You were waiting on bated breath for the follow-up to part one, so here it is!
I forgot to add this picture of my car/sleeping den for the night. This was my key for a good night sleep and winning the race! And by that I mean waking up every 30 minutes in a disoriented haze.
I was nervous all morning but once it was time to line up I was pretty dang excited.
The gun went off and all the fast people ran up the large hill, and I was towards the end with all the other walkers. Only goal for the day: finish race. No need to wind myself in the first 60 seconds, I’d have 12 hours for as much of that as I wanted.
As tedious as this already is, I’ll spare a lot of the details of how the terrain went up then down! Or how many gels I ate! Or what my emotional state was at mile 19! Snooze.
I will say that things were going great until about the turn around point (mile 25) when it started to get “hot” (70’s? I don’t remember and it probably wasn’t as bad as the infernal hell it felt to be in my mind). Things started sloshing in my stomach. And my mouth was so, so incredibly dry. It was weird. At this point I really couldn’t fathom eating or drinking anything which you know means things are not a-ok in the body organs and fluids. I tried putting watermelon in my mouth and couldn’t even get it down. This is also the point where it was just so long of up, it seemed to never stop.
So I walked/slooooow jogged a lot of mile 30-40. I took small sips of water. And really I just hoped it would pass since I didn’t have any other symptoms (no dizziness, no cramps, no coma, I was still peeing, etc.). Right around the 38ish mile point, pre-final downhill, was my low point. It included cursing past-Ashley for enthusiastically signing up for this nightmare, labored crying and trying to hide it when someone would pass me, thinking of all the ways I’d become a better person if I could just finish. Not to make light of grief, but it was kind of like a diluted version of the Kubler-Ross Model.
But guess what? I hit the final downhill portion and it was like absolute euphoria. I knew I had about 10 miles left and that was “totally doable.” Note foreshadowing to the wheels almost coming off again about 3 miles from the end. But at that point I started running because the carrot was dangling closer now!
At the last aid station they had Coke and chips and it was so incredibly good I ate approximately 48 Lay’s chips and 2 cups of Coke which was probably not the best fueling strategy. Onward!
The last 5 miles my feet and legs were so tired, they just kept coaxing me to stop. Oh and at this point you could hear the announcer congratulating finishers. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t hallucinating because I asked another runner and he heard it too <–also not a hallucination?, and this was kind of tortuous. Since my watch stopped working I kept thinking that at any moment I would pop out near the finish but nope I had to wait another hour for that, hobbling along.
After an eternity, which included well-meaning volunteers saying “you’re almost there!!!!” (now I realize that “almost” is not a quantitative measure meaning <0.1 miles), I came down the hill to the finish.
It was surreal and awesome and I want to do it again.
I ate some of the dinner they provided. As hungry as I was it was sloppy joe’s so I vomited a little in my mouth before eating it. Sorry to the sloppy joe enthusiasts, I’ve just never been a fan. I then got in my car and drove myself the two hours home to be sure I made it before dark slash falling into a deep slumber and crashing the car.
Would I do it again? Heck yes. I’d maybe try to double the distance..
Do you have any races planned for 2016? Do tell!