they can be brutal, but otherwise it's a great course and the fans are awesome. I'll make sure to cheer for you!So if you see some random person yelling Go Jane, that's me. Good luck with your training!

  8. Haha. This is amazing Jane. I hope your toe is feeling better

  9. Haha A#1...I am always in Mtl on a Cabane Grecque Night! Ooohhh how I miss the BYOW. I'm really stoked for Chicago - I hope to see you on the course at some point!
    Becky - my toe is quite awesome now, thanks!I think we need a McGill reunion in the very near future...

  10. Ha! This all sounds very hilarious and painful. The world just wouldn't be right without you shoeless-bitch-stomping all over it. Thank you for being you, Janers

  11. Mikki! How nice to hear from the creator of my shoeless nickname! I MISS YOU...glad you are checking in on me from time to time ;). xoxo