It's official! I am now an official runner in the 2017 Lake Hinson 24 Hour Ultra race that will be held September 30-October 1st, 2017. After Ironman, the question I had for myself was, "What's next?" My first thought was another Ironman but this wasn't something I was exactly jumping to start training for again. Ironman was a long and hard six months of training. In the last 6 weeks I almost quit because I was feeling burnt out with the early morning and late night workouts. Looking back, some of those training sessions were some of my best memories in the whole process. Once I decided that signing up for another Ironman (at least immediately) wasn't what I wanted to do, I began looking for other challenges. Spartan race? No. 5k with obstacles? Naa, doesn't seem challenging enough. The problem was that once I did Ironman, nothing seemed to be enough of a challenge. Some people suggested that I try to drop time of my 5k or marathon. I definitely have room for improvement there, but that doesn't sound like the least bit fun. As I scrolled through Facebook, I kept seeing where some friends were signing up for a 24 hour race and I kept scrolling. A few days later it kept coming up in my feed so I thought maybe it deserved another look. I went to the website and here is what I found....
The cost was only $35.00 and Richmond County Animal Advocates was listed as the beneficiary of this race. Seemed like a no brainer. The only problem was that I waited too long and registration was closed by the time I made the decision to pull the trigger on this crazy idea. "No problem!" my friend Tim said. "Contact the director and he will put you on the waiting list." Sure enough, I was number one on the waiting list. I just had to wait until 50 people dropped out and then registration would be offered to me. Last week, I got the email:
"Well then....." was my first thought. "So this is really happening" was my next thought. Honestly, I waited a few days before I actually signed up. My original goal for this race was to run/walk 100k (62 miles) in 24 hours. Since then, my goal is shifted slightly. My goal for this race is to complete 50 miles. If I complete more than that, wonderful. So training continues.... I'm excited about late night training with my friend Kristie, who is also on the waiting list. I am a night runner by nature, and my friends are used to my late night Facebook posts at 10pm saying "getting ready for a run!" Which are usually met by "That's crazy! Go to bed! Why don't you run in the morning with everyone else? Aren't you afraid of the people who are out late at night?" So let's break this down and answer some of the questions I most frequently get about my late night running habits....
Easy answer: I am not a morning person. I never have been. If my alarm is set for anything before 8am, I'm not in a great mood. As a kid, I was not a morning person. I've been told that if I just make myself get up at the same time every day my body will adjust. NOT TRUE! I've tried this (remember Ironman training and 4am workouts?) Yeah, I'm just simply not built for mornings. However, I thrive at night when others are getting ready for bed.
I have always been a loner when it comes to exercise. I very rarely workout with other people. I think some of it is that I don't run the same pace as most people (I'm slow and steady) Groups are either too fast or too slow and I haven't quite found the "just right" pace group. When I do occasionally run with those people, they are morning runners, and that's just not my thing. So there I am, at 9:45pm running the streets alone, at my own pace. I often enjoy this time alone to get in my head and workout things that are bothering me. It's not always easy to do that in a crowd. I find peace in running/cycling alone.
There are a few reasons why. One: I'm not a morning person. Plain and simple! The second reason, and maybe even more importantly, is because of harassment. Anyone who runs knows what I am talking about. The sun is out, and you're running down the road and passing cars feel that their opinion of your body is somehow your business. I have heard it all, trust me. I live by the philosophy "What you think about me is none of my business." I often listen to music when I run so that when people yell something out of their car window I can't quite make out what it is. I just smile and think they probably said, 'You're amazing! You're such a badass for running in the rain! How do you run when it's 100 degrees?" But, I know what is said is not ALWAYS positive, and it is rarely something I want to hear, so ignorance is bliss. My music is not loud enough to drown out everything, but it's loud enough to muffle what is being said. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that you can't get a sunburn at night! Yep! UV levels running at night are ZERO, and when you're as pale as I am, you burn! But no one has ever been burned by the light of the moon.
Haha, not really! In many cases, the people I come across at 11:30pm are the same people my friends come across at 5:15am. If anything, drivers are more alert at night than they are at 5:15am when they are fighting off fatigue and their first cup of coffee hasn't kicked in yet. People who are walking late at night are often surprised to see someone running that late and can't figure out what to make of it. A few nights ago I was running up Cotanche Street and someone saw me and all he could think to do was smile and give me a thumbs up. Harmless.... I often think that someone who wants to cause harm isn't likely to go after a runner because most people don't enjoy running for fun, and it seems like too much work. Make yourself appear to be too much work for the pay off and you're good.
So there you have it. This is why I do what I do and why I do what I do when I do. (Read that a few times and it makes sense!) For Hinson Lake, I plan to do most of my running at night, just like I train! I'm looking forward to the challenge this brings and look forward to the possibility of meeting some really cool people along the way.
My name is Jamie and I am an Ironman athlete! I completed my first super sprint triathlon in 2008. I am proud to be a member of the Fleet Feet Sports Greenville Running Club!
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51.2129 Miles - 21:19:03
50K - 6:54:59
Half Marathon 2:10:58
10 Miler - 1:45:42
10K - 1:00:24
8K - 47:21
5 Miler - 52:41
5K - 27:27
1 mile - 8:33
103.48 miles - 6:42:11
2.42 miles - 1:47
Half Iron 8:17:12
Full Iron* 13:19:27
Note: some distances have only been raced once! I know I could crush a couple of these now!