Well, not the 50 but the 26.2 :) and I am a-ok with that.
I was completely unsure what yesterday was going to be. Having not been able to run more than 10 miles in the last 2...3? months I was woefully unprepared to run the 50. Hell, in my book even the marathon was out of my reach. But, I was going to go out and see what I could do. I knew I had all day to do the marathon, hell...I could have done a lap, come in and taken a nap and gone out and finished and still come in before the course closed, lol.
Stayed with the ever-so-lovely Trail Pixie the night before, as has become tradition, so we could stay up too late and talk :) Then, up at the crack of dawn (hell BEFORE dawn!) to head to the course. There, we signed in and had plenty of time to meet up with fellow TUGers and other runner-friends. The race started 15mins. late due to some sort of telephone pole *incident* causing traffic mayhem resulting in people arriving late. We were getting worried about Steve who was not yet there but alas, he did arrive with books in hand. (he's an author, you know...you can buy his book here:
I am already 2/3 done with it...I stayed up late last night and read 'til my eyes bled...) We all headed to the start and got ready for whatever the day had in store.
I decided to stay with Steve as he is SO damn consistant with his time and I knew if I went out with him I wouldn't go out too fast and would have the best chance of getting the most miles in. Plus, I think I have told him a hundred times I wanted to or would run with him...then didn't. So, it was time to make things right. The first lap was a blast(at least for me, Steve may have wanted to slap me or possibly tell me to STFU but he didn't...'cause he is just a nice guy like that) and went pretty smoothly until I decided to trip over AIR at the end of the first lap, taking the entire weight of my body on my hands. Ow. My lower body was ok so on we went but damn if I couldn't use my right hand for the rest of the day.
We made a sort of quick transition through the start/finish and started out on lap 2. Not too far in, I started to falter a bit. Steve told me "Bitch, you are slowin' me DOWN!" (actually, he very tenatively and politely said "Um, this pace is a little off for me..." but the first comment is far funnier, dontcha think?) To which I replied that he should go on as he was much more likely to finish than I. We wished each other good luck and off he went. I had really enjoyed my miles with him and I was sorry I could not have kept up for longer (I had more stories!!!) Ah, well. Next time :)
I downed an 5 hour energy drink and crossed my fingers that I could at least finish the marathon(which was my secret squirrel goal) Several minutes later, I noticed that mentally clearer than I had been in MONTHS! Seriously though, I would drink one of these daily if they weren't so dagum expensive. I was thinking I could quite possibly finish this...or at least doing 3 laps. Too bad my body wasn't receiving the same message...
I ended up meeting up with a few women, one of which I ran with until the end. She was a LOVELY woman and I really enjoyed my time spent with her. I realized during this lap that I would in fact, at the very least, finish the marathon and I was thrilled. I was so happy to be out on the trails, doing something that I loved, that is such a part of me. I was so thrilled to be able to be out there, shuffling along, in spite of everything else that has been going on with me. I truly was not sure I would be in any shape to run even one lap. So, to be able to run 2...it was an emotional ending for me, that's for sure.
But, before I got to the end, I started to notice a few things...little signs my body may not be handling things. Things I wouldn't expect to feel until much later in the day/race. My feet were starting to give me trouble, my legs were getting sore(which is par for the course, but it came much earlier than I expected) and my kidneys hurt. I was warned, that although my kidney function was back to normal after VT and all was good, once you have renal failure you are more suseptable to it. Even though I was/am now super-ocd about my fluids and output, they were still getting 'irritated' and that concerned me as again, that is something that doesn't usually happen until later in the race. But, considering the meds and herbs I am on, my kidneys are already working pretty hard so...though mentally I felt like I could go out for another lap even though there was no way I would finish the 50, I decided to err on the side of caution and just be happy with the marathon.
After I changed into dry clothes (and many layers of them, at that)and made an emotional call to my Hubby letting him know I indeed finish the marathon and talked to my kiddos, I joined Trail Pixie (who SMOKED my ass as she WALKED most of the marathon...this girl is amazing. She can power walk with passion! Seriously, she is the BOMB!!!) to watch the rest of the race unfold. We had a GREAT time chatting our fool heads off and cheering on everyone coming in. We got to see our peeps go out for their last lap and I watched the clock dutifully so I could officially start to worry, when necessary.(hey, its a mom thing. Its how I roll.) We were ELATED when we got to see each one of our TUGers come in...2 of which completed their first 50 miler!
I have to say, though, waiting for and then seeing some of my friends come in is a very emotional thing. I can't even explain it. I don't know if its because I know them better, know of their challenges, or they just push my emo button but...waiting for KZ and Steve do that to me (though I will say I did get a wee emo over knowing BH Dan finished the marathon after SUCH a hard spring/summer) I get very teary when I see KZ come in. He is a dear friend. I want to say more than that but...he *knows* how I feel. And Steve...one of the funniest men I know, (though I secretly think he is a teddy bear on the inside :)...I will ask his wife about that someday...)guts it out to the end...how can you NOT get teary over that? I also cannot leave until I know all TUGers have been accounted for.
Then there was a newbie, J who after several attempts finished her first 50. Holy my....I am still teary about it. The look on her face when she finished was priceless. She did a great job and I am so glad we got to see her finish. The very last girl to cross the finish line was there doing her first 50 as well, and EVERY time I saw her all day she had a BEAUTIFUL smile on her face. Everyone that was still there made a human tunnel for her to run through to cros the finish line...the 'tunnel of love' :) How's that to top your emo basket? Yeah. :)
All of that and so much more is why I love this sport. The friends I have made, the time spent on the trails, the support from fellow runners and all the crews and people who come out and volunteer at aid stations cooking and catering to us runnin' fools...it is a community like very few others I have had the chance to experience. Amazing.
I can't wait for the next race :)