Monday, August 8, 2011

Hot to Trot 8 Hour Run

Well this day rolled around a lot quicker than I thought it would. It started out pretty optimal, overcast and a rain shower that kept everyone cool and happy (for the most part) through the first hour. Let's talk the loop, 1.18 miles of trail, with a small section of road to keep it interesting. The trail itself, well this is Sweetwater, so I love the trails; the rolling, roller coaster hills at the beginning of this loop were fun, for a while. The hill coming up from the creek on the yellow trail, has never been a favorite, but as Sarah says "it's not Jack's hill!". And it's not, but even after 4 hours, getting to the top of it proved harder and harder.

I was hoping for 30 miles, but knew that race day can either meet, exceed, or barely come close to stated goals. But I went out with every intention of hitting my goal, running as much as I could, walking the hills, pushing myself to power walk wherever possible. After the first five loops, Reann came out to join me (it gets tiring sitting there watching me go 'round and 'round), plus she was wanting to get some miles in. And boy did she! By the time Chelsea showed up, around noon, Reann had already logged about 6 or 7 miles herself, and was hoping for 15. Those two took a break while I went out for another loop, then they both came out the next time.

It started heating up after noon, but we still had the cloud cover for a couple more hours before the sun came out and really started heating things up. My mileage was dropping as the day wore on, but I was determined to keep moving. Of course, the pain in my feet was hard to ignore, but I was at least able to tuck it off to one side most of the afternoon. Running with my girls is always a treat for me, running a race with so many other runners I know is AWESOME!!!!! (that was for Aaron). I get such a kick out of seeing them all out running, pushing themselves, and being able to shout out encouragement to them, and receive it back. The running community is one I have embraced wholeheartedly!

It was great running with Babette Griffith, who went on to complete her first official ultra distance - you go girl! It was just great to be out there with so many runners of all speeds and abilities. Yes, got left in the dust by the hottest males and females, but that was quite alright! That's why they're so dang hot! Last year's "Cold Water Dude", Tom Wilson even came out and did the last 3 (or was it 4?) laps with the girls and I (as I was last year's "Ice Queen", it was quite fitting!)

But then on lap 19, just before we hit the road section, I was lucky enough to have a major ankle roll. I'd been able to catch myself in the past before it would roll too much, not this time. The momentum from coming down off that trail section rolled it almost parallel with the ground. Ooops! Well, it happens. Just had to walk, and walk, then walk some more. It didn't respond well to running, so yep, I walked some more! It's all ok, I managed one more loop after that, before my feet and my body said "you're done". 20 loops for 23.63 miles. I'll take it, it's all good experience for the next race. Well, next ultra distance anyway. I think I can manage the 12 miles I'll be doing as sweeper in October, and if I decide to do Silver Comet 1/2 again (ditched the Sizzler, am just going to focus on running for training instead of racing for the next couple of months). Let me just say this, I am REALLY looking forward to cooler temps for running again...

As for my girls, Reann knocked out 15 loops for 17.7 miles, while Chelsea managed 9 loops for just over 10.5. Are they awesome or what?!?!

A big THANK YOU goes out to GUTS and Sarah Tynes for another world class event. I know how much work goes into a race beforehand, and have volunteered at more than my share, so being able to run a GUTS event again was a really fabulous experience. THANK YOU to all of the volunteers as well, seeing you out there every time we came through the aid station was very motivating. I couldn't have continued on without you!