8 hr 39 min..Not DFL or a DNF.
I had spent the night before with my crew, myself, going to Pizza Hut for some grub and a quick stop at the local casino in an attempt to kill some time and keep my mind off of thinking of the race. Had I trained enough? What will be my fueling strategy? Should I put a drop bag at the 13.2 mile mark? and so on...
A wet, chilly morning gave way to clear skies and the prettiest course I have ever run. Just prior to the start of the race, I ran into fellow blogger, Brian Thomas, and we ran together for about the first 10 miles before I motored on. My pacing strategy was to walk any of the major hills and then as best I could keep a 9 min running/1 min walking pace.
I was flying. I have never felt that locked in or more sure of a strong finish. The night before I had been reading a back issue of Runner's World and found a short mantra i kept repeating in my head; "Define yourself". At each aid station I would refill my bottle with half gatorade and half water, grab some m&m's,cookies, or my new favorite, boiled red potatoes dipped in salt and kept moving. The first 25 mile looped seemed like nothing and I completed it in 4 hr 17 min.
With a steady rain at the halfway mark that definitely kept it chilly, I began boldly thinking that I could get a sub 9 hr finish. There was never a doubt that I would not finish even though my longest training run was 25 miles. Just passed the 32 mile marker, the ipod came out, and the tunes kept me motivated till just about 48 miles when I took a pretty good spill and the playlist ended. Nevertheless, I just finished the second lap in 4 hr 22 min, only 5 minutes off the first loop and about 12 seconds per mile slower.
I was pumped, jacked, elated. Redemption was mine after a failed attempt last year, and the summer of dirt dawg had produced and even better time than i could have predicted. It all came together yesterday. I was so esctactic that i hopped in the car and made the 3 1/2 hour drive home like it was nothing.
I would like to especially thank Dirrty Girl for allowing me the time to train this summer, and Little Dirt Dawg, Dirrty Feather, my dog Nemo, Twinkle Toes, Fritz, my neighbor, Mary, Buzzkill, the Fun Run Gang for joining me this summer on the road.