Unbelievably, I made it through the taper time with relatively little craziness although there was definitely a touch of moodiness. I was feeling good and ready to go and not too nervous. Or so I thought. After Luke's final soccer game, I started packing and bam! It hit me- the nervous poops. I'm not going to go into it all (Audrey's comment after reading last year's report "I didn't know you pooped so much.") but I will say this year was not nearly as dramatic as last year. Bill and I loaded up and left, leaving the kids at home. While I was glad they were there to see me last year, it was kind of hard. I had to work hard at not thinking about them or worrying about them. And after I finished, while they gave me time to cool down and such, they were done and ready to get home and I really needed more time. So I made the decision that Bill would be the only one going with me. (Thanks, Julia.)
We made it to packet pick-up and I happened to meet an Instagram friend in person. Then we grabbed supper and met up with Amanda and Micah before checking into our hotel. My supper of choice is a chicken burrito bowl with guacamole, in case you're wondering. I explained to Bill how I wanted him to crew for me and made it simple for him to do so. I got a good night's sleep and woke ready to run. Breakfast was a banana and almond butter (I'm in love with almond butter!). I had brought more but knew I could only get down that and called it good.
Brr! The morning was cold. Fog rolled off the lake and the grass was crunchy with frost. I kept my winter coat and sweatpants on until the last minutes. I met some familiar faces in the crowd and that's such a nice feeling of not being quite the stranger anymore. Then with a shout, the race started.
Here were my race goals: 1. Finish (not always a given) 2. Finish faster than last year. 3. Come as closet 6 hours as I could.
Other race goals: Be relaxed yet mindful. Run a smart race. Not get screamy at Bill.
|The start of a good day|
|Only Forest, the dog, wasn't a fan of the cowbell|
|What a day!|
Which I did. I huddled around with Bill and Amanda and looked at my watch. Not only did I finish, I beat my time by over an hour and I finished within the 6 hour range I had hoped for!! 6:40 is my time.
|Me and the Pixie Ninja Runner|
Amanda took in my race details as I hobbled around. After she left, Bill and I headed out to the other aid station to say hello to everyone there. It was good to talk with them and encourage the very last runners as they gutted out the last miles.
I raced smart, going a lot by feel and confidence and being relaxed. It was my best race in this regard. I did the best I could about my knees, given the knowledge and experience I have at this point. Bill points out that I managed an entire training cycle and halfway through the race before the issues came up so that shows progress. He's right. I will continue to pursue this as it is my main issue. I also am thankful that this happens to be my issue and not other things. I'll continue to learn about nutrition and hydration. I experienced some light-headedness and upset stomach towards the very end. I must remember I've been at this a very short amount of time.
|We make a good team|
I am very thankful to be able to run and chase after dreams. I'm thankful that I have such great support and encouragement. I'm truly humbled by all the well wishes and congratulations.
|The goat is jealous of my medal. Run your own race, buddy.|
Here are the other two posts about this training/racing season.
|The all important video. Ha!|
(Which might not work after all.)