I’m never particularly fast at putting race reports together, but I’ve waited entirely too long to formulate some words for this one. Mostly because of distractions that life brings, but also because it’s taken me some time to digest how things went. I ended up finishing in 9:23:40. My goal going in was 8:30 and I knew with a good day I could go 8 flat. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I came away with some great memories and a few lessons as well. Rather than give the usual play-by-play, I’m just going to talk about the things I came away with.
First of all, your stomach can wreak havoc on your race. I don’t think I did anything particularly wrong as far as nutrition in the 24 hours leading up to the race. However, the months leading up to the race weren’t exactly filled with ideal nutritional habits. I alluded to this in an earlier post and while I did make improvements leading up to the race, I didn’t fully commit myself like I should have. Alas, I ended up taking a ton of pit stops which cost me major time.
Heading into mile 19 A.S.
Due to the nature of my stomach, I ended up giving up mentally on my goals and spent way too much time at the aid stations. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to have an enjoyable time and chat at aid stations for a bit, but I’d say it was quite excessive for me. I totally lost my focus and made excuses to spend more time than I should have.
I knew going into the race that my training wasn’t quite where it should be. I peaked at about 40 mile weeks with a 22 miler being my long run. However, I knew that with my experience I wouldn’t have trouble completing the distance. The problem came on the first 19 mile loop when things just felt harder than they should have. Typically that early on I feel loose and things just fly by easily. It just wasn’t happening. I must say though, my legs never felt sore during the race which was fantastic! I just didn’t have quite the usual bounce in my step early on which I attribute to my lower mileage weeks.
With Matt and Jen on the back half of the course
The great thing about each of these things is that they can be fixed. They’re valuable lessons that will hopefully make me a better runner. It will just take a little more commitment on my part.
All things aside, I wouldn’t have traded this experience for anything! After running that first loop in its entirety with Matt Williams – and partially with Leslie and Sam – I found that running a race with good friends is so much fun. Matt and I actually ended up running about 45 miles in total together. I would’ve loved to have finished together, but my constant pit stops were holding him back so I eventually told him to leave me for good. He went on to a great finish. Had it not been for my stomach we may not have had the opportunity to spend so many miles together. For that I’m grateful.
Rounding the corner into the finish
My dad froze his butt off all night at the Elephant Head aid station to help runners, provided power for the race with Goal Zero products, and crewed for me all day on no sleep. What a stud! My mom was awesome as usual, cheering at each spot and taking lots of pictures (which I still need to get from her). Thanks so much to both of them. Also a thanks to the great volunteers on the island. They were excellent as usual. Finally a thanks to my friends for the motivation. You guys all inspire me! Congrats on the great finishes.