Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My PST "Fall Classic" Race Review

Another race I'm not really eager to write about!  Don't get me wrong, the event was great.  The course was beautiful and relaxing; it started in the dark with a heavy fog, and when the sun came out it revealed the beauty we all long for in the fall.  The aid stations and the people manning them were great (I especially appreciated the young children helping at this race!  I tried to be silly with them at the aid stations, but was greeted with some strange looks. It is hard for me to look friendly when I'm such a sweaty, stinky mess, and can't form a sentence without slurring my words because I have reached that delirious point... I think I scared them).  The weather wasn't even that bad; I mean, sure it got hot, and I know I was the only one wearing pants, but seriously, I trained this way all year long so I never really felt overheated out there. Besides, there was actually a nice cool breeze even at the hottest points of the race. 
My only problem with the race was that I had set a goal of running it in 10 hours (which would have been my personal best), and instead it took me over 12 (my slowest 50 miler yet!).  I'm still having troubles figuring out how to avoid nausea and force myself to eat and drink after 25-30 miles of running.  So, once again, I found myself accepting the fact that I would just try to power walk (saves me a lot of calories and pain) until I felt like I could run again (which never really came.)
But then again, I did finish.  I did get another 50 miles of training under my belt for my next 100 miler.  If I'm honest, I can't say I had a great time because I was pretty miserable that second half; but there were some highlights. 

My wife and I went on a date Friday night and then camped out together, the night before the race, in the back of a truck at a truck stop (more on that adventure another time, perhaps).  We don't get to do that every day!  She proved once again how much she loves me and how I probably don't deserve her by going through all she has to go through to crew for me having absolutely no desire or passion for running, not to mention ultra running.  Yet, I couldn't talk her out of going if I tried.  She wanted to be there for me.  I am truly blessed!
After all was said and done, I have the experience.  I have the memories.  I have pictures of me faking smiles and pretending to be running.  It all reminds me that when I "endure hardness like a good soldier" (albeit unnecessary hardness that I brought upon myself) then "joy cometh in the morning" (Two Bible verses that are completely unrelated and that I have completely ripped out of their context).
The good news is, I felt pretty good the following days and am now back out running as normal.  I am blessed to be able to recover remarkably well.  I can barely remember the pain and frustration of the day.  I've got my eyes on the road ahead.  Experience is perhaps the best teacher.

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