Cry Me A River 50 Mile Race Report #IFigured...IWasWrong!
After winning the Kettle Moraine 100K #HumbleBrag and recovering in a day #AnotherHumbleBrag, I decided I needed to sign up for something else. A lot of the Flatlanders were doing an inaugural race called Cry Me A River in Peoria, IL. This race was not only close but supposedly had 11,000-12,000ft of elevation which intrigued me because I can’t imagine the corn fields of Peoria having any hills #IWasWrong.
So I signed up and had three weeks to prepare. Well, I jumped back into running a little TOO FAST TOO SOON and ended up with shin splints in my left shin and not able to run for two weeks! However, I was able to do EVERYTHING else which I did.Elliptical intervals, Century Rides, Stairclimber, Row Machine, Airdyne (if you haven’t done the Airdyne you have no idea what your MAX HR is), Strength circuits, Kettlebells, Plyometrics (for some reason did not hurt the shins), Box Jumps etc. so basically all the things I usually do except the running #BestExerciserEver.
About a week and a half out from the race I got back to running slowly (also got acupuncture treatment with electric stem (Thanks Dr. Kitty Yon)and massaged it myself with arnica gel which I think helped it heal faster). I did a 6 mile run, then 8, then a 20 mile long run the first week back #RampingUpSlowlyMyA$#. The next week was basically taper time so I did the Palos Stairs 50x and a 15 mile loop for my final “long run”. The beauty of doing all these races every 2-3 weeks is that I have the drop box routine down to a science! #NoCrewOrAidStationNeeded (However, Cory Feign you can crew me anytime!) AND my QuestionQueen status on the Flatlanders site might be dwindling as I have only ask a few question vs. a million in these past to races. #DoYouMissMe?
Once again AirBnB ROCKS! I got a room 10 minutes from the start with Misty and her adorable baby for $56! I am NOT a camper so I did not camp with the other runners at Camp Wokanda (SORRY) #WayTooHighMaintenance. I did a shake out run before I left and slapped on my PEK (Performance Enhancing Kokopelli, Thanks TRN) I arrived at around 8:30pm and met a few Flatlanders and spouses at the start Rick Skokaj, Cindy Faford (amazing women who took most of the race pics I have) and James Faford (who #OutKickedHisCoverageWithCindy)…I headed to my AirBnb, had my night snack (raw nuts, sweet potatos with almond butter, coconut oil, kerrygold butter, Bedtime Tea) and went to bed.
I was up at 3am to make my breakfast… the usual… veggie and chicken sausage omelet, sweet potatoes with almond butter, coconut oil, and kerrygold butter and A BIG CUP O’JOE! #CreatureOfHabit. I decided to go with my New Balance Foam Zantes Road shoes because it was dry and I had run the trails in them and they felt the best. I FIGURED they would be fine since I would be done before the rain. #IWasWRONG. #TrailRaces=TrailShoesIdiot
I arrived at the race 15 minutes before the start and it was DARK. I FIGURED with a 5am start time the sun would be up. Once again #IWasWRONG and I couldn’t see a thing! I don’t even own a headlamp. There were a few other racers that did not have head lamps so I FIGURED I would be OK. Once again #IWasWRONG. #StopFiguring The race started and for some reason I was up in front so it was me and three other runners and only ONE of us had a headlamp! Thanks Sabina! We did a short 2 mile loop that would bring us back to the start line before doing the out and back section. This was a tough 2 miles, big hills and tough footing ESPECIALLY doing it blind. I basically ran the whole first 2 miles as a high knee drill because I didn’t want to trip #NoFacePlantsForAtLeast10Miles Eric Skojai, Sabina, and I basically ran the first 10 miles together chatting about running, crazy races, etc. The sun was coming up by the time we crossed the start line so we could finally see. It was great weather about 60 degrees and cloudy. I knew it was suppose to rain later in the day at 3pm so that was my main goal. I FIGURED I would get done before the rain. Once again #IWasWRONG (or should I say Weather.com was WRONG).
The course was AWESOME… up and down, stairs, river crossings, stepping stones. Just BEAUTIFUL. Around mile 10 you do an out and back up a steep hill… I was able to run pretty much all the hills which I was happy with. #MountainGoat. I was still running with Eric when we hit the turn around aid station, Dewtalier. Then the rain started…It was just misting as we ran the 1.5 mile loop around the field. It felt great to stride out a bit! When we got back to the aid station Eric kept going but I had to take a pit stop. This is where I started to eat about 2 and half hours in. This has worked for me in the past races, I know everyone says eat early and often but I have found I’m ok for at least 4-5 hours with nothing in training so waiting 2 hours in a race is not a big deal. I stuck with my tried and true VFuel Gels and Rise Almond and Honey Bar Pieces. #NutritionIWasRight
On the way back the rain was picking up and things were starting to get muddy. I FIGURED since it wasn’t raining to hard yet, the road shoes would be OK… #IWasWrong.The road shoes started to fail me almost immediately and I began sliding. However, seeing all the other racers on the way back and cheering each other on distracted me. About halfway back it really started to pour… I had NO footing I was trying to run the whole way just like I had done on the way there but every step was a 5 inch slide and a few times I thought I had pulled a groin or hammie! I was DYING for my trail shoes… honestly spent the whole way back thinking… IF ONLY I had trail shoes right now #WishfulThinking. When I got to the final Aid Station before getting back to the start they were grilling up grill cheeses and it smelled delicious. I thought about getting out of the rain and sitting down for lunch with the CUTE aid station boys #IAmSingle but kept going.
