I just completed my first 50K. Two minutes earlier and I would have finished in 8 hours and 99 minutes.
It was my second attempt, and this time I did a little more preparation than simply reading Christopher McDougall's fine book "Born To Run."
I ran miles of preparation with a lab I've nicknamed CB (Cougar Bait). I gave up coffee and my few beers. And I've realized 30 years later that I can no longer eat like a teenager.
The Siskiyou Out Back had only one time-limit cut-off, at mile 24. After that, an unrelenting climb of four miles. Fortunately, I was allowed to complete the race. Many ultras have a nine-hour limit.
I challenge anyone to exercise for nine hours, listen to the track "Blessed" by Lucinda Williams, and not be overcome with emotion. I had several moments of euphoria that even lasted into the drive home past the Rogue River.
I am most impressed with and appreciative of the people who run these races, those who prepare them and those who volunteer. They are setting some fine examples. It's a great tribe.
My kids are leaning toward joining cross country at their high school this fall. I've heard good things of the coaches and teams. Good times.
In the future, anyone who plans to propose to my daughter and wants my blessing will need to run a 50K. I want to see demonstrated proof of a work ethic, restraint, patience and commitment.
My next race follows a river, downhill. My time can only improve.
Wes Pyne is 47. He buys Epsom salt 10 boxes at a time and wants to be sponsored by a hot-tub company.