My alarm went off at 3:45 and I quickly got ready. I'm the type who can't be bothered to brush my teeth but I HAVE to wear mascara so I don't look like an albino in pictures. I know, priorities. I drove and met my carpool and we were on our way.
We boarded the buses and got off at the Spruces Campground and sat around freezing, in the dark, with our space blankets. Seeing thousands of people sitting around quietly in little huddles in shiny metal blankets in the dark was kind of eerie looking. After a couple bathroom trips and eating my pre race fuel we walked to the start only to discover it was starting and almost no one was there. My goal time was 1:50 and I desperately tried to find the 1:50 pacer and not a single pacer was there. We decided to just start anyway because I had a pace band.
I began the race with my friend and we set the pace and headed out. She spotted a mother moose and her baby off the road which was cool. The first few miles were a little rough for me until my legs warmed up and then it was time to fly.
Mile 6 was my fastest time and my bladder was not having the down hill or the speed. It decided to retaliate and without any ability from myself to control it, I peed my pants. Like, full on, running down my legs, people laughing behind me, peed myself. It was mortifying but there was nothing I could do about it except let it dry and keep going.
I kept a great pace until we came out of the canyon. Then my body just gave up. Part of it was because I had forgotten to take another energy gel and the other part was going too fast too soon. My legs weren't used to it and they REALLY struggled. As you can tell above, my time really slowed.
By mile 10.5 I was still right on track with my goal time but I knew I just didn't have it in me to continue that pace. I chucked my pace band and decided to just do my best. My legs were toast and I was struggling.
Towards the end I was spent and I noticed the runner in front of me had the number "4" written on his calf. The running group I'm a part of is called Run4Fun and to identify ourselves at races, we write a "4" on our body. I had one written on my arm so I caught up with him, tapped his shoulder and showed him my "4". His name was Robert and I owe so much to him. He helped encourage me and push me to the finish. It's amazing what support can do to your spirits.
I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:54:26. Although it was a little slower than my goal time, it was 5 minutes faster than my previous PR. I think I could have completed my goal time had I been with a pacer (my first 9 miles were faster than goal pace), but that's alright. There will be other races. And I am super proud of what I accomplished, even though I died at the end. Prepare for a photo overload.
My friend Lisa. She CRUSHED it today! Her goal was 2 hours and she didn't know if it was possible. Guys, she finished in 1:58 and her baby is only 9 months old. Way to go! I'm so proud of her!
This is just plain adorable.
It was a great race with good results. One more down before race season is over and this is the big kahuna. The full monte. I'm terrified.