Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012, you were something else.

I realized that I had not posted about my last two races of the year. So I'll just work that into my year end wrap up (since this is MY blog, I can do that if I want). I finished off my 2012 racing schedule with the Winter Sun 10K in Moab followed by the Rock n' Roll half marathon in Las Vegas. The most fun part of that back to back race weekend, was the 7 day stomach flu that I got the morning before the Moab race. At first I thought I had food poisoning, but it turns out there's a new strain of stomach flu that sticks with you for 7 whole days! Neat, huh?

So I spent most of Friday in bed, trying to pull myself together enough to drive the two and a half hours to Moab. I made it down there without throwing up, but it was close. Saturday morning I was up and at 'em, not feeling great, but well enough to stay upright, mostly. I surprised myself by finishing with my fastest 10K  race time. I think I was really just trying to get done so I could rest some more... I received the Triple Crown award for running all three races of the Moab race series in 2012. That got me a sweet pair of socks, a sticker, and a guaranteed entry into the Canyonlands Half Marathon for 2013 (Now with finisher medals! Woo!).

My mom, AKA my race photographer, loves to get shots of me stopping my watch. I even waited until I was a bit past the line to give her a clean shot. *sigh

As soon as I had finished the 10K, I managed to get some Gatorade down, and then it was back in the car to drive to Las Vegas for the race on Sunday. We stopped off in Green River so I could be super classy and take a baby wipe shower in the bathroom and change out of my sweaty race clothes. Oh running, you have given me a new appreciation of indoor plumbing.

Moving on. It's a long drive from Moab to Las Vegas. It was over 7 hours to get there but we made it in time to settle into the hotel and for me to try and lay very still. My insides were throwing a royal fit and the lack of eating after running wasn't adding to my feel good status. Thank goodness the race on Sunday didn't start until 4:30 p.m. Sunday morning, I tried to get some food in me, settling for a ridiculously over priced Vegas smoothie. I wasn't moving too quickly that morning, so by the time I was actually up and functioning, I didn't have much time before it was time to go stand in line for the port-a-potties and get a racin'.

It was really great to run on the Las Vegas Strip at night. It almost took my mind off of my intestinal distress. Almost. It was my slowest half marathon time ever, but honestly, I'm just glad to have finished it. I knew I needed to get my blood sugar up, but every time I even thought about eating a gel, I got nauseous. So I just kept plugging along, real slow like. At the finish line, they had some apples, so I plunked myself down on the curb, choked down the apple, and held back the tears. It was a rough race but my medal glows in the dark so I guess it was worth it. I trudged my way back to my hotel, which was sort of on the strip, but set back a ways. It was hard to find the entrance in my whacked out state (that's a scientific term, by the way, "whacked out"), and a nice man guided me to the doors. He could tell I wasn't doing well... There's nothing like running back to back races with the stomach flu. I don't really recommend it, but it sure was an experience.

Now for the gushy 2012 wrap up. 2012 was a year not to be forgotten. I ran my first Ragnar, my first marathon, I traveled all around the Western states in search of bling. I cried, a lot, which was new for me. Running makes me kind of emotional... I got blisters on top of blisters. My toenails fell off. I made it into the Marathon Maniacs, the Half Fanatics, and the Idiots Running Club. My race totals are as follows: marathons: 4, half marathons: 17, Ragnar relays: 2, 5K's: 2, and one 10K, to keep things interesting. I learned that things I thought would kill me actually wouldn't, even though at the time I may have felt like I was dying (Park City Marathon anyone? I have PTSD from that race). I have met some amazing, inspiring people. I now have running friends all over the United States and throughout the world. I've been invited to be part of relay teams and grand adventures. Running has added so much more to my life than just some heavy medal. I know I can't stop now. I just can't. Especially since there are some people I know who think this running thing is just a phase. Like I'm going to grow out of it or something. Yeah, right. I've even made the leap to acquiring a treadmill to keep me going through these frigid winter months. I've begun planning out 2013's epic adventures, the most intimidating and exhilarating being my first 50K. Here's to the year gone by and the year to come. And as always, happy running.