8/21/11

The race - A race of a lifetime - Part II

The race went off and we quickly made our way down one mile to the draw bridge that we hear about...

This drawbridge can either go up or down and could make or break you in this race...kidding, but it could slow you down. It does go up randomly at different points of time when a boat comes by, so if you see a boat passing you...better speed up to beat the boat across!
As we crossed the bridge, we all thought we were all screwed as we went under a ladder! Bad luck!Anyways, I went out with another coach GT and we chatted a bit - back and forth we talked about our styles and members of our team...really took it easy as I saw all the faster people go ahead of me. Gosh though, it was hot! Seriously did not expect the heat to be that bad as I was sweating up a storm (but I'm a heat runner and in the moment, I usually prevail! Think Chicago 2007...brutal weather running in humidity and 92 degree weather!)

So we went on...I didn't know the course well, so what I had heard was that it was on

a completely toe path (or bridal, cinder, small stoned path) whichever one you want to call it. It was really hot and we made it to the first aid station, 7 miles in. I witnessed that there was one elite runner called the "Swiss Miss" which was on the running skirt that she had worn. something along the lines of "beware of the Swiss Miss" pretty evil stuff, but she had the resume to back up her game (we looked her up last night because she passed by our room to say hello to Kino (as he knows everyone!)

She was a person that I should stick next to or ahead of. She was on this run/walk program which I had seen called the Galloway method. Sure she was not doing this for the entire time. I found that she does a very fast run and fast walk only during the day as she kept up with our paced run. I needed to get ahead of her so I ditched GT at the aid station as she was along side of us. She's the national champion ultra women's masters runner in Canada...she's an elite and a god who went to Badwater (not just once but 3 consecutive times!) So the name of the game was to always be in front of her the entire time of the race...

So...I couldn't just stay and wait at the aide station...I needed to go and so I did, I felt bad, but GT understood. I ran by myself enjoying the scenery around me...I headed up to the next aid station 6 miles ahead...I made a mental note of all the bridges and mileage markers that surrounded me from home base or from one aid station to the next...seriously there were a whole lot of bridges about a mile away from each other so it would keep us company for mile markers (really for the canal as it started pretty much from the bridge - add one or two miles and you have your distance away from the start!)
I could feel some chaffing between my legs caused by the shorts and some sweat/salt and friction. This could be a major disaster
So...made it up to the next aid station and then got my items (mixed in ice with a fruit puree mix) pbJ's and then was out of there...

I saw a gal (Kat) that was waiting and thought it was interesting that she picked me up...and started to run along side and talked to me...we chatted the entire way back (about life, running, jobs and just about anything). She gave me some salt pills and said to take them because it was my first marathon and I was sure to be cramping up...maybe if she did not give me those, I would have bonked or cramped up as well...who knows! She asked about my life, job and charity groups, where I mentioned my two groups: The Alzheimer's Association and Team for Kids. She thought both were honorable and wanted more incite to what I believed in with my Alzheimer's connection...my grandmother. We both talked about who we truthfully ran for...mine for my grandparents, her for her po? Or her grandparents as well...she told me in the end, she wanted me to think about them when the going got tough and I did...

She ditched me in the end (before taking a few pictures) at the turn around because she had another friend pace her for laps 2 and 4...and they were quickly in and out. It was great talking to her as we were going at a pretty decent pace. (One marathon done, 3 more to go).

I took my time as I went to the bathroom, rubbed a lot of salt off of my skin and poured my juice for round 2. I replaced my Brooks singlet with my SONY singlet since now I need to represent both teams and affiliations. I wasn't too far behind. I passed Kat and her pacer and took a picture before I finally left them. At each aid station, I would see them coming in behind, just as I left, they would be coming in...I would tip my water bottle to them and say my good lucks and went from aid station to the next...

I would also check out my competition along the way as I was wondering how the leads were doing...

As I came in for the next leg, I spotted the first guy (who had won the winter BoB and came back to regain the summer, who everyone (marco) was talking about) this guy - Valdimir - was the course record holder for Badwater...seriously! He was pretty much 4 miles in the next lap whenever he had passed me, which really meant he was 8-9 miles ahead of me since I still had to go out and back to actually catch them...I would see them on the out and back and then just stroll along. I was getting bored a bit and decided why not take a picture of each and every person I had passed...and the afternoon was dawning, so this would pretty much be my last time taking pictures during the race. So on the way back from the second lap, I did so and when I finally made it back to base camp, I had almost taken a picture of every single person and told the race director that he should be lucky that I did so!

Then after that lap, again...went to the bathroom and rubbed all the excess salt from my skin...almost sundown and into the night...time to take the head lamp, but not wear it yet...gathered a few items for the nighttime and still maintained my SONY singlet on as I changed shoes. Got my SONY walk man going for the nighttime shifts. Kat had given me advice to change shoes after 50 miles as she told me that the spongi-ness of your shoes gives way after 50 miles and takes at least a day or two to refresh from itself.

Got my drink, Headlamp, PBJ and new shoes...a fresh 50 awaits...here goes the second half...

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