Well a week later seems like a perfect time to do a recap!
I haven't had a moment to read a blog in the past couple of weeks let alone right my own blog post. I finished my job at Al Jazeera America on 7/15 and then 7/18 headed off to the RNC (I was hired as a freelance production manager) then come home run the race then head off to DNC. So whirlwind is the only description I have for the past few weeks.
I signed up for this race for more or less one reason: it was in my town. There is not much opportunity for me to have a race so convenient so before I could really think about it, I had registered.
Then the reality sunk in. I just signed up for a 6 hour race at the end of July. I don't run well in the heat.
The week before they started sending out the emails - due to it being the hottest predicted day of the year there would be no "place" finishes. They strongly discouraged anyone taking it seriously. They weren't going to call it a fun run but they threatened to strip people of bibs that didn't take the heat and humidity seriously. If you looked like you should be stopped and weren't they were taking away liability. So yay!
Add to this I was running around RNC all week prior and was lucky to have 5 hours of sleep a night - I was SO looking forward to it.
And hot it was. I had an upset stomach all morning and was concerned for that but honestly I wasn't racing this. I planned to walk when needed and my goal was to finish 26.2. Considering I usually do that in under 4:30 I thought it was a safe bet.
My sister came to run and we arrived at the race ready to go. One of us taking selfies the other listening for instructions ;)
The whole race was very laid back. They literally gathered the group (I don't know how many people maybe 150?) gave some instructions then herded us towards the start line.
My sister is a faster runner than myself but we ran the first few loops together.
The course was a 1.3 mile loop that you ran until either you were finished running or 6 hours ended. My goal was to just move for 6 hours.
I know some people may find the concept batty but I love loops and especially in the weather was nice to have the aide station every 1.3 miles. No holding water bottles or fuel. I would grab a drink or slice of watermelon etc each lap.
Eventually though I started to feel over fueled. I stopped sweating a lot and within 2 hours knew I had to slow down.
The course was also extremely hilly. Up and down. There were barely any straights so lets just say it wasn't easy on the legs. The downfall of the loops was the unevenness which took a toll on the left side of my body. My hamstring and hip were cranky within 3 hours.
But we got some lovely views (Throgs Neck)
I didn't listen to music once the entire 6 hours. I made friends and everyone just encouraged one another walked and ran laps with new people.
By 4 hours in I felt really really crappy. There was a lot of walking. I stopped and sat in my chair for a while. Changed shoes and socks. Then my sister found me again and we continued on for a while together.
The course got so dark. There wasn't much light and it was eerily quiet. Plus, there weren't many people - a lot had dropped off already so very much alone at some points.
Then my sister started to feel like crap. She thought she was going to be sick and I had to go run back to the start then run the loop around to bring here cooling towels and a bottle of water, so I had to hustle my butt off. (tmi coming) she threw up and then felt like a million bucks which was amusing.
At this point we were at about the 5:30 mark and I looked at my mileage and was determined to at least finish 26.2. So we began running. I felt really good. And was really damn determined. We got to the start area and my team's coach was there (I joined a running team Quicksilver Striders!) and we now were down to 12 minutes until 6 hours - I knew I had to at least get another lap in so I took off. I don't know where it came from but I ran the fastest I had all day.
See splits here: 10:01, 11:05, 12:36, 10:05, 12:09, 10:54, 12:17, 13:04, 10:29, 12:51, 12:30, 14:37, 10:44, 12:55, 15:06, 14:15, 12:17, 15:25, 18:45, 17:59, 21:03, 23:21, 12:03, 19:13, 11:03, 8:37, 8:47 (!!!)
And then it was done.
This may have been the slowest "marathon" I ran but holy hell. Hard. The course was hard, the conditions were awful and I am so happy I did it!
We quickly forgot how hard and brutal it was and enjoyed a slice of pizza and a beer.
I definitely recommend looking into BUS (Broadway Ultra Society) events. The people were great and it was very well organized. Plus the "ultra" environment is so different than the typical race one. Overall I was happy to make it out in one piece!
I then enjoyed the most glorious Sunday where I challenged my fitbit to have the least amount of steps that I ever have.
Due to all the walking I did - recovery was definitely pretty easy but I didn't really run run until Friday. I did a lot of walking at DNC and Tuesday ran a couple miles but it wasn't until Friday that I ran 7 and felt pretty normal.
Now I have a couple days before I head off to Europe for 3, yes 3 weeks!!!! I still have Philly Marathon which is the ultimate goal and will have to figure out running while away but honestly it is not going to be the focus. Exploring Croatia, Italy and Spain are and am sure I will find the opportunity to run...minus when I am sailing for a week ;)