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A Painful and Shitty Trail Run

Painful Shitty Trail Run Brian Kondas

On Sunday, January 1, 2023, at 1:25 PM, I start my long, painful, and shitty trail run at Starkey Wilderness Park. It’s a warm, pleasant day with sun and clouds. My Garmin Connect app reports a temperature of 81 degrees (F).

Trail Running Gear

I wear blue New Balance 880 running shoes. The Garmin Connect app reports my shoe’s mileage is approaching 300 miles. The shoe starts losing it’s cushioning at 200 miles, so I prefer to run on the softer, sandy trails.  

On the trail run, I bring the following gear:

  • Nathan 2-liter hydration vest filled with Gatorade Endurance
  • Six Cliff energy gels with 25 mg of caffeine
  • Additional 1.5-liters of Gatorade Endurance

I will track my distance, time, pace, and heart rate during the trail run using the Garmin Forerunner 55 watch. 

Marathon Training Plan

This long trail run is to prepare for my upcoming Clearwater Running Festival marathon race. It will be my second marathon, and my goal is to finish in under 4 hours. The 80/20 marathon training plan distance is 21.7 miles. It is the single longest run in the level 2 plan, and the estimated duration is 3:28:03. 

The heartrate-based training plan is as follows:

  1. Warm-up for 1 km at 110-124 bpm (Zone 1)
  2. Active run for 34 km at 124-138 bpm (Zone 2) pacing so that I could speed up at the end of the run if I chose to

The planned average plan is 9:34 minutes per mile. 

My Trail Running Plan

I got lost the last two times I ran the hiking trails at Starkey Wilderness Park. So today, I plan to run the 3-mile wilderness loop to avoid getting lost. My trail running plan is to run just over seven three-mile loops.

The First Hour

Starring at the Corral parking lot, I exit my vehicle and take a selfie (photo above). After running for only 3:30, I need to urinate. Then, I step off to the side of the trail and piss next to a bush.

I finish my 1 km warm-up at 7:05 with an average heart rate of 115 bpm. For the next two miles, my average pace is 9:43 per mile. My Garmin GPS shows my first loop at 2.64 miles (less than 3 miles).

On my second loop, my pace slows to about 10:20 for miles 4 through 6. Approaching the return loop at mile 4, I feel intestinal distress. As I round the turn, I start looking for a place to shit.

At 40:44, I step off the trail and into the brush. Pulling my shorts and underwear down to my knees, I squat as soft feces flow out my anus. A minute later, I’m back running on the trail.

On my third loop, I hit my first hour at 5.48 miles.

The Second Hour

At one hour and fifteen minutes (1:15:00), my intestines begin to ache again. I feel a sharp pain, and I start to walk. A minute later, I hide behind a bush and defecate. 

Then, I walk, and my intestines still hurt. So, over the next three minutes, I enter and exit the trail twice, crapping as I go. Then I hear the voice of people approaching. 

Quickly, I pull up my shorts and walk back on the trail. Then, a man and a woman with hiking poles pass me. I think, “this is a shitty trail run.” Finally, I start running again and complete the third loop (mile 8) at a 10:33 pace (a minute slower than planned). 

In the fourth loop, I slow my pace keeping my heart rate just above 125 bpm. My average pace for the next two miles:

  • 10:43 for mile 9
  • 10:38 for mile 10

As I finish my fourth loop, I feel pain in my left ankle. 

Fifth and Final Trail Loop

I walk and think about my first upcoming trail race. The Long Haul 100 will be 12.5 miles on January 14, 2023. I will push through one more loop and complete a half-marathon trail run to prepare for this race. 

At 11.8 miles, the pain is severe, and I start walking. At mile 12, I reach the return loop and jog slowly. Quickly the pain returns, and I walk again. Then I’m back to a slow jog. My pace for mile 12 is 11:38. 

From miles 12.5 to 13, it hurts to jog slowly. I manage to shuffle ten steps, then I stop and walk. Finally, I very slowly shuffle the last .3 miles to the finish. 

I complete this painful and shitty 13.4-mile trail run in 2 hours and 26 minutes. My average pace is 10:55, and my heart rate average is 126 bpm. 

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