Run Under the Stars

On Sunday morning, I accomplished a huge goal for myself. I ran an unofficial ultra-marathon. But I’ll get to those details a little later. Saturdays morning I helped the hubby set up for our neighborhood yard sale and then was picked up by my parents to head to Paducah for the Run Under the Stars  10 hour over night race. We ran this race last year and had a really good time. So we thought we would try to break our distances from least year. My goal for this year was to run a marathon. Remember when I briefly thought about running the marathon instead of the half during the Flying Pig Half ? Well I was determined to make that happen on Saturday night/Sunday morning. We fueled with lunch pasta at Patti’s 1880 Settlement . We ate here on the way home last year but figured we should go ahead and partake beforehand. We learned a valuable lesson last year that we need to make sure we eat something light before the race. Once we set up camp, we headed into Paducah to go get me some bubble tea. I got some last year and it was delightful and I wanted some more. One thing to note before I go on, I only took one picture over the two days. I had a mind to take a picture of my grapefruit bubble tea with strawberry jellies but I literally drank it too fast. It was soooo good. I even drank it so fast that it gave me a belly ache. We ate our standard pre-race food somewhere around 6pm, I think. This was after a brief nap. I think around maybe 1.5-2 hours. I ate a bagel thin with peanut butter, banana and chocolate chips. I took a little too long eating a chilling out before getting ready. Then I really felt strapped for time. It was giving me anxiety. Part of the reason I had anxiety was because I had a few steep goals. I mentioned the marathon. My stretch goal was 30 miles and then my overall goal was to stay on the track the whole time. I didn’t want to take breaks like I did last year. So I was anxious about making sure I had everything ready for a 10 mile race. I didn’t even want to give myself a reason to leave the track. All wearing last years shirt. Glad we all packed it! They had announcements and before I knew it, we were off…only to be stopped after the first lap. I only had one lap but several people were on their second lap. They took a few minutes and then started the race again. After a few laps, they stopped us again. By this point, I knew my foot was starting to hurt and I made the decision to walk all night. I probably only ran maybe a mile or two but I knew that if I was going to last all night, I would need to take it easy and not injure myself. They stopped the race again with more timing issues and said to come back around 9pm. That gave a little less than 30 minutes before they started again. Since I had some pretty lofty distance goals, I went ahead and kept going. I wasn’t going to waste time. Mom and I kept walking while they tried to get the timing right. They said they would not stop the race again so I wasn’t sure if they would have official records anyway. Timing station – every 0.5 miles By the time we lined up again for the 9pm start, I already had 3.5 miles under my belt. They said they would not stop the race again regardless of timing challenges and would go for 9 hours instead of 10. The race goes 10 (or in this case, 9) hours from when the timer starts. Since they started a little after 9pm, we ended around 6:15am. Dad had the team bib for the first hour since he was going to be faster and farther than I was since I was just walking. We switched off the team bib every hour. The night in and of itself was a blur. Even if my foot hadn’t hurt, my IT band wasn’t feeling like me walking. So I tried to keep myself under a 17 min/mile pace which often meant I had to put my head down and just power through. I only had to get 3 miles every hour to make my 30 mile goal. It really seemed doable. I just had to stay consistent with my pace. My stomach bothered me a little bit and I had to hit up the bathrooms more than I had planned. I did take advantage of the snack table and had little bits of peanut bars, rice crispy treats, a slice of pizza and several Hammer gels, which I had never had before. Maybe those caused my stomach issues? Who knows. Boy was I feeling the pain at this point. Dad made me pretend to run. After a while of listening to my music, I tuned my iPod to a local station. That may have been why my iPod died with 2 hours to go. Does the radio use more juice than just playing music? Anyway, I remember several times walking with Dad and we finishing a lap and saying “we still have 5 hours to go?” Except that happened several times. Not just with 5 hours to go. Sometime after dark, they turn off half of the track lights and light tiki torches instead. Last year were luminaries which I loved. They lit up the track last year but this year it seemed like it was just pitch black. I wasn’t a fan of them. I started the race with all black on and when I knew dad would be going back to the camper, I asked him to bring me another shirt. I didn’t want other runners to not be able to see me. I did finally change out of my shirt and that was one of the only two times I left the track other than for the bathroom. The other time, I had something in my eye so I grabbed some contact solution to make it feel better. Both times I was in and out! Like I mentioned before, my iPod died with 2 hours to go. My watch died at mile 27.65. I made the mistake of not topping off the charge when we took our naps before the race and it just didn’t make it. Kind of a bummer but since it shows that I officially hit my marathon, I’m not upset about it. It did make the night pretty quiet and I had to pay more attention to the board where they were displaying laps as you went through the timing shoot. So I hit my first goal of a marathon and the. With some time still left on the clock I hit 30 miles. I was pumped! I did one more lap and then met up with mom and dad for the final lap making my total mileage 31 miles. We finished that lap with 15 minutes still left on the clock and decided that since I was moving so slowly at this point that we weren’t sure that I would make I would make it around in those 15 minutes. That last lap was really slow! It would have been close but if you don’t come through the timing chute before the clock gets to 0, that last half mile doesn’t count. At would have been a huge bummer. Looking back, I could have probably made it around the track one more time but at the time, it didn’t feel like I could. We grabbed our medal, raided the leftover food, and then grabbed showers. This is what is really nice about having a camper. We took quick showers and then took naps before heading out to grab something to eat. Bob Evans never tasted so good. I ate a ridiculous amount of food. After naps and eating, we did something really crazy…we dressed up as Superman and tried to break the world record. More about that later! My night in numbers: 9+ hours of walking non-stop 1 slice of pizza 3 Hammer gels 2+ Gatorades 31 miles 62 times around the 0.5 mile track 0 hours of sleep 1 awesome medal If you ever have the chance to do something like this, I highly recommend. You can do so much more than you give yourself credit for! I finished my marathon in 7:20. Considering I was only walking and had to take several bathroom breaks, I’m really proud of myself. I would obviously hope for much more than that when doing an actual marathon but I did more and went further than I could have ever imagined!
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