|Feeling good BEFORE the 50K|
Tracy, Corina, Me, and Libby
So I turn in my chip and get ice for my knee. Then I just sit...and watch everyone come in for the 25k, then eventually 50kers start coming in and even some 50 milers...My friend Corina wound up DNF'ing also after loop 2. She had planned on doing the 50K but the weather and her knee were not a good combo and she was feeling it. We sat for a little bit and then she headed down to a camping area with other friends to cheer the racers on about a mile before the finish line. I wanted to go, but A) I didn't feel like walking anymore B) I wanted to be there when Libby came in if she needed anything. I wound up meeting some people from the San Antonio runners group and they were super nice. One of them gave me some ibuprofen and some water after I got up and tried to walk to my cooler. After sitting for so long, my knee had stiffened up very badly so getting up from my chair was hard, but once I got moving it was much better. I sat and texted my friend Catherine and pouted the whole time about the stupid knee. I didn't even have a good story for hurting it. I didn't overtrain, I didn't fall, nothing...I freakin' turned around! Are you kidding me? I talked to my husband and let him know what happened and he asked if I had talked to my parents at all and I told him no, that I just wanted to pout for a bit. (Can you tell I was in a really great mood at this point?) Eventually Libby came through the start/finish ready to start loop 4 - her final loop. She was looking tired, but she was good. I got her anything she needed and she was off. I sat and talked to some people around me for a while and a few minutes later I got a tweet from Libby saying she was probably going to DNF the race when she got to the next aid station. WHAT???? She can't do that! She will be at mile 27! She only has 4 more to go! Luckily the halfway aid station is about 500 feet from where I was, so I hobbled over there to meet her when she came through. About 5 minutes later she came in, looking like she was ready to give in the towel. I have never seen her look so worn out and just physically and mentally exhausted. At this point it was 2:30 in the afternoon and she had been going for 7 1/2 hours and the sun was out and it was hot! So she came in and I asked her how she was...She told me it was just a "death march at this point". We had the conversation about how she could just walk the last 4 miles at which point she told me it would take 2 hours. I told her we had no where to go. I offered to walk it with her but she told me no because I didn't need to be out there. So I told her to let the aid station guy pour water over her head because I had just seen him do that for another guy and it looked like it would feel good. I wasn't sure if she would go for that or not, but at that point it was all I could think of... As soon as I mentioned it, she bent over and I told him to pour some water on her. He did and she perked up a little. He made her eat a banana, take 2 salt caps, and drink some coke. She has never tried any of those things, but she did whatever he told her to do. At that point, we could have told her jump around in circle and click her heels and she probably would have done it. She was kind of on autopilot. After she got some fuel in her and cooled off a little, she went on down the trail to finish her 50K. I was so incredibly proud of her. She had been on her own for 21 miles, on a trail she had to do 4 times over, and over, and over. She saw her other 2 friends drop the race and still kept going. I went down to the campsite with Corina and the others to wait on her. She came through with about a mile left, looking strong so then I ran (yes, ran...) up to the finish line because no one was up there and I wanted to get a picture of her finishing and just be there. I think I was living vicariously through her at that point. She came through the finish line and she teared up and I did too! What a tough girl! I was so bummed that I couldn't finish, but honestly at that point, I wouldn't have traded my spot for anything in the world.
So when Libby got her medal, she was ready to get outta there! So we packed our stuff up, headed to the car, and waved at our friends Fawn and Tony as they started on their last 7.5 mile loop of their 50 miler!!!! Wow!!!!
We had a good ride home and talked the whole way and got home about 8:30 pm. I know Libby was tired because I was and I only had done 16 miles!
I got in bed last night and was so glad to be in my bed. I turned on the tv to watch some Private Practice that I had tivo'ed. As I watched, something sad happened and I started crying like a baby! I think Brian thought I was crazy, but I knew it wasn't because of the characters on tv. It was so much more than that. It was about me...that I had failed, that I thought I could do this and I couldn't...I didn't live up to my own expectations...I was mad at how it all went down and embarrassed...But deep down, I know I made the right decision. I don't think walking 15 more miles and finishing the race in 12 hours would have done anything for my self confidence and only injured my knee more.
That's okay though...this isn't the end...there is still Isle Du Bois and I can't wait!