Today I ran my second 25K! My time was much better than last time, but the course was quite a bit easier than Flatrock. Also, I'm in much better shape this time.
We went down to Tulsa last night since the race started early. Picked up packet, ate, and shopped. Then we went to the motel and Adam insisted on swimming. I hung out in the hot tub for about 15 minutes before I had had enough. I then went back to the room and got my stuff ready for the race.
I set my alarm and worried over and over about it going off at the right time. Since the time changed I was concerned. It turns out I was right to be worried! I kept waking up stressing about what time it was. I finally got up to check and it was 6:10. Oh crap! We needed to leave at 6:00!! I got ready in a hurry and we ran out. I grabbed some cinnamon roll thing from the continental breakfast on my way out. Somehow I actually managed to bring everything I needed. Oh wait, did I mention we felt an earthquake during the night? Oh yes, we did. I was asleep and I woke up to the world shaking. It was quite an experience, let me tell you.
Anyway, we arrived at the race location. It is not easy to find, but I had been warned about this, so we found it the night before. Thank goodness. We found a parking space, I gathered my stuff, and got out. Rick and Adam went back to the motel to get ready for the day and check out. They hadn't exactly had time for showers. I hadn't had time to do everything I needed to in the bathrooms, so I quickly headed to the port-a-potties.
Race time came and I got lined up. The gun went off, and we started running. The first few miles were pretty uneventful. I was running with some other runners and I enjoyed listening to them talk. Then I started running with a very nice lady named Kim. I was really enjoying myself despite the really huge headache I had woken up with and couldn't shake. At mile 3 or so we had to go up a hill. My chest started feeling tight and I couldn't catch my breath. I've never had that happen and it was pretty unnerving. I fell behind the nice people I was running with, much to my dismay. I eventually caught my breath and was doing fine. Until I fell. I don't know what I tripped on, but I went down hard. My hand was bleeding and I was kind of sore all over for a couple of minutes, but I was fine. I got up and kept going. After I sat there for a few seconds wanting to cry. And give up. It just sucked for me at that point. The next two miles were just difficult. I can't think of another way to describe it. I've been having trouble with my right hip and for a while I couldn't even run without pretty significant pain. Since I was only 1/3 of the way through, I just wasn't confident I could finish. It started getting better slowly. By the time I made it to the aid station at mile 7 I was doing well. The really really wonderful people there helped me clean up my hand, I ate some food, and continued on my merry way. After that I did great. Not to say I wasn't tired at some points and it wasn't difficult, but I was doing well. I was really hoping to finish in 4 hours but didn't want to look at the time and stress about it. At mile 10 I looked. I was doing well and knew I could finish in 4 hours if I kept at the pace I was going.
I was running and getting tired, but doing so well and I knew I was on target to finish. Then I got lost. Let me just say, this was in no way the fault of the people in charge of the race. The course was marked really well. I just have a horrible sense of direction it seems. I figured out I was going the wrong way when I saw someone else. He led me back to where I needed to go and I followed him for a while. I could have gone faster, but I was scared of getting lost. Because I got lost, then went really slowly, I didn't finish in 4 hours. I think my time was 4:13. My watch said 4:10, but I had been lost and it had stopped for a bit when I fell, so it wasn't really accurate. It thought I was done before I was, so I don't really know how far I went. I think I added a bonus half mile or so. Go me! For those keeping track, this was about 17 minutes off my previous 25k.
About 3 miles from the finish, I passed Eric Steele, RD for Flatrock. Actually, I had seen him at an aid station too. The guy is just way too cheerful considering what he was putting his body through. He ran the 50k. Anyway, he said something about this course being easier than Flatrock. It was for sure. Not that it wasn't hard and didn't have it's very difficult portions. It did. I just think it was easier overall. I was also in much better shape for this race, so that might have skewed my opinion a little.
One last thing the evil people planning this race did. I got the the point that I thought was the finish. Everyone was cheering, etc. Then some lady says, "just keep going, run around this building and then you will be done!" WTF? Are you serious? Run around the building? I thought I was done! I really thought I was being punked or something. But no, you really do have to run around the building. I did and I got my medal. Then I saw Rick and Adam (Ryan didn't come, he had a birthday party) and they were the best looking guys I had ever seen! We hung around for a little while I whined and then we left. We went to Quiznos to eat where I took a paper towel bath in the bathroom. Yes, I was able to lift my leg to put my foot into the sink to clean it. My legs were filthy. I can't believe I didn't fall and hit my head and pass out or something. I guess I'm just awesome enough to have made it work.
I don't have a lot of pics because I didn't really take any.
Here is the huge medal:
I am very impressed with all of the volunteers and organizers of this race. Thanks to all of you!
I think that is the end of my racing season. I might do the Turkey Trot in Coffeyville, but maybe not. I haven't decided what my next big race will be, but I do have something kind of big planned. Stay tuned for details!