Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Rewind

Miles run - 101.81. I will use "run" loosely. 11 runs total, 7 of them 5 miles or less. All of them were miserable and awful. Call it burn out, call it what you want. I'm not injured, I really WANT to enjoy running right now and I don't. I loathed almost every single step of those miles.
Races Run - 3 (1 half marathon, 1 marathon, 1 50k)

I know my blog has been pretty negative lately and honestly, that's just how I feel.

I'm taking a break. As of right now I don't want to run another step for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, October 28
Marathon #14
State #7
Arlington, VA (Washington DC)
Weather - Overcast, slight breeze

We had registered for the Marine Corps Marathon on March 7, opening day. We were some of the "lucky" ones that got in before registration closed THE SAME DAY, in something ridiculous like 3 hours. And this is a race that has 23,000+ runners!

Saturday (Expo)

I got up at 4:35 in the morning to take a shower and eat a quick breakfast before heading to the airport. Our flight was scheduled to leave at just after 7. L had to work the night before so we took separate cars. Stopped at the light heading to the parking lot, and she was right behind me. Talk about perfect timing!

Security was a breeze and we got to the gate in plenty of time. The only excitement before leaving Denver was a guy freaking out and asking to be let off the plane. AFTER the cabin doors were closed. He claimed he didn't want to get stuck on the east coast. FYI, Frontier does NOT do any sort of security check if someone gets off the plane. Anyway, I was happy the outbound flight was on Frontier, and I was more than willing to pay the $6 for tv for the 3ish hour long DIRECT flight into DCA.

I watched crime shows for three hours, randomly checking the weather channel in between to see how bad it was going to be. According to the radar, it looked like we were going to be gone for a bulk of it. Sweet!

Arrived on time, then we made a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts. Pumpkin spice lattes and red velvet munchkins were a must! We followed the signs to get on the metro. Thankfully, there was someone there to help us understand the ticket purchasing. $3.05 each would get us to the expo at the DC Armory. It didn't take long, and thanks to the billions of other runners, we did not get lost. While we were in line at the tent to get our bibs, Ruth managed to end up right behind us. Hilarious. The expo was tiny and cramped and a giant cluster of people.

Me, Bart Yasso, Ruth
We stopped by the Runner's World booth and Bart assured us that the chance of rain had been lowered. He was pretty certain we would have good racing conditions. I believe you, Bart!!

My friend Rose lives in Maryland and was graciously picking us up at the expo and letting us stay at her house. Her and her husband were planning on spectating and were also going to drive us to the race in the morning. Most awesome friends ever!

Rose picked us up and we spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting around and talking. I had a few beers and her husband made us a delicious dinner of lamb, chicken and beef, with tons of veggies. He is the best cook!

L was the first to head to bed, around 8:00. She had been up all night and was exhausted. Ruth was staying at a hotel near the cemetery and another friend was going to drop her off on his way home. I headed to bed around 9:30.

Sunday, Race Day

Woke up to THIS email:

EXCELLENT. Notice it was sent at 10:00 the night before??? I immediately text Ruth to let her know, she is on our same return flight. I get ready as fast as I can and head down to use the computer to see what we can do to rebook. Apparently, they were not doing anything over the phone, or online. All we could do was wait.

Breakfast was a half bagel with cheese, BACON, an egg, and cantaloupe. Have I mentioned that our hosts were the BEST?? We had plans to be out the door by 6, allowing 2 hours to get to the start. The weather looked perfect. Overcast and no rain and not much wind. 30 minutes after we left, we were trying to turn into the lot at Crystal City. After sitting at the light for 20 minutes, the lot was full, and we had to find somewhere else to park. We parked in the Radisson's lot across the street and hoped we would not get a ticket/towed.

The line for the shuttle to the start was FREAKING INSANE.

It took us almost a half hour to get through. The shuttle ride only took about 10 minutes, and we arrive at the "start" area just as the gun was going off. Of course we still had to use the bathroom and do our pre-race pictures:

I had opted to skip my fuel belt this time, using my Flip Belt again. It worked awesome, like always (in other words, ignore the slight bulge under my shirt, I haven't gained THAT much weight). By the time we lined up, we were at the VERY back. While standing in line, I noticed a man with a Kauai Marathon backpack and I commented that it looked big and nice and that we should have gotten one of THOSE for our travel bags. Turns out L recognized the man, we had met him and his wife when we ran the Kauai race in 2010... Small world. I say, "Chuck! Is that you??" He says, "Colorado girls!!" I guess we are memorable too!

