Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Leading Ladies Race Report

So this is a rather sad race report because it ends with a DNF (did not finish). As you know, I injured my foot a few weeks before race day. My doctor had cleared me to run, and I spent a frantic few days trying to get my leg loosened up after 11 days on crutches.

My mom and I left early Friday morning for the 15 hour drive to Spearfish, SD. We spent Saturday walking around Mt Rushmore and picking up my packet at the Expo. I got a $500 gift card in my goody bag! I must have gotten the lucky bag, because that's a lot of money to give 700 participants. I also got to meet Yolanda Holder, who has the Guiness World Record for most marathons run by a woman in one calendar year (106). She's in the process of breaking her own record, and Leading Ladies was number 67 for the year. I got an autographed copy of her book. Really cool!

I got up around 3:30 Sunday morning and headed to the bus that would take me to the start line. It was about 55 degrees outside, not bad running weather. And then we drove 3000 feet up the mountain, where it was 42. Brr! I like running in the cold, but as the sun came up the temperature in the canyon quickly warmed up to almost 80. The wide range of temperatures was pretty difficult on top of everything else.

I started off slow but picked up the pace as my muscles loosened up. Things seemed to be going well, except for one problem. I had pain with every. single. step. It wasn't what I would call a "damage" pain, but it was uncomfortable. Despite that, I was still doing really well, finishing the first half in an even 3 hours.

I really enjoyed the beautiful course. There was a mountain stream next to the road for the first half, and you could hear it bubbling. There was a fresh pine scent in the air, and you could see the sunshine move its way down to the bottom of the canyon. This song kept running through my head as I ran.

Horrible pic, I was crying

While very beautiful, the course was absolutely brutal for someone with an injured foot. Because it's so small, and because it's run on a scenic tourist drive, they did not close down the road for this race. We had to run on the far left side of the road. If you've ever run on a highway, especially on a banked curve, you know it angles down at the sides. My bad foot was turned at an angle the whole way, putting the most pressure on the worst possible spot. I tried to move toward the center of the road where it's flatter when I could, but a car would always come along right as I got into a rhythm. I also tried running in the grass next to the road, and that was my undoing. Just after the 21 mile marker, I stepped on a clod of dirt directly under the spot where it hurts. I had immediate sharp pain that continued for the rest of the race. I had to walk another two miles to get to the next aid station, where I asked the ambulance for a ride to the finish.

It was so disappointing not to finish. However, 23 miles in 5:30ish on a bad foot is pretty awesome! As they say in Boston, I am wicked hard core. Thinking of my PE Sisters really helped me push through as far as I did. The race director still made sure I got a medal and a rose.

Mom and I headed back to the hotel for a quick shower, then had a 15 hour drive home so Mom could get to work Monday. I'm mostly recovered. My foot still aches, but hopefully is heading in the right direction. I'm taking a few weeks off before I start training for my next race, and I'll do that very carefully.

The most important thing is that I raised $4000 for the Preeclampsia Foundation. Thanks to all who donated and who prayed for and encouraged me during my training.

One more item of business. Since I did not have a finish time, I put the names of everyone who had submitted a guess into a hat, and Smartie pulled out Melodee! Mel, I'll make sure to give you your gift card on Friday when I see you.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on a good run. I hate those banking corners - I have a left peroneal tendon that slides in and out of place when I get on an angle like that. . . . brutal. You did very well.