All About Angela

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Riverside 24 Disaster

Early May, I spontaneously registered for one of those 24 hour races.....And it was the stupidest registration decision that I've ever made. While there was never an intention of running for 24 hours straight, I had ambitious (insane / stupid / delusional) hopes that I could throw down ten loops (six miles each)....Keep in mind, I just ran a 50 mile mountain race....

As the event neared, I was aware my endurance had not been restored....Even short runs were leaving me feeling on the brink of death....I'm sure that my suffering made me a joy to run with (Sorry Katie). I lowered my expectations...I figured I could feel pride about finishing five loops (50k). Furthermore, I'm super cheap so I wanted to justify the registration fee somewhat.

One super rad thing about (most) 24 hour events is that there is virtually no pressure....You can run what you want and how fast you want. I wanted to prepare like the Running Gods would be in my favor....You never know how a race is going to go down. If I was having a rare day where running felt effortless, I was going to go with that for as long as humanely possible.....or until my husband knocked me out (he was super concerned about pushing my body too far).

We packed a cooler full of the typical ultra yummies....Brownies, Soda, Chips, Candy, Sandwiches....We booked a hotel about ten minutes from the race venue so that Jeff (and the hooligans) would have somewhere nearby to chill out while I was torturing myself.

From the moment that we woke up on race day, I was overwhelmed. Children complaining and arguing for 70 miles in a car = STRESS.  I'll be real with you....Sometimes being a parent sucks. This was one of those days.  Even before the race started, my stomach was in knots that resulted in terrible cramps....and not the empty promise kind....

The adrenalin of the race beginning helped my stomach temporarily. The first loop went really smooth - I was the first female to finish, which was an ego boost. Because the race started at 11 AM, it was already HOT. I'd rather run 100 miles in the Arctic than 10 miles in the Sahara Desert.....and that is for real.

Winter running is the best....
Now this is where things get a bit.....embarrassing / deflating..... About 2 miles into the second loop, I couldn't run anymore. My stomach cramps came back with a vengeance. My legs felt like lead. I was feeling dizzy. My heart rate was out of control. I began a shuffle that was similar to what one might witness in the later stages of a long distance race. People were zooming by me, casting sympathetic glances in my direction and offering encouraging words that makes a suffering individual want to violently punch one in the face.

I knew that my day was done.

I had promised that I would run a loop with my oldest son...I knew hours into the race, I would be hobbling along at a pace that he could easily manage....I just didn't know that would happen 12 miles in. After chugging an ice cold Coke, we set out on what would be my final loop. The real victory of the day was that he conquered six miles....longer than he'd ever ran / hiked before....He's going into track next year and this was a great experience for him. Over the course of the summer, I'll be working with him on going through the Couch to 5k program in order to build up his endurance.

Band. Track. Math Club.
So proud of this dude.
Four days out from that disaster....I can now feel my endurance coming back. I'm running double digit mileage again comfortably. I'm even running long distances at the end of the workday, which I tend to avoid. My next major race is three weeks from now....I'll be running the Trail Rail 50....I will be running from Idaho to Montana and I am EXCITED.

On a side note.....

I took my first running tumble. I'm surprised that I made it this long with how insanely clumsy that I am. Oddly, it wasn't even on a trail where one might was a road loop that I've ran so many times that I could navigate it with my eyes closed. My foot caught a loose rock as I was coming around the corner....and before I knew it, my face was colliding with the pavement (literally). I was 1/2 mile from home...The old me definitely would have called it a day, returning home in order to nurse my battle wounds and bruised ego....The new me squirted the gravel out of my bloody road rash and soldiered on. Proudest running moment of 2015.

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