All About the Bling?
I had to have something on my schedule to keep me moving through the winter. For those of you that know me you know I hate the winter and have a tendency to go into hibernation mode. So in order to keep me moving I had to find an event large enough to scare me into training through the winter. I started looking for an event in March but I was unable to find a race that would fit into my families schedule so if I was going to run another hundred I was going to have to train hard and fast. And then I saw the Pistol 100. It was on a date that the family could travel with me to crew. It was within driving distance, relatively flat and then wham, I saw the bling and I was sold. I usually don’t pay much attention to the medals or buckle designs when picking a race but this one was very cool. So the Pistol 100 went on my schedule.
As I mentioned earlier I do hate the cold so a majority of my training is on my treadmill. The Pistol consists of 9 loops on an asphalt trail in Alcoa, TN. I figure since I usually train on my treadmill that loops would be terribly interesting comparatively. Treadmill training works well for me because I have three children ages 4 to 11. When I have long training runs we have “movie night”. I run on the treadmill and watch way too many Marvel movies I otherwise would never sit and watch. In addition, my children have the power to make me run. If I start to walk they can jump up on the elliptical or mini-trampoline and if they are moving I have to run. They get a little drunk with power but it is fun and a way for the whole family to be involved.
As I trained I thought I would run the race without pacers. It was a loop in town so I did not run the risk of getting lost and it was relatively safe to be running alone at night. I had a few of my Chatters offer to pace but I thought going without pacers would work okay. But as the race approached I started to get nervous about running by myself at night. I reached out to David Murphy of the Idiots Running Club to see if there were any idiots in Alcoa, TN that would be willing to come out and join me. He was gracious enough to put me in touch with Amber Brinson King a fellow Idiot. She assured me she would round up some people and not to worry. Okay, so I am a total stranger and she is going to find me pacers? I must admit I was a bit skeptical but trusted she was an Idiot and went with it. We messaged a few times and it was set.
Race day was pretty normal. My family set up a tent by the start/finish complete with a propane grill. They were set for the duration. I was feeling good and running strong. The weather was little chilly but nice, just a few sprinkles. A little shy of 40 miles my pacers had arrived and let me tell you they arrived in style! Lucas Lunsmann was complete with America flag shorty shorts and Adam Gartner sporting a bear hat. Man was I happy to see them! I didn’t even care that I would be running with total strangers. For the next several hours I got to meet two of the nicest guys on this planet. Wow, did I luck out in the pacer category. They were both spectacular. Even when it started pouring rain they stuck with me and encouraged me. It poured from about 9pm until 7am. The rain was getting so heavy the trail was covered in knee deep freezing water in areas. The underpasses were flooded so we had to climb slippery, muddy hills up and over the roads. Doesn’t sound so difficult until you try lifting a leg up and over a guard rail after 70 miles. Ouch! I was determined to finish and at 80 miles I realized I can have a healthy PR if I kept moving forward with a purpose. So onward I went with Adam and Lucas keeping me moving.
I did finish around 25 hours and 15 minutes. This was a 45 minute PR. I was very pleased considering the conditions. It rained and poured but I had a blast. I enjoyed almost every minute. I ran, I danced, I jumped, I sang, I may have cussed a little but overall it was a great race day. The bling is great but the experience and friendships forged during this adventure, far exceeds the bling! Thank you to everyone that joined me during this process and helped me succeed!