|Beauty after the rain|
Wanna talk intimidating, how about lining up with 25 of the best 24 hour runners in North America to run as many 400 meter loops of a track as possible in one day, shit! Oh, and by the way, I'm a rookie. Either entirely arrogant or downright stupid, the gun rang and I moved along with the big names of the sport. I quickly fell into my "loosen up" pace and decided to shake things out for the first hour. The mood and energy amongst the volunteers, crews, and racers was electric. The second hour I slowed to my all day pace of 5:15min/km pace and found myself still moving faster than the majority in the group. At this point I had to question myself: was this either unrealistic or, if I do slow down am I once again selling
|Misti, John, and Catherine|
|Photo from Ron Ceton|
At the Desert Solstice there are two races, the 100 mile and the 24 hour and I just found out around the 70 mile mark that I was in the lead. Two things crossed my mind, first, I'd really like to win the 100 mile and secondly to not go overboard with quickening your pace to arrive at the 100 mile mark and suffer after that. My goal going into this race was to run 24 hours the best I could. So I decided that no matter what pressures exist from behind, will stay in my comfortable zone. John Cash (the US national 24 hour champion) was quickly closing in on me. I asked John whenever he passed me how he was doing, he said all things were coming together and his day was settling in
|Cool trophy with inflamed feet|
As confident as I was at this point, there was a building concern I wasn't disclosing to anyone maybe even hoping it would quietly go away on its own. My right anterior lateral knee was burning. It was a sensation I remember all to well about 10 years ago when I suffered Patellofemoral Syndrome.
|The very best support crew|
The negatives: There are none besides the fact I need to recover from whatever damage I sustained.
The positives: This was a major confidence boost! Before this race I questioned if I should even run in an event with runners of this caliber but now I know not only can I run with them but maybe, given the day, even in front of them.
|photo from Israel the Runner|