C & O under 24 hours, I thought I could totally run 100 miles again, lower my time and maybe even run more than a 100. It seemed like running a short loop would make a lot of things easier. I would have access to my crew and aid pretty much whenever I wanted and I wouldn't have to carry much with me, I thought it would be nice to run an ultra without a pack.
Of course, Emir thought it sounded absolutely awful but did agree to be my crew. He also promised to bring his unicorn head to entertain me however he forgot it. I'm still trying to work past that, but it's really hard.
As I was getting ready, I realized I had a woman emergency which I was not prepared like I thought because I had taken those supplies out of our bin for some reason. UGH! I was walking towards the bathroom when I ran into fellow Altra ambassador Megan who I had met online but not in person. I said "nice to meet you, do you have a tampon?" And just like a true ultra runner, she didn't blink an eye, reached into her supplies and said "here ya go, sorry I don't have more" The whole thing made me smile just how well I fit into the ultra world. I think almost everyday I realize how much I was meant to be a part of this group. :-) Anyway I didn't stay and chat because I knew Megan had serious stuff going on as she was trying to make at least 137 miles to make the National US 24 hour running team. 125 miles gets you a qualification however only the top 6 make the team and as it stood, someone would need at least 136miles. Megan was able to get 141 miles, so amazing. I was in awe watching her fly around that loop for 24 hours. It was worth it to be there just to watch that!
Anyway, I myself had some lofty goals going into this race. I felt like I had learned a lot and improved a lot since my 23:45 at C&O canal, so I figured 100 miles for sure. I would definitely not be happy with anything less than 100. That said, my other main goal was to PR the 100 miles so I needed to run 100 miles in less than 23:45. Also given this was a mile loop where I didn't have to carry stuff and had constant support from Emir, I thought I could go faster longer than C&O. I also thought it being a paved loop rather than trail, I would go faster longer. So I also discussed a more lofty goal with Coach Caleb about going for 100 miles in under 20 hours. It was definitely a stretch goal but he said I should go for it and if I slow down, I slow down. Which I know is true but I was worried about going too fast in the first half and having my quads blow up like at C & O where I had to walk the last 25 miles. Coach didn't seem to think it was a problem so I decided to try.
The race started well enough. It was a little chilly but with the sun I quickly warmed up and was just in a long sleeve running shirt. I think I ran the first marathon in about 4:30-4:40. I had been feeling really good in general although I could already tell I was not going to like being on this pavement for so long. I could feel pain in my joints already which is not a good thing with 19 more hours of running. I also for some reason starting feeling like I was going to cry, like every 2 seconds. I really have no idea why. Nothing was really wrong but I just felt like crying. This lasted until maybe 32-33 miles and suddenly disappeared. I'm not sure if it was a nutrition thing or a woman issue (my guess it was probably the latter) but thank goodness it went away.
Nothing too exciting happened in the first 50 miles except my Angie called me and we chatted for a bit. It really made me feel good to talk to her for a bit. It had gotten dark somewhere toward the end of the 30s I think. It was definitely getting colder but I didn't want to stop until I got to 50. I told Emir this and he said ok and got all my cold weather gear ready. He also had them make me a couple cheeseburgers without buns for my 50 mile meal. The race aid station was really awesome. They had a full indoor kitchen and would take orders for a wide variety of stuff and have it ready for you next time you came around. It was really perfect.
|Ran a few miles with this wolf dog, he's 17!!!|
There's really not much to talk about when you run a 1 mile loop 100 times. Emir decided to go to sleep after I hit 70.
|If you were feeling bad for poor Emir, DON'T!!! ;-)|
|Just before dawn I think|
Luckily I wasn't alone 100% of the time. I met a few runners on course who I would run a loop here and there with, chatting which was nice. I also had met another Amy on the Trail and Ultra FB page who was running the 24 hour race. Since everyone has names on the bibs it was easy for us to find each other. I ran with Amy on and off which was great. She's an awesome lady and I'm so happy we met. She ended up crushing her 24 hour time and going over 100 miles which well surpassed her goal for the race. I was so happy for her! Unlike me, she was enjoying the pavement loop and wants to do the 3 day which prior to actually running the one day, was something I thought about but after 24 hours of hell at the one day, I decided against it. Trails for life!
During this part, my watch was down to about 15% battery so I grabbed the portable charger. I was having a lot of difficulty trying to get it connected and put it back on my wrist. I couldn't really do it with gloves on but I tried taking them off for a second and I couldn't do anything because my hand was SO COLD. So I ended up plugging it in and shoving it all in my pocket. So for a period of time I really had no idea what my mile splits were but I didn't really care. I think it was mile 89 when Emir emerged alive so that was good. I told him I would stop at 90 for a bit so he got stuff ready for me. When I got to him at 90, I took my watch out and it had completely stopped. Crap, the charger had turned off in my pocket and my battery got too low so it turned off. While I had been looking forward to having 100 miles recorded on my watch since last 100 I still had my Fenix and didn't get any data whatsoever, I honestly didn't care at this point, at 21 hours into the race. My legs were KILLING me and with the amount of time left and miles left, I needed to keep everything under 20 minute miles to actually finish 100 miles in 24 hours.
|yup still running|
|SO HAPPY to just be done!!!|
I'm still happy I did this race even though I didn't really enjoy much of it. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful event. So well run, the amenities and volunteers are amazing. If I didn't hate running on the pavement so much, I would totally be doing the one day and 3 day. It was a good experience and I don't regret trying it. I've just learned that 26.2 is about my limit on road. And it's never a bad day when you have a 100 mile PR.
|TWO 100 mile finishes in 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!|