My Ultra (not Ultra)

It has been just over a week since a bunch of folks from my running group made the journey up to Rocky Mount, VA for the Crooked Road 24-Hour Race.  Several of us did the race last year and had a great time, so we wanted to get more folks in on the action this year.

I had decided way back that I wasn’t going to train to run a full this year because of all of the time we were spending on wedding planning and then going on our honeymoon, so I was sure I wouldn’t try to push myself to go any farther than last year.  But, what I didn’t count on was my training being so far behind that I was just about back up to my half-marathon distance.

I had originally planned to run a half back in early November, but both Nathan and I knew we weren’t up for it, and neither of us wanted to injure ourselves, so we backed up and ran the 10K for City of Oaks.  We are getting ready for a second attempt at a half in just a couple of weeks, and my mileage is still pretty low, but I knew if I went into the race with a low-key approach, I would probably be fine.

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Before we began

We arrived at Waid Park just before the start of the race and we were still getting things set-up for the day when the horn blew for the runners to begin.  We weren’t particularly stressed about this because we knew we had plenty of time to get in our planned mileage. So, we took a quick break, grabbed the camera, and went down to the track to see our friends who had gotten there a little earlier come by during their first lap around the 0.96 course. After that, it only took us a couple of minutes to finish getting things together and we headed over to the starting line to get started.  

Nathan and I stuck together most of the time during our first 10 miles.  It is always nice to have company during my runs, and having him along helps me to stay motivated and take less walk breaks as I go. By about 7 miles, we were kind of wearing down. Both of us had tired legs and we were definitely getting hungry after a super early breakfast before the drive up. We stuck it out until we reached the 10 mile mark and then we took a fairly considerable break to stretch and eat the sandwiches that Nathan had made for us.

Our second foray onto the course, we focused on getting through about 5 miles of walking. Since we weren’t trained up, we thought it was best not to push ourselves to continue running and possibly injure ourselves. 5 miles, another break, and then we went out one more time.  Our goal was to make it to 20 miles before we called it a day, but by the time we reached the end of 18 laps, we were spent. We decided it was time to pack it in for the day and head back to the hotel to get in a few hours of work before the rest of our group decided to call it a day, too.

We both got in about 5 hours of work after we got cleaned up and then we headed to dinner with most of our group.  We were missing Cindy, who was on her way to finish the full 24 hours and the Flowes who had decided to head back to Greensboro. After dinner, we all headed straight to bed so we could be up early the next morning to head back to the course.

Our first group got back to the course close to 5 and Nathan and I headed back by 6.  We walked a couple of laps on our own and then we waited by the start/finish line for Cindy to come around so we could keep her company for a while. We ended up walking several laps of our 6 we did that morning with her.  We ended up quitting for good about 10 minutes before the official end of the race. All told, we ended up with 24 laps and 22.81 miles.  So not an ultra, but a great time nonetheless!

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The whole group, courtesy of Nathan’s photoshop skills

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