The start was chaotic. They were already cleaning up all the throw-aways and honestly, we were at the very back of the pack. It took a LONG time to get to the actual front - I'd guess 10-15 minutes from when we got there.

Not a picture of the lady in front of me, trying to get a picture of the flag
I had to walk within the first half mile. Stupid calves were so tight, I was limp-running. I could tell this was going to be a LONG day. I bet I had to stop 5 times in the first two miles to stretch them out. Every single step hurt and I felt tired from the very beginning.

I'm going to keep the race recap itself brief since it never got any better. Every single step of this entire race was miserable. I didn't enjoy myself at ALL. I would have quit at the 11 or 16 miles if I could have accessed my stuff. Seriously.


The course was really pretty.

Dr. J used a jump rope the ENTIRE RACE. I think I may have actually beat him.


Rose and Toly were at mile 11 handing out beers. I told them I wanted to quit and instead of letting me stop, they gave me a can of beer. We talked for a minute and then I walked and drank for a minute. Sad I had to keep going.

This is the most depressing section of the course. Along the sides are photos of those KIA
Washington Monument
Jefferson Memorial

At some point I know we ran past the Holocaust museum, down some city streets that had some pretty cool shopping. Wish I knew the city a bit better!

We FINALLY caught up to Dave at mile 20 - while we were on the bridge. He took some pictures, but I haven't seen them yet. I'm sure they are awesome.

Between Mile 23-24
I'll add here that Dunkin' Donuts had an aid station on the course. It was easily the hilight of the race for me. Even though we were practically dead last on the course, there was still tons of stuff. We each had three donut holes. I had 2 cake and one pumpkin, L had 2 red velvet and one pumpkin. It gave me a teeny tiny boost to keep going.

Around mile 24(?) we came back up on the Pentagon. At this point, spectators (family and friends) began joining people on the course. Yes. For the last few miles. This was only minorly annoying in most cases. Although. One woman seriously was running with a kid and one of those 6 foot long umbrellas. ON THE COURSE. L made a comment about how rude that was with all the people on the course. Long story short, I almost grabbed the umbrella and beat her. For the next half mile, they screamed at us - "those people are walking, do you think THEY deserve to be on the course" and "you can tell a bitch by the color of her stripes." All in the presence of this 9 year old kid. WHAT GREAT PARENTING.

Anyway, if you don't have a freaking bib on, you do NOT belong on the course, I don't give a crap what stupid reason you want to justify it with.

Ironically, Rose joined us at mile 26 and ran next to us (lol, I know, I know) - but pretty much just walked up the big hill at the end. I barely hobbled through the finish line, and she met us on the other side.

Finishers with one of the super cute marines
Iwo Jima

Needless to say, this was a very painful and disappointing run. Anyway.

Thoughts on the Race:
  • We were for REAL the back of the pack. With our super slow pace and LATE start, we were in the back. They NEVER ran out of gatorade or water at ANY aid station.
  • The course has EXCELLENT spectator support.
  • Very, VERY pretty on the course. You get to see pretty much of all DC and with the leaves changing, it was super nice.
  • The weather was FANTASTIC. Never once got rained on, not ONE drop. The breeze was nice because it eliminated the humidity.
  • Super cool medal - the center SPINS!!
  • Expo - meh. Super crowded and stuffy and not that many vendors.
  • Unimpressed with the race shirt. Cotton mock turtleneck. I will never wear it again.
  • Overall - a great race. Do it if you can.
We head over to where the shuttles are supposed to pick us up, with a brief stop to visit with friends in the Beer Garden. The line for the shuttle is even LONGER than it was before the race. It took close to 45 minutes to get on the bus, and then because of road closures we had to go all the way around the city to get to the parking area. Luckily, the car was still there and there was no ticket. Woo hoo! The airport was VERY close, just a couple of minutes away.

Sunday - Monday (Getting out of DC)

Ruth had been in line for over 30 minutes and had barely moved. NOTHING was happening. After an hour, we had moved maybe 20 feet. I ran over to the Delta counter and the best they could offer was $2400 for us to leave out of Virginia (on Monday). Yeah. Do I look like I have that kind of money? Meanwhile, EVERY OTHER AIRLINE still has planes leaving, except stupid United.

