Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Week in Review (July 22 - July 28)

Tuesday - Now that A is back and I'm back on the treadmill, speed work had to commence (womp womp womp). Goal was 4 x 800 @ 8:52. (LOLOLOLOL). I did a mile warm up, then 3 x 800 (8:54, 8:46, 8:46). I didn't have it in me to do another 800, my legs were DEAD. Instead I did 4 x 400 (8:48, 8:28, 8:04, 7:28). You know what's baffling? Running fast. Ouchie.
Wednesday - BodyPump. I've determined my shoulders are the weakest part of my body.
Thursday - I decided to use a bit of PTO and run the trails before work instead of an afternoon tempo run (honestly, still boycotting that). I ran the counterclockwise loop of Table Mesa / Mesa Top trail in Golden. It has become one of my favorite close trail runs in the last month. The bad part about running in the morning is the crazy number of tumbleweeds that block the single track. I ran the loop quite a bit faster than last time. Yahoo!

Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Up at 4:30 in the morning to volunteer at All-Out-Multisport's "Dog Days" 5k, 10k and half marathon. We first checked in runners and handed out packets. Then, we moved to the finish area where we handed out cold, wet towels. Even though it wasn't nearly as hot as forecasted, I think we were the most popular volunteers. We stuck around to the end and helped load all the stuff into trucks. I gotta say, All-Out is a well-oiled machine. Nothing was torn down until the last runners crossed the line, and it was only about 30 minutes later that everything was loaded up. Efficiency at its finest!

Sure is dark at 5 am
So I posted this on Instagram shortly after this was taken. Turns out, the volunteer I was working with follows me on Instagram. Small world.
A and I went to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, and then we went to Angels With Paws Cat Shelter and adopted a kitty!! The shelter named him Blackie (even though he isn't) and A didn't want to change his name. As of adoption, he is 11 weeks old, Russian Blue Mix. WE LOVE HIM SO MUCH.



Sunday - Up not as early to run the Prairie Dog half marathon in Castle Rock.



After showering, I took H and A with me to the park to meet up with work friends for a BBQ/picnic. The weather was fantastic, not nearly as hot as the last few times we have met up. In bed SO EARLY, exhausted.
Attempting badminton

Monday - CHAOS. A very arm heavy workout again. And a weird conversation in the locker room with a woman who asked me if this was my "first time working out." Like ever? Was it my outfit? So weird.


Weekly Miles Run - 25.1 (13.1 race, 7 trail, 5 treadmill)
Minutes of Cross Training - 60
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - 60

Weekly Loss - 0.8 (120.6)

  • Still lots of pizza. It's so delicious, I can't help myself!
  • A bit more beer than in the past few weeks.
  • Noosa has new flavors!!!! If you like coconut, THIS IS THE MOST DELICIOUS THING EVER EVER EVER.

Everything Else
  • I actually got a cash bonus at work. That was exciting.
  • Uh. That's it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Prairie Dog "Summer" Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, July 27
Castle Rock, CO
Half Marathon #111
Colorado Half #47
Weather - Sunny, warm, humid

I ran the "fall" Prairie Dog race last year. Back then, it was a one-time race. They have since made the Prairie Dog a series, one race for each season. The Summer Prairie Dog half marathon was originally scheduled for Denver, but moved at some point a few months ago to Castle Rock.

I registered only looking at the date. I did NOT notice at the time that it had an 8:00 start time. If I have learned nothing else from racing, starting even at 7 during the summer is too late. Too bad, so sad.

Thanks to the late start time, we didn't need to get up until just before 6. My dad came over to pick up the kids at 6:20, and we left shortly after that, thinking we would need about 45 minutes to get there. There was no traffic on the way down. The address that the race gave us placed us in the middle of an empty field. We drove around for a few minutes, thinking we must have missed something. I saw a few vehicles pulled over on the side of the road and one guy was wearing a race shirt so I had L stop. Turns out, one of the cars belonged to our buddy, Ross. They were having the same problem that we were... finally, we just put in the name of where the race was starting (not the street address), and we found it.

Packet pick-up was fast and easy. There were only 4 port-o-potties (not enough), and we made it through the line only once before heading to the start. I started mid-pack with L and got passed a ton right off the bat.

