Hinson Lake 24 Hour is one of my favourite races - the people are just wonderful, helpful and energetic. I have never been to a race and met so many new friends. The race entry fee is only $24 ($1 a mile), and the support - the volunteers, the food, etc - is outstanding. You also get a tshirt and a pint glass and sticker. (Pint glasses are good, since our house we break them a lot.)
I was really excited to run here again - it's such a fun race, and I get to combine it with a visit to my baby sister and her absolutely adorable baby. We had a complete blast and her baby is now a toddler and in love with me and she's SO much fun!
I got up at 430am & headed out to drive from my sister's in Raleigh to the race. I freaked out when there was some weird closure and no one had any clue what was going on and we were stopped for over 30 minutes.
The start of the race was a reunion with friends from last year. A lot of people remembered me (my signature buns and pink running skirts) and I was delighted to see my two favourite Hinson-ites, Alyssa and Hailey (sp?), daughters of Joe Fejes and Kelley Wellls (not together - they are daughters of them separately) who are BFF at races and they are super cute and yell, "GO PINK LADY" at me when I run by. They made me a bracelet they presented to me on one of the early loops and I really treasured it. Ultrarunning is really special.
Everyone was chatting and helping each other out. Because I came from NY, instead of having a shade structure and chairs and coolers, I had a bunch of plastic and tote bags. Ghetto fabulous. A random runner (turned out to be women's winner Andrea) invited me into her shade structure and she and her husband were super nice - "Oh, use our cooler if you want." "Sit in the chairs."
After around 30-something miles, I was maintaining a comfortable lead, feeling good. And then, a blister...ouch. I had to stop. I pulled a safety pin out of my bib (ouch, not that hygenic!) and popped my blister. I put moleskin on it and tried to run. Not happening. Kelley, who was not running this year due to injury, duct taped my toe and I must admit, it was better than a band-aid. Maybe she should try this in her role as a nurse? Ha. After a lap, it was still bothering me and I knew what I needed to do: have a Ray K operation performed. Eric, Andrea's husband, cut my shoe for me so there's nice big hole in the side of the shoe, next to my big toe. Air conditioning! But seriously - it worked and my blister didn't bother me the rest of the race.
I was running pretty solid, chatting with lots of people. I was pushing the pace, but it felt do-able. I ran a 4 hour marathon, 5 hour 50k, and sub 8:30 50 miler...which is pretty freaking good considering my PR for 50 miles is 8:31 at Lake Waramug. I ate a mixture of gus, a few random aid station snacks, and lots and lots of ginger ales.
I kept going. I felt good, but as the sky grew darker, a pain popped up in my groin. A pain that I've never had before. I began to get worried. It hurt too much to walk - and running was hardly pleasant either.
I made a tough decision - having 3 more 24 hour races this season, and 2 marathons, I decided to stop at 17.5 hours. I was sad, and actually cried quite a bit about this. This was after I tried to lie down and couldn't - I was in too much pain. I walked to the car, devastated, but at the same time, hoping I was making the right decision.
After some time off, my groin is totally better. Whew. Was I overcautious? I don't know. But I do know I'm not hurt, which is really huge. So I'm glad that I"m not, but disappointed I didn't get to do the famed banana lap.