This is probably the longest post I have ever written. Hopefully I don’t bore you with the details. You might be better off saving this as a bathroom read. Hoping the pictures will break up the monotony of my writing.
When I woke up on race day I was anxious. I had everything laid out but I couldn’t get my act together. So, I started with coffee. For me, coffee gets “things” moving in the morning and after all of the food I ate yesterday, “things” needed to move. I was still full from everything I ate but I prepared my morning breakfast of two eggs and an egg white scrambled and a couple of oatmeal raisin cookies anyway (hey, they said eat the cookies).
I had no idea what to do with myself, so I took a shower. This is probably the first shower that I ever took before going for a run. Mentally, I was out of it. I couldn’t focus and I didn’t know where to start. I was so afraid I was going to forget something that I kept going over my mental list over and over again, shuffling through my bag, looking over my supplies. After the shower, I put on some make-up. Again, not what I do when I run, but I did it anyway. Looking back I think it was just a way to make me feel like it was just a normal typical day and that I wasn’t going to do anything spectacular.
I sent a couple of nervous texts to my partner in crime, Kendra, letting her know that I couldn’t get my act together. She was scheduled to pick me up at 7 am. It was around 6:30 when I realized that “things” hadn’t moved. Crap. This is just great. I’m going to get there and the urge will come on and I’ll have to go in one of the port-a-potties while everyone waits in line for me to do my business. This was not good. At about 10 minutes to 7, “things” finally moved. I know, it may be too much information, but chances are if you’re reading this, you’re a runner and you get it. It was a good thing that Kendra was running just a few minutes behind because this was a two round event. Yes…this was going to be a good day after all.
And we were on our way!
We made our way up to the Steppingstone Farm Museum, picked up our race packets, and found our way to the Charm City Run tent where we planned on meeting the rest of our training group. It was a little chilly and while I was dressed for running, I wasn’t dressed for standing around in the cold. Oh well, next time (yes, there will be a next time), I’ll remember to pack an extra sweatshirt. I made Kendra wear one of the Rookie signs. She was “looking for beer” and I was “looking for cookies.”
This was probably the smallest race I’ve ever ran in and I LOVED it. I was surprised how everyone tossed their bags in the pavilion without a care. Very different from the three marathons I’ve ran to date. The race was very well organized and I’ll follow up with a quick race review in a later post.
Oh, and do you remember Troy from the last post? He’s the one that said “eat lots of bread and fruit. You can thank him for my massive pig out.
Most of my family and friends are used to getting electronically generated notifications when I run a marathon. Since this race is so small, there wasn’t any way for them to see how I was doing and how far I went. So, I decided to take my cell phone with me and post updates on my Facebook running page, So What? I run. Oh, and if you’re not following me on Facebook or on Twitter, or Instagram, maybe you should (yes, that was a shameless plug) 😉
I took LOTS of pictures, and yes, I took most of them while running. Believe it or not, I didn’t even wipe out! Yay me! Here’s what you missed on Facebook.
Here’s Kendra and Amy at the start.
And we’re off! The
hills mountains on this course were ridiculous. I’m so thankful that we were able to get a couple of training runs on the course despite the weather.
Looking good at the end of the very first little loop.
Mile 6 and we’re going strong!
Mile 9.5 and we’re still smiling!
Mile 13.5 and Kendra wants to kill me. We had just found out that at the pace we were going we would make the cut off time by 5 minutes. CUT OFF?!?! What the hell is that?! We had no idea! All the while we were having our great adventure taking our time and we had a deadline to make?! FREAKED OUT! I thought about the time I wasted puttin’ around and how I helped a couple of people who didn’t want to get their feet wet in the creek by going back and holding their hands as they maneuvered on the rocks with me knee deep in cold water, thinking I’m doing the right thing, and I’ve just risked missing a cut off time.
And then I thought about ALL of the miles in the FREAKING SNOW that I ran through the winter to prepare for this race. UGH! I remember turning to Kendra and saying that there’s no way in hell I’m missing the cut off time. I could tell by the look in her face that the look on my face and the fire in my eyes must have been a sight to see. And to be frank, if I came up short and they did try to take my bib, I would’ve
had an emotional breakdown and punch some body in the eye smiled and kept on running. No one was going to take this away from me. Thankfully, I did not have to resort to violence 🙂
Mile 15 I’ve got my PlowOn gum, riding a caffeine high! Whoohoo! We WILL make cut off!
We made cut off with 8 minutes to spare. My feet were soaked and my toes were bruised and blistered from my feet constantly sliding to the front of the shoe going down hills. Word of advice, don’t wear water resistant trail shoes if you are crossing water. It WILL hold the water in!
My friend Lauren (Live Full with Lauren Shafer – you must check her out) and her husband John (my previous marathon coach) were there. I was so thankful and happy to see them cheering us on. Getting to the cut off had drained me emotionally and when I saw their smiling faces, all was right with the world again.