Start Line
To be clear, I had NO expectations about this race. I knew it was going to be hot and sunny. I have been training solely on trails for pretty much the last month, which is clearly not prepping for a road race. My last half marathon was COMPLETELY miserable. Heading onto the path, and my friend Jill said hi to me. That would be my last interaction with anyone the rest of the race, as I somehow manage to run a pace no one else does. I felt ok at the beginning and was surprised to see the first aid station so early (turns out, it was .54 miles out... what). I was trying not to look at my watch, and was surprised to see that the first mile was sub 10. Somewhere closer to the mile 2 marker was when I started walking. My legs just do not warm up until I have been out a few miles, and this was no exception.




We had been told that there would be 12 aid stations on the course, so I was not carrying my own water. I was almost dead from heat and dehydration by the second stop, which was at mile 2. So hot! So thirsty! I started to worry that this was where my race was going to fall apart. If I just walked the rest, how long would it take me?



It was pretty along most of the path
After that stop I felt a bit better, but another 2 miles until the next aid station seemed like FOREVER. I recognized a lot of the path from the Castle Rock half I ran last June, and the Alien half last September - kind of a combination of the two courses.

After the turnaround I felt really rejuvenated. (I later would realize this was because the whole second half was downhill. Made me feel better about my struggles on the way out). I was worried I was going to burn out, and while I took some walk breaks, I felt substantially better on the way back. I probably passed at least two dozen people in the second half and that is always nice.

Hot, sunny, exposed, hilly
Goes to show that anything can happen in a race, and it ended up being one of my strongest races of the season.



Official Time - 2:16:33
Official Pace - 10:25
Overall Place - 76/131
Gender Place - 37/77
Division Place - 18/28
Mile 1 - 9:48
Mile 2 - 10:59
Mile 3 - 10:48
Mile 4 - 11:35
Mile 5 - 10:14
Mile 6 - 11:17
Mile 7 - 10:44
Mile 8 - 9:45
Mile 9 - 9:41
Mile 10 - 10:32
Mile 11 - 10:05
Mile 12 - 10:26
Mile 13 - 10:31
Mile 13.1 - 6:37 (lol)

Thoughts:
  • The 8:00 start is insane. Ridiculous. 7 am or earlier.
  • It was really annoying that the address didn't work for so many of us. It was not that hard to get to, turn by turn instructions in addition to the address would have been helpful.
  • We were told there would be 12 aid stations, and there only 9. With the first/last one being only a 1/2 mile from the start/finish. So really, more like 7... Had I known this was going to be the case, I would have brought my own water.
  • Related: Aid stations were well stocked, plenty of volunteers. Water and Gatorade at all, and gels at 2 of them. The cups were the teeny tiny ones though, so I didn't get much to drink at any of them.
  • The course is pretty exposed, especially the 1.5-2 miles closest to the start/finish area. We really lucked out and had a slight breeze on the way back.
  • Course was very well marked, even though I was alone much of the time, I never thought I would/could get lost.
  • Nice race shirt and medal.
  • Post race food was good, but I was disappointed that the Noosa yoghurt samples were already expired!!!??? Wah.
  • Overall, I really was intent on hating this race due to the late start and exposed course, but it really wasn't as horrible as it could have been. Assuming the change the start time for next year, this could be a good one, although I likely won't run it again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week in Review (July 15-21)

And the end of #21KidFreeDays

Tuesday - I had planned a trail run after work but MORE afternoon thunderstorms and rain shut that down. So... went to the gym for a quick treadmill walk (just for the check in), and then (!!!) I actually did some Fitness Blender videos! I did the Upper Body Superset and Butt & Thigh workout (first time in ages I've done anything at home).


Wednesday - Run Club!!! The theme was Christmas in July, and it was pretty fitting as it was pretty dang chilly when we set out for our run. Pretty much the second we started the temperatures plummeted and we had some torrential rain and MORE thunderstorms. Of course, it stopped as soon as I got back to the store. North Face was the sponsor and I did not, sadly, continue my winning streak of winning the raffle (a $50 gift card!).
Thursday - My initial plan was to hike a 14er with my dad. But then we got a TON of rain and the temperatures dropped, it was windy... so we rescheduled. Instead, I left work a few hours early and ran Bergen Peak. The temperatures were PERFECT, and since it was in the middle of the week during the day, the trails were deserted. I'm getting pretty awesome at the trail selfies, no? The last time I ran Bergen was almost a year ago to the date. I did it 20 minutes faster this time, clocking an unheard of amazingly fast pace of 8:52 for my last mile.
Last time I ran Bergen it was too foggy to see the view - isn't it lovely??
Friday - Went to happy hour with the girls from work, and then pizza at home.
Saturday - Initially, I was supposed to be racing a half marathon in Keystone. Earlier in the week we found out that their permit got pulled, moving the race to Sunday and merging with another event that was only a 20k. Since the goal is all the half marathons, I decided to skip the race and roll my entry over to another race in August. A was due back and I ultimately decided to get in one last trail run.

