Friday night I ran the Lunar Trek 50K. It was in Scandia, KS and started at 11:00 pm. I went into the race feeling well trained and full of confidence. I was sure I was going to totally rock it. Then a series of crappy things happened and it didn't work out like I planned.
I talked Rick into making the trip with me because it's over 4 hours away and I didn't want to go alone. We left when I got off work Friday and I think we got there at about 9:00 pm. Libby was already there and had picked up my packet. I talked to her for a few minutes and then Rick said he was going to do the 10k. We went in and signed him up and I changed into my race clothes. I chatted with Libby some more and got everything ready. Rick and Libby were going to crew for me so we went in to look at the crew map to try to figure out where they could meet me. The race director started talking about how muddy it was in sections and how the crew wouldn't be able to make it. I basically ignored what he was saying thinking it couldn't really be that bad. We went back out to the parking lot and were just hanging out talking. Justin and Joell Chockley got there and I finally got to meet them in person. I've been giving Justin crap for a few weeks about how he needed to have some gastrointestinal distress so Joell and I could beat him. When I told him I was running the 50K he volunteered Joell to run with me. Nice husband, right?
We talked a little more and took some pics. Here I am with Libby before the race. Sorry it's blurry. The lighting wasn't exactly ideal.
Right before 11:00 someone decided to walk around the high school because that's where the race was going to start. We got lined up right before it was time to go. We ran down a hill that was blacktop, then hit the dirt road. And by dirt I actually mean mud and sand. The road was pretty soft and not that easy to run on. I finally figured out there were parts of the road that were firmer and tried to stay on those. After a bit my friend Luke joined us and was going to run with us, at least for a while.We were chatting and doing well. A couple of times I thought I should stop and walk because I've been doing intervals on all of my long runs. I hated to ask Joell and Luke to stop though so I didn't. We hit the first aid station doing really well and kept running. We started walking some hills around this time. It had rained and was cooler than I thought it would be, but the humidity was really bad. Within a few miles I could squeeze sweat out of my skirt.
At mile 3ish (I can never remember) we hit mud. Thick, nasty mud. The kind that sticks to your shoes and starts wearing you down. I was already getting cranky because my legs were hurting more than I expected them to at that point and I really wanted to walk for more than a minute, but was running with people faster than me and was trying to keep up. It was stupid of me to do that and entirely my fault. I should have just spoken up and said I needed a little break. Oh well. We hit the 5 mile aid station and Joell and I shared a gatorade and I refilled my water bottle. When we took off we couldn't find Luke, but he caught up pretty quick. Not far past the aid station we started running down a pretty steep hill. It was muddy and we were sliding around. At the bottom of the hill we ran into a place that had standing water. Luke was in front and hit it first, so Joell and I had warning and went around it.
At maybe mile 6 or so I was done. My legs were hurting and my lower back was killing me. Joell and Luke had gotten ahead and Joell stopped and walked with me. Luke kept going. I told her I just needed to walk a while. I ended up walking most of the rest of the race. We walked as fast as we could and tried to run as many downhills as possible. I had to stop for a couple of bathroom breaks. About a mile or so from the turnaround we met Justin walking. He said he was done. He had twisted his ankle going down the steep muddy hill and was hurting. It sounded like he had walked as much as we had. We told him to walk back to the turnaround with us and he could catch a ride with Rick back to the high school. I felt bad because I had joked so much about something happening to him. I knew it wasn't my fault, but still. I know what it's like to drop out of a race. It sucks.
We got to the turnaround and Rick and Libby were there. They helped me change my socks and clean out my shoes because they were full of sand. It was also so humid that my socks were soaked. One of the volunteers filled my water bottle and got me some kind of granola bar which I tried to eat but it made me feel like puking. I also tried to drink some powerade but didn't want to hang around too long because I was afraid I wouldn't leave. After I was a little ways down the road I realized I forgot my fuel. Crap! I tried to flag Rick down but he didn't see me. That meant 15.5 miles with no fuel. Joell had some extra Gu and there were aid stations, so I thought I'd do fine, but it still sucked.
There's not a lot to say about the second half. I walked almost all of it and ran down some hills, but not all of them. I was disappointed in myself and felt bad that Joell was having to go so slow to stay with me. She was awesome. She stayed cheerful the whole time and stuck with me when I don't think anyone else would have. After the next to the last aid station we decided we need to run as much as we can because the more we run the faster we finish. Since more than anything else I wanted to be done, I was willing to start running more. At the last station 2 miles from the finish I was ready to just get it done. We started running as much as I possibly could. The last part of a race is up a hill to the high school. Who's freaking idea was that?! Rick and Libby were at the top of the hill cheering and taking pics. When I got to the top Libby started running with me. I was so thankful to be done that I started running faster.
Woohoo! The finish!!
I was ecstatically happy. It was slower than I wanted by about an hour, but we finished and we didn't finish last! It was so humid and so muddy and I was so not mentally tough in this race. I (again) learned some important lessons though. Lessons that will serve me well in the future.
They offered to let people use the showers in the locker room and I was nasty and miserable so I did it. I felt like I was back in high school and it is really not a good feeling! Add public showering to the list of things I never thought I'd do as a runner. Thankfully another runner had some shampoo so I was able to get my hair clean. Thank you mystery woman!
After I showered and got dressed I went back to the parking lot and loaded up my stuff. Rick was exhausted and ready to go home but I wanted to see Jason and Megan finish their 40 mile race, so I took my lawn chair to the finish line and waited. I visited with people and got to see a few finishers come across. That was cool. I saw Jason and Megan finish and talked to them a few minutes, then headed home. I slept a little on the way, but not much. We picked up the boys and came home and fell into bed. About that time my mind started racing and I couldn't go to sleep. I gave up and got up. I finally went to bed about 9:00 last night, completely worn out.
Now I'm ready to start getting serious about Flatrock. I can't wait!!
(Justin, if you're reading this, picture me sticking my tongue out at you and laughing! Sorry you didn't finish your race, but always remember I put in more miles than you. I'm never letting you forget.)