Author: Jilligan
•7:00 PM

24thehardway-6 Hour Race in Pictures

Staging my bag at the campsite.

Last minute thoughts and motivation before heading to the start.
Campsite with nice signs that Kallie had made.  We had a great spot for our awning.
What have I gotten myself into?  About to start the race. 
Darn mosquitoes.  They were the size of a small dog. 
This is my favorite picture but I wish my tongue wasn't sticking out.

First time I was able to think about having food.  Even though it looks like I might not keep it down in this picture!  Peanut butter sandwich and chips from the aid station. Oh, and see my blanket in the background that they had hung up to motivate me.   
Trying to sit up straight for the picture but as you can see above, she already had the ugly shot.
Running strong now.
Looking much better now after a pep talk from "Arthur Itis".  He was doing a 27 hour race.

Staking my flag.

Congrats from Ultra Runner Woman.

Mom and Shirley's sophisticated tally system

Author: Jilligan
•6:44 PM
Finally have some time to sit down and finish up my race report.  I was wanting to wait until I had some pictures to add and the time to comment on them.

The timing of the race was harder for me then I thought.  I hadn't really gotten the breakfast I wanted but had instead had a kolache and a do-nut.  Yes, that made my stomach upset before I even started.  It wasn't my usually stomach issues but just an unsettled feeling in my stomach.  I think I battled this feeling for 3 hours.  My mom and aunt went to the start with me to get some pictures.  Then they settled in at camp.  My aunt said she probably wasn't as sore as she thought she would be mainly because she had to hop up every time I came around the loop.  Sometimes they would be sitting at camp when they saw me and other times they would walk towards me on the loop.  They were always ready with something I had told them I might need or want.  Because of the stomach issues, I couldn't really get my food intake going as soon as I wanted.  Just felt nauseous.  It's fun to look at the splits and try to remember if I stopped at the tent and what I had.  They had water, diet coke, candy, ginger, pretzels, and powerade for me.

I told them I wanted to be seeing them every 12 minutes or less.  When I came around the first time closer to 9, they were really worried.  What I hadn't told them was that I was going to run my first lap and then start my run/walk laps.  I had about 5-6 good miles even with the stomach bothering me.  Then I ran into some mental issues around mile 15.  Nothing hurt and I wasn't having any trouble running.  I was just having some mental/emotional issue.  Who knows why or what it was about?  I cried a little and then got up and got going again.  They told me another girl I had been running near was also crying at that point so maybe it wasn't as unusual as it felt.

It was a different kind of race then I have ever done.  People weren't racing each other, they were racing themselves.  It was a hard thing but everyone was in it together.  Except for a few serious record breakers, everyone else was run/walking.  So chances are when you walked you came up on someone else or someone caught up to you.  It was fun hearing their stories and their goals.  Since it was a mile loop, you meet up several times and were able to check in with each other's progress and pain.  My goal was 20 miles so once I got my 20 miles, I stopped at the tent to put on dry socks and change shoes.  I lost 6 minutes on that lap!  I walked the last 1 1/2 hours just to see how far I could get.  I really think this helped prevent soreness because I really just wanted to sit down in the tent and never move again.

As the race crew monitored your progress they handed you a flag when you came through the tent on what they thought would be your last lap.  I was able to make it all the way around and through the tent again with my flag.  I crossed the timing mat at 5:58 and then walked what I guess to be about 1/4 of a mile more.  At 6 hours, a shotgun went off in the air and we staked our flags at our stopping point so we could get credit for partial laps in the event of a tie.  I ended up 5th because another girl also got 24 miles but crossed the mat at 5:56.  Looking at our splits today, I was way ahead of her the entire race but she ran her last mile and passed me at some point on the last lap.  Maybe I shouldn't have changed shoes!

Right as the race finished the rain clouds opened up and we had to quickly pack up the tent and get everything to the car before the storm got worse.

It was a great race.  I really had a good time and am thankful to have had the support I did for my "20" mile training run.

I was going to do my pictures on here but I think I will do a second post with pictures.    
Author: Jilligan
•1:16 AM

First let me say that I hope this is like childbirth, while painful at the time you later forget that and are willing to do it again. The race lived up to its name, 24thehardway. As I type my blog sitting in an epson bath there are still runners on the course with 8 hours to go. Now that's crazy. There were lots of people trying to set records over the course of the weekend. One guy was running with a 40 lb packback, one lady was setting the masters record, another made up his own race, 27 hours, and still more. There were handicap, seeing eye dogs, and crazies.

We got to town Friday night and picked up our packets. Others had already set up their awnings so we found a great campsite and set our camp up also.  Shirley started at 7:30 so we wanted to be able to focus on her race and not worry about setting up in the morning. After dinner we headed to bed early.

