18.12 Challenge Completed!
Monday, September 02, 2013
The 18.12 Challenge is a point to point race from Watertown to Sacketts Harbor, NY. This is the second year they've offered the 18.12 Challenge, as well as a HM option. This was my first year accepting the challenge.
The topography map showed the course to be a slow and steady downhill. I figured I could PR my HM time easily. (My current PR is 2:48) The actual course was very different from the topography map. While the elevation did decrease steadily, it did so over MANY rolling hills, with just as many ups, as downs.
My splits were as follows:
Mile One - 10:55:55
Mile Two - 12:48:43
Mile Three - 13:00:27
Mile Four - 12:09:87
Mile Five - 13:39:47 Miles 5 to 7 were the first time they separated the 18.12
challengers from the half marathoners. We picked up two of our extra 5 miles here.
Mile Six - 13:13:96
Mile Seven - 12:45:00
Mile Eight - 13:21:15
Mile Nine - 13:14:86
Mile Ten - 15:40:96 At this point the Sag Wagon pulled up behind me and asked if I wanted a ride. I said, "NO WAY!" I was on track for finishing in the 4 hour time limit and I wasn't about to let them tell me otherwise. What they said next could have been the nail in my coffin or the fuel in my tank. They told me I was the last runner on the course and they would be sticking with me for the remainder of the race. I chose fuel! (I later found out there were about 30 others behind me on the course that had either been picked up by the Sag Wagon already or had been asked to remove their numbers and continue on as pedestrians.)
Mile Eleven - 13:42:02 The threat of the Sag Wagon breathing down my neck allowed me to overtake my first group of half marathoners. I was very excited to know that I was no longer the last runner on the course.
Mile Twelve - 14:49:62 I continued to slowly overtake other runners.
Mile Thirteen - 14:05:31 I ran with another 18.12 challenger for a bit then went on ahead. I WOULD NOT be the final 18.12 challenger to cross the finish line! (Unless this runner threw in the towel.)
Mile Fourteen - 15:30:09 We made the turn to add our extra 3 miles and a group of 3 runners ahead of me, that I assumed were HMers, made the turn as well. This gave me another goal to strive for.
Mile Fifteen - 15:07:69 I passed the group of three, as well as another runner!
Mile Sixteen - 16:36:41 At this point my hip flexors started to hurt and my subconscious began to feed me discouraging thoughts of giving up. I was overtaken repeatedly by the same runner multiple times. That can really mess with your head if you let it. For awhile, I did. Then I said to myself, "You go ahead and play the rabbit all you want. I'm going to play the turtle and I'm going to come out triumphant!" After swapping places about a half dozen times, he never passed me again. I continued on with my slow, steady running pace and left him in the dust. Moral of the story: You shouldn't pretend or play with a pace you can't sustain, especially once you are already tapping your reserve tank.
Mile Seventeen - 16:13:86 More pain and definite muscle exhaustion but I pushed through it.
Mile Eighteen - 15:30:79 The end was in sight. I knew I was going to finish. I knew they weren't going to make me remove my number.
.12 - 2:31:95 I DID IT! I wasn't last! I wasn't even close to being last!
I came home to tell my DH I didn't think I'd ever run anything longer than a HM in the future. I had already checked a full marathon off my bucket list in June and I had accepted and conquered the 18.12 Challenge. HMs didn't scare me any more and I knew I could tackle and conquer one and still have fuel in my tank as I crossed the finish line.
This morning I woke up wishing I could redo the 18.12 because after analyzing the race, I knew what my strengths and weaknesses were. I knew I had the mental toughness to overcome all my obstacles. Knowing I would have the hills would make it easier than being blindsided over and over again by them. I knew where I needed the Kineseo tape. I WILL be accepting the Challenge again and I WILL be completing it in the 4 hour limit! My time this year? 4:14 My original goal before I realized - a WEEK ago - that they had instituted a 4 hour limit? 4:30 I'm so glad they realized their 4 hour limit wasn't enough and allowed the last 30 or so runners the option of completing it.
So far this year I have completed a series of 4 Frozen Foote Four Milers, DIVA Myrtle Beach HM, Flying Pig Relay, Flying Pig HM, Lake Placid NY MARATHON and the 18.12 Challenge. I have also just recently succeeded in hitting my Moon Jogger pledge of 1000 miles in 2013. Some of my miles were walking, some were hiking but most were pounding the pavement as a RUNNER! And until January 3, 2011, I wasn't even a runner! In fact I HATED running! Now I'm addicted for sure!