Sunday, October 14, 2012

No More Mr. Marathon....

...because I am now Mr. ULTRAAAAAAAAAAAA MARATHON!  Yesterday I ran my very first ultra-marathon (50K).  We made a friend about a month ago at a 5K who had told me about this race, who was also going to run it.  Of course, I had to do it, too!  So, my chauffeur, Mrs. Marathon, drove me all the way to Fries, VA, which is two hours away, yesterday at 5:15 AM.  We arrived at the New River Trail State Park at about 7:15 AM before the sun even came up!  Luckily, I love the cold weather.  Not.  35 degrees is a little bit chilly for me... as in FREEZING.  Upon our arrival, this was the actual temperature.  I am NOT exaggerating.  Anyway, when we got there, I picked up my packet and prepared for the biggest challenge of my running career thus far.  I was well prepared for the weather conditions, though.  I stayed plenty warm and plenty comfortable, unlike some other runners wearing tank tops and shorts.  I was wearing a pull-over, running tights, and a beanie.  And everything I was wearing was thermal and intended to keep me warm!  Once the race had begun, it was a little difficult for me to set a pace so I had to start off slow.  I am not used to running on a trail, since all of my races and training occur on paved ground.  Once I found my trail-running groove, I ran at a good pace and I was feeling good.  Except for the fact that one of my ankles had started to hurt a little bit.  Regardless, I kept on running, and I ran all the way to the turnaround point (about 15 miles in), where I found my beautiful wifey  (A.K.A. my personal photographer) waiting there for me!  Then I got confused and kept running instead of turning around.  I got myself all turned around the right way to head back for the second half of the race.  I kept going strong until around the 20-mile marker.  Between cramps on my stomach and thighs, my right knee giving out, and both of my ankles and the tops of my feet hurting, I was struggling.  However, the course was beautiful, so I had plenty of scenery to admire, which was a nice (and welcome) distraction, despite my internal pain and suffering.  I was tired and hurting, but my body was still going.  Finally my feet were not allowing me to run anymore, but I was not going to stop.  I had to power-walk because I was not about to stop moving after all the hard work that I had just invested into this race.  Every second I felt like I could run, I would not hesitate to do so.  I finally got to the marathon split (at 3 hours and 45 minutes), and after that, my lower body was DONE.  I could not have asked for a better trail to run on because it was nice and flat, but it was still a trail, with loose rocks and gravel.  The rocks weren't big, but they sure were a big obstacle for my feet.  I had to continue to power-walk and run when I was able for the last stretch.  I absolutely hate walking because once I get a taste, I just want to keep on doing it.  Anyway, I eventually made it to the finish line in about 4 hours and 45 minutes.  I am very glad that I managed to finish the race and earn the title of ultra-marathoner!

3 comments:

  1. You are awesome... Keep up the good work and you will get your BQ... Good luck in Richmond next month, I'm working but I'll be cheering for you!!

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    1. I'm really glad that you told me about the race. I loved everything about it! It was a new experience for me, to say the least. I hope that we "run" into you at another race sometime soon! In the meantime, take good care of yourself and keep on running!

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