We are pretty sure we are not going to be able to get re-booked on anything that day, so we start planning our alternate way back. We book a one-way car rental (at $200) to Akron/Canton (OH), where it looks like there is a Southwest flight. We try calling to see if there are any flights ANYWHERE out of Dulles to get out, and we can't get through. By the time we get to the counter there is NOTHING they can do. They can't even guarantee we will get a refund since we have non-refundable tickets. SCREW YOU, UNITED. You shouldn't have cancelled our flight, every other airline still flying and the weather was still FINE at 5:00.

I get my "Ma'am, you need to stop talking now" from the United agent. But seriously, WTF. FOUR people working? TOTALLY unacceptable.

We then head over to the A terminal to buy our tickets on Southwest. There is no one in line at Frontier so I ask what THEY have. Turns out their flight at 6 am out of Akron is $25 cheaper than Southwest's, so we book the last few tickets they have (a "steal" at $254). Then we head to the shuttle to the rental car garage. The "basement" where you book IS PACKED. Everyone else clearly had the same plan. The line only had about 30 people in front of us. We waited even LONGER than we did for the flights. Only THREE people working the Budget line. By the time we had our reservation and were in the car, it was 9:10 pm.

Did you know the drive to Akron is over 6 hours long?? It was pouring rain by now and luckily Ruth offered to drive. I am a scaredy cat in the rain and I do NOT have the greatest night vision. Not to mention I was freaking exhausted. L passed out in the back and Ruth and I chatted. We still had not eaten anything since breakfast (WTF) and there was pretty much no where to stop (since it was so late). Ended up having to eat at McDonalds, but in my condition it tasted freaking delicious.

Stopped twice to get gas (and did you know Starbucks was open at one of the places at 1:00 am??) and arrive at the Akron airport just before 3:30 am. The entire drive was rainy and windy, and we were DONE. We lounged by the Frontier desk until they opened around 4 to get our boarding passes. I was FIRST in line for security when it opened about 4:15. We got quick breakfast at Cinnabon (delicious) and then sat around until we boarded around 5:45.

We had seats together in the last row of the plane. Took off on time around 6:10. BOUNCIEST AND SCARIEST FLIGHT EVER. I was pretty convinced we were going to die. Thankfully, we did not, and landed in Denver just after 7:00 am. Drove home, during rush hour, took a shower and CRASHED.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Three Things Thursday (Marine Corps Edition)

1. So this is my forecast.

Great. Not just a 90% chance of rain, but 20 mph winds on top of that? That's about the worst running conditions I can imagine. Gross.

2. So I'm thinking about buying this:

Supposedly it is wind and water resistant. For the $70ish it would cost to have it overnighted, it would also have to give me superpowers.

3. Running has sucked so bad lately. I try not to complain about it too much, but man. I *know* it is better than not being able to run at all. But I have only done two training runs in the last 2 weeks. Both 5 miles, and both took me an hour. That is roughly 1.5-2 minutes slower PER MILE than I normally run. Nothing actually HURTS, but it is just HARD.

I know people mean well but if ONE MORE PERSON TELLS ME "YOUR BODY NEEDS A BREAK" I'm going to snap. I have been working out for 8+ years, and honestly, this is the LEAST I have ever done. Even when I have had injuries, I've been cross training and at the gym more. So I don't want to hear any of that "rest" nonsense.

With that said. I wish running didn't suck so bad. I want to really enjoy it again, and I'm not. I feel like quitting. Anything that is that hard that doesn't reap a reward isn't worth doing.

I know, I know, crappy attitude.


Have you ever run 5ish hours in the rain? And wind? I normally wear a tank, but I don't want to freeze or get too soaked.


Monday, October 22, 2012

What's Next (Goals?)

