I don't even know where to start, so I'll start with the results.
2011 Finish Time: 5:27:24
2014 Finish Time: 5:28:56
Seriously???? Yes. I was nowhere near my 5:17 goal, but to be that close to a PR was a bit tough to swallow.
This year's ultra marathon was a sold out race. There were 550 participants registered. I finished 145 overall and 42nd in my gender. Here it is….the official results. I was pretty steady, up until the very end.
4:15 am I woke up.
4:30 am I got out of bed and got dressed.
5:00 am Ate blueberry oatmeal.
5:15 am Left the house.
5:35 am Arrived at Will Rogers Memorial for Sunrise Service. There was praise and worship and a devotional service.
6:15 am Bathroom break and tried to connect face-to-face with Sherri
6:50 am Hopped in corral 5 and immediately found the 4:40 marathon pacer. It took me a minute of debating with myself to move closer to the 4:30 marathon pacer.
7:10 am One last pit-stop to the bathroom. No lines. I guess that's one advantage of being in the 5th corral. I made it back, just in time to find the pacer and just like that, we were running.
The first half of my race, not pictured here, was pretty solid. 10-10:20 splits. Mile 22 is when things start to get interesting. I told the pacer, "I'm going to try to hang with you as long as I can." And I did, but things started to unravel between mile 23-24. That's when I lost her. I knew I was going to lose her for sure at mile 25 when the ultra and marathon split, but I so badly wanted to hang out to her until the end.
Unfortunately, Trey did not spectate the race, but my friend Sherri ran the half marathon and then spectated. She called me several times and asked me if I needed anything. She offered me pickled juice and I said, "YES! That sounds wonderful." She ran a little ways with me and encouraged me. When she asked me how I felt, I told her the truth, "I'M EXHAUSTED!" My mom also called me several times, but every time she called, I started to pick up my pace, so thanks mom!
Once I started to run on the trinity trail, my legs had enough. I want to say that was around mile 24. I was so weak, but tried to push on. At that point, I knew I was well ahead of my goal, so I started to take walk breaks...but before I knew it, time was slipping away from me. My 5:17 goal was slipping away. I wasn't mad, I was just like OK. Maybe I can beat my 2011 time???
A lot of distance runners say, it's important to take walk breaks to conserve energy, but I'm not so sure that's the right thing for me or at least on this course/this race…and when I started to take frequent walk breaks, it really messed me up. I'd stop running and then I'd feel ALL the pain, 10 times more, which made it that much harder to start running again. My friend Michael who had recently attempted to complete a 100 mile race, was cheering me on at the 27 mile aid station. I slowed down there a lot, which looking back now, was probably my number one mistake. Runners you know, how these stations make you want to get cozy and relax, when you should be high-tailing it to the finish line! Someone said, don't worry - soon the announcer will be calling your name at the finish line! And that was my mantra, to get me through those last brutal miles.
Today, I picked up the girls. They were in Abilene partying - while I was running and recovering. It was so good to see them. We spent the evening together foam rolling.
My ballerina got into it too.
I have lots more to share, but I think this is good for now! Stay tune for more Cowtown Race Weekend chatter.