So if you recall, I'm back on crutches again.
I learned a ton both while training for this ultra, and by running it. I had been told repeatedly that if you can run half the distance, you can run the whole distance - with any race. While I found this to be true (I never ran over 15.6 miles on a training run), it was uncomfortable.
First, with the training runs, I never experienced any chafing problems other than on my chest where my bra rubbed. A little Body Glide did the trick for that, and the problem went away. I never had problems with blisters, or my shorts, or anything else - even running in the heat in September.
Yesterday though, I started noticing chafing from my shorts. Now, these weren't new shorts, and I'd run 15 miles in them before. Apparently though, when you get a shit-ton of salt in spandex, it causes chafing. Not that I didn't know this, I just hadn't ever reached that point before. So, today (I'm writing this on Sunday) I have a raw spot in a place I'd rather not.
Second, I'd never had a blister during my training. Not so much as a new shoe blister even. Yesterday, when I took my shoe off to look at my foot, I had a blister between my toes. I'd never experienced that in my life, and I'm not sure what caused it other than perhaps the same issue (salt). When I changed my shoes at mile 18, it was not there (I changed my socks at the same time). Perhaps it was the walking that did it?
Third, when you feel your worst, there is always another runner to pick you up. I didn't get a chance to chat with people yesterday, but everyone was encouraging and willing to help. When I mentioned I had a problem with my foot, several people offered to help in different ways. When I had to walk, people tried to encourage me to run (until I told them why I was walking), and then they gave encouragement to continue walking if I could. Several people walked the whole race even.
Lastly, I learned that I don't give a rat's ass about running marathons. Don't get me wrong, I love to run. I even love to run "long" distances. But long and far are relative terms. Because I have other obligations right now (my sons are 10 and 8),running for hours at a time on the weekends deprives all of us of precious family time. I don't mind giving up time with them while they're otherwise occupied, but I don't like not being there when they want me around (because they won't always, and I'm sure that time is closer than I think). Also, my house became a complete and total disaster while I was training. Like most people with a full-time job, the only time to exercise is in the evenings or on the weekends - you know, the same times you need to clean your house. Despite months of planning and training, I was getting bored with the distance running a few weeks before the race - mostly because I "had" to run the distance so I could be ready for the race.
So, there you have my complete race report. Hopefully one of you can learn from it (even if you only learn that despite talking tough, I'm a big softie and I won't always sacrifice my body to achieve a goal!), and if not, I hope it was entertaining. It's OK to laugh at me, too. I ran nearly 12 miles on a broken foot; I'm not sure whether that shows perserverance or stupidity. But I lived to run another day, without metal pins in my foot, and I'm OK with that.