OK, so, you've waited, and waited, and....waited. And now I've given you the answer before you had to read a sentence. That's right, after all the training, I did not finish the ultramarathon.
As promised, here is my race report, and the story of why I didn't finish. Please ignore any smudge marks; it's highly likely I'll cry as I write this ;-).
The day started out great...except that apparently I had something that didn't agree with me the night before. I don't usually get the nervous shits before a race, because I honestly don't care about "racing". I care about "finishing" and "not being last". The only competition I believe in is that with myself. So, I had my normal breakfast and proceeded to go to the bathroom three times before leaving the house - which made me leave 15 minutes later than I'd planned. This caused me some anxiety because I had an hour drive ahead of me and I was cutting it close. Fortunately, I made it in time for the pre-race briefing, which I was able to listen to from the bathroom.
I bumped into someone I knew who was also running the 50k, which was awesome. I found him at the start of the race, and we ran the first 5k or so together. The only reason we split up was because I went ahead and stopped for Gatorade at the first food table. Why? After all, it wasn't even 7:30AM, it was overcast, and it was about 55 degrees. The reason was because I had to stay ahead of the salt intake. I didn't salt up the night before like I should have, so I was very worried about tanking once it got hot outside (which it was supposed to do).
I didn't make it a mile and realised I was in serious trouble. But, because of the time of day, I knew I could walk the rest of the race and finish. That was all I wanted. I tried running again here and there. It didn't matter if I could only run 10 steps, I was running. By this time I knew something was really wrong, and that I was probably doing some serious damage to whatever was messed up in there. I didn't care. If I had to crawl to the finish line, I was going to do it. I'd worked too hard to give up, and my legs and mind were great - if it weren't for my foot being cranky I was good to go. So, I kept going.
After an excruciatingly long time, I came to the final stretch of lap four (we were running a bow-tie shaped loop, so we had to cross the finish line five times to complete the race), the rest of my family was waiting. I was so happy to see them, but bummed out as well because that meant I was nearing my goal finish time, and I had another six miles to go. And by this time I could hardly walk, much less run. I had mentally prepared myself for continuing if the family wasn't there, and quitting if they were - because it would have taken me another 3-4 hours to finish at the rate I was hobbling, and it was unfair to make them wait. Not to mention I knew I was being stupid.
My times, by mile:
- miles 1-10: 9:22, 9:25, 9:57, 9:54, 9:44, 9:32, 9:32, 9:36, 9:53, 9:35
- miles 11- 20: 9:21, 9:22, 9:33, 10:01, 10:58, 10:57, 12:46, 12:05, 16:46, 12:05. Here you can see something went wrong in mile 14, then got progressively worse.
- miles 21-24.82: 12:25, 19:16, 14:58, 14:00, 13:41(0.82m). I think I was trying to beat the family so I could start the next loop. Don't let the 14:00 times fool you; I was in some serious pain by then and I was trying to sprint 10 steps, then walk fast, then sprint 10 steps etc. Not the smartest thing I've ever done.
I told David, "I've got another lap, but I think I've got a stress fracture." To which he replied, "Don't be an idiot! Stop running now." After 24.82 miles, you can imagine the emotion that welled up in me at that moment. He's fortunate I didn't slap the shit out of him - but intellectually I knew he was right. I got the boys to run with me to the finish line, where I told the officials I had to quit, and why. With tears in my eyes, I walked to the benches and sat down.
And you thought I was such a tough one, didn't you? Truth is, I'm a complete and total fucking sap. :)
Anyway, after soaking my feet in the spring for a bit while the boys went swimming (yes, really), I drove home alone. I took a shower, then decided I was going to the hospital for X-Rays and lo and behold, I have a hairline fracture in my foot. It's also a lovely shade of red and purple already.
So that means - you guessed it - my ass is back on crutches!
This is getting ridiculously long, so I'll continue this tomorrow...