Sunday, January 1, 2012
Yesterday I had the great privilege of running the 1st 12 hours of Freedom Park 24 Hour Ultra in Morganton, NC. Though I started out with the intention of running the full 24 hours with a goal of at least 135 miles, my current reality did not meet my expectations and by hour 6 I was feeling kind of pukey.
Yet, during my loops of less-than-feeling good or confident, I got to interact and watch Anne Lundblad and Sabrina Moran set their souls on the line and run fantastically! As I learned this morning, Anne ran 140+ (YAY Anne!) Sabrina was moving along effortlessly when I observed her when I left the event 13.5 hours into it...I am not sure of Sabrina’s finishing mileage, yet I expect it was in the mid to high 130’s… as Anne was the overall winner. Congratulations wonderful tough girls! I expect Anne has earned her a place on Team USA to run in Poland in September. If she didn’t PR this morning, Sabrina’s previous high 130’s time makes her a great contender too!
Also during the loops I got to watch my running buddies from Ashe County at work on the Half Marathon. Joey and Jonathon will be running the 1/2 in Charleston in 2 weeks and Jackie, the full. They came down get in a good training effort and I think to cheer me on too! Thanks running buddies, it was great to see you out there and running with effortless glee! Can't wait to be around you all in Charleston!
As for me, ups and downs are expected on any event and I was committed until at least 12 hours in. At hour 6ish the dizziness I’d been experiencing on and off the last 2 weeks due to a prolonged sinus infection was showing itself, and although I didn’t feel bad, I felt a bit out of body and out of sorts. Both Anne and Sabrina and others reminded me that ups and downs were to be expected as they inquired about my 13-minute walking break at 5:50. I certainly appreciated the reminder and after eating and drinking and taking some electrolytes (it was 60 degrees-certainly warm by 12/31 norms), I grabbed by little ipod and tried for a focused attitude adjustment.
The isolation and distraction helped, yet I felt my soreness in legs and body increasing as I checked off each loop. By hour 10, I had no idea of my pace or mileage yet kept up the positive attitude (mostly) and visualized what I’d practiced: running strong (or “strong” for the circumstances) watching a sun set from the run and a sunrise. Lap by lap, positive, inspired…and mathematically, seeking reality.
Jonathan Savage, an automatic 2012 team member based on his National Championship 2011 performance- high 140’s in 24-Hour, graced me with miles of chat time. He helped me process my dilemma. Yesterday I felt I had 2 things on the line: run well enough (as Anne did) to be a high contender for Poland (at least 135), or back off and drop out to not burden my body with a disappointing finish that could set by my training for World 100km in April.
If I was feeling great and moving well toward my goal, I was willing to take the risk with partially compromising my 100km training…yet this was a hard call. Intellectually, as Jonathon pointed out, it was a no brainier, quit before I did damage and required too much recovery. One can recover from battered egos. On the other hand, a 24- hour event is unpredictable and one doesn’t know what will present itself: good or bad.
In the end I bowed out conservatively. 74ish miles in 12 hours…and other mile of cool down.
I celebrate Freedom Park Ultras and half and full marathons. David and Rhonda do a GREAT job attending to runners wishes and needs and the venue is superb.
As for me, I have swollen legs, a tired body and ambition as I roll into what will be the 2nd semester of the 2011/2012 school year tomorrow.
My immediate my running ambitions will be set on WC 100km 4/22/2012. I will register for FANS in Minnesota for my last go at 24-Hour team 2012 and not have any other “important” race on the table after that, so I don’t have to worry about the impact of working too hard and risking other goals. I believe FANS is the 1st weekend of June.
This last 36 hours has been a humbling, yet “toe the line” gut-centering quest for priorities. I believe I’ve chosen the right path, yet do not want “bailing” to be part of my regular practice.
Anyone, reading this, I’d love to hear your own personal perspectives of your process for DNFing or finishing despite the risks to your future running/racing plans/ health…
Happy training, smart choices and Happy 2012! AND a hearty congrats to all who ran and worked towards their goals in the at least four 24-Hour events around the country last night!