I never thought I’d want to run a 100 miler on the road. But when I found out some friends of mine were running this race and that it would be perfect timing to be my 100th race, I decided to try it. It also would be my 10th 100 miler and an opportunity to PR my 100 mile time. My 100 mile PR prior to this race was 20:17. My goal was to break 20 hours. I also thought it’d be kind of cool to go see Oklahoma via running, since I can’t imagine ever going there otherwise. The course was heading west on the original Route 66 in Oklahoma (from Baxter Springs, KS to Catoosa, OK).
The weather was great – clouds, sunshine, some wind and NO RAIN! We ran on the left side of the road, facing traffic, on the shoulder (when there was one). This sucked. There was a slant to the shoulder – which caused my right heel to start hurting, then my right knee and eventually all the way up to my hip. I ran the second half on the road and just dodged cars. My right leg was pretty uncomfortable by about mile 45 so by the time I hit 50 miles, I was behind schedule. I thought my sub-20 hour goal was out the window and was concerned the pain might get worse and I’d have to end up walking. I don’t normally run on the roads and I didn’t know if my legs would hold up. I was pretty sure I was 2nd woman at that point so I figured I could at least try and hold on to that position for the rest of the race.
A friend of Kristine’s – Christina, lives in Kansas (she’s come to visit our gym a few times) and drove down with her boyfriend, Vince, and another friend, Merissa, to crew and pace me through the night. They met me at the mile 67 aid station. At that point, the lead woman was about 30 minutes ahead of me. I told Christina there was no way I was going to break 20 hours (I was a little bummed). Anyway, we ran together for 10 miles and then Vince and Merissa ran with me. I finally started to get my 2nd wind and picked up the pace. The pain went away (or I finally successfully blocked it out) and I felt fantastic. I kept pushing the pace as we got further and further along. I knew by the time we hit 86 miles that I’d be able to get under 20 hours. I didn’t think I’d be able to catch the lead girl but I was definitely trying to and looking ahead for any sight of her.
When we were about a mile and a half from the finish, Vince told me the lead girl was up ahead and she looked like she was walking (he was driving the car and crewing at that point). Merissa and I took off after her. I still couldn’t really see her ahead and wasn’t sure how close the finish was or if I’d overtake her by then. Finally we got close to her and she was running, but not running fast enough! I passed her a half mile from the finish line. Merissa kept looking back and checking to see how far she was behind us. I was running as hard as I could and prayed that she wouldn’t catch back up with me (that would have sucked big time). We finished at a high school, on the track. As I ran the track I knew I was going to win and I was way ahead of my goal. It was an amazing feeling. I have to say I yelled and did a few fist pumps (I’m a total dork). I crossed the finish at 19:21. The girl I passed ended up a minute and nine seconds behind me.
I found out I was 11th overall. There were 167 starters and 133 finishers. There were 37 women that started and 29 that finished. It was a great run. Did I love running the roads? No. Will I run roads again? Most likely. Will I take some time off now? Yes. It’s been a great year and it was really nice to end the season with a successful race :-)