69.3 Miles, new course record – Save the Daylight – 12 hour race. First, many thanks to Justin for putting on a great race on a great course. The volunteers were amazing, every time I came in they asked me what I wanted, I almost felt guilty as most of the time I didn’t get anything, but the bacon avocado wraps were so good. I eat Keto (high fat, low carb) so I didn’t try many of the delicious looking treats that were available. The other runners were great, as I ran past many of them they encouraged me with quotes like “amazing”, “inspirational”, “fantastic”, they were my inspiration. My previous longest race was 46 miles, 7 1/2 hours so this was a big step up for me. Yes I felt tired and several times during the race I questioned why I was doing this and to make sure I never sign up again for anything longer than a marathon. But the words of encouragement kept me going strong and push harder. Seeing many of the other runners, several doing the 48 hour version of this race, completing lap after lap, I’m sure my pain was nothing compared to theirs.
I signed up for this race to use it to prepare for the Long Haul 100 and I think I learnt a lot. Around mile 30 after running continuously apart from stopping to refill my drinks, I incorporated a run 1 mile walk 0.1 mile as I started to feel leg cramps coming on. Next, wearing shoes that are too narrow in the toe box is not good for you. I eventually decided to change them around mile 53 and immediately started running a minute a mile faster. Nutrition is key, I ate more and drank more than I usually do and I think that helped. Lastly I need to be a better organized, at the beginning I forgot to apply Glide, i didn’t go to the bathroom, and then towards the end I couldn’t find my headlamp. Running in the dark cost me a minute per mile, or was it because I was pretty tired. Either way I calculated at one point that the most I could achieve was 66 miles, then after changing shoes and having another runner pushing me I dug deep and ran fast. With just under 2 hours to go I still only thought I could manage 2 loops. So on what may have been the last loop I decided to run without the walk breaks to see if I could squeeze in another lap. When I completed my 20th lap, Justin informed me there was 45 minutes left and my last lap was 37 minutes so out I went again. I knew I would have tied the course record if I had stopped, but after all the encouragement from everyone on the course, I had to go all out to complete the last lap, which I did with about 5 minutes to spare taking my only fall of the day with about 1/2 mile to go.
What was amazing was my hip replacement didn’t come into play at all. After the race the only issue was my second toe, I’ll probably lose my first toe nail ever. My toe on the other foot doesn’t look that bad but is actually more sore than the other. I will recover and I’m already thinking about other races. 2018 has been kind to me after a year off in 2017 due to my hip. I’ve got 2 course records and a new 3:18 marathon PR at the age of 58. I feel more confident going into my first 100 but know there will be many challenges in that race that will push me to new limits. Hopefully I will be able to overcome them and finish under 24 hours. The last 7 1/2 years has been amazing, apart from 2 years of injury, and I’m learning more all the time. I love the friendship that ultras bring and the positive attitude to running. I hope I can continue and enjoy many more races.
This was a huge racing weekend with many of my friends running Savannah, NYC, Florida IronMan or Pinhoti. This race also shows that women are equal in this sport and in many other areas of our lives, if not better. Running is an amazing sport and pushes everyone to learn more about themselves than regular life teaches them. I thank each and everyone of you for helping to inspire me and to push me forward in my journey.