Saturday, November 24, 2012

Run Turkey Run Half Marathon, Day 2

I really didn't have too much time to bask in the glory of my Quarry Turkey PR, as I had to jump in the car and drive 120 miles to the next half marathon! By the end of this weekend, I will have completed 55.5 miles, and Run Turkey Run Day 2 will undoubtedly be the toughest of the five races. To psyche myself out, I kept saying over and over again in my head that this is like a 12 hour race with a big break in the middle. I can certainly get a marathon distance in 12 hours with a nice 3 hour rest in the middle, right? What I didn't account for was daylight savings time and the fact that the park where the race was held would close at sun down.

Very scenic by day, but when the sun went away, The Headless Horse Man lurked.

Jennifer Walker and I arrived at the start line a little after 3pm. The two of us knew that we only had a four hour window to get this done so we booked it. We kept telling ourselves that all we had to do was go 6.55 miles out and back. We kept a solid power walk pace up to about mile 7 before Mother Nature dimmed the lights. As it got darker and we got slower, we both knew that we had to split up. With the park closing their gates at sun down, there was no way we would be able to make it back to the car at the rate we were going. We figured if I ran the final 10k, I could get there before the gate locked us in. 

It not only got darker, but it also got colder. I ran like my life depended it on. I kept a solid speedy pace, which quite frankly shocked me, as I had just run a 2:06 half marathon a few hours before. The adrenaline kept me going. Well, that and the fact that in my mind the Headless Horse Man was chasing me! At about mile 11, I received a call from race director Tracy letting me know that my time was running out. It felt like that scene from the movie Krull when the Widow of the Web gives Ynir the sand from the enchanted hourglass, and he only had minutes to escape the Crystal Spider. (WHOA, did I just completely geek out there? Yeah, Krull was one of my favorite films as a kid.) I thanked Tracy for her warning and I continued to run. 

When I finally hit mile 13.1 and turned into the parking lot, I saw a vehicle with it's lights on waiting for me. At first I thought it was the park ranger, but upon closer inspection, I realized it was fellow runner Chris Wallen, who also took the late start and was waiting for me. Chris let me know that he talked the park ranger in keeping the gates open until I was done. I thanked him for saving our butts! It felt great knowing that I ran strong and got the job done. I congratulated Chris and then moved the car outside of the park to wait for Jennifer to finish her race.

Thanks for saving our butts, Chris!

42.4 miles in three days completed! I only have one half marathon left and I complete my 55.5 mile Thanksgiving weekend. Jennifer and I were absolutely beat when we made it back to the Doggie Nanny's place. We took our finish line photo and then passed out.

Just one more and we're done!

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