Since I decided to do the 8am start, I carbo loaded on Friday and I think I did a pretty good job of it. On Saturday morning, I got up at 5, ate breakfast, and got dressed. Then I packed my backpack and a chair for the day. I made sure to pack a couple extra pairs of shoes and socks along with food, Scaps, Aleve, and body glide.
Once I got to the ranch where the race was at, I set up my chair in a strategic location - close to the porta-potties and the food! :) Then I checked in, got my bib, timing chip, shirt, and mug.
My training for this was pretty much non-existent because I hurt my foot back in March. My longest run in the last 2 months was the 19 mile run/hike on my birthday last weekend. I also had one 16.5 mile run and a handful of half marathons and that's it. No back-to-backs either. Like I mentioned before, I wasn't scared about this but honestly didn't know what to expect. I dreamed about hitting 50 miles (A goal), or my age (B goal), but hoped to just be on my feet all 12 hours (C goal). With that in mind I decided my plan for this would be 5 min running/1 min walking. It felt doable. I hoped. :)
Steve, the RD, gathered us in the barn for last minute instructions and then we were off! Lucy Jacobs (carrying the flag below) led us out of the barn. It was a reminder of why and who we were running for at the Nanny Goat. FYI - Lucy did the 24 Hour and she carried the flag the entire time!
I did have some extra breaks in there - bathroom breaks (damn hamster bladder), 2 shoe/sock changes. Also, about 2 hours into it, I walked a little bit with Kylie who, by the way, went into labor last night and little Mackenzie was born this morning! Congrats Kylie and Mike! See, my plan to help her start labor totally worked. ;)
Back to the race... My feet started hurting around 3 hours into the race. I'd brought 2 other pairs of shoes with me because I wasn't sure which I would want and I decided to change shoes at 3.5 hours to see if it would help. It did for a little while though not much but I stuck with the plan. Those laps seemed to go by quickly but things were starting to go south. Every lap, my feet felt heavier and heavier. I changed my shoes and socks again at 6.5 hours and I think that was a mistake. The sock change was good but I saw I already had a blister on each foot. Even with the gaiters, the dust/sand got in my shoes. I think once I knew for sure they were there it was harder to ignore them.
There were basically 3 types of terrain there: the grassy/gopher hole section (above right), the dirt orchard lane section (right), and a stretch of road (below).
Not only were my feet killing me but so were my calves and my legs were complete noodles because after the cheeseburger, I hadn't felt like eating and all I was doing when I stopped was a cup of coke or sprite and a slice of fruit. I decided I would try changing my shoes one more time and take some Aleve and see how it went. I changed back into pair #2 for the day but didn't want to take my socks off (or look at my feet). I also grabbed some peanut butter & jelly crackers. I tweeted my frustration while I was sitting there but then I made myself get up and start walking again.
I walked for about half that lap, read the encouragement from my tweeps and then a funny thing happened. I decided to see if I could start running again. And I did! Woo! Maybe it was the Aleve kicking in or the pb&j crackers or a second wind. Whatever it was, I was so happy. I was running! :) So then I decided that I didn't want to risk walking again and I finished that lap without walking again and then ran the next 5 laps. They were slow but I didn't care because I was running.
Towards the end of lap 42, my stomach started feeling not so good and my right calf started to twinge like it wanted to cramp. It was getting close to the 11th hour and I think I burned up whatever second wind I had because I started feeling noodley again. I was so happy to finish lap 42 and see I only had 1 hour left! I ran/walked the last hour and got 3 more laps in. I finished lap 45 at 11 hours and 53 minutes so not enough time for another lap or new PR. :( But hello, I ran 45 miles! I was so sure I wouldn't even make it to 40 that I was thrilled with 45. I had run the last part of that lap with another runner and when we finished we congratulated each other. Turns out we both ran 45 miles. He said "We could have run the whole thing together." and I wondered to myself how different our paths were to the same place.
Post Race & Thoughts
My second 12 Hour was in the books! They took my chip and gave me my medal:
So...I reached my B goal for the night. My age - 44 plus 1 to grow on. :) I was really surprised that I ran 45 miles yesterday when I considered myself undertrained vs. 45.6 miles for the New Years 1 Day where I considered my training just about perfect. I wonder if it's just that I had done it before so knew I could do it again? What do you think?
All I know is that though I had not so much fun with my feet, I had fun talking to the other runners, watching the horses, the dogs, & crazy guard chickens on the farm, seeing the runner's family cheering everyone on, that it was a beautiful day to run, and it gave me an opportunity to battle some demons. When I was getting frustrated, I tried to remind myself that I was lucky that I COULD put myself thru that torture, I mean, fun. I would see Lucy on the course, carrying that flag and not complaining, and just keep moving forward. I thought of my grandpa walking everywhere. I thought of Joshua and Naresh running Vol State 500 last year when they were tired and their feet hurt. I thought of all my twitter friends who've run 100 miles and suffered more than I did. But most of all, I tried not to think at all and just keep moving.
This was the first race in a long time where I listed to music (last 8 hours) to fill my mind with something else besides my feet. I had to laugh because the song that was playing when I finished was Fallin' by Alica Keys.
Oh, oh, I never felt this way / How do you give me so much pleasure and cause me so much pain? / Just when I think I've taken more than would a fool / I start fallin' back in love with youDefinitely some lows/pain during the day but a happy ending. Running can be a bitch but you gotta love something that can give you such amazing experiences and teach you lessons like this. :)
Thanks for reading!