Saturday was the 2nd Annual WinterRock 25K. A few months ago I had grand plans for this race that included finishing in under 4 hours. Could I have done it? Maybe. It would have been much easier if I hadn't cut way back on my running and totally slacked off in November and December. I was undertrained, but still excited about the race because I got to see all of my friends, plus my oldest son Ryan was going to be doing his first 25K there. He originally planned to do the 12k, but after pacing me for over 7 miles at Prairie Spirit we both decided he could do 25k. Rick and Adam were also going to be going down there with us because due to weather, Rick's work Christmas party had been rescheduled for that evening in Wichita. There was no way we'd make it on time, but if he went with me I could shower at his parents and we could leave the boys there and not have to come back through Eureka. Am I a little selfish for doing the race and making Rick late to his party? Probably. I do feel somewhat guilty about it.
Saturday morning we got up, got dressed and packed, and headed to Neal, KS to pick Ryan up. He had a church lock in the night before. He was doing his first 25k with little to no training and had been up all night. He was about as prepared as I am for most races. We picked him up, then met Kodi, who was following us there so she wouldn't get lost. We got to the lake, picked up our numbers, and started getting ready. I changed into pants from my capris because I decided it was too chilly for capris. Eric told us he had extended the cutoff for 30 minutes due to trail conditions. There was some snow, ice, and lots of mud. What would an Epic Ultras event be without a little crazy weather, right? Pretty soon the rest of my friends had arrived and we all hung out talking and getting ready while planning when we would take our pre-race shot of bourbon. We tried for before the pre race briefing, but some people were taking forever to get ready! Ahem. Joell, Mary Anne, and Sean, I'm talking about you! Eric called us all to the shelter for the briefing, which was much the same as all of the talks he gives before a race on that trail.
We gathered around for our shot, having Ryan take our picture because as the only minor, he wasn't included.
The race started and I had Ryan stay with me for a bit. I didn't want him to take off too fast. He said he was going to stick with me until we got to the trail, which is maybe a half a mile from the start. Sean ran this part with us as well. We hit the trail and Ryan took off. As usual, there was a conga line of runners up the first hill. That is 100% fine with me as I like to go up it slow. Well, ok,. I HAVE to go up it slow. Two older gentlemen fell in behind me and we chatted a bit. Not too long after they went around me. I ran a lot of the next few miles alone, but the caught back up with them and stayed with them to the turnaround. Both were very nice and friendly and chatting helped the time go by faster. I took a nasty spill and they both stayed and helped me up and made sure I was ok. I started meeting people on the way back in and Zach was the first of my friends to meet me. He was focused on speed, so we didn't say much other than hi. Then came Candi, then a bit later I saw Ryan. He grinned and said "I passed Kodi!" I told him good job and kept going. I kept running and started to wonder why I hadn't met Justin yet. Getting closer to the turnaround I started thinking I should have passed him as well as Joell. I started wondering if they were ok. Soon enough, there was Justin and Michael was with him. We talked a second and I went on. Pretty soon I saw Joell. I told her "your husband is right up there! Catch him!" My goal then became to get to the turnaround and then try to catch them.
The guys I was with lingered at the turnaround a bit so I took off, even though I would have preferred to stay with them for the company. It took me a couple of miles, but I finally caught Joell and Mary Anne, and they had caught Justin. They were hiking and at that point I really wanted to just hang out with them and finish the race with them if possible, so I started hiking too. I don't think we ran again until we hit the road. We talked and the miles passed very quickly, with a little of my whining about the steep hills thrown in. Joell told me she had little bottles of vodka in her hydration pack and when we got to the devil's butt crack I could have a shot. Woohoo! I have awesome friends. We got there, I took my shot, and we continued on. When we got to the road we started running. I wanted to die, but they all did great. I think all three of them could have smoked me at that point, but it was very nice of them to stay with me! Then like a big jerk I ended up in the shelter writing my name down first, so my finish time is faster than Joell and Mary Ann's. It shouldn't have been and I feel really bad about it!
Here we are finishing
I couldn't stay long as we needed to get to Rick's party. I should have ran right to the car, but, well, sometimes I'm mean and selfish and then feel guilty later. I talked to a few people, talked to Ryan (who rocked it and finished in 3:28) and then took a post race celebration shot.
I finally headed to the car and just as I was getting in Ryan jumped out because another runner was coming in and he wanted to cheer for him. It was Joseph Galloway, who is one of the nicest runners I've met. I ran with him a bit at FlatRock and talked to him a minute at Heartland. I hope I continue to see him at races.
Finally in the car and headed to Rick's parents house where I took a quick shower, warmed up a sausage biscuit as I was starved to death, and headed to Wichita. I was exhausted and didn't realize it yet, but was severely dehydrated. About 9 oclock when I realized I hadn't peed since 9 am, and had one of the worst headaches of my life and was just miserable, I realized how dehydrated I was. I was not a lot of fun at the party and probably not as nice to people as I should have been. By the time we got him I was just trashed. I grabbed a handful of cookies and a bottle of water and got in the bathtub. I ate cookies, drank water and relaxed. Yep, I'm pretty damn awesome!
In closing, a picture of my rock star son Ryan finishing his first 25K! I wish I could have seen him finish, but he was way ahead of me!