Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ride The Wind 100

RTW (Ride the Wind) was by far the hardest race I have every done, but guess what? I did my first 100 miler!

The course is composed of three technical 31 mile loops and one 7 mile loop.

At the beginning of the race it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest because I was super excited. My Mom was going to run the first 100K with me and then my Dad was going to run the rest with me. 

The first five miles went by pretty fast because it was cool and and we spent time talking to our friend Giovanni and another runner. But after that it started to get hard. After the first aid station, there was an extremely steep down hill and then it was basically like running in a riverbed full of rocks.
part of the downhill portion after AS1
The good thing about getting out of the riverbed was there was some solid ground. Getting to the next aid station was hard considering it was hot and we were out of water. As I was running I was starting to feel good, when my toe got caught under a big rock and I fell and scraped up my elbow. After the fall I shot back up and kept running, but it hurt a lot.

When we hit mile 20 my Dad and sister came out and prepared us for the hardest part of the loop, the last 11 miles. They were exposed, mostly uphill, and it was really easy to get lost. So after getting lost, and gaining about two bonus miles, we got on the right trail and managed to make it to the next aid station. There was little water and the heat was really effecting me, but my Mom managed to encourage me and we made it to the start/finish.

As we ventured the 2nd loop I realized that the hardest part of the race was the heat, because the hills were not tough at all. I also struggled with the rocks and tripped several times throughout the race.
As we were getting closer to mile 50 it was getting really dark, we had to use my Mom's iPhone  for light because we had not made it to the aid station in time to get flashlights. It was really scary until finally we heard bells and saw our friend Ed with our lights. 
What really sucked about running in the dark was those dang Joshua trees... Since it was dark and we didn't have any lights, they looked like people following us!

During the last 11 miles of the loop I felt awful. We had gotten lost again and that added mileage. I was exhausted. I got discouraged, but Ed and my Mom helped cheer me up. 
We ended up finding a main road and we finally made it to the aid station. Ok... so lets get a few things straight now that we are more then half way done with my journey... The last 38 miles were NOT easy, in fact they are the hardest part in my opinion! Since you have gotten this far I am not going to sugar coat it! My Mom said the night part was hard, and boy was she right!

Now that I was running with my Dad and Ed I was exhausted. A mile felt like 10 miles and I felt really tired. By far the worst part of that loop was that awful riverbed, it was dark so it was hard to see the rocks and I wasn't lifting my feet up very high so I stubbed my toe numerous times. 
The one thing I found really nice about the last loop was that the glorious sun was coming up!! As the sun came up my energy slowly came up too. It also helped that my Dad and Ed made a game out of the trail markings. We came up with some unique ice cream flavors. You probably would have had to been there to understand!

I went a little faster when I was starting to realize that I was almost done!  Although I was getting tired it felt really nice to see the mile 20 aid station. At the aid station I ate a donut and slept for a few minutes before heading off again. The good thing about the sun coming up is the recharge of energy you get but the bad thing is that it gets hot...

Boy did it get hot on the last 11 miles! I started bonking again. The only positive thing I can recall from the last 11 miles is the fact that I was so close to that amazing buckle. My pace seemed to increase slightly as I got closer to the start/finish. When I hit the start/finish I basically got an anxiety attack, I was so excited. After that loop the only thing between me and my dream buckle was the last small 7 mile loop.

The last 7 miles hurt a lot, but people came out to help me.  The first 3 miles were all uphill, and the rest of it was flat and rocky. About 4 miles in my knee just started burning and it made me walk even slower. I was just really ready to be done! 

My Dad and I on the last loop
On the last little stretch my Dad and I start running! Our friends made a human tunnel for me to run through and I got the buckle!! 

I was so happy!
When it was in my hands all the pain was worth it. 
It didn't take very long for me to feel normal again after this race. I can't wait to do it again!

only 3 finishers and I was one of them!
My first 100 mile and 100 kilometer buckles!