#GameCargoFitness: Running 30-Miles in One Day (Pre-July 2020)

Quick Trail/Park Selfie

What’s four miles more than an average marathon? After all, I had already completed one, which was 2019’s Fort4Fitness race. While an extra forty minutes didn’t seem like much, the real challenge was ultimately running alone for close to seven hours on the trails and streets of my city in Indiana while bearing this summer day’s ninety-degree weather. I wasn’t looking forward to the heat, however, the following days would have been a lot hotter in comparison, so I decided to free up my schedule on a Tuesday so that I would have as much time as I needed to prepare and take necessary breaks. My alarm clock was set and I hit the hay early that previous night.

At 6 AM, I stocked my running backpack with a single water bottle (since the five-mile mark has a gas station that I typically refuel at), a plastic bag full of dehydrated tangerine wedges, a small notepad with a pen for any ideas that pop inside of my head, ChafeZone Skin Protectant Stick (Highly recommended), my wallet, keys, headband, and an extra pair of Bluetooth earbuds (which, thankfully, I did not need). After having some of my protein mix and a couple of salted microwaved avocados, I was off to begin my journey at 8 AM! Hilariously, it rained for all of a minute, but I was determined to complete my run, even if it was pouring. Luckily, I didn’t have to contest with that, on top of the humidity.

The occurring thoughts that I meditated on were pretty much what I typically have come to expect during sessions. My mind will keep myself distracted by giving me a mock interview about a project, putting together “pieces of a puzzle” that I may not have gathered in the moment of a situation, concepts that I’m fully fleshing out as time goes on, lyrics that I will craft (I once formed an entire song and remembered the lines to it when I returned home), or imagine myself in a training montage (this happens a lot). I tend to use the word “push” regarding how we motivate ourselves, but the truth is, I “bully” myself because that’s how my ego kicks in so that I have a reason to strive to prove those who doubt my capabilities wrong. Rather than internalize my anger, I make it work for me and that’s why I can be as calm as many say that I am.

My taste in music mostly reflects this. I will listen to Ice Cube, DMX, Onyx, Run the Jewels, Apathy R.A. the Rugged Man and Xzibit, for example, when I want to get a fire started. As the flames cool down, I may vibe to Lupe Fiasco, Drake, Maxo Kream, Little Simz, or LL Cool J. Depending on my mood, my playlist choice might grow tired of Hip-Hop and I’ll be tuning in to other genres such as blues, jazz, ragtime or some classical. On paths that seem like long stretches, I love rock and metal. The band ‘Skindred’ makes me feel alive! The same goes for Ice-T’s ‘Bodycount’, Papa Roach, Molotov (Specifically their album ‘Apocalypshit’), or Lenny Kravitz’ “Love Revolution”! Very rarely will I listen to a podcast, because not only do I need a beat to pace myself to, but I normally save them for drives to and with my significant other.

Back to the run! Once I passed the five-mile mark, I did begin to have an upset stomach, and the feeling of something” knocking on the door” increased until I, fortunately, arrived at a porta-potty at the ten-mile mark. I honestly did not think that I would make it I can see why some marathon runners wear diapers. Personally, I can’t do it, but I am not shaming anyone who chooses to. Once I finished dropping a few pounds, I was back in the game! Three miles left until I reached the Y, and when I did, met up with many other runners enjoying the scorching hot afternoon. Moving past the facility was a fire station and another park before I entered what I like to call “Private Property galore” territory. Large magnificent looking houses and communities owned or populated by rich snooty White people. Of course, I plan to own one of these in the future, but the energy that was given off felt as though the area wanted to say “You don’t belong here, boy!” on behalf of its people. I’m normally praised, given “hellos” or at least a head nod by most people I come across, so I made sure to be friendly and turn around at the fifteen-mile mark instead of lollygagging. Now, I could have been just a [rightfully, given our racial climate] paranoid Black man, but I’m a firm believer in trusting your intuition.

On my way back, I did need to stop at the Y to use their porta-potty (again) and took a short break to eat my dehydrated tangerine wedges. What happened next was quite irritating! I accidentally spilled the remaining pieces of my snack on the ground, so there went half of what I had saved up to this point. Not only that, but I was also running low on water bottles that I had purchased from the gas station previously. I needed to conserve what I still had until I reached that gas station again. I consider myself blessed that there was a cool chill that carried me before I did, so I didn’t need to drink as much. With five-miles left to conquer, I continued to maintain decent movement. One of my thighs began to throb, so I took it easy for a minute. Always trust your body! For me, I couldn’t let the fact that I was in very familiar territory slow me down. That said, I didn’t want to be in excruciating pain when I woke up either. Letting myself recover the best that I can is more important than beating a time.

Two-miles left and the park near my apartment complex is busy, so I had a lot of encouragement as I ran through to finally stop at my destination. Where I started. Home. As soon as I exited my shower, I changed the sheets and passed out in bed. Psychologically, it was the challenge that I was “warned” of prior to running my first marathon. I went through a range of emotions and even doubted myself. I “bullied” myself into not quitting. The guilt of not finishing would have been worse. I can’t ever settle for merely trying, which might be a fault of mine, to a degree, but it serves its purpose. I’m undecided on whether to participate in an ultramarathon (50-miles max) because of the boatload of projects that I’m responsible for. It certainly is on the table though.

“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” — Jesse Owens