Friday, February 21, 2014

Moab Red Hot 55K

Running Along!
As the day for the Moab Red Hot 55k approached, which was going to be my first Ultra and longest run of my life my nerves were getting the better side of me. I all of sudden had aches and pains all over my body. Three days out my stomach was in knots. Oh no!! I thought to myself numerous times what was I getting myself into. I reminded myself this has happened before and I made it through it! The day before the race as I was saying goodbye to my children as they were leaving to school my daughter and I were reading over a paper she had written. On there she had written the person she admires is Mom. Almost instantly I had a little tear in my eye and I asked her what it is she admires about Mom. The first thing that she said was, "cause you are a runner". This stuck with me and helped me push through my longest race ever. If a seven year old admires me be because I am a runner I must prove to her I am a strong and can do anything I set my mind to!

 The morning of the race the nerves had settled and I was ready!! Having some new friends and old friends at the start line was helpful. Then it was time to go. So along we went up the road. I did not exactly know what I was getting myself into so my mental game plan was to take it easy. I did just that for the first 6 miles and I was feeling awesome! I ran by Jeremy saying hi and went right through the first aid station. I knew the HUMR crew would be up the road a bit. I was feeling absolutely amazing and did not want to stop. I said a quick hello with a wave and worked myself around the loop. Coming into this race I knew I had to fuel better than I ever had. I am not very good at it. So I told myself every 4.5 miles I would take a gel, since it takes me .5 miles to gag it down. When I reached the second aid station I drank some Heed and ate a banana this was my plan for every aid station from here on out. Since I had water, my Skratch and gels I was good to go. I felt strong yet a still nervous to pick up my pace. I would find myself running fairly quick and then I would slow down, not knowing what would happen later in the race. I then saw the HUMR crew again and went for it and had an scrumptious rice bar and said hello! Oh.... I also posed for one of my many silly face pictures that were captured throughout the race. Off I went down the hill excited to see my main man, Jeremy!! Said a quick hello and went into a wash, which very quickly became a beastly hill of slick rock! Now I knew what everyone was talking about. Power hike time! As I started up the hill I was still feeling strong and started passing people left and right and I knew all the pain I kept putting myself into doing Malan's repeats was paying off. After playing on the slick rock for a bit as I reached the aid station I decided it was time for a salt pill. I needed my calf's to stay strong, I could feel the work that they were exerting! Had my banana and Heed and a chip and was off again. Running, walking a few times, losing flags markers and almost falling. Started passing people again and was getting scared, this was my longest run ever and I didn't think I was supposed to feel this good. I got over that scared feeling when I surpassed the 26.2 mark and I was more than ready to push forward and finish this race. I had another banana and Heed at the last aid station and ran strong through the sand to where the HUMR support group was. They were a great view to come across those last few miles. I didn't need anything but having their support was definitely a mood booster!! Thankyou! From there I ran hard to the finish. I felt great!  When I rounded the last corner and saw the finish line I was so excited, I had made it!! I was a crazy Ultra runner now! I had told myself it would be awesome to run somewhere between 6-6.5 hours and deep inside I almost thought that was too much to ask for out of my first ultra. When I finished at 6:09 I was ecstatic! Now I know my limits and next time I know I can push it harder! Thanks for the support along the race, the encouragement and guidance from all my new friends and thanks to Jeremy and my family for supporting me and letting me run all the hours I do! I am ready now to take on this year of racing!!!  

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