Saturday was a cold start so we bundled up and headed to the course. We had signs, glitter, and glow sticks. We hung our flashlights around the awning and got Shirley started. The one mile loop was wonderful because we were right on the course and saw nearly everything. As you ran across the timing mats your name flashed across the screen with lap splits, count, and times. Shirley finished with 4 laps. We left long enough to grab breakfast and let her shower. I changed clothes and we headed back for my 12:00 start.

My race report will have to be another post because the water had gotten cold in this tub and it's 1:15 am. Breakfast with my great aunt Sunday before heading home. Stay tuned.

Pictures: heading to OKC, campsite, and lap 1 for Shirley.

Author: Jilligan
•8:02 AM

At the chiropractor for my last treatment before 24thehardway. Packed and ready to load the car when the rest of the group gets here. I thought I was finished packing last night but had forgotten my sports bra and a few other things so I repacked this morning. The original outfits were skirts from running funky but those didn't work out so I have had some anxiety about making sure I have everything now. Weather is calling for 30% chance of rain and cooler temps.

I can't wait.

Author: Jilligan
•10:21 PM

First I am so glad I have the Alter G to run on for several reasons. One of the reasons is that I wouldn't have been able to run today because of this dust storm.

I have my tshirt ready to go for 24thehardway. I talked my game plan over with my chiropractor today. Mainly to remind myself that this was just a race to help my long run of 20 miles seem like fun. I only want to get 20 miles (and not be last). Our race skirts didn't work out so our clothing game plan changed. I also made my son a tshirt since he will be crewing for me during the race.

And the last thing about today is that it was my oldest son's 16th bday. Even though he is growing up he wanted the same thing he would have wanted when he was younger, just a little more expensive now-a new baseball bat.

Thankful today for many things. Feeling very blessed tonight.

Author: Jilligan
•6:23 PM

I had my first experience with my new love, the Alter G treadmill. I was really contemplating not going because I was full of self doubt. I didn't think my cardio was strong enough to run 15 minutes straight. I was worried because I didn't think I could fit in the medium shorts. I could go on and on. Anyway, I went. I loved it. I ran at 60% of my body weight. I ran 2.5 miles in 15 minutes. I still need to get used to the placement of everything on the machine but it will be a great tool. Really wonderful for speedwork when your body doesn't think you legs can run that fast anymore.

Now if I can just figure out how to afford it this month.

After treatment...a blanket of ice. These things are great. I found them at wally world and you can cut them into whatever size you need. I hold them in place with plastic packing wrap.

Author: Jilligan
•4:00 PM

The best thing about the day after a long run is getting to go to the chiro for an adjustment. And it's a day off! Now for a little tens and ice.

Author: Jilligan
•9:16 PM

I did my best to stay on the park trail and I made it for 10 miles but then I ran out of daylight. I came home and changed out of my trail shoes and headed back out. I tried to avoid hills but it was just too boring. I got 14 in and ran out of brain power.
I came back to the house and asked for some help to finish the last 4. My DH hopped on his bike and off we went. I had plans to doing the boring half mile loop 8 times but really just wanted to quit. No reason really just wanted to quit. So instead of the half mile loop I just headed away from the house. It meant a few more hills and that may have been my downfall. I made it out one mile and turned around and made it back in another mile. I still wanted to turn towards the house but knew I would be disappointed. We turned away from the house to get another mile but that's all I had in me. Knee started really bothering me. I made it to the house with 17 miles registered.

So analysis: knees sore and being iced, back sore and has heating pad, bottom of feet strangely sore and that's all.

No school tomorrow so I will be able to make it to chiropractor and I should have time to actually follow his advice and run on the alter G.

Found a great clearance sale at a local sporting good store and my DH bought me some adidas marathon shorts. Love them and they have a cute little running icon on them.

Author: Jilligan
•8:43 AM

I am so tired. I took a nap yesterday and was still tired. I slept 9 hours last night and feel exhausted this morning. Still have 18 miles to run before the weekend is over. These long runs sure do take up a lot of time. Plus I have to run in the daylight so I can go on the park trail for a smoother surface but not kill myself because the city decided to grate(?) the path.

I was going to start at 5 this morning knowing it would be defiant to run in the street until the sun came up. However, when that alarm went off at 4:30, my brain and my body didn't want any part of it. Not sure how I am going to get myself united to finish this marathon training. Any ideas?

On another note we did get rain. My son's XC meet was a muddy mess. He improved his time from last week but is still afraid of success this season. He isn't running anything like he did over the summer racing season. Not sure what's up. By the way look at the shorts he likes to run in. Not quite what an elite runner would want but perfect for 7th graders!

