Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Race to the Ultra" = Pure Insanity

So as many of you know, I completed my first marathon this year. It was an achievement I never thought I would complete. I think that is why I bought race pictures and a plaque to remember it. I actually just got the custom-made plaque this week.

Once I had the marathon under my belt, I thought it was time to tackle another race challenge I had been curious about. So I decided to sign up for the Gasparilla Distance Classic's Michelob Ultra Challenge. It consists 30.5 miles of running over two days. A 15K and 5K on Saturday. Followed by a Half Marathon and 8K on Sunday. I figured I would never be in better running shape, so why not? I had 3 wonderful friends taking the challenge too. And two of them also ran the Disney marathon. 

Day one went really well, especially considering I didn't train and still had some tight hips and hamstrings from the marathon one month earlier. For the 15K, I kept a slow and steady pace and ran with Julie (one of those crazy challenge/marathon runners I mentioned). The 5K was a little different. My friend, April, was getting married that evening. So the bride, a couple of her bridesmaids, myself and a fellow wedding reader ran the 5K together. We even made shirts. April's touting her pending nuptials. And ours saying "Will Run For Wedding Cake." I probably pushed myself a bit too hard during this race, but considering the heat it was better to finish quickly.

Day two of the challenge proved to be rough. After a day of running and a night of dancing at the wedding, my legs were a bit sore. Again, I ran slow and steady with Julie, but this time we allowed for many walking breaks. Our strategy was to finish and not hurt ourselves, we really didn't care about our times. We actually ended up walking the entire 8K, which proved to be a good thing. I was not nearly as sore as I should have been Sunday night or Monday. Definitely much better than how I felt after the marathon. 

In the end, I am glad I took on the challenge. Sure, it was way to soon to do that much running after a marathon. I guess you are suppose to give your body three months to heal. But hey, you can't get big rewards without taking big risks, right?

Hooray, I finished! Check out my five cool medals!

Julie, I don't think I could have made it through this challenge without you!

Congrats to the four crazy Michelob Ultra Challenge Finishers!

Check out all my cool race booty!

Now it is time to put my running shoes in the closet for a while. My body needs a break from all this running. I do plan on participating in a 5K here and there, but the first one isn't until May. So until then, I am just going to relax and enjoy some time with my friends!

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