Back in January when I was chatting with Dusty it all sounded good. And it was good until I decided to throw a hundred into my race calendar a month out from Vol State. It should have been good training for Vol State, and for anyone else, it probably would have been. But I am a candy arse. I have to actually recover from races. It took me almost a week to recover from Strolling Jim. (I'm talking can't sleep because I have fluid built up in my ears and it hurts to lie my head on a pillow recovery.) I don't regret one bit running the Little 100. My regret is that I let my ego get the better of me and I boarded the ferry.
I finished my half day at work on Wednesday, packed my stuff, and Pat and I had a nice trip down to Union City. The last supper was great and got to hear the reading of Dewayne Satterfield's poem "Band of Brothers". After going to Applebee's with Dusty and meeting Jeff S, Jeff K, and Tim P, we headed to the room to get some rest. I was pooped- long day. I didn't sleep well. I was still trying to decide which shoes to wear when I woke up on Thursday. As much as I would've loved to wear my Hokas, I hadn't trained in them since last year when I feel they may have given me PF. I also was concerned that they would give me shin splints with all of the walking I knew I would be doing. I settled on my Brooks that I wore last year. I had put a double cushion from Dollar Store in them (I ran the Derby marathon with a single cushion and they did fine). I put them on for the first time with the new cushion and they felt okay, and with that we were off to the ferry.
I had brought the box of extra orange hats for a pic and we got a quick pic of the OHC before the race started. I got to meet a few new people and felt pretty relaxed. I honestly hadn't thought much about the race other than wavering from even doing about a week and a half out. I didn't have any goal beside under 7 days and to reach McKenzie (57 miles) on day one. That was it. It actually dawned on me Thursday morning in the hotel that I would need 45 miles a day to meet my goal. See.....just did not think about vs.
We exited the ferry, lined up, laz lit the cigarette, and the race had begun. We boarded the ferry, almost leaving Ray K in the process. Dusty and I headed out of Hickman and hit the overlook as first females.
I so dislike the road heading out of Hickman. It is narrow. We leave during morning when people are going to work. There are a lot of big trucks and they don't share the road very easily. (Although I will say, we did have quite a few share the road.) A couple of miles out there is a store on the corner, I told Dusty I had to stop to get gum. I had forgotten to pack any and I had to have it to keep my mouth from feeling like the Sahara throughout the day. I went on and took advantage of the bathroom while we there. Right after we crossed the TN line, I thought I better put some sunblock on. To minimize time loss, I tried to shove the can up out of the pocket so I could pull it out. I shoved, heard a spraying sound, and then smelled not sunblock, but pepper spray. Sigh....it wouldn't be vol state without me playing with my pepper spray. Luckily, Dusty took pity and I stopped and got my sunblock out and we were off again.
I was never so glad to start to see the city line of Union City. It was starting to get warm, close to lunch, and I was pooped. We made it to the Subway and I filled up on Dr. Pepper and ate my chicken out of my sandwich (which they forgot to put my bacon on). :(
It was close to noon and Dusty wanted to be out in 15 minutes, but I can't eat that fast. I ate as quick as I could and we were back on the road. Before we got too far out of town, I stopped for some Gatorade and ice for my buff. Jeff V. caught up to us for a little bit and we had a nice chat before pulling away from him. Up ahead we saw Carl and laz sitting under the overpass. We came in at 5:19 (18th and 19th place) and still first females. ;)
I stopped us again to get ice for my buff at the western shop out of Union City. The heat poured on us and we slowed some. We stopped and shared some shade with Roy T. and his crew/wife. I checked my feet and I was getting some heel blisters that I taped up. While I was, I noticed that I was getting some serious chafing in the nether regions. I hadn't felt any pain but it was bad and whelps were forming. I reapplied Glide and shortly after, we were on our way. We made it to Martin and I was going to stop at the Pizza Hut and get a Dew and pizza. Dusty said she'd wait at the gas station for me. I decided it would take too long for the pizza and I just went with her and got a couple of drinks at the store. (mistake for me) We used the facilities and I re lubed again with Glide. We passed Ray K as we headed out of Martin but he passed us again I believe when we stopped at the last store outside of Martin. I went in for some ice and there sat Charlie T, Sal C., and I forgot who else was in there with them. I was shocked to see them in there and I should have thought about how hard we were pushing if we were getting ready to pass them. (another mistake) Instead, I left and told Dusty outside and we headed out of Martin like two giddy girls. We did have to stop a little ways down the road. My chest was tight and I told her I needed my inhaler and to lie down for a minute. Jeff V. passed us while we were resting.
We stopped at the turn into Dresden under some shade to check our feet and rest for a few minutes. Dusty was good at timing our breaks. Kept us moving. We made it into Dresden and debated our food choices. As good as Subway sounded, neither one of us wanted that extra mileage off course. The country store restaurant store scared me a little (found out later it would have been better choice). We chose the Pizza place, although once seated I thought about going to the Chinese buffet. I figured I could eat some steamed rice. Instead, pizza it was (HUGE mistake). We finally got our order in- customer service was not on the menu in this place. Sal C and John A. came in while we were in there, but John decided to leave for the Subway and hotel. (smart decision, at least food wise). We finally got our food and I have to say I have never seen a pizza bowl. I ordered just a cheese pizza because I figured you could not go wrong with that. How wrong could I be. I pulled a piece apart and all of the cheese just slid off into a puddle onto the plate. It was so salty I could not stomach it. I tried to eat some of the crust but was making myself sick. I barely got one piece down. I headed outside to work on my feet and get ready for the last long stretch before the motel (about 15 miles or so).
