Boogie Marathon, Ellerbe, North Carolina

June 11, 2016 - This is a home-cooked event put on by Doug Dawkins every year to benefit
the Bethel Baptist Church off Grassy Island Road, consisting of a 6-mile road loop and a 4-mile
out-and-back road section.  Twice I have come out for this evening run, once to pace Eric 
Fogelman for his final twenty miles of 50 and then again last year to put in a solid 20-mile 
training effort.  It is sweaty hot and lots of local fun.  I came back again this year largely for 
society; I just like the people, many of who have become friends.  The picture above from last 
year shows me at the start, left of center with backwards hat, heading out with Tyler Peek.

It was another sweaty affair with starting temps right at 94 degrees with feels-like temps 
somewhere higher.  The lot of us headed out after Doug's pre-race words and a prayer, without
much hurry.  Only a couple fifty-milers began with much speed; the rest of us rolled down
the starting grade before the marathoners would make a split from the ultra runners to add a
.2-mile dog-leg at the start.  Given a general lack of energy of late with some recovering
injuries from my 100K effort of three weeks previous, I felt like I started fine at nearly a
ten-minute tempo.  Not too slow, not too fast.  With the entire 50-mile field to catch up to
on the first lap, there was always a target of opportunity ahead to zero in on and retrieve.

Given the heat and humidity I drank early and often, replacing my empty bottle with a full one
as I ran back past my truck at six miles.  All was good through the second out-and-back of
four miles down to the creek.  My body was comfortable with the temperatures and the effort.
Stopping by the truck again while heading into my second ten-mile round I downed an Ensure
for nutritional support.  Ensure is something I am experimenting with again.  It has been
working in training, but the heat and the Ensure didn't mix well.  For the following ten miles
I experienced stomach issues from the Ensure, necessitating a pullback in pace until the
matter settled.

Even when you are feeling fine you know the heat is taking its toll on your body - especially
a used-up one like mine.  Since it was only a 26-mile effort all I could do was just bide my 
time and wait to feel more like running.  With my head down and patience I was able to slog
through 16 miles without walking.  After that I walked just to relax stomach and leg muscles,
since there really was no urgency time-wise to go faster.  With intermittent walking I gave
up twenty minutes or so during the last ten miles to finish in a pedestrian 5:26.

My legs, especially my knees, are not very fond of the roads, so I was a bit sore from the 
pounding with less-cushioned road shoes.  The heat led to some muscle cramping with all
the sweating, but nothing that would stop me short.  I cannot say I am satisfied with the
effort, but I didn't really have any expectations, so it was all good.  The social atmosphere
here is always nice, so I was glad I came and participated.  Will have to experiment further
with the Ensure, but will be hesitant to give it a go again if the temps are too warm.  Not
too many things worse than an upset tummy when you are trying to run.