Monday, June 4, 2007

36 MILES = An Ultra Girl

How does a person even begin to tell a story of so much heart ache and joy that even now I am still overwhelmed with my own feelings?

The race began at 7am in the pouring down rain. Mix in some thunder and lightening and off we went. Within the first 10 minutes we had already missed one of our turns and had to back track to get back on course (this would happen 2 more time during the race). With all of the rain it made seeing the orange ties a bit of a challenge. Cross what would have been a dirt road was now a running stream that would come up close to our waist line (we would cross this 3 times). We loved it and all the adventure that this race was dishing out. It was as if you set a group of runners free in an open playground to just have fun. The soft sand was now wet and with each step our feet would sink causing you to walk most of the hills and before we knew it our first loop was complete.

By the second loop I experienced some stomach cramping that lead to a total of 6 fast dashes into the woods with very little time to react. The tissue I had put in my pocket was now a wad of mush from all the rain so I reached for leaves to provide what tissue would have done best. By the next aid station I was so nauseous that the thought of eating was just too much. I stomached a few bites and then off I would go again.

Third loop would test my spirit more than any time in my life. With about 3 miles left on the course I tripped and fell on a tree root and to the ground I went. Some scraps on my shoulder and knee would be the result of this along with a nasty jammed pinkie finger that is now green and blue. This brought me to tears and I could only give in a cry. I truly felt like my spirit was broken. I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was finish. For the next 2 miles I would walk. With only about 300 calories in food during the entire event I was gassed…. Then I saw another runner coming towards my direction. He was so positive and would feed my soul with enough motivation and energy to run in the last mile. An angel from above!

Total miles = 36 (not counting any distance for our wrong turns)
Finish time = 8:25

Amazingly I was 5th female overall. More than anything I am now officially an Ultra Girl!!!!

To my husband:

Having your support meant so much. Each time I took a loop and knew you would be at the next aid station provided me with desire to push through the challenges that I would face. With you, I feel like I can conquer anything. You gave up your entire weekend and dedicated yourself to my event 100%. Even the surprise of the finisher medals that you made for the three of us girls showed how very proud you were of what we accomplished. You are what true love and support is all about.

One of the well stocked stations.

Thrilled to be finished!!

A huge THANK YOU for everyone that cheered me on! I feel more than blessed by this entire experience.

Happy Running!



David said...

Awesome race report, Robin! Man, you really came through a lot in that race, and I'll bet the finish line was one of the sweetest sights you'd ever seen. Glad Scott was so supportive, and that you can look back on it with a smile. Great job, Ultra Robin!

Scott said...

I am so proud of you and all that you accomplished. As I sit here and write this response there is so much that I want to say to you in regards to your training and dedication to the sport you love. But there is really only one thing that fits right now....


I love you, your husband.

PS...try to keep up on our next run, OK?

Bob Gentile said...

Well Well Well, WOOO HOOO YOU Ultra Girl... so awesome!

Way to fight!! I was soo off on my nutrition last week when I did that solo run... but after talking with several runners the past week, they all said it's a battle to get a feel of what works for you BUT once you find it stick with it... So we both need to figure out the Fuel part, well I know I do:-(

Robin great report & pics, U did such a good job!! You are Strong!! Scott way to support your Gal:-)

Jason The Running Man said...

Way to go Robin. You're an inspiration on how to fight through adversity and win! To overcome those obstacles is just amazing and you really are an Ultra Marathoner! CONGRATS!

Mendy said...

Robin, when talking to you this morning, I could hear the breakdown you had in your voice. All that you told me on the phone, and in your blog doesn't even come close to fully explaining what you went through. But, like I said - you finished it!!! Do you know how many people wouldn't have even done that? I know a few folks that would have hung it up.

You are so strong, so determined, so tough and it shows! Ultra girl!!! Fantastic... I actually think that your 50miler will be easier than what you went through yesterday. Rest up girl and enjoy your downtime this week. You fully deserve it.

And, Scott - you are such a wonderful husband to her, and so supportive! Fantastic, you got the girls medals!!!

Marcy said...

YAY Robin!!!! I'm SOOOO HAPPY for you!! You are one tough cookie!!! I can't EVEN imagine running 36 miles on the freekin road and you did it in the woods, sans bathroom, in the rain/ wet sand, and hurt! I totally agree with Mendy. A lot of other people would've hung up their shoes. I know I would've been crying home to my Momma LOL. Absolutely amazing! And to come in 5th female overall to boot!! CONGRATS!!! Great pics too!!! ;D ;D

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Congrats Ultra Runner!! I'm glad to hear that you avoided all of the quicksand and made it to the finish. It's really amazing in long-distance events how you can go from happiness to devistating dispair to elation...all in the same day.

Great job!!!

scott keeps running said...

very awesome. your post was great and very inspiring to those of hoping to join your ranks as marathoners and ultra marathoners.

what a great job.

J~Mom said...

Congratulations!! Great race report and your truly are an ULTRA GIRL!! Way to go!

Phil said...

Ultra hard-core is what you are. This was a fabulous race Robin and an amazing race report. Your strength and determination is inspirational.

e-rod said...

great write-up, but an even better run. what an accomplishment, and through those difficult conditions too. you suffered, yet you persevered. you are an ultra runner.

congratulations, robin!

Addy said...

wow...congratulations!!!!!! What an amazing achievement. To run your first ultra, a longer one at that, with bad weather and stomach issues and get 5th?!? That's amazing :)

Congratulations Ultramarathoner, can't wait to read about your next adventure~!

Rose said...

And I thought 2 hours was a long run! Your report is truly inspirational. Congratulations on a great race.

Overpronator said...

Congrats! So ... do you think the tapering worked?

Gretchen said...

Yeah, nice job Robin! Sounds like it was a tough day too with rain, lightening, rivers to cross. You go ultra girl!!

Journey to a Centum said...

Now you are an "Ultra Burly Woman Athlete"! Congratulations on your finish! Sounds like you need to practice fueling during your training runs so that your next experience can be more enjoyable.

Scott better watch his back, I think those are your footsteps he hears catching up to him.

So is a 50 miler in your future?

stephruns said...

Your report reminds me of my first 50K!
It also rained and I cried, too. Still the feeling I got afterwards I can't explain. All pain was forgotten!

Congratulations - now you ARE an ultra woman!!!

Lesley said...

Stumbled across your blog and loved reading your race report! How inpisrational!

Applause all around!
Lesley in NC

Deene said...

congrats on becoming an ultra runner. sounds like an amazing adventure with all the rain and mud.

See Zanne Run said...

Just stumbled upon your blog during my daily running blog travels ... i haven't gone back to read past posts & so don't know if you give any history of stomach issues or if this was the first time you had them. i learned the hard way when i was training for my first marathon last year that i am lactose intolerant. i had had one too many long runs that included throwing up, painful gas & horrible stomach cramps ... i took dairy out of my diet for a week & was INSTANTLY better ... i would reintoruce dairy in little bits - but would immediately go back to the stomach issues. I've seen a GI & had all the tests to rule out other, worse things - but am fine. Its a dairy issue. Now, i don't touch the stuff with a 10 foot pole (in any way, shape or form) - and my stomach is happy. Don't know if that will help you - just thought i'd throw it out to you! By the way - great race report ...