I recently decided to start blogging so I can remember my experiences from all the running and cool experiences I do.
Coming into this race I felt a lot of pressure. Pressure from myself, pressure from have won this race last year and pressure from running for theaidstation.com for the first year and thinking I need to do well.
Worked half a day and then went home to pick up my crew that consisted of My mom, dad, and brother. This year my wife decided she wanted to sleep and leave the crewing duties to my parents that were visiting from CA. We Drove the 3.5 hrs to race from Lynchburg VA. I drove for the first half and then got I back to see if I could sleep a little. Of course I couldn't but felt good to rest anyway. My buddy Sam Dangk drove up with us also.
I have a prerace ritual for every race I run. Eat about an hr and a half before I race. Drink Cup o joe about 1 hr before. Hit the toilet about 30 minutes before and try to empty myself out. Then gel about 15 minutes before. Then do some stretches and leg movements to keep nerves from totally taking over me. I did all this but felt nervous and tummy was hurting a little more than normal. Joked with Sam about starting sub 7 minute miles. Sang national anthem and then we were off. I stuck to my plan and started off with sub 7 min miles. Couple guys stayed with me for a while but I was not thinking about anyone but myself. I knew I had to get in my groove quickly and not worry about the pack. My goal was 300 calories per hr and 1 salt pill every 30 minutes. Calories strictly from clif gels and clif blocks. I carried everything I need so I didnt have to get anything from aid stations except for water. Saw some lots behind me once in a while at turns but by mile 12 didn't see any lights anymore.
Grabbed some water and headed into single track. I love love love single track. The rockier, rootier, muddier, the better for me. I kept moving fast through this section and did not walk one step. Tripped a couple of times but hands never touched ground so doesn't count as a fall. Came to my favorite aid station with Dan Leyman in charge. Grabbed water and 2 slivers of bananas and headed out. Still feeling good. Hamstring a little tight when I got to road but I knew I would be taking some extra strength excedrin to take off the edge soon enough. Saw Adam and Jeremy driving to aid station 4 and 6 on road. I kept telling my self to go faster. My Montra was that " your not hurting enough. You need to hurt more!". Came into station and saw mom and dad. I loved seeing them. Dad handed me bottle and bag with gels in them. Dropped my trash off said hello to Adam and friends and headed out. Ran that section hard but have to Admit was not feeling great. Took excedrin and was waiting for it to kick in. It did! This section went by fast and came into aid station feeling good. Said hi to my buddy Chros and congratulated him on great run at burning river. Grabbed some salt pills and water and headed out. Moved fast though this section and told myself that if I can get back to next aid station before 5 hrs I had a chance at running sub 7 hours. Got to aid staion by 4 hrs and 50 minutes. Grabbed bottle and gels and headed out. Have to mention this because it's funny but I asked my dad to place salt pills in my bottle. What I meant was in the pouch in front of bottle but he literally broke salt pills and poured salt in my bottle. So needless to say my water tasted like I was drinking sea water. O well. One thing you can always count on is things will not go perfectly. So I didn't drink tons but kept eating. As a matter of fact I ate a gel every 15 minutes now. Saw Adam and Jeremy again and Jeremy said " why you running so slow" jokingly and I said " can I get a ride" ? Then they were gone. Hills seemed longer than usual but ran everyone hard and fast. Kept telling myself to keep my form. Don't get lazy! Run hard! Came into aid station with half salt water bottle poured it out and filled up bottle with just water. My wife has worked many aid stations and always tells me to make sure to thank all the workers. She says sometimes people up front are in such a hurry they forget to be thankful so I thanked all of them. Asked them how they were doing. They seemed shocked and asked me the same thing. I laughed and said ok and headed out. The next section is supposibly12 miles of downhill but it's NOT! I pushed hard and this section seems like its forever. I kept form. Kept telling myself to bend at hips. Run hard and controlled. Keep turn over going. Got to last aid station and watch said 6:15. I had to run last 5.6 miles in 45 minutes in order to break 7 hrs. So I got some water and started to run harder. I was pushing every hill and spreading my stride on downhills and flats. Got to the road and pushed harder. Don't know what pace was but it sure felt fast!! Pushed last hill hard and saw the camp. Made last right turn into grass. Saw my dad and mom and ran hard. Finished in 6:52:59 to a crowd of 5 people. Crossed line and Shook Adams hand. Came back hugged mom and dad and then just sat down. I got cold quickly and got dressed. I didn't even take a shower. I know I know but I just didn't feel like it. My post run routine is to roll myself with my stick roller and drink water till I have to pee. I layed on the cement stretching, rolling, and drinking till next person came in. It felt good to win. It felt good to break my record from last year but it's not all to me. I waited for all my local runner friends to come in and to shake the last persons hand that came in. No matter how fast or slow you run a race the pain is the same. The goal is the same. Do your best. Overcome struggles. But dont be completly content with this feeling. This feeling of achievement can only be fulfilled in the person that created achievement. The person that created feelings of satisfaction. That can only be found in one person.