Okay, I know I gave you all the short and condensed version of my race report so if that's all you have time to read, that's fine. If you're bored or tapering for your own race, maybe this can distract you.
My husband and I shipped the kids off to friends and family Saturday night so we could get some decent sleep and an easy early morning without trying to rush kids out the door. It also gave us a date night. What a fun way to carbo load. I had a yummy salmon dinner with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and a small slice of cake for dessert because sugar is carbs, right? My spaghetti meal was the night before.
My sleep was so-so as is normal for a race. Good thing I slept in on Saturday. We got up at a reasonable hour, 6:00 a.m., much more reasonable than the 3:30 a.m. hour for the Woolley race two weeks prior. Whew, that was a tough morning. We had some breakfast and coffee, got dressed and headed to the race. I had been debating whether I wanted to take the early start or not. I wanted to. My husband didn't want me to. He was running the 5 mile so the 9:30 start was appealing to him and just fine. He wasn't thrilled about waiting around an hour after I started by himself. Plus, it would cut into his plans for after he finished the race. If I started with him, he'd have time to go home, shower and actually get some work done before coming back for me. If I started early, that extra hour to get stuff done would disappear. I had agree'd that I'd start at 9:30 but was still thinking I'd maybe change my mind once I got to the race start and scoped things out a bit. By the time we got to the shuttle bus parking it was looking like I'd miss the early start. We got to the race, hit the bathrooms, grabbed our bibs and packets and began to chat with some people. At this point they called for the early starters which were beginning a little after 8:30. We witnessed a rush of yellow and red colored shirts move to the start. I looked at my husband and said, "All the Maniacs are starting early. If they all think it's a good idea to start early, maybe I should too." He said, "Oh, go ahead. I'll figure my schedule out." What a guy!
I hadn't realized the loops and out and backs of this race would have me running into the same people time and time again. I enjoyed becoming familiar with some of the folks out there and though I was running alone, I never felt alone. I took the first loop with a strong pace (for me). I managed the uphill portions just fine and didn't feel the need to stop and walk. I wasn't sure how I'd feel on this race since I've never before run two races so close together but so far so good. The 2nd loop had a surprise in store for me. I was running along when I noticed a blurry spot in my vision. It didn't take me long to realize I was having an ocular migraine. What the heck? I only get these once every few months and today I was having one? During my marathon? My Maniac qualifier marathon? If it was only the vision disruption I would be fine but sometimes these sucker's are a forewarning of a nasty pounding migraine to come. I guess that technically makes them a migraine with aura but whatever. I started to worry that my race was going to fall apart before it began. I looked at my watch to see if my husband would be done with his race. How upset would he be if I called him and asked him to skip his shower so he could go to the store, get me some pain killer's and meet me when I finished my loop? I figured I'd hold off calling him until I'd checked to see if anyone at the aid station had something on hand. Meanwhile, I slowed my pace way down and made sure to take a little extra hydration/electrolytes in, just in case that was the cause. My vision restored after 20 minutes and I came to the aid station shortly after. I told them what was happening and asked if anyone had some Tylenol. They were prepared! They gave me the choice of aspirin, ibuprofin, Tylenol or Advil. I opted for the Tylenol and some Mountain Dew for the caffeine. Normally I stay away from caffeine in a race but today, figured it was worth the tummy risk. There were a couple other runner's there at the same time and they were so kind to check up on me when they saw me later in the race. I enjoyed chatting with them every time we crossed paths and also at the finish. I'm also grateful for their concern.
Back to the race. I had one more bout with the ocular migraine from mile 11 to mile 12 but no pounding headache ever came so it looks like the Tylenol saved the day. Hooray! Disaster averted. I finished loop 2 feeling pretty good.
I made it back to the start/finish with two laps left. Since I'd increased my hydration due to the migraine I had to make a pit stop. I walked up to the flush toilets and then back down to the race course again. I started back on my merry way when, for some reason, I thought to check my pockets. Something was wrong. Crap! My phone wasn't there! I'd left it in the bathroom stall. Yes, I had to turn around and go back. Boo to extra mileage and time on the course but I couldn't risk losing my phone and I wasn't that far along the course yet. I came running past the check point, waving my arms saying, "Not a lap. Don't count it!", as if they couldn't figure that out based on my smoking fast 3rd lap time. "Whew, that girls fast. She finished her 3rd lap in 2 minutes!" Ha. I felt stupid to say the least. By the way, I'm blaming my absent mindedness on the migraine.