When I got back to the start I was SOAKED probably weighed an extra 10lbs with the mud in my shoes and socks and entire body drenched. I looked at my watch as I went out for the second 2 mile loop and it only read 23ish miles… did I miss something? YES, I did! I FIGURED we only had to do the Out and Back on the way out and NOT on the way back. #IWasWrong. DOH! So I knew I had to do it TWICE now on the way back out and it was going to be A RIVER! Grrrrrr… wish I could skip it but #IAmNotACheater . I told the RDs what I had done and that I was going to double it on the way out and they said a bunch of people including Eric who I was chasing had done the same thing. It was about this time that the lightning and thunder also began and the MONSOON. See below.
The next miles were absolutely MISERABLE. I was just SO ANGRY at myself and frustrated for not having my trail shoes on… so I changed this to a positive… the faster you get to the turnaround the faster you get your trail shoes. Well, fast was not in the cards… I could barely run because I was sliding EVERYWHERE… I was climbing hills on my hands and knees because I had NO grip and I was descending so slow #Like100YearOldWomanWithA Cane!
Most of the time I thought I should just sit on my butt and slide down. The out and back that I had to do twice was seriously like a jungle. The rain was so hard that it was hard to even see and the river coming down the hill was ridiculous. I kept thinking I was in Apocalypse Now or Heart of Darkness and had to laugh at myself but it made it fun. #FeltLikeABadAss. Every step was ankle deep in mud or a huge puddle. I finally got to Michelle (my hero) at the turnaround aid station and I said “PLEASE get my trail shoes ready I’m going to change them after the field” I sprinted around the field knowing I was going to be able to rock the last miles. I turned on my CMAR Playlist and the first song was Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way” and I was singing at the top of my lungs because no one was around me. #BoyBandGroupie. Got to the aid station and Michelle had my shoes untied and ready to slide on… however, getting my mud soaked road shoes off was more of a challenge the mud had glued the laces together, so I spent more time in the chair than I would have liked but it made for a good photo shoot. #NeedThemForTheScrapbook
OMG! I LOVE TRAIL SHOES! It was AMAZING! I could FINALLY RUN! Seriously not one bit of sliding. I was able to run the WHOLE way back. What difference traction makes. I seriously felt like I was running a 5 minute pace. I didn’t know where Eric was but the whole time people kept telling me that he was about 4-5 minutes ahead so I FIGURED I could catch him. #IWasWRONG. But as soon as I got those trail shoes on I was having FUN…. It was still raining and I was still drenched and actually shivering but I could RUN! The mud and water was ankle deep and I was splashing in puddles like a little kid in their first rain shower. Only one problem…the stepping stone crossing…was GONE… in its place was a rushing river. I stopped dead in my tracks. I could barely make out where the stones were but it was the only way across… so I placed my foot on the first stone and my foot got swiped out from under me…. And I stepped back… that wasn’t going to work.
Then I looked down river and saw a downed tree going across and FIGURED I could cross while holding the tree. So I walked over and put my foot in the river and it was thigh high… and the tree didn’t go all the way across…#IWasWRONG. #WhenAreYouGoingToStopFiguring. So I walked back over to the stepping stones and decided to use them as a brace against getting swept down river. So I launched my handheld across the river and it rolled to the edge. #AllStarSoftballPlayerInGradeSchool I thought I was going to lose it but stopped about 2 inches from the rushing river. I got into the thigh deep water and used my hands to reach and go from stone to stone. I MADE IT! I felt like a ROCKSTAR! I am so #BadAss. I think I almost threw my shoulder out trying to pat myself on the back. Only one problem… now I had about a 1/2lb of sand and rocks in my socks and shoes and I had probably lost at least 10 minutes trying to figure this out. I was only 4ish miles from the finish so I FIGURED I did not have to dump my shoes… #IWasWRONG. That lasted all of about ½ mile then it really started bugging me. So I stopped, sat down and attempted to dump my shoes. Lost another 5 minutes there and it didn’t work! The sand and rocks were in my socks… “F” it, just get to the finish #NaturalPedicure. I ran as hard as I could to get to that line. My watch had died at about 42 miles so I had no idea what time I was coming in at. I ended up crossing the line in 10:01:38. I was first place Female, 3rd Place Overall #WINNER
Of course it finally stopped raining literally the second I crossed the finish line #ThanksWeatherGods! I stayed around the finish line for about 20 minutes as soon as I finished talking to the RDs and some of the racers who had dropped and for some reason had the biggest potty mouth describing my experience in front of Katerine’s kids! #SorryKatMentallyDeadFromTheRace. The best thing about this race was that there were HOT showers at the finish line since it was a Boy Scout Camp! So I ran to my car and got my towel and fresh clothes and into the showers! It was the best feeling in the world and no shower chafing burns! #Thanks2Toms After I got clean I came back to the finish to watch the other Flatlanders finish but quickly got EATEN by mosquitos #IAmSooooSweet and decided I better just hit the road and get back in one piece. #SorryFlatlanderFriends that I missed!
As soon as I got home, I took yet another shower and rubbed my legs with Arnica Gel, Magnesium Oil, and Now Foods Glucosamine, Arnica, MSM lotion. Then I ate dinner and put my feet up in the air with the Marc Pro on for an hour and off to bed. I FIGURED I would be sore for at least 3 days with all the elevation and slipping and sliding… #IWasWrong. I woke up the next day and was a little sore but really didn’t feel different than any other “workout” I do. I walked 5ish miles and got some cooking and scrapbooking done for the week. Woke up on Monday and was FINE! Crazy! #RecoveryMonster…. So I headed to the gym for some elliptical and strength training, still being cautious I shortened my regular routine but was back at it on Tuesday and Wednesday. #HopeThisLastsForever
RDs: Shawn Brandon and Jenna Bahaj
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