8/20/11

Horiscope - A race of a lifetime - Part I

This is crazy, but true...

The day before the race, as we were waiting to switch rooms in our hotel, I was reading the paper and read my horiscope, it said:

"If you are on the verge of announcing a new endeavor, this might be the perfect day to get it off the launching pad. In fact, the results could exceed your expectations."

I thought this was funny, because in my mind for this trip, my expectations for the race was only one thing:

Finish the race and get that belt buckle...and just have a better experience than my 50 miler in Bear Mountain.

I had a side (internal) goal as well which was to hopefully on a good day the very best get a time goal of 16 hours, but if I could get somewhere between 16 and sub 20 hours, that would be awesome! A bit ambitious for a beginner runner, but the course was flat and I had to have a good race, but was going into the unknown of running past the 51 mile marker!

That day's events flown by as we prepared and went to the social gathering to meet all those who have done this race before...either the 50, the 24 hour or the 100 and even those who have DNFed. We all chatted, gathered and met...it was very chill and different in the Ultra community, different from the competitiveness of the marathon world. There was no packet pickup (that occurred on the day of the race) and then we went to dinner.

We all joked around at Marco's expense, some with balls of meat (that he swore that everyone should get and eat that was on the menu) but he chose not to get it this time...all in all, we had a great time sitting, chatting and laughing...not a fear in the world. It hit me when my sister called me to wish me luck. Then after that we noticed when the sun went down to symbolize where we would be the next day and put our fears in place that we were actually going to do this thing!

We went to bed and quickly awoke the next morning all geared up. There is something that you feel on race day that makes you riled up or having that aura around you. I had a slight twinge in my stomach from the night before and feared it would carry over to the race. I ate some breakfast thinking it would clear my stomach (maybe it was the puree of juice that I had brought that effected me?) I was questioning if I should even use it during the race and if it would cause any complications and stomach issues. But I packed it and was. Ready to go!

We packed out things in the car and marco tried to kill us on the way there (as he made all these hard turns) and my stomach was seriously in knots...these guys keep on talking about the race...as Choi sauce and I were getting nervous...wait, why was she getting nervous? She actually did 93 miles 3 weeks ago and knows the feeling of an ultra marathon...so really I was the only one in the boat of the unknown! Anyways, we got out of the car with our things and drop bags galore!

Uhh! The scene already was a little chaotic where we actually were safe and had a tent with one of the locals...Jimbo had honored us with his helping skills and I was honored to be in the presence of Kino as he knew everyone and got us a tent.

I found a corner to place my items for this long journey and looked around. We got our items and our bibs and quickly attached it to our shorts/jerseys...we were prepared already and now it was just preparing for the essentials: water, Gu and any other thing that you needed. We dropped off our drop bags and waited for the Race Directors instructions...quick pee and then about 8-10 minutes before 10am, everyone went to the starting line...super chill...seriously this was the world of Ultra's. Then the gun went off and everyone began...no one was in a real rush, although the first few guys were...since they wanted to get out quicker and they could finish quicker, but I had no real rush, I just wanted to finish...

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