I've never thought of myself as a competitive runner. Sure, just like everyone else, I get that happy, devilish rush that occurs when I pass someone, but for the most part, I simply consider myself to be a serious recreational runner.
I know there will people who will disagree with me, having taking off over 14 hours from the previous women's Death Valley Double Crossing record , made by Rhonda Provost in the mid-1990's, and also breaking a 21 year standing record for a woman going from Badwater, CA to the summit of Mt. Whitney. Admittingly, it has been a very good year for me. However, deep down inside, I know the truth, which is that there are a lot of very talented runners out there that could clobber my double crossing time, given the right crew, the right weather, and of course, Mt. Whitney's good graces.
However, on October 26th, 2008, I decided to through caution to the wind and run competively. I chose a low-key 50 miler in Blue Spring, MO, the BS50, as it humorously called. There was no list of entrants, no elevation map, no jet fly overs or screaming crowds, no stupid chip timing, just a small group of people doing something they loved doing; running!
Basically the course was flat, on a wide bike path, consisting of several out and back spurs in different directions. I liked this, because I could see if I was catching people. Although a few minor bathroom issues kept me towards the back for the first 20 miles, the slower pace allowed me to eat and process more calories, which paid off big time later on. I ended up winning the women's 50 mile division, and came in second overall, less than 9 minutes behind the overall winner. If I had only had a crew.......or maybe if I didn't run a 50 miler and marathon back to back the previous weekend I might have won overall. One thing is for sure, it is time for a two week active rest/rebuilding phase.