At 9am on November 21st I set off for my longest, run/walk, 24 hours. Erik came out with me and set up a tent to keep me company. I was so grateful for that, he doesn’t even know.
I started out strong and steady. I knew the pace to keep was going to be about 12 min miles or 4.5 mph. I did well for the first 26 miles. It was cold and very windy. It was supposed to calm down at around 3pm but it didn’t until about 4. I felt good despite of the wind. Jeannetta and David brought the boys out at around 11am and Jeannetta walked a few laps with me and so did David. It was nice to have their company and support.
I layered with a tank top, a long sleeve running running shirt, and my wind breaker. On the bottom I had my running tights and a pair of toe socks which were my saving grace hence no blisters on my feet! The wind was brutal and cold, felt like I was running in place. My wind breaker helped alot during the day but at night it was something else. It got below freezing and round and round I went at sundown I put on my heavy winter coat and it was so cozy I was so glad I had it. It got a little lonely towards the late night as the 12 hour runners were completed with their event and all that were left were the 24 , 48, and 72 hour runners. It’s so surreal to think that I was amongst these elite group of “super humans” that were conquering their inner demons into the night.
During the night Erik was asleep in the tent, I needed him to be rested since around sunrise I would need him to walk with me to keep me motivated. Surprisingly I never really had the desire to quit but I was mentally negotiating with myself. After many thought out calculations I concluded that if I ran a 12 min mile or maintained a 12 minute pace for 24 hours I could possibly get 100 miles. I factored in bathroom breaks, slower walk breaks and figured I would have a goal of 90 miles in 24 hours. It was realistic…until about 9pm after 12 hours I was tired and cold I figured…”Maybe just 80miles.”
At around midnight I decided to take a nap and rest my legs. My right knee began to bother me, which had never happened before and I became worried so I popped some “vitamin I” (Ibuprofen) and got in my sleeping bag. Erik set an alarm for me and I could not fall asleep for fear I wouldn’t wake back up. I think I had gotten about 55 miles by then and I wanted to meet my goal of at least 80.
Once I was awakened, I set out and by then my knee really hurt. I walked and jogged and talked to people along the way. One guy I spoke with was a neurosurgeon and I picked his brain, (no pun intended) as neuroscience fascinates me. He was doing the 48 hour event and appeared to be about 60 or so, which I found even more fascinating.
There was this other man who was walking with a knee brace on and I could here him as he stumbled past me, “ow, ow, ow, ow..” He was quick considering he had an injury, and he was doing the 72 hour event! He had been out there since November 19th (Thursday)! I spoke with him a bit but he was in the “zone” so his support crew informed me he came all the way from London and he had a goal to win first place which was about 270 miles. It’s impressive but no record is that important to me, I don’t want to be crippled and have months of recovery!
On Sunday morning at 9am all the events were through and we had a yummy brunch which was provided for us and the awards. They began by announcing the men 72 hour and sure enough the knee brace guy won. When they got to the women I was hardly paying attention and I was eating. Surely enough they called my name for an award! I had food in my mouth but I got up, “Wait that’s me!” I got 3rd place overall women! I didn’t meet my goal but I did complete 75 miles. It is still surreal to me and I am beyond ecstatic that I completed the challenge and exceeded my expectations!
I walked the Thanksgiving turkey trot 5k with my fmily that year, usually I run, but I wasn’t fully recovered yet. And finished strong at Cow Town 2016. I have since taken a break from running to strengthen my muscles. I started Camp Gladiator March 2015, and would like to continue going to CG while I train for my next race, in November which is another ultra, a 50K. I cannot wait! Pictures will be available soon!