Instead, I got up VERY early, like before 5:00 am to get in a "long run" before it got too hot. The forecast was highs in the mid 90's, which sounded Terrible. I thought I would head out to another "new to me" trail - Waterton Canyon leading into the Colorado Trail. I pulled into the parking lot just before 6 (it was about a 40 minute drive to get there) and there were already a decent number of cars in the lot. I had mentioned in passing on the Twitter that I might run 20 miles, but I figured I would see how it went and decide as I went. The first 6.7 miles are in the canyon on a very wide dirt road that is not closed to traffic (although I saw maybe 4 cars total the entire to/from on the road). The sun was coming up right as I started my run, but being in the canyon the sun wasn't high enough to heat up the road. The run felt very hard from the beginning. (After looking at Garmin data, that would be because it was a gradual uphill the whole way out). As usual, I took it easy, lots of pictures and walk breaks.

Finally, I got to the actual TRAIL and I perked right up. Have I mentioned that trails are MY FAVORITE??? The temperatures were still holding and I was feeling pretty good, and even when I got to a steep section (even the cyclists were walking up), I decided I would go for the 20 and turn around at mile 10. Where I turned around was a REALLY COOL section of trail. I hadn't seen anything so green and "wild" in a long time.

I checked my water bottles and thought I had rationed well on the way out and that I should have plenty for the way back. However... the air started to feel hotter and heavier. About mile 11.5 and I was sort of regretting going out so far. Then I realized... pretty much the entire way back was downhill. I cruised the downhills as much as I could and felt really great until I got back to the canyon. Did you know that it was the hottest and sunniest EVER when I got back? There were bajillions of people out and many of them did not even have water with them. My legs actually felt pretty good, and even with a lot of breaks, I think I maintained a fairly decent pace. I officially finished the last of my water at mile 19 (which was fine, I had 2 bottles of water in my car that I slammed when I got there).
Part 1 - In the canyon
Part 2 - On the trails
Miles 1-10 - 12:31, 13:13, 12:26, 13:42, 12:40, 13:13, 19:46, 19:37, 17:34, 24:36 (first half 2:39:23)
Miles 11-20 - 14:14, 19:35, 10:57, 9:42, 10:51, 11:46, 11:30, 11:57, 11:25, 11:21 (second half 2:03:18)
So the total time it took me was 4:42:41 with an average pace of 14:08. I wasn't in any hurry for this and there was 2500' feet of gain, so I'm very pleased with this. Oh, and the fact that I did 20 miles allllll alone. And did you know it was 87 degrees when I got back to the car at 10:45???? So. Hot.

My SIL brought A over in the afternoon. So happy to have her back! More pizza for dinner.
Sunday - School supply shopping. Which is just The Worst. A and I went to see Rio 2 (which was just ok), and then dinner with the SIL at Smashburger (which was delicious).


Monday - CHAOS. A very "shoulder heavy" workout, due to the wheelbarrows and shoulder presses. Also, I've realized I have flabby abs. Maybe, if I weren't so lazy, I would work on that.

Weekly Miles Run - 31.6 (2.1 road and the 29.5 on trails)
Minutes of Cross Training - 60
Minutes of Strength - 67 (better than the 0 from the last few weeks)

Weekly Loss - 0.4 pounds (121.4)
  • I love pizza the most. I think this is probably what kills all my eating for the week. Oh wells.
  • Had burgers twice this weekend, and they were both delicious.
  • And donuts.
  • And beer.

