Saturday, July 5, 2014

Losing, Then Gaining It At the Little 2014

  After my dismal performance at RUTS, I was hoping for the Little to go a little better.  I saw my doctor on Tuesday after RUTS and talked to her about a few things; mainly how much walking could I do and if a support belt would help.  She told me I could walk as much as I wanted and a support belt may help.  So I bought a cheap one that would lift my expanding belly up some, hopefully up off of my bladder.  I was hoping I could complete one loop without having to stop midways at the little (one loop is 2.95 miles) but it was reassuring that the loop was like a figure 8, so that if I needed to stop, I could.
  Although I hadn't been training, I had a secret mileage goal.  I always have some sort of goal at my races, whether time or distance, and this one was no different.  I shared my goal with one of my mentors via email.  His response was,
“i wish you luck.
the exercise is good for you and the young one....
maybe as little more regular activity would help!”
That last line really ticked me off, which was probably his goal in the first place, but it wasn't like I had been sitting around eating bon bons.  I had been working in the yard a lot for the past month putting out over 80 bags of mulch and clearing a fence line.  (Why I feel so compelled to get the yard right before the baby comes is beyond me, but it is what it is).  So there I was, fired up and heading to Ohio.
  I stopped at Crack and ate dinner and also ordered 2 side salads for during the race before heading to Shane’s house.  I was looking forward to seeing everyone, and especially looking forward to watching my friend Amber go for her first 50 miler.  Stu, Brad, and Scott (all vol state alumni) were already there and getting stuff set up.  I settled in helping anyway I could.  We headed out with the wheelbarrow marking the course.  I was surprised how much I remembered of the course, but there were a few sticky spots that I didn't remember, but Scott cleared us up on it.  Shane and Karen arrived and he checked the course markings and we were good to go for tomorrow.  I retired to the bus for some much needed sleep.
  I quickly found out that I don’t maneuver as well 5.5 months pregnant in the back of the bus, let alone sleep well.  I am a belly sleeper and I quickly found out that sleeping on my sides in the bus was very uncomfortable.  I had to keep turning sides throughout the night because my hips were going straight thru my mattress.  It got quite chilly that night also, so when I had to pee, I wouldn't let myself get up because it was too cold.  Not to mention when I finally got up, I had a hard time getting my shoes.  Literally reaching for my shoes in the floor board was hard.  I practically fell out of the bus when I climbed out, accidentally hitting Amber’s vehicle with the door (sorry again Amber!).  It was pretty comical if I wasn't so tired, but oh well, get up and do your best.
  I got my number from Stu and got everything together.  I already put most of my stuff out last night at my table.  I also told Amber that I had way more stuff than you should ever need for a race.  I didn't want her to pick up any bad habits since I had brought so much stuff.  The main thing my doctor cautioned me on was not to get overheated and not to get dehydrated.  Also, to keep food in me for the baby.  So I came prepared mainly for those guidelines.

  It wasn’t long and Stu started the race and we were off.  I tried jogging a little and felt fine.  I caught up to Karen Riddle, who is doing vol state this year, and we chatted about that race.  It wasn’t long before we went through the halfway point and I stopped and used the port o potty before heading out again.  That was a tiny bit discouraging, but I quickly headed back out and soon was coming in from the first lap.  It took me 48 minutes.  I was super happy about that.  I headed back out again still jogging a little but about a third of the way I realized I didn't have the fitness to keep jogging and switched to walking.  I was okay with that though.  I knew I hadn't been training and I knew going in that I would be walking the majority of the race.  No big deal.  I also decided that I would try to get 3 laps in before I sat down to rest my legs.  I was a little concerned about swelling and knew that if I was going to be walking and on my feet that long, then I probably should get off of them for a few minutes.  Plus, it was a great motivator to get done with laps.  Second lap only took 49 minutes.  I was still feeling great when I came into the AS but my stomach had started to grumble a little.  So I grabbed one of the side salads out of the cooler and put dressing on it and headed back out.  The first section is shorter, so I figured I could eat while I walked along and then dump it when I passed thru.  I chuckled to myself wondering at how many other races you see someone walking along on the course carrying a salad and happily munching along.  I knew I couldn't afford the time to sit and eat it and with my stomach growling so loud, I needed something in it.  It worked…not to mention, I was just happy to be there.  No one was competing against me and I surely wasn't competing against anyone.  It took me 55 minutes to finish my third lap.  I walked all of it, so I knew this would be closer to my pace that I needed to stay on top of my goal. 
  Since this was my third lap, I did sit down and prop my feet up.  I figured I had done almost 9 miles, so I gave myself 8 minutes of rest.  Then I got up and headed back out.  With that rest break added in, my fourth lap took me 62 minutes.  The fifth lap, I was able to get my time back to where it should be without the rest break and stopping to grab a handful of trail mix.  Fifth lap was 54 minutes with the thought of grilled cheese sandwiches propelling me onward.  I was excited to head out on the sixth lap because it was getting close to lunch and my belly was letting me know it again.  I had been thinking about grilled cheese for over an hour now and I finished the sixth lap in 57 minutes. 
  I had brought my camp stove and quickly got it going and dug out my bread and butter for my sandwiches.  When I grabbed the cheese out though, it had water all in the package, and not just plain water but one of the ranch dressing cups had leaked into the cooler so everything was a milky white.  I drained out the water and pulled chunks of cheese apart to try to get some cheese for my sandwich.  About that time, Amber came through and I asked her if she wanted a sandwich and she agreed.  I sent her out on the loop with thoughts of grilled cheese upon her return.  I quickly got her sandwich finished and then worked to get enough cheese pulled apart to make mine.  I hoped they would be edible.  Apparently they were, Amber and I both ate ours, but I wanted one more.  At that time, Shane came in and I showed him the cheese debacle and he offered some cheese in the house.  He said his mom was in there working on some and asked if I could help her.  So I headed in to see what I could do.  Shane had a Panini maker and neither one of quite knew how to work it and it was taking so long, I eventually headed outside with a plate full of bread and cheese and restarted my stove and got sandwiches made.  I didn't mind helping out for the return of some cheese, but I knew I was losing some time trying to get the sandwiches cooked.  We eventually got a loaf of sandwiches made for the runners and I ate one more and then headed back out.  I am not sure what time I started back out, but my 7th lap shows me taking 2 hours and 4 minutes to complete.  So I was an hour behind where I wanted to be, but I did get my belly full, other runners got their bellies full, and I was still moving.  I have to say, at this point, I was feeling pretty good about things.  Although it was getting hotter and I was having a love/hate relationship with the field of dreams.  I loved the field because it meant you were at the end of your lap.  Yeah another lap completed!  But there was about zero shade cover and it was just hot out there.  I had brought an umbrella for that specific section, but for some reason I never remembered to get it out.  Baby brain I guess?  I was happy that the support belt did seem to help.  After my short stint volunteering, I had forgotten to put it on.  I did actually notice a difference and was glad to get back to the AS and put it back on.  So it was nice to know that it was money well spent.  I wish I would've had it at RUTS.

