I had a goal of 27-30 miles for RUTS. I had no idea if that was even possible. I hadn't been training at all. In 5 weeks, I walked/jogged 2.5 miles one day. Too busy trying to get things done before Plaxico arrives and while I still comfortably could do them. I had been goading my good friend laz leading up to the race (which I shouldn't have because I put un-needed pressure on myself, but it was fun leading up to the race…race day another thing).
Pat and I left on time and arrived at the horse park about 15 minutes before packet pick up began. We hurriedly set up our changing tent before the rains came and was safely seated inside while it rained briefly. At 4, I headed up to pick up our packets and Steve was there. He asked if I was helping or packet pick up. Looking at the line that had formed, I jumped in and helped, handing out the women’s shirts and caps. Once the line thinned out, I got our packets and headed back to the bus. Pat and I packed up and left for the hotel. Normally, I would get a couple hours of sleep before we went out to eat and the start of the race, but with the Belmont running…no sleep was too be had. At 6:45, we headed to Applebee’s for dinner and quickly ate and headed back to the track to the start. We worried about getting there late and not being able to get to the infield once the race started….we just made it.
We headed to the start line and met up with Stu, laz, and Carol Westerman (and got our pic together). I was tired but ready to get going. Although I told Pat I was going to have to stop at the restroom on the first lap since I didn't have a chance before we left the restaurant. And that was just a sign of how things were going to go….
After coming out of the restroom, I caught up to Pat. My original plan was walk the curves and jog the straights until I couldn't. I wanted to bank some miles in as early as I could because I wasn't sure how the night would go as far as sleep deprivation and restroom breaks. We came to the straight and began jogging. It was uncomfortable. All of the ligaments were screaming as they were stretching in my belly and Plaxico was bouncing on my bladder. We walked the curve and tried to jog the straight again, but I had to exit to use the restroom again. Not even a mile in yet and already two potty breaks. I told Pat I was going to have to ditch the jogging. I tried to increase my walking pace but the bouncing of everything made my bladder say “no, I gotta go”. I remember telling Terri Durbin that I was no longer counting my laps but counting my potty breaks. And so it went. A couple of times I was a able to make it around two laps before ducking in the restroom, but most the time it was every lap. I was very thankful that there was soft toilet paper though. (Do to other pregnancy related issues, as in constipation causing hemorrhoids; my butt was already tender before the race started.) I was slowly getting defeated by the stops and the tenderness in the nether regions. A couple of times when I had to stop, Pat would go ahead and run on. I was happy for him, but that is when I felt like I shouldn't be there. Big whale in everyone’s way. Although I stayed 6-8 feet from the inside of the track, I still felt people brushing by me like I was in the way. Pat and I sat down for about 20-25 minutes and I just propped my legs up and rested. Trying to get my spirits up, but watching everyone else go by was even more discouraging. I sat myself a time and when it arrived, I told Pat I was heading back out. (He was done. His knee had been bothering him and he also hadn't been doing any training. Working two jobs is hard enough. Plus, he knew I needed the race more than he did this year. Thank you sweetie…)
I hobbled out and got the feet numb again and was able to walk around and made it to the restroom. At one point, Matt Hoyes caught up to me and we walked together. He was having some hip troubles, which I felt bad for him and reminded him about the massage person at the track. We chatted and he pointed out the leader to me. I had heard of Scott Breeden but couldn't have picked out myself without the hint. It was nice to chat with Matt. Very nice guy and great runner that Pat and I love to watch. His epic battle two years ago with Chris Estes is still talked about in our home in revered tones. I was bummed he was having a hard time. He did stop at the massage tent and I later saw him again cranking out miles. Yeah!!! Meanwhile, I hit 20 laps after another short rest break and decided maybe to take a nap. I was feeling wobbly and tired and thought maybe I should try to sleep an hour or two and then try again. Went I got to the bus and went to climb in, Pat was already there and asked why we didn't go to the hotel if we could get out. There it was…my out. I quit right then and there. If I could get him to the hotel and he could get a nice night’s sleep instead of the 2-4 hour naps he normally takes everyday, then the weekend might not be lost after all. I went and asked Steve about leaving and was able to catch Stu to say my goodbyes. I watched for Laz to pass while packing up the tent, but missed him somehow. I felt bad for leaving a race early, but I was done.
10 miles in 4 hours 21 minutes and 7 restroom breaks.
Defeated we headed to the hotel but took a detour when seeing the IHop was open. I didn't realize how hungry I was until the food was placed in front of me. We went to our room with our bellies full and retired for the night. We got up the next morning, not having to rush out like usual before check out time and had a leisurely breakfast at Crack and then headed home. The only other adventure we had was right before exit 53 on Western Kentucky Pkwy we ran out of gas. We were so leisurely in leaving that we both completely forgot to get gas before leaving Paducah. Thank goodness for AAA, but parked on the side of the road with my door open, Pat standing at the back of the bus with the hatch open. We had a bed. We had food. And we had laughter. Not many people would be laughing in that situation, but we were, and although we both had miserable races (the worst in our six years of RUTS), we still had a great weekend and not even running out of gas could dampen that. We saw our wonderful running family. We got time together just to chat and laugh. We ate good food. And we attempted to meet our goals (and failed). We had fun….what more could you want out of a race or a weekend?