Dusty and Sal came out and we headed off down the road. We caught and passed Jim B and Wayne M. Jim eventually caught up to us and we headed on. It was getting dark and I was getting tired but we trudged on. I almost fell once when I misjudged the edge of the road. We eventually made it to Gleason and the coke machine was working. We drank and rested, but I was so hungry. I also wondered if I could actually just stay outside and sleep. I was so tired. About 9 miles to go and I didn't know if I could make it. Sigh.....
As we were heading out of town a young guy in a pick up truck stopped and asked if we needed anything. I thanked him for the PB crackers. They were awful but I managed to get one down. (Some kind of funny wafer, not a cracker.)
As tired as I was though, it was a beautiful night. At times, no one said a word and we just trudged on lost in our thoughts. It was great. At one point though, Dusty felt like she needed to stop, so the fellars went on ahead. I decided to go ahead and go to the potty while she was doing her thing. Then we laid in a drive that led to a barn staring up at all the stars in the sky. Gorgeous. We probably could have stayed there but we were both ready for a real bed and I really needed to shower and clean all of the Glide and get some Neosporin on to start the healing. So we dragged ourselves up and got moving.
We finally got into town and should have stopped at the 24 hour pizza place where Jim and Sal was. (mistake) Instead we trudged off to our motel where we had a reservation. It was 1:30. We got into our room, showered, and hit the sack.
Around 4:30 I woke up to go potty and Dusty was already up. She was heading out, so I thought I better try to get going too (mistake). I had a sore throat from sleeping in the cold room with wet hair and from being out in the night air, but I figured it would get better if I got some food in me. She headed to the pizza place while I finished getting ready. I decided McDonald's sounded good, plus I wouldn't have to back track. I called and checked in with Pat and he was shocked we were taking off again. I just felt like I had to get going. I needed to get into the motel early so that I could get a really early start for the long day. I got my food to go and texted Dusty that I was leaving McDonald's. I ate a little over half before I couldn't get any more down me, but the orange juice tasted good. I hoped that I would feel better after getting some calories. Dusty passed me shortly before the turn onto the 4 lane. She looked good and strong and I let that beat me down some. I called Pat and cried a little. He was super supportive. I got out on the four lane hoping to try to catch her, but I had no get up and go in me. Then I cried some more. I thought about everyone's support and prayers. I thought about my lack of training. I thought about all of the mistakes I had made in day one. I thought about all of the things I could be doing at home. I thought about my husband. I thought about my dogs. Then I thought about my ego and sending an email out at work and how embarrassed I now was going to be. Cause all I could think about was dropping. (I thought all of the thoughts you shouldn't think AND on the second morning!!! So wrong and sooo bad!)
I talked to Pat again and I told him I would just go the best I could until he could come and get me on Sunday. That was as soon as he could come (he had carpet jobs on Friday and our trail race on Saturday, not to mention his routes). I would just lollygag around until he could get there. Then I thought of my mom-maybe she could get me. I want to drop and I can't. lol I texted Carl and told him I was dropping. I put it on facebook that I dropped because I knew that they would try to talk me into continuing. I was done though. I should have never got on the ferry in the first place. My buddy Tim D.called and I cried to him. Joel G. caught up to me, and I tried to get him away from me. I was in a bad head space and I didn't want to bring him down to. Mike called and I walked off the side of the road away from Joel cause I started blubbering on the phone. I have never blubbered in front of so many people in my life- not even at funerals! That just made me cry more. It is day 2 and I am already a blubbering mess!
I finally made it into Huntingdon and called Mike to see where he was (Corner Cafe). So I headed there. He was in there with Joel, Jeff S, Jeff K, and Tim P. I had breakfast with them but did not change my mind. I was still done. I climbed into the seat of shame.
Below is my (dismal) training from my hundred until Vol State:
This is partly why I said I never should have gotten on the ferry. I got so far behind in my training. My longest was 12.7 miles and the little streak of 4 days flared my PF and sciatica. I went out of town on June 28 and 29 for a work seminar and used it to heal up. Then just trying to get stuff ready for vol state put me behind. That and storms. I have no one to blame, but myself for my lack of training. I should have not gotten on the ferry. I am glad that I did because it was nice to see that with a little friendly pushing, I could make it to McKenzie that first night (thank you Dusty!). And yes, I could have went on and just finished the race, to heck with my goal. I didn't want to just finish though. Did that last year. I also didn't think I could hit my goal, so I didn't want to put all of those expenses on my credit card and then not meet my goal.
I let a lot of external factors like (especially) money, needing to help at our race, and some home sickness play a big part of stopping. The biggest part was I was not mentally prepared to continue. I didn't want it as bad as I did last year. I knew the second time around would be hard and I didn't get my head on straight for the attempt. I was wavering a week out from the race and I wasn't looking forward to it. You have to be 100% committed to run vol state. I was just along for the ferry ride and socializing. This race deserves better than that from me. It is one thing to quit if injured, but sad to quit just because it sounds better. I should have taken the DNS- for once, much better than a DNF.
Yes, I am disappointed in myself, but I think I made the right decision for me. I have no regrets like I did the first attempt. Just disappointment. Disappointed in my attempt and that I disappointed others faith in my abilities (apologies to those that believe in me- I will resurrect myself) I need to re group and get my training back on track. I have several races in the fall that I would like to improve upon and if I had went on and finished vol sate, I would be even more behind. (this race takes a lot out of you)
I promised my husband that I would not run vol state next year (this was my third year). On the way home, he told me if I am trained, then I can do it next year, but we'll see. There are a few other races I'd like to run, but the main thing is for me to re group and get back on track. I am just thrilled I have a super supportive husband. Especially one that rearranges his day to come get me. (sorry about that)
Thanks to Mike M. for getting me off the road and driving to Nashville where Pat met us and took me home. Mike went above and beyond with his hearse. Thank you Mikey Mike!!!!