Everything Else
  • I had a pretty great #21KidFreeDays. Unlike last year when I spent the bulk of time wallowing, I went out and did things. I was not home that much and I discovered a bunch of new places to run - and they are all relatively close to my house. Yay!
  • I am so over the moon pleased with my Orange Mud purchase. I have used it on all my outdoor runs since I bought it. The fit is fantastic, I can hold all my things in there and it is SO EASY to keep clean. If you haven't checked them out yet and you are looking for a hydration system, it is WORTH IT. Check them out HERE.
  • I have officially filled the rest of my 2014 race schedule (with the exception of one race in December where registration doesn't open until September). That means I actually registered for two MARATHONS prior to NYC, both of them in Colorado Springs. They were only $20 more than running the half, and I feel like getting more distance/time on my feet will help. They are obviously not "goal" races, but I would like to see where I'm at since I have essentially had my marathon training on hold for the last month, in favor of running trails.
  • Sooooo. Now that A is back, I'm unfortunately back on the treadmill for the bulk of my runs. Wah wah wahhhhhhhhh.
  • Nothing else!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week in Review (July 8 - July 14)

Continuing on with #21KidFreeDays

Tuesday - Planned on my last longish run before my race. I didn't want to run TOO far, but I also was hoping to run closer to six miles. So... I headed back out to Golden to run North Table/Mesa Top. I went the other direction this time, and it ended up being the perfect distance. My run was a bit slower than usual as A FaceTimed me and since I hadn't talked to her in a few days, I was THAT person screaming into my cell phone on the trail...

Wednesday - Run club! New Balance was the host and I tried some of their shoes... A week later and I can't seem to remember what they were, but I wasn't super thrilled with them. I also tried the Brooks PureFlow 3's on the treadmill for a few minutes... I really think I like them! Vfuel and the Hot Chocolate race were ALSO there, so it was a full house. I entered the Vfuel raffle and won! Two weeks in a row I've won something, hurray!!!!




Thursday - Went to the gym after dinner and walked on the treadmill (I really need 12 visits a month for my insurance reimbursement). I didn't want to do anything super active.
Friday - Took the day off from work. Watched lots of Law and Order and had Pho for lunch, a piece of pizza for a small dinner/snack before Chase the Moon.


Saturday - Oh hey, more moon chasing. I got home, took a quick shower, ate a piece of pizza and crashed from about 9:30 to noon. Unsure of what I did the rest of the day, but I'm betting it was mostly sitting on the couch.
Sunday - Up early to volunteer with my nephews at the Boulder Peak triathlon. This time, I was working at the finish line. It was crazy chaotic as I was the ONLY volunteer handing out water, and it was in the mid 80's for most of the finishers by the time they got done. Lunch with my sister and her family, and then a pedicure. Early to bed again.


My nephews, watching for their mom to come out of transition
Monday - Somehow, I still managed to get to CHAOS. Lucky for ME, it was not a heavy leg day, as my legs are still not recovered from my little race.

Weekly Miles Run - 52.76 (Yeah, pretty much my highest week in a billion years)
Minutes of Cross Training - 60, plus about 5 miles of treadmill walking.
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - Bit fat zero...

Weekly Gain - 0.6 pounds (121.8)
  • I love that I gain weight on high mileage weeks. Nothing too crazy consumed this week, other than a lot of pizza. I don't think any amount of weight loss is worth giving that up. I just love it so much!!
  • Beer was about the same as usual.
  • Maybe more cookies than usual?
  • Ultra running is the only time I drink a lot of full calorie soda, and I had LOTS of it during my race.
  • Oh wells.
Everything Else
  • For the second (third?) time, I have deleted and quit the online dating. This time, the straw that broke the camel's back was the guy that I had exchanged 2(?) messages with over the course of a week. Essentially - "Hey, it says you like to run, do you race a lot? I run too." Me "Oh? Yes, I've raced a lot, I run a lot as well." Then he asked if I wanted to go hiking and I said I would not feel comfortable with that being a first meet. Then I got THE LONGEST MESSAGE EVER about how "you're on a dating site, wtf are you doing here if you aren't willing to meet people?" I did actually respond with a Seinfeld-ish response "I'll meet with you if you can tell me what my name is..." UGH. I HATE PEOPLE.
  • Related: Clearly, dating is not for meeeeee!
  • Really, nothing else has been going on. I have been staying busy, trying not to hang around the house too much. The last few weeks have gone by really fast and A will already be back on Saturday. YAY!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chase the Moon 12 Hour Endurance Run (Race Recap)

Highlands Ranch, CO
Friday July 11 - Saturday July 12
Ultra Marathon #10 (?? Who am I??)
Weather - Humid, warm


I was BEYOND excited when I heard that the same people that put on the Bear Chase Trail Race were going to be putting on an ultra AT NIGHT. I was so excited for Chase the Moon that I set my alarm and registered the second registration opened at midnight (obviously, there is something wrong with me). Like all the times in the past I have signed up for something crazy, I had grand aspirations of training. That didn't really happen, but I was still excited to see what I would be able to get done.