Needless to say, when you are out on a course for 8+ hours with no iPod and nothing to occupy your brain, you spend a lot of time thinking and planning. So. Here's what I have come up with.
  • Running a 100 miler is insane.
    • Training is very time consuming
    • Training is lonely because no one else is as crazy as you are
    • A LOT of training for one day, which may or may not go your way
    • To be successful, you have to rely A LOT on other people
    • With all the above said, I'm nixing (for now) the idea of running another 100
  • Running a 50 miler is insane
    • See above
    • I may or may not ever run another 50 miler, and if I do, I will NOT pick a race where 50 is the furthest distance. After this weekend, I am even MORE convinced that "racing the clock" is the freaking worst. So unless I all of a sudden become MUCH faster, a 50 isn't in the cards.
  • Running 50k is insane, but do-able.
    • Training really isn't much different than marathon/half marathon training (FOR ME)
    • Most 50k's are on trails, and I really like trails
    • I can probably talk at least SOMEONE into joining me for a 50k
    • Same rule applies as my 50 mile rule - I will not race the clock, so I really don't want to run a 50k if that is the longest distance
  • Running marathons
    • I think I still would like to run these. They are challenging, and for the most part, fun.
    • When they are no longer "fun," I will no longer run.
    • See above - I don't want to "race the clock" - this will also apply to traveling and my crazy flights.
    • Related: I plan on traveling a lot less
    • Related: I think I will set a (very long term) goal to run a full (or longer) in every state. I will be a LOT more picky about the races I run. So if you have a race in your state that you think I would love, please send info my way.
  • Running half marathons
    • I think I would like to go back to running more of these.
      • Colorado has over 70 half marathons. (Long term) goal is to run every one in the state (or the marathon if there is one). This will take ages as there are a few weekends where there are 4-5 different races on the same day.
      • Related: I've only run a dozen or so to date. This will take a while.
      • Wyoming has over a dozen half marathons. Will have the same goal as Colorado, since Wyoming is close.
  • Running the continents
    • Obviously a goal, I have run 4 of the 7 already.
    • This will take a jillion years since Australia and Antarctica are ridiculously expensive.
So... what does this all mean? Well, I am not really registered for that many (FOR ME) races. I'm likely going to be filling my schedule with more local runs. And as for training, well, I think I need to get into a groove again, and just find out whatever works. All while making sure I don't jack up any more body parts and keep the knee/ankles in check.

With that said. I have race fever and I am dying to register for SOMETHING but I actually plan on waiting to see how Marine Corps goes this weekend.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

GUEST POST! L's Recap of Boulder Half Marathon

Boulder Half Marathon
October 21, 2012
Half #82
Temperature-mid 60’s

***While I was suffering in the crazy heat running the Palo Duro 50k, L was going to be running the Boulder Half Marathon***

This is the for real race bib. FOR REAL.
I registered for this race waaayy back in February. There is a version of this race in April with the exact same course which I did and HATED. The course goes along the Boulder Backroads and it’s all out in the open with the heat blaring down on you. There is not much to look at and since it’s an out and back I got to enjoy the lack of scenery twice. So needless to say… I was not looking forward to this race. I had already decided my next goal after completing all the states was to do every half in Colorado so I could not back out of this one.

Woke up at 6:10 since the start was not until 8. I remember right when I went to bed I forgot (or so I think I forgot) to pull out my headphones so I was reminding myself that was the first thing I needed to do when I woke up. Alarm goes off and I look for my headphones and I can’t find them. I spend about 10 minutes trying to figure out what I could have done with them and then just gave up feeling really annoyed. I grabbed my race belt, handheld from the counter and what do you know… my headphones were right there. I don’t remember putting them there at all. Ha. Rush out the door to meet Ruth at 24 Hour Fitness so we can carpool to the race. We both pull up early at the exact same time. Boulder is about 20 minutes away so I thought we would get there about 7.

After an uneventful drive we reach the Boulder Reservoir turn at exactly 7. Am I good or what? We notice it is slow moving and we find out later that it was because there was no one directing traffic and we all had to wait for lights to change. People were driving in from all directions. After about 20 minutes of not really moving I start to get a little twitchy. We still have to pick up our bibs and use the port-a-potties. We are never going to make it. Then the jerks started driving all the way to the front and aggressively pulling in behind those of us who have been waiting there forever. I made my mean hand gestures a lot. So inconsiderate. After 32 minutes we make it through the light and then it’s a dead stop on the one way road. It’s still 1.5 miles to the parking lot with less than 30 minutes till the start. The chick in front of us gets out of the car and starts running to the start. (FYI she beat us there by a lot. Pretty sad a runner can out run a car. We did see her on the course and she was one of the top 10 females.)

