Back in August, a friend of mine recommended this race to me after hearing me say I wanted to run a trail race this fall. He ran the 50-mile race last year, and had nothing but positive things to say about it. A few days and arrangements later, I was signed up.
I wish I could say this past week was delightful and my diabetes was wonderful. However, it was incredibly stressful on multiple accounts, which drastically impacts my diabetes. I woke up between 270 and 390 everyday this past week. Not only is this hard on my body and not good for me, but it makes me feel sick. Saturday morning was no exception - I woke up at 3 AM and was 269. After taking the bolus my insulin pump recommended and then some extra, I hoped to wake up around 80.
When my alarm went off at 6, I was 139 and feeling like crap. However, I tried to be positive and think about how awesome of a race I was going to run. This, unfortunately, did not happen.
After getting to the place later than I had hoped, I missed the "pre race" talk. I don't know what they said, but I don't think it really made that much of a difference. My goal for this race was to run 7:15 for the first 5 miles, 7:10 for the second 5, and then 7:00 for the last 3.1.
For the sake of this post not getting too long, lets just say that I was on pace through mile 3, my stomach hurt and mile 5, mentally checked out at mile 6, cramped at mile 7, saw my friend who came to cheer and 7.5 and 8.5 and begged her to get our friend (P) who was running the trails for training that day to come run with me the last few miles, started to go low at mile 9, dropped my GU at mile 9.25 so I had to eat my back-up GU, in a flavor that sounded anything but appetizing (Island Tropics is not a good flavor hen you feel like shit), and ran with P from mile 11.5 to the finish. I was never happier to cross a finish line in my life.
I walked 4 times during this race, stopped to stretch 3, and talk once. I thought about quitting 100+ times. I thought about what a DNF would feel like, and decided although I was struggling, I'd rather finish than have that label. I've walked before, and I'm sure I'll have to walk again sometime in the future. I got passed by so many people. However, the beauty of the trees made up for it. Knowing that I am running another race made up for it. Knowing that I could run made up for it. Knowing that my friend came up to cheer made up for it. Knowing that P ran an extra 2 miles after running 23 that he wasn't supposed to, but because I needed someone, made up for it.
Sometimes, I need to remind myself why I run when I have races like these. It was a struggle to finish in 1:41:24, but I'm glad I finished. Is it my fastest? No. Was it my hardest? Maybe. Did I have a lot of obstacles to overcome? Yes. But I'm glad I did. It'll make tomorrow's run that much better.