The race started at 7:00 pm on the south side of Denver in the bluffs of Highlands Ranch. I took the day off from work in hopes that I would be able to sleep late (lolololol), relax, and then head down to the race. I pretty much have no recollection of how I spent the day, but I left for the race around 4:35 on Friday afternoon. We have been having some really hot, humid and moist weather in the metro area. I was relieved when the temperatures began to drop a bit (from mid 90's to upper 80's) for the forecasted high for the day.

Pretty much the minute I pulled out of my driveway, it started POURING. There was thunder, lightning, TONS OF RAIN. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees. Well, I would obviously run in cooler weather, however, I didn't especially want to get struck by lightning or end up on a muddy trail.

Oh wells.

So apparently, even if you are driving on the outskirts of town, Friday is still Friday and traffic was AWFUL. I had planned on getting there early (before 5:30), so I could get everything situated. Traffic was CRAP and my 38 minute drive took closer to 70 minutes. PLUS, it was still pouring. This was starting to not sound like the most fun ever.

I found Mountain Vista High School with no problems, parked my car, and walked over to get my bib. I like the "no waste" races where you just get your bib and your shirt. The shirt is gender specific, and the Chase the Moon logo on the front glows in the dark. Cool!!

I still had over an hour to kill before the race started. I texted my friend Dan (the guy that paced me during my 100) to see if he was there yet. After using the bathroom, we wandered around the start area chatting with other runners and locating the tents where we could place our drop bags. We ran into Luke and Courtney and they offered to let Dan and I leave our bags under their tent.

Me, Dan (in grey), Luke (in orange), Courtney
By this time, it is almost time for the last minute course instructions. I finally see my fellow INKnBURN ambassador, Jeff, and we get a quick picture together before heading over to the start line (where I used the bathroom one last time).


I seem to have missed some of the instructions, but I wasn't too worried. I would be starting towards the back and I could just follow everyone else, right? Of course... The race included solo runners, as well as relay teams of either 3 or 5 runners, and it seemed like there was about 100 of us standing at the start. Dan and I had briefly discussed running together, but he decided to run alone to start with, and would decide later if he wanted to slum it with me in the back.

At the start line
The first section of the course was on pavement heading up to the trail. It was uphill and I was already jogging slowly. I still managed to have the fire calves early on in the race, and within the first 10 minutes, I was already one of the last runners in the back. No big deal, I had plans to be out there allll niiiight.

(Flashback from memory AFTER the race). I had been thinking I had never run this section of trails, and I was sort of right. The super flat sections that were not single track I actually HAD run before on a training run with Runners Edge last summer.

Anyway, like usual, I had not looked at the course at all before the race and I really had no idea what to expect. I figured that the bluffs were going to be mostly exposed (which it was) and not too technical (which it wasn't). However, I always get confused with "elevation gain" and I was thinking... oh, 774 feet (or whatever it was) per loop... that's practically flat. (LOLOLOLOLOLOL).

Basically, the course was much hillier than I expected and I was taking it very easy. We took the first turn on the the trails maybe a half mile in. I was planning on taking all my pictures in the first loop while it was still light out.


Jeff managed to get this picture of me as we are heading out on the trail
I ended up chatting with the gal in front of me quite a bit. She was so nice!
Dusk is coming...

Finally, after about a half hour, my legs started to feel less angry and I started to pass some people on the course. I still was stopping to take pictures - the sky looked amazing.





There was (what felt like) the longest out and back section ever to the Grigs aid station. In the runner guide it said that it was a fluid only station, although they did also have some pretzels and gels. I was feeling great at this point (you know, 3.7 miles in) and turned around at the timing mat to head to the next section of the course. We got more single track on the way down and part of the trail was actually somewhat shaded.




I'm really not a great trail runner to begin with, and frankly, running at night on trails does freak me out a bit. I have no idea what might be on (or off the trail), I don't want to fall, etc. etc. I was hoping to get as many miles in as possible while it was still light enough to see, and before I got too tired. I passed a few more people before getting to aid station. Most were very gracious about stepping to the side. However, one woman (wearing a Marathon Maniacs shirt) said "you can pass but I'm not stepping off the trail." Oh. Super. Thanks so much.


