Monday, September 17, 2012
2 days 2 states 2 marathons = 2 days 2 states 1 50K 1 marathon
This was the weekend to do back to back marathons for the first time and get 2 more states out of the way on my quest to get a marathon or Ultra in all 50 states before Im 50 years old. Saturdays race was in Wisconsin which was about a 100 mile trip to Sundays race in St Charles Illinois. The marathon on Saturday had a start time of 9am and I was a little concerned about finishing and getting to St Charles in time for packet pickup which would end at 6pm. I even considered switching to the 50K on Saturday so that I would have a 7am start time and prolly be finished about an hour before I would the marathon but thought it would be best to stick to JUST the marathon since they were back to back and I hadnt done that before. I then decided it would be my best interest to stop at St Charles on the way to Wisconsin and get my packet on Friday...it would only be 40 minutes out of the way to cross over. I am very glad I did for less stress! I picked up my packet in Illinois and found a little mall and place called Fresh D-Lite for lunch...it was tasty...there is also an Anthropologie in this mall...why??? I tried my best to pass on going inside but it's an addiction I just couldnt keep going. I did good though I only bought one top and tried on about 6 or 7 things! Then off I went to get my packet for the Northface Challenge. After getting my packet I got to the hotel and got settled....I gained an extra hour with the time change so that meant I should be well rested for the morning run and I had gotten up at 4am that morning so I was fine going to bed early. For the most part I slept pretty well. Got up around 7 since I wasnt tired ate my bagel with crunchy peanut butter drank some water and diet dew and hung out a bit in the room cause I didnt wanna be at the race start super early just hanging around...it was still cool in the morning but that soon changed. There really wasnt as many doing the race as I expected...maybe 200 hundred? Granted a 50 miler left at 5am and 50K left at 7am. The course was beautiful, very hilly but not super technical with lots of roots and rocks. You did have to keep your eyes open and watch your downhills as it seemed all the downhills had rocks everywhere. There were several areas of thecourse that they referred to as the Ice Age Trail....it was really pretty but it was wide open...like you were running in the fields with a path for you...some very nice wooden bridge crossing but no trees for cover and they day sure did heat up.I am thankful that I read the aid stations were about 5.5 or so miles apart so I did decide to take a hand head water bottle for fluid....very smart move!! I had thought I read the last aid station was about 4 miles out and we went thru that one and the folks there said 3.7 miles to go....that was nice to hear! Most of the last couple miles my head was strategizing my marathon in St Charles the next day....I knew I had 6 hours to complete it and I was already getting some blisters under my toe nails from all the downhills....so I was thinking I will start out with 5-1 nope 4-1 nope 3-1 and kept tossing this in my head to keep my mind off of the blisters that were forming. As we continued and I say we cause there was a couple of us that kept playing leap frog for the past several miles....most were guys that were finishing up the 50 miler. We came across another station and there was a lady sitting behind the water and 2 guys across from her at another table-they stated 1.7 miles home stretch WHOO HOO this was a pleasant thought! Myself and another guy in a blue shirt who was doing the 50 miler filled up our bottles one last time and the other 2 guys were already gone....I followed him and off to the right we went thru a tunnel created out of caution tape and back into the woods we went....within a few minutes I felt uneasy cause I would have thought I would be seeing the guys I had been talking with back and forth for the past couple miles but it was just me and the other guy. I also noticed all the trail tape was missing Pink which was my color but had orange which was his and when I asked him he said well Im suppose to follow orange...I couldnt imagine us having different finish lines? I looked at my garmin and now we were at mile 26 and there was no finish line in site no sounds of a finish line either. He started calling his wife but we had no idea where to tell her we were as we didnt know how and where we got off course. I noticed there was light sticks hangins so this was part of the 5am start so were we somehow now on the 50 mile course in the beginning and heading out for 50 more miles??? OMG I got to about mile 28 and sent Northface a facebook message telling them we were lost somewhere that we went thru the aid station that told us 1.7 miles and have followed all the arrows since...they responded that a sweeper would try to locate us but by that time we had made a 6 mile loop and were back at a parking lot...I flagged a ryder truck guy down who was working the race and I was almost hyperventilating as i asked where we were and how we got off track while the other guy was talking to his wife and reading the park map that was posted on a sign. The race guy was almost giggling at me when I was so upset telling me yes its only 1.7 miles and Im like yeah...they told me that 6 miles ago when they sent us out this way! He just pointed to the aid station then drove off but drove to the folks at the aid station...I got there and was in tears and sooo pissed....I said why in the world would you tell us to go this way and if you