Sunday, January 27, 2008

Winter BT50K Race Report

It's hard to believe that only three months ago the doctor gave me the go ahead to start running again after that pesky stress fracture injury and I'm now typing up my race report for my second ultramarathon. Proud? Why yes, yes I am. But more importantly I'm thankful. Although the training for this seemed to find me in the worst possible weather conditions (blizzards, downpours, possible mudslides and flooding water crossings) and my "get up and go" factor seemed to get kidnapped somewhere along the line with my diet give-a-dam, I still felt quite prepared and excited for this race and eternally grateful that I was back out there doing what I love.

The weather forecast was promising...colder temps and light snow is preferable to the soul and foot sucking mud that we had the last couple of runs. The only problem is that all those muddy footprint dents in the ground froze into torturous little stalagmites which is not so easy on the feet or the joints, it turns out.

George and I got to Boston Store around 6:15 am where I got my bib (which by the way, no offense to the fantastic race director and coordinators but come on, electronic timing in the bibs that prevented us from keeping them kinda stunk...I keep every one of those from all races; they belong on my wall not reset and plastered to the front of another runner in another race somewhere down the road). The store was buzzing with people and the few of my running friends who hadn't met George before got to...I think Don and also my trainer, Sean, had way too much fun asking him how the hell he lived with me. Very funny guys, very funny.

Before you knew it, the whistle was blown and we were off on our way through 3 loops of Brandywine and 2 loops of Pine Lane. Just like in the summer 50k Red, Debi and I stuck together for the majority of the way. I saw Don at the very early 2.5 mile marker and I could see the expectant look in his eye like I should be picking it up and running with him but like I've said before, I wasn't planning on shootin' my wad early, so to speak, so I told him to go ahead. He ran a fantastic race and I'm so happy for him that he felt good and strong the whole way...after two DNF's on this course he deserved to make this thing his bitch and that he did-way to go Don!

Red and I were perfectly matched in the race. We stayed together the entire time and I think we both felt great until about mile 18 where it just became more labored. I think we kept our complaining to a minimum. Red's back was hurting her and my joints seemed to be screaming in protest to the prolonged exposure to the cold. The weather felt like it seeped in to my ankles, knees and hips and put a death grip on them. Regardless of the discomfort though, having Red with me helped tremendously...suffering in silence up the hills (well except for our train-like sounding breaths) was a truly bonding experience. I fell only once but kudos to Sean, my arms must be pretty strong because I caught myself before my ass even had a chance to touch the ground.

George was fantastic as usual...he met us at both stops at Pine Lane then of course every time we ran through Boston. I never thought anyone would ever be able to rival that 100% secure feeling I have with my parents...that feeling that I always know they'll be there for me when I need it, but he does. He's always there no matter what and I love him beyond words for that. It was at mile 22 that I hugged him and he felt so warm and the car was so god damn close that I whispered to him to please just put me out of my misery and take me home. I'm so glad he knows me well enough to push me along and refuse my attempts at "sweet talk".

I won't lie, the loops all kinda blurred into each other. I felt strong but pretty tired by the last couple of them. I was so glad to have Red there, we connected without talking and it kinda reminded me that she was unknowingly the draw to this running group about a year ago. She and I are very similar in some ways and refreshingly different in others. All I know is that doing a 50K without her just wouldn't seem right now. I hope we can continue this Buckeye Trail tradition for years to come.

That last stretch of Towpath couldn't have ended any sooner than it did. I surprised even myself by picking up the pace in the last mile or so. All I could think of at that point was the hamburger that I had so passionately talked about earlier that morning before we even started the race. That's seeming to be part of my new regime that George just recently renamed "The Maria Triathlon". My three events? Run a whole lotta miles, then Kobayashi a burger (if that joke isn't funny to you then look up competitive eating) and then do some baking (I went home after the race and my burger and proceeded to again stand and get a cheesecake made for the next day).

I get so A.D.D. with my race reports so I gotta stop now (sorry if it's already gone on longer than usual) but let me just name the few things/people that really stuck out in my head:

  • the volunteers...especially Bob Combs, TJ Hawk and Frank (I wish I knew his last name but he was so helpful at the Brandywine station)
  • the other runners-so many of them gave such great encouragement. Jim Harris who I've only met once before was nice enough to remember me and call me out by name each time we crossed paths
  • the people who I trained with-although so many of you are faster than I could ever hope to be you never make me feel less for what my pace is
  • the people who I've ended up meeting through bloggerland-I enjoy sharing this passion with you. Even if I rarely run a single step in your presence, your common interest in running always rings true and inspires me
  • my parents and my sister, Leanne. At every big race I know I can search them out and see their cheering faces...rain or shine they're there
  • The Winking Lizard. Yes, I know I'm a true fat girl when I have to again mention that amazing burger I inhaled after the race (along with a few delicious beverages that made my day complete)
I didn't take my camera with me this time so I don't have as many pics as I did in the summer. George did his best to capture key moments but damn, that boy was standing still for the majority of the time he was out there and his hands were practically frozen, hence his lack of picture taking abilities. But's what I managed to put together. Enjoy!


