AR50 Race Report:
Here I am ready to go!
Miles 1-3: Feeling great, light and easy pace. Enjoying the company of other runners.
Mile 3: Realize I forgot my electrolyte bottle. Remain calm about it knowing I have s-caps and Roctanes and aid stations. Kevin will have my electrolyte at 31 when I pick him up.
Mile 5: Runner punches cyclist that is screaming at everyone to "get off the f### road!" (!!!) Entertainment at its finest!
Mile 8.something: First aid, see Brit and Joe! Familiar, cheering faces make me smile and excited to be out there.
Mile 15: Bathroom stop right past Sunrise at the park bathrooms. Both locked. I wait. And wait. And wait. Getting a little frustrated and then someone finally comes out of the bathroom. He looks like a backpacker/camper. I'm a little aggravated but get over it quickly (waiting is better than the other option after all) . I'm now with a different group of runners and I keep telling myself to relax and not try and catch up with those I had lost while waiting at the potty.
Mile 23-25: Chat with a few people on the climb up to Beal's. Most people it was their 3rd time doing it.
Mile 26.2: Make marathon point around 4:40 which is about what I had expected.
Mile 31.something and pick up pacer point: Get here at 5:30 which was my WTC time and I'm still feeling really good. Mom was there with the puppies and Glen and Tes with Quercus. I'm grateful for their appearance and encouragement. Mom takes a photo of Kevin and I before heading off and I make a bad decision to not change into my trail shoes. Never wise to "change" plans when you have 31 miles behind you. Someone wasn't thinking clearly.
Up to mile 38ish: Felt great, making good time on the technical portion and passing people here and there. We had a good train going for a while... about 10 or so people just following suit and it was not that difficult as I remember it.
Mile 39: Starting to feel sick in my stomach. Energy starting to drop a bit.. Starting to think about getting through it.
Mile 41: Aid station. This was a pretty packed aid station and seeing our friend Paul and other familiar faces gave me a boost. I don't think I grabbed anything at this aid station as I was still feeling sick.
Mile 42: Grab a gel. Not because I wanted it but because I think its been a while since I've had anything and my energy is fading fast. As soon as I put this in my mouth it comes right back up with whatever I've consumed the last hour or two. Its ALL liquid and its neon green. Gotta love those Island Nectar Roctanes!
Mile 47: Start the Last Gasp climb. I'm grateful we're here because I know the end is near. At this point many people that I had passed or had been running with are passing me. Kevin asks "Is it bugging you that all these people you passed are passing you?" I reply with "No" or something resembling a no... It probably sounded more like a dying sea otter. That's pretty much what I felt like. I remember saying somewhere around the last mile marker that I didn't care if I walked it in. Here I am at bottom of last gasp, perfect shot for how I felt:
Mile 49.5 or so: I'm encouraged by Kevin to start running (or what resembles closely to running) to the finish. I have my eyes on the road just ahead of me and I'm trying to look up and smile at people but really just don't have the energy. I wanted to cry for joy/pain at being done but couldn't. Final stretch mom and Emily scream "TYLER!!!" and I look up last minute and kind of do a wave to the best of my ability and just lead on to the finish. 10:08 it read. Good enough for me. For now.
After I finished it wasn't until I threw up again (about 20 minutes later) that I felt well enough to eat/drink and felt fabulous after that. A cheeseburger was consumed right after that last purge!
The last 3 miles all I remember is wanting so badly to feel good and run that Last Gasp. But I just didn't have it in me. Every time I tried running, my stomach started feeling really bad. I felt full and sick and nausea. My legs, and i'm really pleased about this, felt pretty great despite the mileage of the day. It was my stomach that did me in and the last miles my thoughts were mostly consumed with wondering what I could have done wrong. And its still consuming me to some extent. I'm grateful to Kevin for pacing me and giving me encouragement and splashing me with water and getting me ice and keeping me cool when I was hot.
Thinking back on this (and this goes for life in general) the race experience can be whatever you want it to be. If I only remember the last 10 miles of this then I wouldn't be too satisfied. But the whole day was great. I spent 10 hours doing what I love with others. I made new friends and watched friends have successful fulfilling races (GO TAN!).
I'm learning that my attitude about an experience (whether it be a race, relationship, work) indicates how I will approach it in the future. Whether I allow myself to learn from it and know what necessary changes to make or look back on it with bitterness and disappointment. I'm grateful I can laugh at how crappy I felt. I mean really, puking neon green substance and then continuing to run another 9 miles seems almost impossible when I think about it now. I will find ultimate satisfaction when I can run this race again without the stomach issues. The race journey continues....