It’s been awhile since I did a race report. A lot has happened since Raleigh 70.3 on June 1! I should have my first 2015 race report written up soon, but wanted to fill in the blanks before I get to that.
In mid-July I did the 45-mile Tour de Keuka bike ride in Western NY with one of my college roommates as part of an unofficial girls reunion weekend. At the end of the month, I ran the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon marathon. Did you know there was a Grand Canyon in PA? Neither did we, so naturally we had to run it. It was really hilly and hard!
In August I went to Ireland to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin half marathon, and spent a week touring the country. I also did the Iron Girl Columbia triathlon for the seventh time.
September I headed to VA Beach for my 10th time running the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon there. Our favorite end-of-summer trip (that just so happens to include a race). The following week I headed to Dover for the Amish Country Bike Tour. We did the 50-mile ride this time. I hadn’t ridden in awhile and it was a little uncomfortable, but at least it’s flat!
The end of September was the start of a challenging fall race season. A friend and I headed up to Philadelphia for the Sloppy Cuckoo 12-Hour race. The race is on a 6.55-mile trail loop, and you run around it as many times as you can (or choose to) in 12 hours. We made it around six times for an official distance of 39.3 miles, but ran out to a milestone marker to round it up to 40 miles for the day. Holy cow, that’s far!
Today is my 1/2 birthday. 6mo to 40. Yesterday I ran my birthday miles! #runchat #ultrachat #bestfoot
A photo posted by Lauren (@mostlyirun) on
I had some IT band issues following that race, but sought help and kept moving! The first few runs post-race were a bit painful, but I made it through the Baltimore Half Marathon comfortably in mid October. At the end of October, I ran the Patapsco Valley 50K with a group of friends. That was an interesting experience! We started at 6 a.m. in the dark with headlamps. Patapsco Park is full of challenging trails, and I was still babying my knee/IT, so I took my time and enjoyed a gorgeous day.
Another ultra done. Great race & perfect weather! #runchat A photo posted by Lauren (@mostlyirun) on
I wasn’t done with the distance after that race, I was just getting started! That was my last long run before the JFK 50 Mile Race — my first 50-mile attempt. Emphasis on attempt. Going into the race, I knew I was super slow on trails, and that the 12-hour time limit was going to be a challenge. But only the first 16 or so miles are on trails, the rest canal towpath. My strategy was to do run-walk intervals once I hit the canal to keep an even pace.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t run/walking fast enough. And I didn’t realize how far behind I had fallen until it was too late. The checkpoints along the way required different paces to meet the cutoffs. I got through the hard part with nearly 30 minutes to spare, but just barely made the mile 27 cutoff. I was technically 10 minutes late to the mile 34.4 aid station, but they didn’t seem to care. I kept moving, skipping many of my walk intervals to try to make up time … but how fast can you really move after 34+ miles? I stayed hopeful as I inched closer to the next cutoff time, wondering where that 38.4 aid station was … and when I finally got there, I was six minutes past the cutoff. But this time they cared. My bib tag was pulled, my race was over. DNF.
In a way, I was kind of glad to stop. I was tired! But I also knew I could have managed another 12 miles in the nearly three hours left before finish line cutoff. It was heartbreaking. A lot of people were pulled off the course at that station. The man next to me on the shuttle bus was only two minutes late.
38.4 miles is still really far. I’m still proud of what I accomplished. I loved the race, and I will be back to finish what I started. Probably not this year, but definitely in the future.
I finished out 2014 with a few shorter races. The Thanksgiving day 10K just five days after JFK was pretty slow and painful, but I recovered well enough a couple weeks later to place third in my age group in a local 5K! The Celtic Solstice 5-miler in Baltimore is always a fun time. And the last race of the year was my running club’s 15K anniversary run. Not a great race day for me, but I got it done.
On to 2015!