Author: Jilligan
•9:11 AM
I have been having some pain in my knee probably since the July 4 race.  It hasn't been the same type of pain as my ACL or meniscus.  It wasn't muscle soreness.  It didn't really bother me while I was running but really bothered me after, really.  I have iced, tensed, heated, taped, and braced.  I was resigned to the fact that it was probably a stress fracture.  I was waiting until our new insurance kicked in so I could go to the dr to get it checked out.  Finally, yesterday I was able to get in to the chiro, (x-rays are cheaper here and he is pro-active).  After a look at the x-rays, we(he) ruled out a stress fracture.  There is some more wear and tear since the last knee surgery and it is clear the meniscus is completely gone now.  My tibia was out of alignment and was rubbing on another bone or my knee cap.  He said it was almost like a dislocation of the bone which could usually only occur with trauma.  Is it possible that this has been out of place for 3 years?  I have had pain in that thigh and calf every since my surgery.  He wanted me to tens my calf and thigh because there was a lot of buildup of "knots" because of the tension on the muscles due to the misplacement of the tibia.  He suggested no outside running but instead to try his Alter G machine.  With a few "treatments" and a few weeks of alter g running, I should be good to go.  His hours aren't that convenient for me since my daughter is going to school with me now.  I think I will be able to get in for treatment 3 days a week and alter g running 2 x. 

What that means is that I probably won't stop running outside.  I just can't lose the cardio.  This injury won't cause anything severe if I don't stop running, the pain will just continue.  With treatment and a few adjustments to running, I hope to alleviate some of the pain.  Just after one day of treatment, ice and new placement of the Tens unit, I am already much better.  18 miles this weekend will be the true test.

Author: Jilligan
•6:14 PM
I forgot to mention that I got my race skirt in.  I had to wash it first because it had a terrible smell to it.  Still can smell it after so may have to wash it again.  I love the colors.  It is made by Running Funky.  We went with the super hero print for the skort and the lightning print for the compression shorts.  I had a blue shirt that matched it but it was sleeveless.  I found another one today at Target.  I really want some knee highs to wear but haven't found any close and don't want to pay more for shipping then I am paying for the socks.  I still have a little while to work out the sock issue.  I didn't think I would like running in knee highs but I really do.  I will try to get a picture of the skirt.  Aside from the smell, my only other complaint is the fullness of the skirt.  It is really a fuller cut then I am used to.  Glad I got the medium(uh hum)! 
Author: Jilligan
•6:13 PM
After much debate about the expense, the time, the nerves, I finally booked my room in Vegas.  Looks like I will drive out with the help of a few willing souls and then drive home the day after the race.  Because of my DH's job change I had to wait to purchase anything else for the trip until we got our finances back in shape.  Flights and hotel skyrocketed so the trip was looking like it wasn't going to happen.  I kept trying to figure out ways to make it work and looking at every bargain website there was.  Because I was going by myself (DH can't go now because of new job), I didn't want to stay very far away from the race sight.  That meant a higher priced hotel.  I felt confident about being in Vegas by myself because the last time we were there was for a youth football tournament and my oldest son and I were by ourselves most of the time.  Since the plane tickets were out, I didn't want to drive by myself.  Luckily my mom and my aunt said they would go with me.  My uncle will go if he can.  So now we have a road trip planned.  As soon as I get the confirmation email from the hotel, we will officially have a room.  Race has already been paid for. 

So now the key is to survive the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll marathon and make it to the Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon 3 weeks later.  I am so excited and so thankful to have family that will drop everything in their life to let me live mine.  18 days until 24thehardway, 40 days until San Antonio Marathon, my first, and 61 days until Vegas Half.  Pretty intense end of year, but I am really excited.

Oh, on the weight front, I am stuck at 88 pounds lost since October 8, 2010.  I wanted to be at -100 by Oct 8, 2011 but don't think I will lose 12 pounds in 4 days.  Maybe I can make it to 90.  I am definitely tired of dieting and my running is suffering because of the lack of calories.  I will be adding more food to my diet after October 16.  Just wanted to try to make my goal.  Time to run so I better hit the road. 
Author: Jilligan
•10:08 PM
Tried my new running skirt tonight.  Creases were much better.  I loved the daisy print but I am thankful to the people at Skirt Sports for the replacement skirt which is a great purple print.  I emailed begging my case for a replacement, return, or other helpful information regarding the crease.  They were kind enough to mail me a new skirt and a shipping label to return the other skirt.  The only thing I can tell that might have caused a problem was a small catch in the seam.  What great customer service!

Long run this weekend was 12.  I got 10.  I got sick to my stomach.  Not really, "I need a bathroom now" sick but just upset stomach sick.  Definitely didn't fuel myself properly over the weekend.  I do great with my fruits and veggies during the week but the weekend is another story.  Plus we were at the boys stock show this weekend so way too much soda and not enough water.  Also, very little sleep.  Overall, the run was good.  Legs felt fine.  Lungs were good.  Nose ran a lot. Weather was nice.  It got too dark on me to stay on the trail so I had to finish on the road. 

20 days until OKC 6 hour race.