I have been planning on running the Strider’s Winter Circuit 30K for quite a while. It’s been one of my goal races for this year, partly because it’s great marathon training and I told Becky I would run it with her as she trains for the Ogden Marathon. I was really excited to run this race because I knew it would be a party running with Becky. As it always is.
The night before the race Becky and I road tripped it up to Ogden (okay, I don’t know if driving to Ogden from Salt Lake City is necessarily considered a road trip, but I bought licorice from Walmart … soooooo … I think that makes it one?) to stay with our friend Sonja (from our running group). We made vegetarian pizza and talked for hours about how awesome running and New Orleans is. Oh, and dogs, spazzy cats and long distance relay runners … you know the fun stuff.
Since Sonja was injured she planned on volunteering at one of the aid stations so we all carpooled up to Eden the morning of the race. The weather was rainy. Gloomy and raining with really no chance of sunshine. I knew I was going to get wet so we brought along a garbage to hopefully keep me (relatively) dry.
The race was pretty much a looped course. There was no bus drop off which was kind of nice? Knowing you were going to run a 18.6 mile loop was a bit daunting … especially in the rain. I kind of think that being dropped off up a canyon and told to run 18.6 would have been a bit easier mentally on me. But, that’s neither here nor there.
The first four miles of the race were really tough. The rain was annoyingly wet and cold. On top of that I had forgotten my gloves so my hands were exposed for the whole run. Honestly though I think my hands would have felt the same way if I wore gloves, because the cold wet rain would have ruined them as well. As much as I tried to keep them warm it was pretty much impossible so by the mile 15 aid station I was grabbing my water cups like a scavenging squirrel. It was bad.
I was trying to also keep myself properly fueled throughout the run and I did pretty good during the first nine miles. I drank some of my Zeal drink, ate a banana, ate a Chocolate gel and made sure I drank enough water at each aid station. I even brought my backpack with me filled with jelly beans, Clif Bars, an orange and water.
But, then I kind of did something stupid.
I left my bag with Sonja at her aid station to take with her. Granted, it was kind of heavy and it did help me run a bit faster, but I really should have grabbed a couple of gels and Clif Bars for my pocket along the way. I really think that might have contributed to me tanking it during the last half of the race. Even though I ate some at one of the aid stations.
After we saw Sonja at the mile nine aid station both Becky and I kind of split up. She ran ahead of me and for a good portion of a mile or so I wasn’t very far behind. I just tried to keep running. I also heard that I was second to last place and I didn’t want the guy behind me to pass me by.
But, after the 12 and 15 aid stations he caught up with me. We walked a lit bit tomorrow. He told me about all the marathons he ran and all of the planes he works on at Hill Air Force Base. He was a SUPER nice guy, but he was super chatty and I was at that point in my run that I just didn’t want to talk. To anyone. I wasn’t feeling well, I was soaked, I was sore and I just wanted to get my race done with.
So, I feel bad, but I kind of pushed on the brakes and let him walk ahead of me … and … I think he was talking to me while he did this? That kind of made me feel bad. Kinda. Again, super nice guy.
Once I got to around mile 17.5-18 I was done. I really started feeling sick. I honestly felt like I was going to die. I worried that I was getting hypothermia because I was really tired, kind of shaky and was a tad lightheaded with sudden movements. I haven’t Googled symptoms of it yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. I was so cold.
Then at mile 18.4 I heaved. I didn’t heave really anything. That was really the problem. This was the first time that I threw up in the middle of a race. It was miserable. I was miserable. I just wanted this race to be done. I was ready to go home.
I said a little prayer and then started back out to finish the last 0.2 of the race. Just then Sonja and Becky pulled up in their car and asked if I needed help. I told them I needed to warm up. So I hopped in Sonja’s car and warmed up the best that I could. Delaying the finish as much as I could. Once I got my hands somewhat warm, Becky and I headed out to help me finish my race.
But, as soon as I got back on the trail, I just couldn’t do it. I got a wave of my bad stomach and light headedness again and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t it. So I hopped in the car and Sonja drove me to the finish line where I got out and crossed the finish line. Dead last.
I eventually made up those 0.2 miles later in the day after I completely warmed up, got dry and showered. I felt kind of bad that I didn’t do it there, but I really felt if I did I was going to die, literally.
But, once I got my medal and other stuff Sonja took us to Maverik and got Becky and I hot chocolate for the drive back to Ogden. It really was the best thing I ever had. It was just what I needed. I almost drank it up like Gatorade. I didn’t care that it was super hot. It saved my life that’s all that matters.
Once we got back to Sonja’s place we made a quick change and then headed out to Strider’s Running Store to get our free water bottle for running the race and then to Kneaders for much needed food. It was great. I got an avocado veggie sandwich and orange smoothie. I didn’t even really care what it was, because all I needed was calories in my body.
Looking back at the race, it was tough. It was really tough. There were a couple of reasons why it went horribly wrong for me. For one, I don’t do that well in the rain. I prepared for it fairly well though with garbage bags and my rain jacket. I wanted to avoid getting my core wet at all costs and for the most part I did fairly well. But, still, it affected me because it was constantly raining throughout the race.
Secondly, I forgot my gloves. By around mile 3-4 I pretty much lost function of them. I called them mannequin hands because I had no control of them. By the end of the race they were pretty much white, shriveled and chapped. It wasn’t pretty and I am sure that affected me early on with my race.
Thirdly, was fueling (isn’t always about fueling?). I had a fueling plan to eat something every three miles. At mile three I ate a banana, mile six was a chocolate gel, mile nine was another gel, mile 12 was a Clif Bar and then mile 15 was another gel.
Well, I kind of wish it went down that way, but it didn’t.
Once I got to the mile nine aid station I dropped my bag with Sonja and I really should have kept it or at least grabbed some of my gels and my Clif Bar. But, that escaped me at the moment. I was more focused on lightening my load and it was a mistake.
But, the combination of the lack of fuel, rain and cold hands really made this a race that I will never forget … yet probably want to.
Looking at the silver linings from this race it was a great mental challenge. I can’t stress that enough. There were times I just wanted to die. Physically, this run was demanding for me. And, if anything I feel that much more prepared for my marathon.
I am glad that I had my awesome 20 miler a couple weeks ago. If this was my longest run in preparation for my marathon I probably would have opted out and/or felt extremely unprepared by June. But, now I feel a bit more prepared because I got a mentally and physically demanding run in.
But, now that I’ve got some of my long runs done with for the time being I am now focused on running a couple of half marathons. I am running the Provo City Half this upcoming Saturday and then Big Cottonwood Half Marathon on the 10th. Luckily, both are canyon runs. My goal is to run a sub-2:20 at Provo and then a 2:10-2:15 at Big Cottonwood (or faster, we’ll see).
In the end, I love running. No matter how it presents itself. Whether it nearly kills me, freezes me or gives me all the confidence in the world, it is always constantly teaching me something. And, that’s why I love to run.
Total Mileage Breakdown for 20142014 Training Miles – 344.75 miles 2014 Walking Miles – 44.1 miles 2014 Race Miles – 81.6 miles
2014 Total Miles – 469.45 miles Monthly Total Miles for 2014 January – 100.0 miles February – 100.0 miles March – 130.0 miles April – 139.45 miles