Kim said...

Congratulations on another BT finish!! Great race report, wish I could have been there!

Don said...

Maria, First post here on the infamous Maria blog. George took some great shots! What a guy, give him my condolences again, ok? :) Thanks for the plug on finishing this nasty hard race! You and Cindy did great. Training for this with the group was the best! Your right, we trained in some terrible weather, but Sat was perfect. congrats.

Greg said...

Great job, Maria. Congrats on your finish. Always feels good to come back and do well after being out a bit. Great job and good to see you!

Brian said...

Excellent job. Great to have finally met you. Plus I got to hear you order your burger at the winking lizard. You are a woman that really knows what she wants when she orders her burger. I hope it was done to your satisfaction. I wouldn't want to be the chef who has to cook for you. :)

Great job.

Viv said...

Congrats, Congrats, Congrats you did Baby!!
Fab report Maria!
I feel like it's tradition for me to grab a coffee and read your report and be truly inspired. Great video!
Cheers to George and the family for being so awesome to be out there for you, they are priceless and you r so worth it.
I hope that burger was everything you make it sound to be. It sounds like a way I would like to finish the 1/2..LOL!
PS totally a triathlon I could train ecept change the 50K for a

Maria said...

Kim-you were definitely missed...we were looking for you at Brandywine.

Don-condolences my ass..he LOVES being married to me LOL! Seriously though I told you before that you were going to rock this race and you did!

Greg-thanks! You looked so in control out there every time you whizzed past us. Look for me to join up with the VR training group now that the 50k is over.

Brian-yeah I felt bad that you had to hear me go on and on about that burger first thing in the morning...but it was done perfectly thank god! I'm glad you stuck around for a bit once we all got there.

Viv-thanks honey-I promise that when you're here in May we will celebrate your first half in the same way.

Diario de Elysia said...

You are crazy woman. 7hrs of running and you went out and then came home a baked?

I would have been a zombie in my bed for like 2 days.

Loved the video.

Bob said...

Congratulations again Maria - great run!!!

(Greg did a great job too - I enjoyed the pictures!)

Maybe I'll be out there next year . . .

Jen said...

Wooot! Maria, you rock. Another inspirational BT50K story/video.


Brian said...

Cute video. I liked the surprise burger shot. Could have done without the feet shot especially the blister. Or at least warn us if we're watching during lunch. :)

Maria said...

Come on Brian...don't be a pussy...suck it up-I'm guessing none of our feet are too pretty ☺

Sensationally Red said...

OMG! Love the video! Is there music? Here I am at work with no audio, but you got some great pictures! I really did enjoy being out there with you for seven hours!! A bonding experience for sure. I'm hooked on 50K's. There will be many many more! Sorry for all the exclamation points, but I'm emotional right now...

Carly said...

Congratulations Maria! What a nice race report and the video was great. Looks like you had a great time.
You inspire me so much! Congrats again on the race.

Mike said...

Awesome job Maria! Ultra Maria!

I am TERRIBLE with names, but actually know is Frank Dwyer and he was very nice and helpful (also a GOOD runner by the way)

Nice video as usual! And sorry about the Turkey calls (not really.) And is Don getting YOUNGER or is it just me? He looks like a college kid in those photos!

Tammy said...

Congrats Maria!
Great race report. How fantastic that you have such a great hubby and family to support you.

Your race report was inspiring, as always...

Brian said...

OK. Keep it up and someday you'll learn about the texas tumbleweed. You'll have to be in suspense until then.

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

Wow, what a cool clip. You have a great support crew! Great job and great race. Looks like I need to try out the winking lizard.

Chef Bill Bailey said...

Great Job Maria. Love the video
Thanks George!!!

Josh said...

Way to go Maria!! You looked so strong out there every time you passed by, you must have been drinking POWERTHIRST, made with ligtning, REAL LIGHTNING!!!

Brian said...

Josh, she was drinking their new flavor Shockolate.. It's like adding chocolate to AN ELECTICAL STORM! SOUND THE ALARM!

Maria said...

I ♥ you guys but you're wrong...I was drinking

And then I kicked mother nature in the head with my power legs.

tony said...

Sorry I'm so late to comment, but wanted to congratulate you on a great race! You've really come back strong, and having a lot of fun too...atta way Maria!

Enjoyed the video too as it allows those not there (me) to feel like I was!

E-Speed said...

awesome job girl!

And awesome video!

Glad you had a good time and that you didn't let that stress fracture get you down for long!

DaisyDuc said...

Woman, you did fantastic out there. So glad we had the opportunity to meet!!

A burger and tasty beverages were totally deserved after that accomplishment!!!

Brett S. said...

Congrats on your great finish. More pictures of the great jackets. Now all my friends have one but me. I feel so left out. They better have them next year.

Principal 007 said...

I just barely watched the video and you are so fucking amazing!!!! Love ya!!! D~