Finally at 7:45 we park the car at the edge of the parking area. We head to pick up and see a huge amount of people waiting for their bibs. After 10 minutes we hadn’t moved more than a foot and its 8. The announcer said they were going to delay to start by a little bit to accommodate the extra 500 people who did last minute registration.

This is the line at packet pick-up - 5 minutes after race should have started
Finally get to the counter at 8:18 where we see that that even though it was separated by last name all the volunteers had to go to a table in the middle to grab stuff. What is the point of separating lines to make it faster if all the bibs are together? The race also started at 8:18 and they were going to start the 5 mile at 8:30. They announce they are going to have to deactivate the timing mats for when the next race lined up so we race to the port-a-potties which surprisingly had absolutely no lines. We then try to figure out what to do with our stuff. There bag drop off was not ready and we had our swag bags and none of our other race stuff.

We run through the start with me holding my bib and swag bag. The course goes past the parking lot so once we thought we knew where the car was we hop over the flags and head to the general area of the car. Don’t see it. Go aisle after aisle with no success. Finally I start hitting my panic button and finally hear it. We get ready and see a poor woman who also did what we did though she really was having a hard time finding her car. I never did see her again. Head to the course again with not very many people ahead of us. When you start way after the race starts the first people you come up to are the walkers.

The course is pretty much a gradual incline the first half and I just was not feeling it. I was cranky from the chaos and I failed to mention that around 7 I started complaining I needed to use the restroom. All you fellow runners know what I am talking about so I will not go into details but needless to say… holding it for over an hour caused my stomach to be very angry. I had a massive stomach ache for the first few miles. There is no shade on the course so it was hot, hot.

Hit the first aid station a little over 2 miles. From what I remembered from the race I did in April was that they do not have a lot of aid stations and they are not usually very good so at least I remember my handheld. They had water, Gatorade and bananas. The course flattens out and just goes a long one long road. The next aid station comes up a little after mile 4 and the winner comes zooming past me. I wish I were him. This aid station had GU so I stole a couple. I love Vanilla Bean. Finally hit the turn-around and notice everyone has to fill up their cups because there aren’t any volunteers. Huh.

Pretty much the second half of the race was the same as the first so I wouldn’t go into any more boring details. The aid stations seemed to have lost their staff so for the rest of the race it was fill up yourself. The faster marathoners started passing me around mile 9. (They started on time at 7.)

Run up a big hill and it’s the home stretch. I had started map my run after we had dropped everything off at the car and I still got a distance of 13.49 miles. The mile markers seemed to be off the second half by a lot. Not sure how that can happen with an out a back. 

(Her mapmyrun time was 2:24:45, 13.49 miles. She didn't turn on her app until after they found the car, so who knows what the offiical time will be).

Ruth had Gatorade waiting for me at the finish. Had to take the chip off the bib to return it and then got my medal. Head to the food area and notice all that’s left are squishy bananas and some mini Larabars. (There you go B. I stole 3 just for you.) There was a meal ticket on the bib but no meals left. They ran out of everything. I feel sorry for the marathoners.

We head back to the car and notice the chaos of everyone trying to leave. It’s going to be like getting in all over again. Oy. It takes us over 10 minutes to get in the line of traffic from our row. 

Line of cars waiting to leave
The guy in front of us gets out of his car and runs down the hill. We are trying to figure out what he is doing. The sly guy apparently found a short cut. I told Ruth if more than one car followed him I would follow too. My car is just a little VW Rabbit that is not 4 wheel drive so driving down non roads is not ideal. We make it to the bottom where there is a separation of haystacks just wide enough to fit cars right by the exit. There is someone directing traffic since its coming from 2 directions. She did not like those of us who took the detour and refused to add us in to the rotation. I snuck through between her changing the directions of traffic and she yelled at me for going an unauthorized way. What are you going to do about it lady? There were a ton of people doing it and I couldn’t take anymore. Gave her a piece of my mind and left. Traffic was nothing.


Note race director- Account for how many people are doing the race and accommodate. Do not send out 3-4 emails a week a month before the race starts and then be “surprised” people register at the last minute. Direct traffic and make it easier to get in and out. Don’t have 3 distances with 3 different start times.

