I got plenty of sleep.
Hit that biscuit bright and early Saturday night. When my alarm went off I was ready to get up. I ate my peanut butter sam, got dressed and my girls picked me up. Any normal girl would be nervous, at least a little. But the nerves hadn't hit me.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Dallas area race if I didn't run into plenty of people that I know. Saw my old coaching buddy Alan. And one of my training partners from my first marathon, LaMar. It's always fun to run into peeps and catch up! I'm always amazed at how we can all find each other in the masses of people. You can imagine my surprise and delight when this cute as a button tapped me on the shoulder. It's the Shabby Princess!!! I pink sparkle heart this girl - she is SO FUN and SO SWEET!
I ran into Kat after mile 9. After the very hilly mile 9. I knew I needed to walk the big hills and I did walk up that great big hill. Until I saw Kat. Then I sprinted to catch her. We chatted for a bit and then I bid her farewell around mile 11 when the course split. All that sprinting gave me a side stitch that lasted for about 6 or 7 miles. Yuckness.
There were not a lot of dogs to look at on the course. Actually, there wasn't a lot of anything to look at. Sweet Natalie and her mom were at mile 12. I was so excited to see them and her "Go Pink Girl" sign - complete in pink and green! I saw her over and over along the course. She's a great cheerleader! T.O. and Kathryn joined them and at mile 20 or so Lauren handed off a fresh supply of Shot Bloks. I have the BEST crew!!!
So fast forward. The marathon split off from the ultra around mile 25. At this point it got really lonely. And sunny. You have to know it was close to 80 on race day. Humid and warm. Remember that 20 degree rule? Yeah, it felt every degree of it. Thankfully it was overcast. But the last hour the sun came out. Blech. You should see my killer sunburn. Yes, I am bright pink - in February. Good golly Pete y'all, February! I have to say, runners are a great bunch of people. I got so many shout outs along the course. So many "Go Ultra girl!" from volunteers and spectators but also from other runners. So many people wished me luck. It was really humbling to say the least.
In addition to my first ultra, I had another first. I was recognized by a reader! Lance, it was great to meet you; I hope you had a great race! Leave me some comment love so I can find your blog. Forgive me, but my brain was a little cloudy when we talked around mile 17 or so!
Here is the course after the split. See how lonely? And sunny! Every time I'd pass another runner, we'd give each other the thumbs up and some words of encouragement. We were really doing this! I kind of wanted to hug everyone I saw. I was so proud of each and every one of them!!! All along I kept thinking, "It's just 5 more miles. What's 5 miles?" And you know what? Those are five loooooong miles! Five of the slowest miles I've EVER run too, ha! But I honestly felt strong the entire time.
See this face? This is the face of 30 miles. I felt great! Tired, yes. Hot, yes. Pooped, you bet. But loving every single minute of it. Y'all, I loved running an ultra. Loved it. Distance is my friend! I was on track to finish in under 6 hours; that was my original goal. But it was so stinkin' hot and I was really feeling good. I wanted to keep feeling good and avoid hurling so I made the decision not to push it and I threw that 6 hour goal out the window. I walked when I needed to. At one point I saw a dude with an Ironman tattoo walking. I figured, if an Ironman can walk, a Pink Girl can too. :o)
I rounded the final corner and I could hear Nat, T.O., Kathryn and crew cheering loudly. I smiled and knew it was almost over. I kind of didn't want it to end! (but was more than ready to stop running, ha!) Here is a pic I snagged from Sare Bear.
As I got closer to the finish line I heard Sare Bear and her family yelling loudly. "Run!" My calves were cramping up big time but I picked up the pace as much as I could. I felt like I was running in mud! I smiled, they called my name, I raised my fists and crossed that finish line.
I did it.
It felt great. Over 31 miles all on my own two pink feet. My verse throughout this training and throughout this race was from Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with the righteous right hand." God has helped me so much. He has been faithful; He has held me tightly. I've been trying hard to be not afraid. I felt God's hand on me the entire day. From meeting up with friends on the course, making new friends along the way to the amazing volunteers...I was given strength every mile. Faith, not Fear.
I took a few minutes post race and stretched out my calves. I collected my medal and then wasn't really sure where to go next. Being so late in the day, there weren't that many runners still finishing. Out of nowhere, I heard familiar voices. Suddenly, all of my friends were there! I was surrounded by love and hugs!!!
Nat, T.O. and Kathryn. Love these girls - they are awesome cheerleaders!
Sare Bear, Ava and Matt.
Sweet Nat brought me cold chocolate milk! She knows just what I like post long run! It was delicious - thank you Natty for thinking of absolutely everything!!!
Adriana ran the 10K on Saturday and the half on Sunday. Talk about hard core!
My official finishing time was 6:03, not far off from my goal of 6 hours. And by my Garmin, with all my bobbing and weaving, I actually ran almost 31.5 miles. Someday I'll learn to run those tangents better! I was pleased with my effort and thrilled with my time. What mattered to me, was that I did it. And I'll do it again for sure! (gotta get in under 6!)
My sweet girls took such great care of me. I was loved and supported every single minute of the day. They brought fresh tortillas and chips from Joe T. Garcias. The carried my things. Kat surprised me with the cutest pink seat cover made from a super soft towel. All I had to do was get in the car! They even stopped at Whataburger so I could get a Coke. Side note, the final aid station was amazing. They had Cheese Its, pretzels, m&ms, water, wet paper towels (that I hung around my neck and uh, stuck in my top - it was hot y'all!) and Coke. Cold, sweet, caffeinated Coke. That tiny cup was like rocket fuel. I would have never thought of Coke as fuel but it was just what I needed at mile 27!
It was a great day from start to finish. If you are toying with the idea of running a 50K - do it. No regrets. It's definitely a challenge. Those "5 more miles" were tough but totally doable. When people's mouths fall open, it kind of hits me. 50 kilometers is a long way! Who is this girl???
An ultra marathoner, that's who.