Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Human Express

Thanks to everyone for your advice after my last post. I strongly considered all of the suggestions for needing rest. I did, I promise. And then I went up to Wyoming and ran 58 miles of the Pony Express Trail with Karl yesterday.

In case you haven't been following Karl Meltzer's current journey he is running the entire Pony Express route from Sacramento to St. Joseph, MO. He is currently averaging over 50 miles a day and has been at it for 28 days with only one day off. Only twice in that time has he logged less than 50 miles in a day!

It was a great day of running. Perfect weather. Really scenic views and lots of great conversation with Karl and his crew (especially Krissy who ran the last 20 miles of the day with us).

Before heading up there I thought it was very impressive what Karl was doing. Now it seems almost impossible to me. I felt good yesterday but I am tired today. Not sore, but fairly tired after running for 10.5 hours. I might go out for a short run before the sun goes down here in a few hours but if I do it'll be no more than 30 or 40 minutes. Karl? Well, he got up at 5am again today, and for the 27th time in 28 days hit the road at sunrise for about 10 hours of running! I don't know if I could have run for 10 hours again today. I probably could have but I'm not sure I would have had the mental tenacity to do so. If I found the mental strength to do this I can't imagine my body would hold up very well. My guess is that I might be able to go 4 or 5 fifty mile days in a row before my body just couldn't go anymore. Maybe a week at most. Several years ago I rode my bike across a huge portion of the country averaging 50 miles a day. I was pretty well exhausted by the end. That was on a bike. Doing this on foot just seems nearly impossible.

The crazy thing is that for Karl this seems relatively easy. He just gets up and starts going and keeps moving and then he finds himself 50 miles down the road around dinner time. After a big dinner he goes to sleep and gets up and does it all over again. Really impressive. It's one of those things that you almost have to see first hand to believe/understand. I feel fortunate that I got a chance to see it, even if I'm too tired to do much of anything today.

8 comments:

Kovas Palubinskas said...

More than physical, his mental fortitude impresses me. You might not believe you could do it, but I bet you actually could.

Anonymous said...

Karl jolts my perspective.
But lately I have had to work twice as hard because a reaction to my epilepsy meds. For the past 2 months I have been running at 90% max for 1 to 3 hours. I will work out the med thing, but my perception of effort will never go back.

Anonymous said...

Cool. Way to go Karl. Thanks for the report Geoff.

Lloyd said...

You're absolutely right Geoff, it really does seem almost impossible. I had the privilege of spending a couple of days with Karl and his crew last week. Even ran with him for a ways on Thursday (only a few miles, as I have a torn Achilles right now, and I didn't want to press my luck). I was really impressed by Karl's attitude, and even more by his mental toughness. Truly amazing. But then I guess we really shouldn't be too surprised... a guy doesn't win twenty-nine 100 milers without being pretty damn tough mentally!

five fingers said...

Absolutely right...Rest is necessary to keep us going.

smartwool said...

His really impressive. Maybe it is because of his determination to do so.

Scott Keeps Running said...

Very cool. :)

Anonymous said...

Geoff just won North Face Challenge Atlanta by an hour and a half or so.