(L would like to add that they sent out MULTIPLE emails promising pint glasses - which no one got)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Palo Duro Trail 50K (Race Recap)

Palo Duro, TX
Saturday, October 20
Ultra Marathon #5
Ultra State #2
Weather - COLD at the start - 105 at the finish

Lesley and I started talking about new races to register for MONTHS ago. Palo Duro trail run was one of the ones I thought I could fit into my schedule and wouldn't be too expensive. I might even have booked my airfare (ridiculously cheap $39.80 each way) back in April.

I flew in to Amarillo on Friday morning. It was too expensive to stay in Canyon since I didn't have a roommate so I stayed at a Super 8 near the airport. While I was waiting for it to be time to get my packet, I ran to Target to pick up some drinks and then I came back to the room to take a nap. I'm so old.

I left to go down to Canyon to meet up with Lesley and Libby around 4:45. Took about a half hour to get there. I ended up running into them in the parking lot, which worked out nicely. We grabbed our bibs and then we had our free pasta dinner. I had some pasta with meatballs, a salad, and a piece of some kind of cake. There was a VERY long trail briefing, where I discovered that it would be dark the first hour that we were running. Oh. There was so little information on the website I had not known that and didn't bring my headlamp. On the way back to the hotel I stopped at Wal Mart and bought a $4.88, very poor quality, headlamp. Then I sat around drinking beer out of a can and watched a movie before heading to bed at 10:00.

Race Day

I did NOT sleep well. I somehow pulled something in my neck during the night and woke up barely able to move. I did not allow enough time to stop somewhere on my way down to meet Lesley and Libby at their hotel so we could carpool to Palo Duro. I was there right on time at 5:30 and stole a cinnamon roll out of the lobby while waiting for them. The gates didn't open until 6:00 and there was a line of cars waiting to get in. It was COLD when we parked. REALLY cold. Like I wish I had brought gloves. And maybe pants to wear until the start. We grabbed our stuff and headed to the start area. We set up our drop bags and made a quick trip to the bathroom. And got an awesome pre-race picture: 

Back: Tony and Martin Front: Lesley, Me, Suann, Libby
Before we knew it, it was 10 minutes until go time. We got herded over to the start, and as you can see, it was PRETTY DANG DARK at 7:00 am. Glad I had my poor quality light.

Lesley was running the 50 miler and Libby and I were running the 50K. We lined up more towards the back, and the race started right on time. The first few miles were DARK. Luckily, the pace wasn't too quick and it didn't feel that hard. My hands were really cold, and most of the early miles were spent shaking my hands because they were SO cold. Libby and I ran together for the first couple miles, and then she pulled ahead when I stopped to walk because I couldn't get the valve open on my hydration vest. Stupid cold hands! The sun came out, the headlamp came off.

The first loop was 6 miles, and it was a rough six miles. I just couldn't seem to get a good groove going. I had been hoping to match my performance at Bear Chase, but even running, I was struggling to be under 15 minute miles. What is that???

My stomach started feeling angry, and when I came through the start area, I noticed Libby at the drop bag area and I headed to the bathroom. I was not feeling great when I headed back out for the first of my two 12.5 mile loops. I kept thinking that if I just kept running that I would find my groove and the race would start getting better. It didn't.

My feet hurt, my ankles felt weak, and I overall just felt really fatigued. The temperatures were rising pretty rapidly, and even though I knew I was drinking enough, I felt really dehydrated and my throat was hurting. I arrived at the aid station around mile 9 and saw Lesley heading out toward the start line, she was probably at mile 10.

And then shit got bad. The back... oh, 6-7 miles of the course is all sand/dirt and is completely exposed. The sun and the overall hot was draining the tiny bit of energy I had right out of me. I just couldn't run the way I wanted. I had to keep slowing down and stopping and walking. So demoralizing. At this point I could still sort of enjoy the scenery, it WAS a beautiful course.

This is somewhere around 12 miles in. Already about 65 degrees, although it felt a lot warmer than that.

It was SO hot. And I was just feeling so awful. The exposed part of the course was super tough for me. Then finally once we got to the back side of the course, there was a nice shaded section. Doesn't even look like the same place, does it??

I think it took me 4.5 hours to get back to the start line, maybe 4:45. I saw Libby at the drop bag area (finally caught her!) and she was changing her shoes. I quickly applied some sunscreen and then I headed out. The last lap was a death march. I very briefly considered not even starting the last loop, that's how crappy I felt and how hot it was. I took a few more pictures on the last loop. I did more walking than running. I honestly haven't felt that bad during a race in a long time. Maybe not since the last 10-15 miles of Moab. My legs were just exhausted and the terrain was so packed that every step just ached.