Shortly after passing through the Outlaw aid stations, I decided I better get my headlamp ready. In the past, I've been wearing it around my waist as it seems to light up the ground better for me. I don't know what the deal was, but I could NOT get it to angle right and after about 5 minutes I decided I better adjust it to just wear on my head. That was a catastrophe. Every time I adjusted it and put it on my head, I would try to tighten it and the band would come out of the gripper and I had to start all over. At least this kept me occupied for the greater part of the THREE MILES until I got back to the starting area. Back at the start, I refilled my Nuun bottle, grabbed a PB&J sandwich and a fig newton, and headed right back out. I have learned that if I am not careful, I can easily waste a LOT of time at aid stations. I might as well eat and walk at the same time.

The date of the race was chosen specifically because of the "super moon" we were supposed to have - the moon was supposed to be "bigger and brighter." Unfortunately, because of the storms we had earlier, it was fairly cloudy, and I don't remember seeing the moon much until well after midnight.

The first section back to Outlaw didn't seem too bad, although I did almost step on A FROG, but luckily it jumped out of the way. I did scream an outburst, which seemed to amuse the runner heading towards me. After that, I was REALLY looking at my feet more often. I did notice that all the creepy crawlies were out, and the bugs (specifically something that looked like a cross between a roach and a beetle) were disgusting and were scuttling around.

Grabbed some peanut butter pretzels at the aid station and headed out toward Grigs.



I have pretty much no recollection of much of this section. I think this might have been where I was thinking, wow, I don't remember there being so much downhill on the way out. This is pretty steep. I was running alone the entire time and never felt like I could get lost. It did get a bit lonely out there by myself, but I was still feeling pretty good. I was still making decent time. I used the bathroom at the aid station and on my way out, the volunteer asked if I was Rebecca. I said I was, and then she pointed to Dan, who was lying on the ground next to the table. He was suffering from a migraine and was dropping. when I left Grigs and headed back into the start/finish. On the flat stretch, I saw a buck jump across the trail - that was cool. This time I just grabbed more food and then headed back out.

And here is where things went horribly awry.

I was heading back out for the third loop. I had left the start/finish area before midnight and felt that I was making good time. I was following some runners heading up the hill, and that is when I made a classic rookie mistake....

I knew that we were going to head out on the trail to the left... We were going up the giant hill, and I see a turnoff. Two women are heading up the hill and I hear them talking about a "missed turn." I stop and turn... something doesn't seem right. But I see the tape and there are glow sticks... I ask a guy behind me "is this where we are supposed to be going?" He says, it's obviously the course and jumps on. I follow. I see runners heading towards, me, I'm obviously on the course. I am running well, and then all of a sudden... I'm on pavement. Wait. What? There should NOT be pavement here. I had, in fact, re-run the last section of the course for EVEN loops, not the correct direction for the ODD loops... I realized this for sure when I got back to the split in the course. WTF. I'm ready to cry. I have just been running (in essentially a circle) for the last 45 minutes. I'm pretty much BACK at home base. I immediately text Dan. I'm disoriented now, I don't know what to. Had I been thinking clearly, I should have just turned around, ran back up the hill, skipped the trail section altogether and headed to the aid station.

What I did INSTEAD, was get back on the trail, going the "correct" way. So basically, I ran an extra 2.4 miles... This completely messed me up for the rest of the race. I was in a crappy mood now, and I had no idea how long it was going to be until I got to the aid station. I hadn't had any fuel. By the time I got to the aid station at around 1:20 in the morning. My 3.7 miles from the start/finish to Grigs had taken over 1:45 with the detour (instead of the 46-50 minutes it SHOULD have taken).

Dang. It.

I'm running a lot less now, I'm just sorta bummed about my "free miles." I'm thinking it is now IMPOSSIBLE to get my 5 "official" loops in, and now I'm wondering if I can even do more than my four loops. I'm doing a bit better by the time I get to Outlaw, and the run back to the start is not memorable. I did, however, put on my tunes (for the first time on a trail race/run in MONTHS), which helped a tiny bit.

I'M STARVING by the time I get back. I grab a full half PB&J sandwich, more peanut butter pretzels and fig newtons. I've been downing a cup of Mountain Dew or Coke at EVERY aid stations, and this is no exception. I head back out and I'm able to run pretty decently until I get back to Outlaw. The hills between Outlaw and Grigs pretty much kill me. My legs are hurting pretty badly and I have to keep stopping to rest because my calves are SCREAMING.

