Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Run Under The Stars 2013

Last weekend was one of the most fun weekends of my life! I visited Kentucky for the first time to run the Run Under The Stars 10 Hour Endurance Run...along with 66 of my Run It Fast Club friends. It was a blast!

Sunday night, my layover was in Vegas and I mentioned to one of the RIFers how I don't gamble anymore because I am not lucky. PJ (@runnerinlv) replied : "You are lucky. You get to go run how many races?". Dallas (@smithbend) has said something similar to me many times. They are right!

I am very lucky that I get to travel and race as much as I do!

So, my weekend of fun started on Friday with a flight to Denver at 6:25 in the morning and then another one to Nashville. In Nashville, I picked up my rental car and drove the 140 miles to Paducah, KY. It was a beautiful drive...except for the 2 torrential downpours I drove thru! Sheesh. But I made it safely and checked into my hotel and then headed out to make our reservations for dinner the next night at Olive Garden. Then I headed to the Riverfront to check it out and get something to eat.

The Riverfront was very cool and it was a nice evening to stroll along the river to walk off the meal I ate:

After I left the river, I headed back to the hotel. Or tried to. I sometimes have directional issues so I somehow ended up crossing the Ohio River and going into Illinois. Oops! Bonus state! :) In my defense, I realized I was heading across the river but there was no place for me to turn around and the bridge was pretty darn cool to cross.

I eventually found my way back to the hotel and tried to stay up as late as possible so I would sleep in the next morning. But darn if I didn't wake up at 6am. I did stay and bed until 10:30ish though to rest. Then I showered and got ready and walked over to get a sandwich at Arby's. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and trying to nap. The napping never happened but for sure I got plenty of rest! About 4, I got dressed and gathered up all my gear and then went over to the Olive Garden to wait for the RIFers to arrive.

I had pasta to carbo load for RUTS. :)

There were 24 RIF Club Members and family that came to the pre-race dinner. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet a lot of them for the first time. It's funny because after following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I felt like I know them already and had to remind myself that we hadn't met before.It was great to get to know everyone.

Dinner was good. Salad, bread, and spaghetti. It was over too fast! And then it was time to head to the race which was held at Carson Park and is a .5 mile horse track. It only took a few minutes to get there and I'd already packed my stuff up in the car for it. At the race site, I found where RIF #1 Josh (@bayou) was and got my stuff sorted out and shoes on. Luckily, Josh had brought a chair for me to sit on so my stuff...and my butt...wouldn't be on the ground. All around the track, runners had set up chairs and/or tents for themselves, family, and friends. It was a festive atmosphere.

Josh had ordered shirts to celebrate the big crowd of RIFers at RUTs and I helped hand them out so it gave me a chance to meet even more RIFers before the race. Here's Josh modeling the shirt. It has all our names on the back.
Pretty nice, huh? Oh, yeah...the shirt too. ;)

Anyway...then we got together for the big group picture. The top photo is from the dinner and the bottom was before RUTs:

And then it was 8pm and time to run!

The race director sent us off promptly at 8. I was toodling along and when I got back to the start line everyone was just milling about. It turns out there was a problem with the timing system so they asked to wait a few minutes while they ironed it out.

So...then we were off again! This time I got 4 laps in before they stopped us again. Still timing issues. So they had us wait again while they reloaded the old software and tried again. This time though they said that if it didn't work, they would let us keep going and we would be on the honor system to tell them what lap we were on/finished.

So we started up again about 9:15. One thing I'm happy to say is that I didn't hear any grumbling from the runners. Everyone took it in stride and took the extra time to talk and meet people. The race would now end at 6:!5 so it would be a shortened race and I just adjusted my goals. I'd planned/hoped on running 40 miles but when I thought it was going to be 9 hours instead of 10, I just said whatever I did would be fine.

In the end, I think the mix up with the timing worked in my favor because I didn't have a good night. I was fine for the first 13 miles but then my ITB and foot started getting really unhappy. I think they didn't like going in the same .5 mile circle the entire time and my right foot didn't like the banking on the one side of the track. I ended up walking for most of the rest of the night. I'd actually battled with myself throughout the night. First, I thought of stopping at 13 miles, then at 20, then at 26. Then they said our laps from the first 2 false starts would count so I figured I would go to 31 miles and call it a day. And that's what I did.

I finished in time to grab my camera and get some pics of the RIFers who were still running and see them finish strong and with new PRs and new PLs. It was very cool to see!

Really, the thing that kept me going all night even though I wasn't running anymore (and I really hate walking) was getting to see and talk to the other RIFers. I spent the majority of my laps talking to and catching up with various members. Those that weren't running, were always good for an encouraging word as I went by. One of the best moments of the night was getting to see RIF #4 Marj (@marathonmarj) racing by me on her way to finishing her first ultra! Another favorite was getting to hear the stories and the jokes from RIF #27 Anthony, RIF #169 Billy, and RIF #179 Arthur. They were hilarious! Here are Anthony and Billy running at the end:

A fun night was had by all. :)

And of course, here's the most important bling:
Love that it is a horseshoe shape and has the moon and stars on it. Great medal! And it glows in the dark!

After I packed up my stuff and helped Josh with his, I went back to the hotel and showered and then rested for a little while. After I checked out, I met Josh and RIF #181 Donna (@RunslikePhoebe) for lunch for my first ever Taco Johns lunch. It was pretty good but more it was fun to rehash the night with the two of them. Who both did AMAZING there, by the way.

And then I drove back to Nashville and flew home. And one of the best weekends EVER was over. :(

I can't wait to do it again!

Thanks for reading! And by the way, if you would like to do a timed race, check out this post I did on Run It Fast - Running Loopy - Why you should run a timed race:

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