Tuesday to Wednesday- Trip started at 3:10 am. I stayed at Joe's house because he was taking me to the airport. We got out and hit the road by 3:30am. Not soon after starting out did we get trapped in a complete white out. You could not see the road at all. It was horible we were afraid we were going to be late as my flight was leaving I believe at 6:50am. Well we dealt with some more white out conditions but finally made our way to Idaho Falls, only 5-10 minutes later then planned. Well when we got there we found out the airport didn't open until 5:30 so we had to sit and wait. Finally we got our tickets, some lady helped us however later on my trip I found out she did not print my final ticket to Malaga so I had to ask the lady in JFK for one. But ok back to the trip when I got to the gate jst as we were suppose to board the plane they changed gates on us and we all had to go downstairs to a new one. Well then finally I made it to my next destination SLC. From there I made my way to JFK in NY. From there I made my way to Barcelona on Wednesday for a 6 plus hour layover. OMGoodness that airpot was horrible. I couldn't figure out what aything was. Everything was written in Spanish and I never took Spanish so I had no idea what was what. So finding something to eat was hard. And that place didn't have any like little stores with snacks or chips or anything it had designer clothing stores and such there. And not to metnion here I lost all contact with the outside world, no internet, no phone no communication period. Well after 6 hours of nothing It was time for my flight to Malaga. When arriving in Malaga they were suppose to send someone to pick us up. Well I couldn't find him and I tred to make a phone call and that wouldn't work, just when I was about to breakdown someone with an IAU sign appeared. We had over an hour ride to Gibraltar. The guy that took me was really nice and was telling me about the place and things. So I arrived at the Europa Retreat Center around 5pm and got my stuff up to my room and went out for a run. OMGoodness I will have to tell you about running there later. But I made my way back and asked about the internet we wee suppose to have and the guy had no clue what I was talking about. GREAT. So I got myself situated and what not and eventually just went to bed.
Thursday- Morning came and I met Jill in the cafe, we decided to go into town and do the touristy thing after we both ran. We went to a mueseum, the gardens, looked at the shops, ate at a cafe, then even went and crossed the border into Spain and back. We walked for hours, my legs were feeling it and I was so afraid I was going to ruin myself for my race.
Friday- Ahh rest day. A lot of people went out to see the apes this day but with it the day before the race and needing to climb up and down the rock to see them I passed. I did my pre-race run and that was it. The rest of the day I rested. I wrote some of my post cards, played on my computer, talked to some other athletes and just relaxed.
Saturday- RACE DAY. The race wasn't until 2:30 pm so to calm the nerves I had to find something to do and our internet at the retreat center wasn't working. So I wrote all the rest of my post cards.
Race Report- As far as a real race report I don't really have that much. It started with them taking us down to the light house at 1pm where it was foggy and misty (the race started at 2:30 pm and my Uncle said the temperature at the start was 78 F). The course had to be changed so many times they just got the final course set up the week of the race. And I heard so many complaints about it. We went though a ship yard and you were constantly turning either direction. There were 2 hills. They were both big to me, but most people only complained about one being bad. The course was set up so we would go out on the course or a 1k and come back a 1k then head out for 4k and come back the same 4k for an 8k out and back and we would do this 6 times. So this meant we had to do the big hill 7 times.
SO I started out with the race plan. I did what I was suppose to do for around 4 or so miles. The course was suppose to be marked every 5k which is was not I think I have 4 different splits and one was 46k because all you had to do was the final 4k at the turn around, could have figured out that mark on my own. SO I stated out on pace and doing what I was told to do. And I ended up running with Jill at the beginning of the race. Then she wanted to slow down so I ended up leaving her. When I left her, I just went for it. I had my mantra in my head and just went with it. On the second loop I ended up passing Monica (from Italy, the 2009 3rd place finisher at the 100k Worlds) I don't know what happened to her, se just had a bad loop or something, she didn't speak English very well so when I passed I gave her a thumbs up and went on my way. At one end near the turn around I got to see and cheer for Kami again and tell her that no one was coming. That is what was neat about the course, you could constantly cheer for the other runners. Well eventually as things were bound to happen Monica passed me back so now I was in 3rd and next thing I knew I was in 5th. Which was higher then I was ranked. (Before the race they ranked the top 5 girls and 3rd, 4th, and 5th had times of 3:39, 3:39, 3:40 coming in and I only had a 3:46. So I was satisfied running 5th. All three girls ranked 3rd, 4th, and 5th were behind me. I feel into my spot at 5th and got content. I noticed that 4th place was too far ahead and each lap 6th, 7th, and 8th were getting further and further back. So I got content and just survived the finally 16k and the hills. My goal became just get up the hill then keep moving. I started cheering for my competitors at this point not just my teammates. I had fun. I finished in a slow time of 3:52:38 A LOT slower then what we had hoped for. But for the conditions of the weather and the course and my first international competition and 2nd 50k ever. I'll take it.
Side Notes- I got myself behind on fluids early. Me and Jill came into the 6k aid station together so I didn't get any fluids and wasn't able to get any until the next aid station at 10k so I got myself behind on fluids early. I messed up timing on my gels and never got it back then couldn't take them after so long. I tried my 4th one and it just wouldn't go down, so I had 3 gels the whole time. I had trouble with the salt stixs and tylenol too. But I tried my best, it's all new doing most of the work on your own. We were blessed by Matthew Wardian, Mike's brother to have him at the far end of the 4k out and back and he handed me my gatorade each time but the first and gave me some gels so I didn't have to wear 2 tank tops in that heat. Also on the front end were Kami's husband Tyson and their daughter and Jessica, Justin's wife to help. But from that aid station I mainly took the horrible carbonated orange energy drink they had. They also had sponges out on the course and I have never used them before but was greatful for them. I still have a lot to learn.
Sunday- Breakfast came and some of us met up and me and Jill decided to go for a 30 minute run. I wanted to go more because I wasn't feeling any effects of the race at the time. But we had plans. Kami, Jill, Lesley (South Africa), and myself payed the toll to walk up to the top of the rock area and see St Michael's cave and the castle and a few other things including the apes that were just hanging aound. Eventually on the trip Michael and Matthew Wardian caught up with us. After walking from about 9:30 to 12:30 we headed back to lunch. After lunch I headed into town alone to see if I could find a place to use the internet. So I walked around or 2 plus more hours tying to find a place, but was unsuccessful which is crazy because the next day right at the bus stop I found the internet place. But as I was waiting to get back on the bus the Japanese team manager came up and wanted to have coffee before we headed back so I got me a diet coke and talked with him about the race and everything.
Monday- Everyone from my team was gone. SO I got up and what not and then went out for my hour run. Then cleaned up and headed into town this time I was able to find the internet place :)
Tuesday- My extra day there. The day I was leaving. I headed back into the internet place before leaving.......... and I am not even going to talk about the NIGHTMARE trip home.
I am just finishing because it's been long enough and I don't care anymore and have a new race to write about.