I obsessed with the weather up until Friday morning, I was so busy preparing for the trip and our mini vacation afterward that I forgot to check the weather one more time. I was prepared for a chance of rain and some cooler temps but not prepared for what I got.
I knew I wouldn't sleep, so I decided to ride up on the early bus and just hang out and enjoy the experience. When I arrived in St. George is was pretty warm so I didn't put my pants on, I figured my legs would be warm enough. What a mistake that ended up being, I was freezing. The wind was really strong up at the start so we couldn't all huddle around the fires, you had to stand along the sides for quite a while. Then the rain began, luckily a sweet woman next to me had an extra mylar blanket so I used that until the volunteers started giving out trash bags.
I joined the 5 hour pace group since that was my original goal, but 15 minutes slower than my predicted time after Hobble Creek. I was worried since I missed so many runs due to my car accident and hip injury. The pace team leader was hilarious and I really looked forward to running with him, unfortunately he apparently decided to bank some time after hearing about Veyo (he was from New Jersey) the first mile was 11:23, just a tad fast (shooting for 11:27) but the next mile he started pulling ahead, I tried to hold my pace and I finished it in 10:57 oops, mile three the group was quite a bit ahead and I hit it in 10:27, at this point I knew I was on my own. I was cold and wet and not happy to running 23 more miles in this weather.
I'm thinking that maybe if I could run faster I wouldn't have frozen so much ;). By mile 11 I was really struggling with the cold, I was shivering and angry. I never thought about dropping out, I was just mad that I had to continue in this rain, hehe. I decided that I had to start using up my motivations early, I had planned the last 6 miles to run each one for a family member or friend that inspired me along the way. I chose my Uncle Jeff first since I wasn't really hurting, but mentally I was struggling, he died from complications of arthritis at the age of 52. He spent most of his life in excruciating pain and he always just tried to do his best and keep plugging along. Thinking of Jeff really helped me for the next several miles.
Mile 13 was a low point for me, I couldn't feel my fingers any more and I knew I hadn't even reached the hardest part of the race yet. I'm actually thinking that mile 13 was my "wall" because after that I knew I just needed one foot in front of the other. I did cry at the aid station, I couldn't open the stupid banana and I just cried, so embarassing now. One of the volunteers laughed and then caught herself and said "You can do it, sweetie, you are halfway there" I was mad at her for laughing at me, but it did give me something to think about, so that's good.
At mile 14 I took a picture of myself with my cellphone and text it to my husband, my Aunt and some friends hoping for some support. My husband and Aunt sent encouraging texts which really helped through the hard times. At mile 18 I started to hurt, my left knee was really complaining by then and my stomach was already complaining about the Gu. I think I sat in the porta potty here for 3 or 4 minutes, just to dry out for a little bit and to prepare for the continuing rain.
By mile 21 it was just a drizzle out, but I was so wet I didn't notice if it was raining or drizzling or dry, I didn't care anymore. I discovered that I liked carrying some toilet paper in my hand, I could have one dry spot on my body and that a big comfort to me. Strange how odd little things keep you going.
At the mile 25 aid station I saw a porta potty and decided to use it so I wouldn't have to worry about it at the end, lol. After the little potty break I decided that I would do no more walking or stopping and would finish as fast as I could, after many 12:45+ min miles I finished this one in 11:02 and the last .2 in a 10:15 pace. I saw my family standing on the side waiting for me and I began to cry, I'm sure the finishing photo is going to be flattering, ha.
The sweet volunteer handing out the metals was an older gentleman, reminded me of my Dad. I was crying by now and he gave me a big hug, told me he was so proud of me and that I worked really hard and should be proud of myself. I hobbled over to my family and gave them all hugs and cried some more. One downside to being slow is they run out of food sometimes, I got an ice cream but the only other thing available was melons and grapes, I don't like melons and people were just sticking their hands in the grapes, eww so I didn't get anything else to eat. I did get a coke to drink and we hobbled over to get my gear and the car.I ended up using the porta potties 8 or 9 times during the race, my garmin has me running for 5 hrs 18 min, so I wasted a lot of time in the potties. I didn't drink more than normal, in fact I drank less than normal so I don't know why I had to go so often, that's something I'll have to work on next time. Yes, there will be a next time :)
I hate the cold, always have, so I doubt I'll be running any winter races after this :P