I do NOT remember there being so much uphill. I swear, I have amnesia. The course does not look at all like I remember. WHAT IS HAPPENING :(

I know I'm ON the trail, I keep seeing runners, but I am very disoriented due to my extra mileage and feel like I will never get there. My Garmin is still running - surprising, since I thought the battery life was 8-10 hours. Finally, I get a low battery beep on my watch... unlike the 405, it does not, however, tell me how much battery is actually left. I stopped it and saved my run just over 10 hours in. My head was still hurting from my headlamp, but it was bright enough now that I could take it off. Headed into Grigs and I know for sure that I am going to be done after this. For a brief mile or so, I thought that if I got back to home base with at least an hour and 10 minutes to spare that I would try to get more official miles by going back to Grigs.

However, those last miles back to the start would tell me there was no way that was going to happen. Finally, the sun started to come up... the wind had picked up though, and for the first time during the race, I was a bit chilly.



The last few miles lasted FOREVER. I had managed to go most of the race without being passed and I had a few runners pass me on the single track. I just had nothing left in me. I hit the pavement and thought I might be able to run the downhill, but it hurt too bad. Finally, when I turned the corner and I could see the finish area, I tried to jog it in. Can you tell how much pain I'm in???



I managed to cross the line, and they asked me if I still wanted to head out for another lap, as I had 10 minutes before they would not allow anyone to go back out. UM NO. 

I stopped and grabbed some cookies at the aid station because I WAS STARVING. Glad the photographer caught that on camera:

Cookies make me happy
I'm guessing I'm scowling because it looks like the Flappin' Flapjack people are tearing down!
First order of business after some initial calorie intake is the medal. I saw a volunteer with bags of medals, she asked how many laps I completed and I told her 4. She pulled a medal out and then slapped a "sticker" on the base of the medal:


Womp. That was disappointing. I actually ran an official 41.2 miles, so to have it say 50k when it was a "12 Hour Run" made me a little sad.

Official Miles - 41.2
(With bonus miles) - 43.6
Time - 11:24:12
Overall Place - 49/92
Division Place - 7/14
Lap 1 pace - 13:22
Lap 2 pace - 13:50
Lap 3 pace - 16:05 (thanks to the detour)
Lap 4 pace - 16:37 (thanks to the walking)

I dropped off my gear at my car and then sat with "Elevated Legs" for a wonderful and much-needed massage. I managed to meet up with the girl I had been talking to at the beginning of the race and we walked the 1/4 mile to the post-race party at the nearby park (since there is a "no-tolerance" policy for beer, we couldn't have it at the start/finish area). You know what makes me REALLY happy? Kiddie pools filled with beer.




So. Delicious.
I stuck around for 2 beers, food and the awards, and since it was already after 8, I figured I better head home.

Thoughts:
  • Overall, this was pretty fun. I have only run one other race that started at night. I really had no idea what to expect. I knew I would be slower at night since I'm a scaredy cat, but I was really planning/hoping on running 5 loops (51.5 miles).
  • Related: LOL
  • The course was tougher than I imagined and I didn't get nearly the training I needed done to seriously be able to tackle that many miles. I had not done any runs longer than a half marathon since March - so I don't know why my A goal was so ridiculous.
  • I am NOT upset with where I finished. I am upset that I made the rookie mistake of not looking MYSELF for the course and markings. I KNOW BETTER.
  • With that said, the course WAS very well marked. There were flags all over, markings in the dirt for the light hours, and glow sticks on the trail or hanging from trees for the night hours. Me screwing up is just on me, but I'm still a bit disappointed by it.
  • I'm a bit disappointed in the aid stations - only because of how amazing the Bear Chase aid stations are. After being out MUCH longer than expected, I really needed some real food, and there wasn't anything there. Again, I probably should have had my own fuel on me.
  • I ran in the Pure Grits I won a few weeks ago - they were just fine! My toe tips felt a little tender when I was done, but no blisters and still have all my toenails.
  • I LOVED running with my Orange Mud vest. It is really the greatest.
  • I don't know if I would run this race again. I enjoy the ultra experience, but running alone, at night, in the dark, is not the most fun ever.
  • FREE FREE FREE race pictures!!
  • Overall, really good for an inaugural race!