Friday, November 16, 2012

Skippo 2012 race recap

At the start getting some good luck from the baby
Skippo. What is there to say about Skippo.  I have been wanting to do this race for awhile, I was bummed I couldn't do it last year due to the pregnancy so I was pumped to sign-up this year. 

Skippo is a trail race held at Castlewood State Park.  The route is the same every year but you now have your choice of distance. It's a 10k loop, so you can do 10k, 20k, or 30k.    The loop doesn't appear to be too hard, there aren't as many hills as there could be.  However, it's still a tough course.  There is a set of 200 stairs and a hill called Cardiac Hill.  

Not too far into the first loop (I'm in purple)
I signed up and ran the 30k  race.  This means I ran/walked those stairs and the hills 3 times.  This was my toughest race so far. Not just physically but mentally. 

I have never ran 30k before. Not in a race, not in training.  30k is 18.6 miles.  Not only have I never ran that distance, I certainly haven't attempted to run that distance while also going up 200 stairs (3 times!) and tackling major hills.  I was ready for the challenge!

The day arrived and instead of having cooler temps, as is normal in November in St. Louis, we had unseasonable warm temps.  High in the 70's that day.  This was a major concern of mine because I don't run well in the heat with the current health issues.  You might be thinking that high 70's is awesome weather, and it is, but not when you are running and certainly not when you are running 30k.

Out along the course
I had plans to run with another girl, we had the same goals as far as pace was concerned and how to run the race.  We wanted to average a 10 min/mile and walk the stairs and major hills.  We managed to do this the first loop but on the 2nd loop I lost her on the major hill.  I then had to walk several times along the course.  The heat was getting to me bad.  My stomach was upset the entire time and I was dizzy.   I kept grabbing water at the water stations but it wasn't enough.  I tried eating gu but after a bad experience the second loop I stopped.

I am super lucky that there were a handful of us running the race that all knew each other and another friend who knew us all came out to support.  He knew I was struggling and ran the third and final loop with me.  I had to stop and walk A LOT.  At the creek crossing, thanks to his suggestion, I stopped and splashed my body with water to try and cool down. 

I wanted to stop and quit so many times.  There were times I had to stop and just stand there or squat before I could keep going.  My legs hurt, my body felt horrible, I felt horrible. I kept thinking "I can't do this. Why did I think I could do this?"  But I kept going.  I wanted to finish the course.  It was hard to run past the finish line each time, at the 10k and 20k loops.  I wanted to just run in and cut my race short. I wanted to call it a day and forget it every happened.

For some reason I just like this photo
I stuck with it though.  I pushed my body and staggered on through the finish to do the entire 30k.  Physically it was super hard, the hardest race I have ever done. Mentally it was so hard to keep going and pushing myself forward when all I wanted to do was stop.   I did NOT want to quit. I wanted to prove I could do this.

My goal for this race was to do an average 10 min/mile and to place in the top 10 female for the 30k.  I didn't hit that.  I averaged 11:35 min/mile and I placed 12th out of 19.   I did manage to come in 2nd out of 6 for my age group though. That was a surprise. I got a sweat pint glass for that.   I also received a belt buckle for finishing the 30k.  Trust me when I say it's pretty darn awesome.  My official resorts are on Bazu. I also admit they got pictures of me frolicking in the water and they are super embarrassing and funny.

I am so happy I did this race and I am already looking forward to tackling it next year.  This race was a PR for me since I've never done the distance before. So even though I didn't hit the goal I wanted, I have a PR.  It also means that I have something to train for and work towards beating next year.  This was a horrible race for me yet at the same time I'm happy with the outcome. I'm disappointed but also feel I showed strength I didn't even know I had.  It's hard to be too upset with that.

I'm FINALLY finished
Huge thanks to not only my friend who came out to cheer us on and ran the last loop with me (his family was rewarded with homemade ((from scratch!)) red velvet cupcakes) but also my other friends who waited around for me to finish.  Not only that, huge thanks to my Mom who came to the race with me and watched my daughter so that I could run this one.  I know she was worried about me out on the course and I'm glad she drove me home as I wouldn't have been able to do it myself.  I also need to say thanks to a friend who didn't realize the race would still be going on and came to the park to run and found my Mom.  It was awesome to be starting my 3rd loop and see my friend and her daughter cheering me on. What a wonderful surprise. 
The group of us who finished the 30k, proudly displaying our belt buckles

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