Aldape Challenge is done

29 09 2013

I finished the Aldape challenge yesterday.  It was hard.  I expected that.  It took me a long time.  I expected that.  I’m sore today.  I expected that.

I didn’t expect to be planning how to make next year’s race better.  🙂

We do the same route as Race to Robie Creek, which is an awesomely difficult half marathon.  We climbed the same hill, and turned around at the summit and came back.

The race started at Fort Boise park, in the dark.  It was twenty minutes until sunrise.  I was a little surprised to find that there were only 3 walkers.  I walked with my office partner for much of the first mile.  The other walker was much faster than me. 

So, from the first mile on, I was pretty much alone.  Except for the motorcycle cop following me for a couple of miles.  At last, he asked me if I was okay with him following me or if he could go. I said I was okay if he left me.  It was much nicer without the putt putt.

During the third mile, I was all by myself again except for the motorcycle who circled around me a fair amount.  I couldn’t see the walkers that had been ahead of me. 

At just past the third mile mark, the course turns to packed dirt and gravel.  It was nice and cool and overcast.  The climb had been fairly intense until then, but got steeper.  The fourth mile marker was far past the end of pavement, I was a little surprised.

The fifth mile marker was hit in pretty good time, and the climb was about the same.  The wind was blowing against my face, and I was started to get a little chilly.   I started to see people who’d made it to the top and were on the way back down. 

The sixth mile was more difficult.  The climb got harder, and I was really getting chilly.  My hands were getting cold.  However, all the people who were ahead of me, who had attained the summit, were awesome at encouraging me. 

The seventh mile was the absolute worst.  I was tired of the climb, and it was steeper by then.  I was tired of the wind and my legs were hurting.  I found my office partner about a half mile from the summit and got a hug.  I kept telling myself the summit was around the corner, and the corner seemed long.  Finally I saw the summit, and got myself there.  I grabbed a banana and water and Gatorade.  And thankfully, I headed downhill.

I scarcely even noticed the 9th mile, the markers were harder to see, which was weird.  I found a port a potty, the which I needed.  I texted my husband at the 10th mile and the 11th mile.  My hands finally warmed up, and it was much nicer with the wind behind my back. 

At the 11th mile, I got more water, and kept up the downhill.  At the 13th mile, the road changed back to pavement.  I had a small climb up to the 14th mile.  But after that, it was more downhill.  By the end of the downhill, I was on auto pilot, and just focused on going from one volunteer to another. 

At last I crossed the finish line.  I estimated my time at 5 to 5.5 hours, and crossed the finish line at 5:37.  My sweet husband was waiting for me, and took video and pictures of me crossing the finish line.  Then he hugged me, and we went and got our commemorative glasses.  Which we promptly filled with beer, which I then slammed.  It went right to my head.  Thankful that my husband was there to drive me home. 

I took a hot shower and took a nap.  Then, to finish out my birthday, we went for pizza and ice cream cake.

It was a good day.  I’m pretty sore today, but it’s a good reminder that I did something really amazing. 

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