Wow, what an experience. Crossing the finish line, pumping my arms and smiling like crazy. Jumping into my husbands arms then over to Joel and Robert for another whirl in the air. What a day!
Watching the impeding storm over Ottawa lake and the light show was amazing. My husband and I just sat at the picnic tables away from all the noise and crowds. I was so pleased to have him as my crew. He readily agreed to wake up at 4am to drive me to the start and crew for me. He asked how I felt and admitted that I was worried about how bad the pain might get and would I drop? I have a hard time doing that. I will take a beating just to stay in the game and play. I was also burnt out from my busy work schedule but was alive with energy knowing I would be on the familiar trail of the Kettle Moraine soon. My home and my comfort.
I was relieved to head to the start with only a sprinkle of rain. I'm not a night (pre-dawn) runner. Add heavy rain and I'm walking. 3-2-1.....GO! Sky let lose and it was a downpour. Lightning, thunder....I actually LOVED it. Wow! I ran faster and faster. I hung with a group of guys for the first 6.7 miles. We ran in silence initially trying to navigate the trail in the rain and dark and finally, I broke the ice by breaking wind. It was my pre-race protein drink. Lots of silence again until I fessed up it was me. Then the laughter. After that, we all were chatting away. but I ran behind the guys out of courtsey. I was running with Rolando, Felipe (from Costa Rica) and Tim. Turns out Rolando is good friends with Joel! Small world.
I was soon alone as the guys took off. I managed to ID Tom and Robert in the dark as I ran by. I have to admit, the first 20 miles felt really good. I felt strong and powerful with each step. Until I missed a step. I caught the guys and warned them about the slippery boardwalks from Wilton to Hwy 59. You guessed it, the next boardwalk, my feet slipped from under me and I crashed hard on my right knee and my bad right hip. Scary. That hurt but it took my mind off of my piriformis pain.
I got to Emma Carlin, mile 28 and was getting down right hungry! I ate potatoes since they weren't serving steak and walked out. My lack of trail running (haven't done much "trail" since the Bunk 50k) started to take effect. My legs were feeling dead already. I have never experienced that before mile 40 of a 50 miler. I was nervous. I set my timer to see how far back the next girl was since I was going to retrace my steps back to McMiller for another 10k loop.
While I was playing with my watch, the sky let open again and boom! Flash! Right in front of me and some approaching runners and huge bolt of lightning. We all ducked down into the grass out of panic, it was that close. I finally saw a girl and timed her at 10 minutes, so 20 minutes back. O.K. I thought, I can walk some of those hills on the McMiller loop to rest my legs. I got in to mile 35 and my husband told me the next girl was only four minutes behind me at mile 28. Huh? I told him he was wrong and he insisted he was right. He said the second place girl looked more like one of the guys and that's why I missed her. Tom said it was more like two minutes now. I looked at Tom totally drained of energy trying to figure out how the heck I was going to run another 14.2 miles with dead legs.
I jogged out thinking this girl was much stronger than me today. Probably trained for a trail ultra, probably injury free...may the best woman win. I did all I could. Well, that pity party lasted about 10 minutes. I started to run. Then I would walk and drag my knuckles and whine to the trees about how bad I felt. I think at one point I stopped at a tree to stretch my cramping calves and told the tree that it was currently witnessing me giving away $1000 dollars. After all the head battles, I finally dug deep and decided that since all my friends came out to volunteer and since my husband was helping me out and well, it was $1000 I was going to hold on to my lead no matter what. Wasn't easy but I pulled away from the 2nd place female and gained 8 minutes on her in the last 14 miles. So seeing the joy on Scott's face and the joy on the faces of all of my friends who were there was worth every step. I will treat the whole LPTR group to pizza, chicken and spam very soon.
Photo's are of me, dad and sister Diane. Dad finished the 10k in 1:14!