Sunday aka 13.1 Miles
Sunday I woke up and had another bagel. It didn’t take me as long to get ready this time, but I think part of that is because I was the only one getting ready. Gale didn’t do the Trifecta so I didn’t have her energy to distract me and feed me (it does both). Dressed and with the car packed, she was kind enough to snap a picture for me. I was a little irritated because I had to throw away a lot of my food because it wouldn’t keep in the car and the hotel wouldn’t allow a late check out. Actually I must say the Little Brown Inn left A LOT to be desired. The only perk to the room was the free TV and the screen was very small. Nothing else was very nice about it and they say “free Wi-Fi” however the only thing found by my iPAD or Gale’s Kindle was something called “Little Brown Inn” which we were told is wrong and to look for NETGEAR. We told her it wouldn’t show and she said “Oh well, it might not be working”. Really? Thanks for caring at all. I guess you can overcharge and be rude when you’re the only place locally. (Rant over).
We chatted with a few friends back at the starting line. Some were really ready, some weren’t ready at all, others were just saying “hi and bye” while their friends attempted the Trifecta. One woman we know made a few comments to me about needing to run fast or at least power hike. I think she even said something about not doing it if I wasn’t prepared. I thought she was kidding, but I was offended anyway. I may not be fast, but I WAS trained. I had trained to be a power hiker. I had trained to be able to recover and get back out there the next day. I had trained for endurance over speed.
The first 5 miles were exactly the same as the 25K. We went over the shared mountain bike trail, up Big Ass Hill (for a THIRD time) and through the woos to the Fire Tower. This time at Fire Tower the food options were super limited. I grabbed only a cup of pretzels, used the bathroom and hurried into the next section. I wanted to enter the next station by 11 AM.
Getting to the Covered Bridge was way quicker than I remembered and since I was wearing my Garmin, I knew the real mileage. It was also the same route as the day before. Since I previously thought I wouldn’t get there until mile 9…I had decided I would drop at the next station. I wasn’t feeling well, my hamstring was starting to hurt and this race wasn’t important enough to risk injury. My heart felt 100 x lighter when I decided it would soon be over.
When I arrived 2 miles sooner than I thought I would, I was very conflicted. It was hot, I was sore, and I wasn’t feeling well, but was I in need of dropping? The workers at the station told me I wasn’t the last one (yay) and they also said if I dropped that was fine, but they didn’t have a way to give me a ride. I tried to have them help me decide what to do, I was so worried about being hurt. I also hurt my pride by slowing down much more than I intended. One of the workers told me I should just go ahead and go and reminded me I wasn’t making up any time by standing in the station so long. I decided I could at least try the next flat, asphalt mile and drop if needed. See, the Lyons Falls loop was dropped from Sunday’s event, so I walked right over the bridge and into the final river being too close section.
One mile lead to two and two to three. Then a pacer caught up with me. He lead me the rest of the way in and was excellent at keeping me sane. He did lie and say I wasn’t the last one, but I think he could tell how much I needed to hear I wasn’t the last one.
Those last few miles were almost the same as the day before. The big change came at the end. Instead of dropping down toward the camp grounds, you took a turn and entered about another mile of so of hills and trails. Kill me now.
My goal was 5 hours and 5 hours and 20 minutes later I finished. I suppose for what I did a 20 minute difference is nothing to be ashamed about in the end. I was SUPER sick by the end of it, due to not taking in much fuel and limited hydration, combined with the sun. I stopped for a sandwich before hitting the highway and settled in for a long dive (90 minutes) back home. As I drove I cried for no reason about 3 different times. It was a very emotional experience for me, but I am forever happy I completed the journey.
Not long later I read a blog post from a friend who was also a volunteer at the event. She made it very clear how annoyed she was with the walkers at the event and how she wished more people would have stayed home if they weren’t faster. She cited people taking 3 hours to get to the one aid station. I know I took that long, who knows if anyone else did. Naturally I took this post very personally and was crushed. After all the hard work I put into my weekend, there it was in black and white, someone’s opinion that my best wasn’t good enough. I always consider the PRE quote “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” and I push myself each and every time. Maybe it doesn’t seem that way to the outside observer, but after sitting out for years due to injury or other issues, I opt be out there if it is safe to do so and there isn’t a cut off. I never do races with cut offs I can’t make, and I don’t mind either. This race was so vital to so many aspects of my life and I was allowing one post to take that away from me.
24-48 hours after reading the post and considering all aspects of my reaction and possible actions, I saw a pin on Pinterest and it reminded me to let it go and move forward.
With that I’ll wish everyone a safe and happy weekend. Get out there and do something you love.