I was ready to finish this race with no more disasters. That's when disaster struck again. lol. As I was nearing the race saving Tylenol stocked aid station I took a moment to look up. Okay, I learned something that differentiates trail racing from road racing. In trail racing, you have to be careful if you take your eyes off the path. There are rocks and they are sneaky and when you aren't looking, they like to reach up and grab your toes. I'm really happy no one was around to witness this, however, had they been around, I would for sure have given them a good laugh. It was a fall America's Funniest Home Video's lives for. I don't know how far I traveled running crazy, tipsy, topsy forward trying to catch my feet under me before finally succumbing to the inevitable. I crashed face first on my side and skidded to a stop. My phone slid out of my pocket and bears skid marks on the case. I bet it wishes I'd left it in the bathroom. My shoulder and elbow bear similar skid marks. I was lucky overall. I did not bang up my knee's, twist an ankle, draw much blood, or worst case scenario, fall in horse poo. I was quite grateful I was in a spot without horse poo. Thank God for small miracles. I jumped up, wiped myself off as best I could and continued on. Happily, my running wasn't harmed in anyway and, in fact, I felt a boost of adrenaline and renewed energy. I think the next two miles were two of my fastest. Of course, from this point on, whenever anyone would come up from behind me they'd say, "Oh no! Did you fall?" At the aid station, where I was now becoming famous for tragedy, they made me aware of another miracle to be grateful for, I didn't tear my clothes in the fall. I hadn't even thought of that possibility. I was wearing one of my favorite running skirts too. Phew.
I am happy to say I finished the last of the race without incident. The last loop was fun and I am grateful to all the Maniacs out there who encouraged me when they found out I was qualifying and congratulated me at the finish. Yes, I wasn’t shy about sharing that information. I enjoyed running the last 3 miles with Erin and hearing her story about how she became a maniac. My finish time for this race was not what I had hoped for but let’s be real, with everything that could have derailed this race, I’m happy I finished. I had a fun time and a great experience. NWTR Spring Run for Fun is a great event. I’m glad I chose it for my qualifying race. I do believe I’ll be back to run it again.
Sounds like a fun event! Glad you enjoyed it. Congrats!
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
Next: San Francisco Marathon
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Great run and great report! Give yourself some credit for persevering, too. I was laughing at your description of the fall too. Reminds me of when I swung and missed once in Little League, got off balance, and back pedaled half the way to 3rd base before falling on my ass. Everyone else thought it was hilarious! Like you said, at least you were alone in the woods.
Congrats, and great job getting through all you had to deal with along the way. You had a lot off challenging circumstances, but you made it. Yay!
PRs: 5K: 22:31, 10K:46:43, 15K: 1:10:35, HM: 1:42:49, M: 3:38:20
Great job with your race and not hitting the panic button when you ran into some adversity along the way. Thanks for writing up such a great race report too!
"Address the process rather than the outcome. Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp
Congratulations on your maniac status! It seems like such a supportive group, and I'm sure you'll have fun being part of it. Just like Julia was mentioning getting to the race 8 minutes before the start the other day, I think I'd have gone nuts getting to the race and just rushing off with the early crowd like that. Maybe this is a sign that you are all much more mentally flexible than I am and I need to work on that.
One of the things I always hear about trail races is that there's a lot more camaraderie than at road races. A lot of that probably has to do with the loops you mentioned. I'm glad you didn't feel alone out there though, that's not so much fun. I mentioned it before, but I'm so impressed that you didn't just throw in the towel when the headache came on. As for your fall, that's just trail running I guess. I've done that crazy arm swinging, flailing forward move a number of times and can totally picture what you looked like. At least the results weren't disastrous. Oh, and better to have your arm bear marks than to have bear marks on your arms! (bad trail joke)
Great job, and thanks for sharing all the fun.
PRs: Marathon (2:49xx; '13) Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)
Congratulations Maniac! Thanks for sharing the RR
Pressing, great RR!!!
Three things no one needs on a marathon; a migraine, extra miles and a face plant!LOL
You handled it all like a trooper!! Big congtrats!!
P.S. I agree with you about the early wake up calls. We were up at 2:30 for the Princess.
For that reason and the fact that hubby has zero interest in a Disney race I will probably
never do one again.