John was kind enough to help me change out of my nasty socks. He manhandled my gnarly feet and all. They are such good people.Kendra and I restocked our GUs only to find out that we were short. Thank goodness George from our marathon training group had his race bag stocked. He made a mad dash and grabbed Espresso GU’s and sent us on our merry way.
Ok, so I have to say that my caffeine intake for this race was ridiculous. I brought with me 4 – Salted Caramel GUs (20mg caffeine ea.), 2 – PlowOn Gum (100mg caffeine ea.), had George’s 2 – Espresso GUs (40mg caffeine ea.) AND…best of all there was MOUNTAIN DEW!!!! Sweet nectar of the gods! I thought I was grabbing Gatorade and when I took a swig, the sweet sugary caffeinated goodness just danced in my mouth! So, I grabbed two more cups and chugged them down. Oh and if you were within 50 feet of me about a mile down the road after that pit stop and felt the Earth rumble, don’t worry…it was me. That was the belch that I let out thanks to the Mountain Dew. There was no controlling it and I would’ve made my late uncle proud.
The next time I do an ultra, I will make sure that I have better control of the caffeine. I’m sure that the amounts that I consumed were not safe and that this time, I got lucky.
I did grab fries and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the stops, but I missed out on the perogies! I have to give a shout out to the sandwich girls. YOU ROCK SANDWICH GIRLS!
I remember at one point Kendra looked at me and said she didn’t know if she could do it. She’s not a quitter, so I let her vent. This was hard. She had told someone after the race that yeah, she wanted to quit, shit, and spit but pushed through. We kept each other going when it got tough and I was glad she was there.
Less than 10 miles to go and Kendra finds her second wind!
A mile later I wanted to kill me.
But a mile after that, I’m good once again! Seriously, this was probably the toughest stretch for me and Kendra. I actually had a little talk with “Jaime,” the runner who I was running in memory of. I think she gave me a swift kick in the butt and sent me on my way.
The last 3.5 miles of the race were amazing. When I saw the finish line, I knew we were close. But seriously…it’s a LONG 3.5 uphill run. Still, the end was in sight. Physically, I felt pretty good. My glutes were sore, but nothing to worry about. I knew that the massage I had the night before was a contributing factor. I typically get a massage a few days before a race, not the day before, so when they started to feel sore, I wasn’t surprised. My calves and Achilles, which were giving me problems, were perfectly fine and my quads had no sign of fatigue. I kept telling Kendra, I felt good! Mentally, I was on cloud 9. We kept telling each other, this was going to happen…they will write songs about us!! THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!
When it was finally our turn to cross the finish line, we SPRINTED to the end. Yes, 31 miles later and we sprinted to the finish!
We were greeted by Kendra’s kids and our friends. This is the first and only sign anyone has ever made for me for a race. I adore it!
They brought us delicious subs, which I tried to devour. I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I suspect that was due to the caffeine intake of the day, or perhaps the two beers that I quickly chugged down (secretly because it’s not allowed…shhh!).
The finishing rate was 88% with 433 starters and 380 finishing. My goal was 8:00:00 and I finished in 7:52:29 which put me in 352nd place. I’ll take it.
Typically, I’d post my splits, but I was warned that my Garmin wouldn’t last so I wore two of them. I wanted to make sure I had a watch that would keep the time in case my Garmin died so I borrowed my friend’s watch. Wouldn’t you believe it? Almost exactly 10 minutes before I crossed the finish line, my Garmin died.
There’s so much to say but I don’t want to keep on rambling. I wanna tell you about the toenails I’ll probably lose and the french fries that I ate and the fact that the people we met were fantastic and I was glad to talk to others along the way. I wish I would’ve thought to connect with some of them later. Anyway, I’m rambling. I’ll talk about the course and the event itself when I do my race review in a couple of days.
OH before I forget, one of the first things that I did when I got home was slap that 50K magnet on my car. Yes, I’m one of those people! Kendra surprised me with the magnet at the race when we finished and it brought tears to my eyes. She knows me so well.
I will have to say that when I finished, I was VERY surprised at how good I felt. As with the my very first marathon, I played it safe, ran it smart and had gas in the tank. I could’ve easily ran another 10 miles if they would’ve let me. Only once did I feel hungry on the run and never did I cramp up, so I’m assuming that this means I carb-loaded properly for my body. Remember, every body reacts differently, so what works for me might not work for you. I’ve always been a big eater and I have a stomach of steel.
Recovery has been a bit strange for me. I had no appetite for two days but forced myself to eat. My glutes that burned during the end of the run weren’t sore the next day, but my quads which weren’t tired at all during the race are still sore. I’m taking this week off from running, but I’ll go back to cross-training next week. My next long training run will be April 5th as I prepare to run the Delaware Marathon in May.
The HAT 50K Endurance Run was a wonderful adventure! My performance was going to be my determining factor on whether or not I planned on running a 50 miler. I’ve decided that I’m going to try and get into the JFK50 in the fall. Actually, I knew deep down that I would probably sign up for a 50-miler long ago, I just didn’t want to say it out loud. And I admit, I have a little twinkle in my eye for 100 miler, but we’ll see.