December 9, 2007
When I woke up on Sunday, I felt OK. I didn’t sleep great, because I was a bit sore from the 50-mile run the day before.
My parents overslept their alarm, but I still got to the start in plenty of time.
I wore my AREC tank top and shorts, and I totally looked out of place because it was 40 degrees out and drizzling. I told everyone who asked that I was still hot from the race yesterday and this was helping me cool off.
Ideally, I felt that I wouldn’t need the full 6-1/2 hours to complete the race, and my tentative goal was 5-1/2 hours. I was certain that I could walk the entire course in 6-1/2 hours (and I didn’t really want to do that).
My plan was to run for as long as I could stand, “bank” time, and then walk in the rest of the way without feeling stressed. I aligned myself with the 4:15 marathon pace group, because I felt that was closest to how I felt. It began raining immediately and I took off at a faster pace than I had intended. The pace leader even shouted at me to come back, but I said, “You’ll catch me again,” because there was no way I was going to do a 4:15 marathon. I didn’t feel THAT good.
I got to halfway in 2:17 (the 4:15 group had passed me and offered encouragement) and that put me about 25 minutes ahead of the 5-1/2 hour goal. At this point, I had proverbially hit the wall and walked/racewalked comfortably. I was finding, according to my pace band, that the rate I walked at, I was not losing any time at all on my 5-1/2 hour goal… I was quite literally walking about a 13:30 pace.
At mile 18, I connected with the Dallas Hash and had a beer (and I think I also had a beer at 19 from some Hooter’s waitresses!). Around 19 miles, I began walking with a goofy 26-year old from Mesquite, TX, who was about an inch shorter than me. We fed off each other’s energy (albeit walking) and stayed together until he got bored at Mile 23 and took off. I told him that I was totally satisfied with walking to the finish… that all I wanted was to finish. And at this point, I had 3 miles to go, and 2 hours to finish under 6:30. I wasn’t worried. It wasn’t going to get dark or root-y.
However, when I got to Mile 25, it was really cold out and the wind was howlin’ and blowin’. I wanted to finish… to get it all over with.
Usually, if I have been walking for 2 hours, it is really hard to get going again, without cramping… but for some reason I felt really good and had no trouble starting up again. I was running like I was finishing off a 10K… and I began passing all of the folks who had jogged by me in the past hour or so (and shouted encouragement to them).
When I got close to the finish, I started laughing again (like last night) because I was about to reach my crazy goal – to do these back-to-back races… and basically run 76.2 miles in a 30-hour timeframe (and I ran a little over 17 of those 30 hours). I must’ve felt REALLY good, because I covered the last 1.2 miles in 9 minutes (about 7:30/mile).
The race ended at American Airlines Arena (home of the Mavericks) and the food and the post-race “fun” was on the floor of the arena… you mean, I have to go down 50 stairs now? And there was no turkey leg or brisket or corn-on-the-cob. =(
Afterwards, I called for my folks to pick me up. My mylar blanket did not really keep me warm enough while I wandered over to the area where cars COULD drive. It took me a while to warm up.
In the end, there were 15 finishers of the Sunmart/White Rock Double – 8 in the 50K/marathon and 7 in the 50M/marathon. Quite an accomplishment!
As a postscript, I did come back in 2008 to run the Sunmart 50 miler again. White Rock Marathon was on a different weekend, and the following year, the Sunmart race was defunct (due to loss of sponsorship). I feel lucky to have participated in these events, because I joined a small group of crazies to have attempted and completed this!