feel you didnt tell us to go that way you watched us and didnt even stop us.....If I wanted to do a 50K I woulda signed up for it and I almost did but thought with a marathon tomorrow it probably wouldnt be the smartest decision....my goal was to do 2 marathons in 2 states in 2 days to get 2 states finished in one trip....now all I could think about was will I be able to do the marathon tomorrow after a 50K today with this type of trail and elevation and my toes are already blistered! It was the most awful feeling I have ever had....not knowing where I was, how much further I had to go, now running out of water but I did know eventually I would end up somewhere since we were following tape and arrows. The guy offered to drive me to the finish but it wasnt about being tired it was about them sending me and the other guy the wrong way...I said no I will ALWAYS cross a finish line on my feet and off I went. During this time I was talking with my mother and let her know we were lost and I also had an issue that needed taken care of at the gym so she had gone down to help since I wasnt around....we were talking when I came upon the parking lot and the race guy in the truck and I wasnt sure whether to call her back or just have her hold and I remember just trying to talk and saying mom I cant breathe....I was that upset. The last 1.7 miles I didnt have a smile on my face, I pretty much just walked it as I knew I had to save my legs the best I could for the next day. I got close to the finish and a couple people were saying great job on the marathon and I snapped I did a f'in 50K because the asshats at the last station sent me on a 6 mile loops. Opps sorry for the cuss words. I got to the finish and they tried to take my photo and I said DO NOT TAKE MY PICTURE....I am pissed right now...where is the race director. They told me back there and pointed, I knew he had a red shirt on from the am but I didnt see him, I saw Dean Karnazes taking a photo with some folks and wanted to say hi but I knew I had to find the RD. I went to the info booth and she took me back up front behind this tent and there he sat, he had a paper on his clip board with a drawing from that last aid station where they told us 1.7 miles so he was concerned...he was very apologetic and I explained I knew I had to be wrong because there was no pink but had no idea where I went wrong and I said I would tell the guy that was doing the 50miler this and he would say but there is orange....I didnt want to turn around and be without anyone on the trail so we hung kinda together. Now I want credit for 50K not some 7 and half hour trail marathon!! I did get the 50K medal and shirt but am waiting for the timing company and such to change my results.
I didnt get to shower after this race and headed onto St Charles, I stopped and got a turkey sandwhich and a italian incase I wanted something later on. I got to the hotel, showered, stretched, and rolled out my foot and muscles some. It was already about 8:30 so I layed out my stuff for the morning and I ate alittle bit of the italian...it was good but being so late I didnt want alot of it. I didnt sleep super well as I had 3 toes that blistered pretty good so when I moved the sheets would hit my toes and feel like they were ripping off my toenails. I decided on a 3:30-1:00 pace as well. I got up ate my bagel and wasnt in the mood for peanut butter on it, drank a diet dew and some water and headed on down to the race. Parking was very hard to find, I was surprised how large this marathon was for such a small town. I felt better then expected and pretty much stuck with my jog/walk plan. I wore my 50K shirt from the day before just to remind me what I came for....2 STATES you got this! By mile 16 my toe on my left foot, the same one that caused problems at labor of love, well I actually felt it pop off so I stopped at the next medic, we bandaged it back on so not to have infection but within a couple miles the bandage came off as well....so next station we used white tape and taped it back on.....the right toe nail I could tell was in the same shape but it had not come off, which is actually more painful because the blister hadnt popped. 10 more miles....I thought at one time Id be done in 5:30 which would have been great but I had to stop a couple times for my toes so that took off some of the time fixing them up. I finished in 5:50 and was perfectly fine with that! 2 more states off the list. I grabbed a piece of banana and a blue freeze pop! wow was it amazing. They also had small bags of chips and such so i grabbed a dorito, nutter butter and peanut butter ritz for the road. The hotel let me shower before heading home for a long long drive! My right toe really needed the blister popped as all the way home it just throbbed but I didnt have anything to cover it with or antibiotic cream so I dealt with it. My right knee..the good one I tweaked somehow and the last couple miles were pretty painful with it....not sure if its just inflammed or if Ive done something to the meniscus but I will take it easy for a couple days and not run on it. Trying to compare which hurt worse the 50 miler at once or 57 miles in 28 hours....my body actually feels pretty good. I do think i slept better last night then the night of the 50 miler, I feel good to walk and felt good to walk about the 50 miler but felt much more tired after the 50 miler....which has to do with sleeping crappy that night.
Sorry if I ramble and get off subject for anyone that does read this but I write it just for my own recollection-nothing to turn into a book yet...when that time comes my grammar and such will better :)