Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How I Roll

I realized how my trail runs have prepared me for long distance driving - it's all about continuous forward progress; stay fueled and, most importantly, alert, and you will reach your destination.

I started off Saturday at 4pm. I had a great nutritional system going to stay fueled for the entire trip. I started by alternating a granola bar and an apple every hour. I had my drinks, too.. water and a protein shake.

I knew at some point I needed real food, but there's not much open along the Penn Turnpike at midnight. I settled for a milkshake and a veggie burger from Burger King. Not stuff I'd normally eat, but the bod needed something 'solid'. The milkshake was generic and I can't even describe the veggie burger. First off, it was from BK.. that should say a lot there. Second, I try to be a stickler about my veggie stuff, so I asked that it be microwaved - didn't want it on the broiler with the real meat stuff. Again, that should tell you something about the quality of said burger. Third, I should've asked for 'no mayo'. When I saw the knife dip into and out of the large vat o' goo, I knew this was going to be an experiment. I took the burger and tried to wipe off as much mayo as I could before heading out to the car to eat. I'm a freak of an eater and I didn't want to subject the other midnight diners to my idiosyncrasies.

I must say, the first bite was decent. Not as bad as expected. I had one of these burgers in the BWI airport back in 2002 or so when they first came out. There was enough lettuce and tomatoes to cover up the taste. Second bite, I realized why it had been since 2002 since I last had one. Third bite, I finally looked at what I was eating. The mayo I couldn't wipe off was dripping down my hand, I saw a pickle (I don't like pickles), and there was something sticking out of the burger. It looked like a mushroom - I don't like mushrooms - but I couldn't tell for sure. I pulled that out, as well as whatever pickles I could find, and tried to finish eating it. Fourth bite, I couldn't take it anymore. I was too worried about what else was in the burger that no amount of lettuce or tomatoes or even ketchup could cover up the taste.

Then it was all about survival. I didn't know what my body needed, so I tried everything - pop, Pop-tarts, bagels, Gatorade, etc. I must've been low on calories to start. I did a 17 mile trail run in the morning, so I don't think I properly refueled before hopping in the car. So wrong of me.

I finally reached my destination 11 hours after starting. I was tired, full, a bit delusional, but elated.

Who knew sitting for so long could be so tiring. I would've rather been running for 11 hours than sitting.

Sick, I know, but that's how I roll..


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