|Photo By: Mark Akeson|
|Photo By: Mark Akeson|
As I headed into the lap area I was greeted by my husband Geo who was ready to hand me my knew bottle and 2 gels. I noted the time of 1:50 which was much slower than I would have guessed. I shrugged it off as I reminded myself that my goal for this race was not about time or place, but rather about getting back to enjoying running. As I ran back into the woods I took the two gels Geo had given me and tried to put them in my waist belt, but my hands were simply too cold and the seemingly easy task took me several attempts. At one point I became so frustrated that I wanted to throw the gu's on the ground and stomp on them until they exploded. I also attempted to clip my ipod to my shirt and didn't even have enough fine motor skills to squeeze it and was finally forced to just tuck it into my sports bra. Finally I was squared away and could focus on wait lay ahead on lap two. The sun was slowly rising and as I peered up at the sky I knew it was going to be a blue bird day. As I soaked up the rays that made it through the trees I quickly found myself back at the water crossing. To my surprise it felt much colder this time around and after arriving on the other side my feet felt and sounded like cinder blocks. I turned up my music so to drown out the stomping of my frozen feet and set into a comfortable pace. The miles came easy and ticked away quickly.
As I headed into the lap area I noted my time. My second lap was approximately 1:38, about 12 minutes faster than my first. With a 2 lap time of just around 3:30 I realized that if I remained consistent I could have a chance at my old course record. I tucked that thought in the back of my mind, grabbed a fresh bottle from Geo and headed out for my third lap. I focused on continuing to stay hydrated and found motivation to keep my pace up as I could see other runners on course. As I made my way through the wet area for a third time the water temperature yet again seemed colder and from the knees down I was numb. I wanted to double over, but convinced myself to shuffle along until some feeling returned. Finally I was back up to speed and excited to finish the lap so I could pick up my pacer Theresa. With this excitement I decided not to stop at the aid station and fill my empty bottle. This was a mistake because all I could think about over the next several miles was water.
|Photo By: Keith Magnus|