143.5 laps (39 miles) over 48 hours!

Well another checked off the list. The Gold Medal Challenge which begun at 7 AM on Sat. AM and was completed approximately 11:40 Sunday AM. Half Marathon (48 laps around the 443m Pettit track) on Sat. in 1:36 and Full (95.5 laps) on Sunday in 3:38. Here is a little re-cap….

Sat. AM.  – Feeling good with a goal of somewhere between 1:34 and 1:38. It’s purpose was a moderately hard pace for 13 miles running even splits. Felt good throughout and ran steady. Stomach was a little iffy towards the very end but nothing horrible and finished strong. Did not feel to tired at all after and was overall pleased with the effort knowing I was running a full marathon the next day. I was 2nd going into the marathon behind the AMAZING and TALENTED Mary Flaws.

Yes that is me in the pink arm sleeves trailing the AMAZING Mary Flaws… thanks Dave Gorski for the picture

And after Sat. comes Sunday and I somehow found myself back at the Pettit to play again. This time it was twice the distance, twice the fun, right? Some foam rolling out the IT band and I was back on the indoor track. I was without doubt feeling a bit nervous. This was the first time I have attempted back to back races and certainly nothing like these distances. But, hey…. I’ve been through worse and it was a challenge and going to be a journey. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..GO! 1st gun didn’t go, 2nd gun failed too. It was the great Chris Ponteri’s voice that started the Marathon. 😉 Chris has done such a fantastic job with this event, and the volunteers were AWESOME.

So I thought to myself, don’t think laps, just break up the time and run comfortably. So that is what I did. I was around 1:40 ish at the half and feeling really good. No noticeable fatigue from the day before and I was encouraged. All went well till about mile 19. I started to notice lots of salt on my face and arms. Something new, for sure  … My stomach was not happy and I knew I needed some electrolytes and needed them quickly. Huge thanks to Dave Jesse for getting me some Powerade which helped a bit and I continued to press on. Without doubt I need to find a better fueling strategy as the Gu’s and a little water proved not to be successful, even after using them for many previous marathons.

Around mile 22, it was all about focusing on “relentless forward progress”. Ironic as I am reading a book with that title right now. When it was announced I had 12 laps remaining I said to myself, “Cristin, all you have to do is count down from 12”. That is easier said than done and each time around I questioned how many laps to go? The running community is special and I was so grateful for the support and encouragement from so many.

With about 2 laps to go I just said to myself, GO with ZERO REGRETS. And I finished in 3:38. I was shooting for anything between 3:30 and 3:39 if all went well. I had no clue I might be at the half at 1:40. I am overall really pleased with the weekend knowing that I have just started my training for Boston Marathon in April and Ice Age 50 in May. I am really excited about exploring the longer distances on the trails moving forward and experiencing many journeys and adventures.

Things I learned over the weekend:

• Mary Flaws makes the most amazing cookies

• The running community is filled with amazing volunteers, runners, and supporters

• My nutrition strategy was a #FAIL and I need to get smarter and try something different

• LOVE my CEP compression socks and Newton Distancia’s

• I am forever grateful for Froedtert Sports Medicine and Mike Ribar’s guidance and help in coming back from 3 spine surgeries and several knee surgeries.

• I’m really glad to be done running in circles for awhile. 143.5 laps is enough for now….

Today I woke up a bit sore, nothing in particular, just overall body sore. Getting a bit more sore as the day goes on but I am SO GRATEFUL THAT THE BACK AND KNEE FEELS GOOD!!!!!! Nothing makes me happier than to know that I am BACK and DOING WHAT I LOVE!!! 🙂

Off to plan more adventures!

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