  The seventh lap took me 63 minutes.  I was starting to slow down some and starting to look forward to the ninth lap where I could sit and take a load off.  I was also worrying that I was beginning to dehydrate.  I wasn’t peeing as much.  Don’t get me wrong, I still had to go pee, but not as much flow coming out.  I thought a couple of times about asking Shane to use the indoor bathroom so I could check my pee’s color since the port o pot was useless for that, but that idea didn't sit well with me.  At this race, I kind of pride myself on being self-sufficient.  So even using the indoor plumbing didn't jive with me.  At least I worked for my cheese.  J   I came in from lap 8 completing 23.66 miles and finished lap 8 in 63 minutes.   The thought of getting closer to sitting down for a break, propelled me a little faster to get lap 9 done.  I finished in 58 minutes and I promptly took my sitting rest break.  I took about 20 minutes sitting and eating cantaloupe, which I also offered to anyone that came through.  I wished I hadn't of ate all of my strawberries on the drive up to the race.  I already had doubled my efforts from RUTS but I knew I was having a harder time moving forward.  I gave the rest of the cantaloupe to Stu and headed out on my 10th lap.  I didn't think I could keep going to get 50 miles in.  That would be 8 laps to go, counting the lap I was starting.  It was already after 3:30 in the afternoon.  Without any rest breaks at all, that would have me finishing at 12:30. Plus, I knew I wanted to stop to see Amber finish her 50 miler.  I was having difficulty working out the time in my head to do that.   Then the thought of sleeping in the bus just about had me in tears.  I was caving.  Mentally, I was giving in and I was bringing home all of the reasons to stop.  Not even my friend’s goad in his email could fire me up to continue.  Somewhere along the 10th lap I decided to chuck 50 miles and go for 50K.  I came in from the 10th lap in 82 minutes, with sitting rest break before start of lap.

  I had 29.5 miles in with one more lap to go to complete 50K.  I headed out trying to keep moving forward.  I felt that I was still moving well but that I was starting to trip here and there.  When I came to the muddy areas, which were way less than last year thankfully, I made sure to take my time.  No reason to be stupid and fall on Plaxico.  I was a little discouraged even though I hadn't been training and I had tripled my RUTS mileage.  By the time I reached the field of dreams I was getting kind of teary eyed because even though I was disappointed I didn't reach some secret goal I had set, I looked back over the past year since I finished the 100 miler last year here.  I quit vol state after one day.  Then battled a severe UTI that took three rounds of antibiotics and almost 4 months to clear up.  I had a miscarriage and the surgery for it.  I was pregnant again.  I know the UTI and miscarriage has given me additional mental anxieties for when I run that I will have to overcome, but I also knew that at 5.5 months pregnant I was pretty happy to be back out there even attempting the race.  I had just finished putting some perspective on my year and my race when Chris S. came up from behind me and spooked me.  I didn't even hear him come up on me I was so lost in my thoughts, but I was glad to see him out there.  It reminded me that I am not finished yet, I just may have to adjust my goals for now.  I happily headed in for my slowest 50K ever.  Finishing the 11th and last lap in 65 minutes for 32.53 miles at 5:59pm.  (Secretly thrilled that I got it under 12 hours.)  lol  I didn't wear a watch, so I had no idea all day how long I was taking or what time it was until I finished my laps.

  I got to see Amber finish her 50 miler in spectacular fashion.  I regret not hanging out much after the race as I normally would do but I was tired, hungry, and ready for a nice shower.  Amber headed to Taco Bell for us and I got us checked into a room.  I was glad I stopped when I did because I was getting dehydrated and I was not getting as many calories in at the end of the day with the heat.  Not to mention, I was getting too hot out there.  No race is worth compromising Plaxico’s well-being, even though the little bugger must have enjoyed the walking cause when we laid down for bed, he kicked me like crazy.  He must have been bummed that he didn't get his first 50 miler.  Next time, Plaxico, next time.
One lap left

Two of my favorite people
Bagged her buckle!

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