**** PLEASE NOTE: This race report was made in 2012. Since that time a new regime has taken this over – it is not the same and should have changed the name. As much fun as it was, I wouldn’t do it again now and could only vouch for how awesome it was then. ****
I have so much to say about this run please excuse me for rambling and some redundancies of pics from my prior post……
There are so many people that need thanked in this post, from Joe J. For holding such an amazing event, all of the volunteers for your hard work, all my crazy awesome friends for some incredible training runs (can’t wait for more!), to my family for putting up with what they’ve dubbed an obsession. Oh yeah and to the kind servers and staff at Paninis who haven’t yet complained about our stinky butts showing up for beers and food after running!
I signed up for this race a while ago, and with everything that was going on in my life, training didn’t just help me physically to handle this run, but mentally and emotionally to handle my life. All the training runs, friends and relationships that I’ve made, as well as the time that I’ve had alone with my self in the trails has been a God sent.
I had so many emotions building up to this run. From being confident that I will finish, to scared that I won’t and I then worried about not finishing; not just for myself, but was I worried about letting down my pacers who agreed to take time out of their lives and support me – even though one I’ve never even met before.
I don’t know how everyone else that has blogged about their experience has been able to remember so much about aid stations and what not — but that’s not me. Honestly, I remember having a TON of fun – but that’s about it. So, here’s my “quick” little low down;
The week prior to this run was one of the most difficult for me to concentrate. It seemed that every thought I had related back to BR; do I have enough GU, should I buy new shoes, what should I pack in my drop bags, will I wake up at 1:00am and catch the bus on time, should I sleep at all Friday night.
I live no more than 10 minutes from the starting line (which I was supposed to be there around 4:30am). However, in order for me to have a ride at the finish, I was supposed to catch a bus at 3:00am at the finish line, an hour away from my house! Luckily this problem was remedied by some of my amazing friends; Mike S. and his wife Beth. They offered to give me a ride to the starting line so I didn’t have to catch the bus. A quick 10-15min drive to their house and I was able to sleep an extra hour! I cannot believe that I slept so well!
Saturday – 07/28/12 – race day morning….
I arrived at Mike and Beth’s house around 4am and was so incredibly excited! All the fears that I had and any doubts were gone. I was going to do this and that medal was going to be mine!
We finished packing up the car and headed out. The start of the race was a 6.2 mile loop around Squire’s Castle. These are MY trails. I know them like the back of my hand and could run them in my sleep.
This race is so well organized and planned out that every aid station was stocked with almost everything you could need; from basic medical supplies to enough food/fuel a runner could ask for at a station. And the volunteers? IN.CRED.IBLE!!! As you approached an aid station they would ring cow bells and yell “RUNNER!!!!” a volunteer would sprint out to meet you, ask you what you needed/wanted, grab your water bottle, hydro-pack or whatever you had and refill it. They would help you with your shoes, with getting your gear back on, most of them had a team that would dress your blisters and/or help you take care of any problems you may be having — Like I said — INCREDIBLE.
Rather than go through each segment of the race (which I don’t remember too much anyways) — you could look it up here if you want more details about the course. I know I’m already being very long-winded so I think I’ll just stick with my experiences…..
Starting out I felt strong, REALLY strong. I actually felt a little bad because going into this race we all talked about staying together and helping each other along. There was much congestion at the start and I was quickly separated. We also always talk about running your own race — so after I was separated from my group, that is what I decided to do. I ended catching up with a friend of mine, Jane. Remember Jane? The one that pushed me hard through our 30 mile run? The one that my male ego couldn’t back down from?? Yeah, her. She was running along side of Adam (whom I just met). We ran together for quite a few miles — well ahead of my planned pace and “banking” time. I really think that it was because of them that I finished with such a good time. We were hauling butt and after a while I didn’t know how much longer I could maintain this pace. The point at which I decided to run my own race again was when we were talking about past races. Adam was talking about his last “fast marathon” — to which I replied “the words fast and marathon do not mix with me” and Adam said, “I don’t know what you consider fast but it was 3:19″…. Huh? What??? 3:19?? I soon put on the brakes and came to my senses — I have NO business running with him — he’s a machine and WAY too damn fast for me!
So now I was on my own until I was supposed to meet up with one of my rockstar friends and pacer, Jason. After a quick time check I pulled out my phone while running and called him to tell him that I was running about 3hrs ahead of time, to check the website for my location so he doesn’t miss me at our scheduled meeting point at mile 65.4. I arrived at the checkpoint and unfortunately he wasn’t there. I called him up while I was chowing down on some watermelon and trying to eat some PB&J. The website wasn’t working properly so the last update he received was, that I was at mile 55, in 17th place, 3 hours ahead of schedule!!! Jason didn’t want to miss me completely so he headed directly to mile 80 skipping the mile xx.x checkpoint because at the pace I was going, he would have missed me there too. We decided he would meet me at the 71.1 mile checkpoint and run me through to mile 80 – where I would pick up my next pacer. I was alone again running/walking to meet up with Jason who was awesomely ready with everything I may have needed… band-aids, food, snacks, you name it – he packed it — Thank you Jason! At this point I did much more walking than before. BUT on flat ground I was able to walk a 12:30min/mile pace and in the trails I was able to maintain a 14-15min/mile pace! My biggest thing I needed help with was making sure I was still on the right track. I regularly felt lost. I know it was just me, tho. At times during the night the blades of grass looked almost 3D in my headlamp – like they were coming at me – and almost every stump or dark spot I saw looked like a bear! Delirium, maybe? lol
**** How could not find any pics of Jason and I, damnit!! Sorry brother. ****
We arrived at mile 80.0 check point where Jason’s “responsibility” would end and Sue’s would begin. First a little about Sue. I didn’t really have any pacers lined up – not that people weren’t willing, at first it just felt odd to ask for help. Jason was eager to volunteer tho, as were several other friends who were willing, their schedules just weren’t as cooperative. Then I received a facebook message from another friend of mine, Des. She asked if I still needed a pacer and that she has the perfect one for me. Sue paced Des at one of her races. She also said that she was a “gorgeous blonde who runs Iron Man races and likes to drink some beers”. I thought PERFECT! Who better to look forward to at mile 80! Sue was everything Des said and more! I don’t think I would have finished so well without her being there at the end to keep pushing me for a sub 24hr time.
I do have to apologize tho — I “crashed” at the end of the race and slept for, I’m guessing, about an hour on the ground at the finish and didn’t get to say goodbye to Sue —- Sorry Sue 😦
Official data – 100.9 miles covered, 24hrs 29seconds, 66th place. Not too shabby for my first 100 mile run.
Things to remember for my next 100 mile race? DO NOT change shoes into a pair that is a half size larger than what I normally wear. I was expecting my feet to swell so around mile 54 I changed them, but my feet didn’t swell… BLISTERS were REDICULOUS! And – lube up more!! OUCH – enough said.
Since my Garmin 305 only lasts 12hrs, I carried a spare. Click on these links for data for this run. Miles 1 thru 58.x and miles 58.x thru miles 100.9 — I did forget to stop it for about 10min. or so at the end…. Oh well! lol
So tell me — Crazy or badass? What are your fitness goals – this was one of mine.