While I have been looking forward to it, I had done no prep/training at all. My runs and workouts have drastically dropped off starting in June. This has become a pretty normal yearly pattern due to school activities in June, and then the 3 kids being home once school is out. We are still an active family, and I like to think I'm always in good enough shape to at least run a 30k w/no training. But I will admit that I feel the most out of shape that I have in quite a few years.
So while I was excited about finally being able to do Brazen's Dirty Dozen, and had specific goals, I was a little scared about how the day would end up and how bad it was gonna hurt!
I tried not to really think about it until the day before. I did not want to make myself anxious or nervous or put so much pressure on myself that I choked. The night before we finally started packing our bags and figuring out what we wanted to have, eat, drink, that sort of stuff.
This is a good pic of what our area looked like, we had a blanket, chairs, cooler, and our bags.
In my bag I had extra socks, shoes, compression calf sleeves, muscle rub, Glide, asprin, bags of sugar treats like peach rings, and sour patch kids, and Watermelon Chomps. There were 4 of 5 pieces of candy in each bag. I also had a change of tops in case anything started to chafe. Guys, skip this next sentence....unfortunately, this race lined up with my time o the month. So in my bag I had pre-bagged my femine products into small paper lunch bags and rolled each bag up. That way, when needed, I could just grab a little brown bag and carry it to the next outhouse I came to. This worked perfectly, and I really don't think it hindered my day at all. I know for some ladies that is their worst nightmare, having to run a marathon or whatever during that time, but it was really not an issue.
Moving on, in the cooler we had ice, those small skinny cans of coke, and water. There were 4 cans for each of us, and I drank 2-3 sips from a can each lap.
|Camp Latham, where I avoided "the chair" at all costs!|
This was the aid station at the far end of the lap, and when I say that, I should say that it was 2 miles in, and then 1.37 to the aid at the finish, so there was plenty of aid. This was the station I used all day. It had way less people at it and wasn't such a "hang out and visit" trap as the one at the start/finish area. I didnt' eat/drink until lap 3, about 8 miles in, and if anything, that is what I would do differently. I was a bit loopy towards the end of lap 2 and stayed that way through lap 4, but I think I just went too long w/o food. I had breakfast at 5 a.m., so even though I did not feel like I needed anything yet, I should have been eating.
Later in the day, for 3 laps in a row, this aid station had Baby Ruth bars and Mountain Dew. Heaven on Earth!! What a treat that was and it tasted so so good!
|Just before the start. Did I mention it was really windy, and cold?? Perfect conditions for me!|
I did not carry my camera for most of the day. The above pictures were from lap one. I didn't carry it again until laps 9 and 10. From lap 1-9, I was just really focused. I didn't see Brian at all during those hours. I ran when I ran, and walked when running was too hard. I ate and drank a little at the far aid station, and again at our camp. I sat for maybe 3 minutes, after lap 3, to put on my compression sleeves and knee highs, but other than that one time, i did not stop to rest. Also starting lap 3 I used my Ironman muscle rub each lap on my knees and calves. I turned my music on and just kept moving.
Below is lap 9 -
|Looking from our camp back up towards the arch.|
But I finished it. And then, guess what?? I did it again. I headed out for lap 12. Pretty tired now, and my feet...ugh. Every step was that squishy feeling followed by burn. I told myself just get this lap done and I'm pretty sure you'll be at 40. Nothing structural was hurting, no joints or muscles or anything. Just the blisters, which were already there, so I knew I was fine to keep going. And, I wanted to keep going. There was never a "I can't take another step" feeling. I had the energy and desire, so I just had to ignore the blisters and life was good! Brian was not at camp resting anymore, so I knew he was getting his 11th lap in.
It was about 6:25, I had time for a few more little loops, but I was done. More than thrilled to have hit 40 miles, thrilled to feel as good as I did, thrilled to be tired, but not exhausted and in agony. Just tired and happy!! Sam said good job, and handed me a "Brazen's 75th Race" cupcake on my huge medal.
Did I mention the course had nearly cleared out around lunch time? Brazen puts on an awesome bbq with sausages and pizza, and most runners had stopped to eat. For me, that was one of my favorite parts of the day because I was totally alone out there, no body around me at all. Which meant I could sing as loud as I wanted, and I did. But, now that I was done, it was time to enjoy some of the famous bbq. I made a plate and settled in to watch Brian do his little loops.
This is an amazing event. Besides my personal experience with the day, just watching Sam and Jasmin and the volunteers manage the 2 all day events, plus directing runners down the correct shoots for the other 4 races, plus managing to get those who wanted to use the smaller loops going off the main loop onto the small loop and across the proper timing mats...it's a huge job and they manage all of it so happily and without a glitch! The bbq was great, being able to set up your own camp is great, aid stations were amazing, the course is perfect for this sort of event, not too short or long, and it did not get boring ever. This race they gave runners hoodies instead of shirts, which I did not understand at first, but I do now with it being so cold and windy there. And they are nice hoodies!
I can't wait for next year. With just a little effort training wise, and dropping about 20 pounds....it's unimaginable, but 50 miles would be very, very doable. If I picked up the pace just a bit,and there's lots of room for that, another 3 laps......I see a 50 miler in my future!
Once again, thank you Brazen!!
There are more pictures on our photo site here.
Brian's recap is here.