Some steep climbs

About noon, it was already over 90 degrees
It got hotter and hotter. I was drinking a lot of water, but I just felt dehydrated and super tired.

They claim their name was changed to "Two Crazy Bitches"
The "Dos Locos" were very friendly ladies, and thankfully they put some ice in my bra and down my back. It helped cool me down a lot the last 6 miles of the course.

I just had NO energy to keep going, and I walked most of it, until I hit the last mile or so. I stepped it up the best I could, if for no other reason to just GET OUT OF THE SUN.

I was ECSTATIC to see the finish line. It honestly felt like one of those Twilight Zone episodes and I felt like the course was never going to end. But it did. I was a bit sad to cross the finish line and not get a medal, I instead got a hat. Boo.

Official Time - 8:23:44
Official Loop 1 - 1:25:45 (6 miles)
Official Loop 2 - 3:09:09 (12.5 miles)
Official Loop 3 - 3:48:50 (12.5 miles)
Overall Place - 100/139
Division Place - 6/15
Mile 1 - 13:13
Mile 2 - 14:47
Mile 3 - 14:26
Mile 4 - 13:54
Mile 5 - 14:25
Mile 6 - 13:37
Mile 7 - 15:59 
Mile 8 - 15:52
Mile 9 - 15:00
Mile 10 - 15:32
Mile 11 - 14:38
Mile 12 - 13:02
Mile 13 - 16:54
Mile 14 - 15:00
Mile 15 - 15:38
Mile 16 - 14:42
Mile 17 - 15:37
Mile 18 - 15:23
Mile 19 - 17:42
Mile 20 - 16:17
Mile 21 - 17:25
Mile 22 - 18:28
Mile 23 - 20:28
Mile 23.68 - 15:27
and then the POS Garmin stopped. Seriously. Can only last 6 hours?? WTF.

Thanks for the finisher pic, Monica!
I could not believe it when I saw how long it took me to finish this race. Well over 70 minutes longer than my previous worst time. Lesley got a picture of the temperature about an hour after I had been there. It got a LOT hotter.

We hung out at the finish line, and I grabbed a burger while waiting for Libby to finish. She came in about 8:39. We met up with Suann and Martin and found out that Lesley was not going to make the cutoff for the 50 miles, but we still didn't know how long she was going to be. We stood at the finisher's chute and cheered runners in. Lesley came through looking GREAT. We sat around at chatted for about a half hour. Then we drove back to Lesley and Libby's hotel and I got my car to drive back to Amarillo. On the way, I stopped and got dinner. Yum.

Thoughts on this race/weekend:

  • They REALLY needed to have more information on this race on their website. I went into the race completely blind and even though it probably would not have mattered if would have been more knowledgeable, it would have been nice to know the terrain.
  • Hardest race ever. Seriously. I wanted to quit so many times.
  • BUMMED to not get a medal after all that. :(
  • AWESOME to meet so many of my Texas Twitter friends!
  • Really great aid stations. Every single aid station had plenty of food and great volunteers
  • No beer post-race was sad.
  • THE HOT SUCKS. This was the hottest temperature I have ever run in. SO FREAKING AWFUL.
  • Everyone had a rough day, it is my understanding there were a lot of DNF"s. What a bummer.
  • Wish the shirt was a technical one so that I could wear it to run in.
  • I really didn't enjoy myself the last loop. It was too hot, and I was pretty miserable. If I wouldn't have traveled for this race, I might have dropped out. Yuck.
  • I didn't use my iPod. 8+ hours of "running" with no music? While "running" alone? Huh. Impressive.
  • THE FLIES. They were everywhere. And they bite!! So annoying and gross.
  • I won't run this one again. It didn't feel like a runnable course to me and even though the overall atmosphere was great, it was just not a fun course/experience. Texas weather is too unpredictable. Only plus was no humidity and a slight breeze.

Week in Review (June 11 - June 17)

Tuesday  (13,780 steps) - Work in the office. Took Olive for a walk after work. Nothing else? Went to 4 Noses. Wednesday  (15,137 steps) - W...