I'd like to start off by saying that it is a beautiful course. If you get a chance to do it, make sure to look around and take in some of the beauty.
Woke up to rain, lightning, and thunder.
My last three races have had me running in rain.
My feet had given me explicit instructions not to run in mud, bogs, swamps or puddles after the last debacle (100 miler attempt that had my feet soaked for 17 hours).
They are very upset and not speaking to me yet. Maybe a pedicure will appease them?
Anyways, It was a torrential downpour with claps of thunder that sounded like canons going off.
The rain eventually stopped but we were left with some flooding, and a very slick, shoe sucking, mess.
Got a few photos on my 2nd loop........
Don't want to forget my girlfriend Gailanne. We met up for the first time in a year.
She ran the first 30k with me. We had a great time together, trudging up the hills, sliding through the mud, laughing, and chatting.
I was very unprepared for this race, so a short while into the second loop, I decided to walk the rest (forced Gailanne to go on ahead). Didn't want to kill myself for a training run.
As I got hotter and my legs started to ache I went to that bad place inside my head that tells me to "JUST QUIT ALREADY".
Side note: From the day I started running I always had confidence in my abilities as a runner..........
I've been struggling with my confidence since last February. I'm really at a loss. I don't know how/ why I lost it, and more importantly, how to get it back.
The sequence of events are jumbled so bear with me.
That being said: Early into the second loop Gailanne and I came up to an aid station where the volunteer was trying to convince a guy not to drop.
We tried to motivate him to press on. I specifically asked him if he could still walk. When he said 'yes', I encouraged him to finish the race and gave him my best "You can do it" speech, as Gailanne and I headed off.
I certainly couldn't quit after that.
To make a long story even longer........ With about 45 minutes before the official cut off (8hrs) I realized that I had 3.5 miles to go.
Knowing that two really tough climbs were ahead, I decided to make a go for it (I'm talking the sort of climbs that have ropes so you can pull yourself up tough).
The rope climbs were more slippery the second time around. Crap!
After a couple mud slides I completed the obstacles and was on my way.
With a quarter mile to go, I checked my watch........ 90 seconds remaining.
I hauled ass and crossed the finish at 8:00:11. Bummer. Darn course kicked my ass two years in a row.
They don't call it The Vertical Challenge for nothing!!
In case you were wondering..... that guy that was going to drop finished the race. As luck would have it, I happened to be at the finish line when he crossed.
I am so proud of him.