We all caught a couple hours of sleep and then the house was roused to head for the awards ceremony. I wouldn't have missed this one for the world! I personally think Hardrock has the best race awards breakfast, especially due to Dale's (the race director's) emceeing. Plus yummy food and a chance to talk with folks. I wish we could have hung out there all day, talking and eating.
Not sure how we were looking so bright and chipper, but Kathy and I (and Duckie #1) were ready to go:
It was great fun hearing stories from other folks and the ones that Dale told. For me, he even improved on my finish line comment, saying that I had exclaimed "It was one damn thing after another!" Yes, Dale, it certainly was!
Breakfast with friends and my Master of Mileage awards certificate:
I don't shoot nor upload many videos, hopefully these will come out OK (the first one doesn't have a sound track). Many thanks to Kathy and Bob for capturing these special moments!
Looking back, as I continue to wake up to the fact that I actually completed Hardrock, I am so pleased with how it all went. I knew going into it that if I could have trained at altitude I would have had a shot at finishing faster. So speed wasn't the goal. The goal was to finish, without major problems if possible, and to be consistent if I could. I accomplished everything I set out to do, and had an amazing experience in the process.
Back in my Preamble post, I listed the things I was most concerned about (altitude, feet, knees, climbing, throat, and "Other"). Each of those categories gave me some level of challenge during the race, a minor problem here and there, things to think about and figure out. Happily, none of them grew out of control and it really was one thing AFTER another and not multiple issues at any one time. I do consider myself very lucky, when many race veterans had major problems and not all of them finished.
Post-race aftermath included trying to catch some sleep here and there, driving many hours, talking John's ear off about the race when I should have been sleeping, eating awesome pizza at Amica's in Salida, picking up our truck in Leadville (a whole nother story that I'll get to eventually), waking Danny in the middle of the night in Denver (Hi Danny!), seeing our friends off, catching an afternoon flight to Albany via Vegas (not ideal, but at least I didn't have to get off the plane), finally getting home and in bed at 2 a.m., and then trying to be at all coherent for work the next day. What am I, nuts? The only one thing I would change is adding a day of recovery after such a big race before trying to travel, much less work!
Huge kudos for all the help, support, love, cheering, hugging, emails, and well-wishes from so many people! Y'all truly ROCK!