Sunday, June 10, 2012

Antelope Island 100K - 11/05/2011



As we drove onto the island, it was like it all hit me at once.  So overwhelming.  I wanted to just start screaming, “oh my gosh, oh my goodness, what in the world is wrong with me?  I don’t know why I think little ol me is strong enough to run around this island TWICE!!!!”  The feelings and emotions were so overwhelming that I was trying to keep myself contained with Emily and Davina in the car but I really just wanted to yell.  Even if I would have been alone I probably wouldn’t have yelled but since E&D were there, it was a good reason not to.  I just sat in the vast massiveness of the island and what I was staring at.  It was awe striking to say the very least!

We were spending the night in a large family size tent.  We set it up in the dark and with 40 mph winds.  It was gnarly and nasty.  Insane wind and seriously it seemed impossible that the tent would actually stay up.  The thought occurred to someone to sleep in the car but I have a terrible time getting any good sleep in car, unless of course it’s moving and then I sleep like a baby.  As it was, I felt like I hardly got any sleep in the tent so the decision to set up the tent and get organized felt like the right thing to do.  By the time the tent was up, clothes were changed and the Nathans packed and ready for the next day, lights out happened about 9:30.  I lay in my sleeping bag trying to keep my mind off of what I was going to be doing the next day.  I knew as soon as I got to sleep I’d be fine but finding sleep was proving to be difficult.  I finally got to sleep close to 11.  It was gale force winds and snow outside.  I woke up at 2AM to silence.  Apparently the wind had stopped.  I woke up again at 4:38AM and never went back to sleep.  I went to the bathroom, Emily went over and got her and I coffee because she’s a honey like that.  I was trying desperately to eat a banana. 

When it was time, we all three went over to the tent, I filled my Nathan with water and got it on.  We listened to the pre-race summary.  We walked over to the side of the tent and the RD took his foot and dragged it across and said “this is the start line”.  He counted down from about 5 and we were off.  I realized as he was drawing the start/finish line that I had forgotten to hook on my gators so I was quickly trying to take care of that with my ice cube fingers.  Not the most productive thing to be doing as the RD is counting down from 5 but its what I was doing. 

It was snowing out, the wind was blowing and I knew I just needed to hang in there and get through the very beginning which I assumed would be climbing (and it was) and then wait until the sun came up and everything would be fine.  I reached the first two AS in the dark…it was nice to reach the first one.  Someone in front of me said “YES! FINALLY” and I knew something good was around the bend.  AS #1 Elephant Head.  Course changes because of the beach being underwater added some additional elevation gain, albeit very minimal.  Also the second AS was only 2 miles after the first one.  It was called Death Valley but it was not only NOT in a valley but also was in the middle of an assent.  The 3rd AS was then about 7ish miles out.  I was thinking after the first two AS that I felt so amazing. I couldn’t imagine that things could get any better…(other than actually finishing) and that’s when things actually took a turn.  My norm is to go #2 in the morning the day of a race.  Each time I’ve camped prior to a race, I’m not able to go when I need to prior to the race start.  So frustrating! So from about mile 8 until mile 13 when I FINALLY made myself take a pit stop, I was in utter misery mode with running until my poop almost came out and then walking until I knew it was not going to come out w/o my permission.  When I realized there was not going to be a “private pit stop” I stopped at the closest thing I could find.  It was a rock climb that took literally added 12 min to my mile.  It was so distressing and frustrating.  Once I got back on the trail, I was so frustrated at how far behind I’d gotten.  The person I suspected was Colleen Ford (known only from had passed me and I was super stressed about this.  I know from her prior events that Colleen is a steady back of the pack’er but very solid in her finishes.  So I knew that if I planned to finish under the cut off times, I’d need to catch her.  I didn’t realize but I was within less than a mile from that 3rd AS (North Sentry).  They had warm broth w/ or w/o noodles there.  I had some orange slices which were delicious and some broth w/ noodles.  I drank the warm broth and it felt happy in my belly since I was very behind in my fueling since I was so focused on my bowels for several miles.  Had the run be nearly over, it wouldn’t have mattered but knowing I needed to make it for a longy long more time, I decided to try and eat the noodles.  I could only think of how they looked and then tasted like I was eating brains. After two attempts (the second making me gag) I tossed out the noodles and stuck the little cup in my pack to toss at the next AS.  There was a really nice decent for a few miles after the Sentry AS down to a ranch.  Once I reached the ranch there is a fairly short dirt road section and then back onto some single track for a good long way.  That should have been a welcomed change from the dirt road but it was so muddy and slippery muddy at that.  It got me just annoyed that I was either trying to run on the sides of the trail like I was straddling something or run along the side where others had gone before me.  It got fairly tiring and I did not want to expel extra energy trying to dodge the mud so I decided I should just run in it.  That worked fine until I started slipping and realized I couldn’t see the trail all that well with the very tall grass that was up to my waist and even armpits in some spots…it was thick and kind of hung over to make the trail nearly invisible.  I put my arms out in front of me some to make like a V to conquer and divide the grass.  Not only was I annoyed with the grass but I was also getting bored.  This would have been a perfect section for music.  I also had in the back of my mind that I may be running in the dark in this section on the 2nd loop.  For some odd reason the thoughts of a second loop haunted me for a long time on the first loop.  In many ways, the dread of needing a second loop kept going over and over in my mind but the positive side of that is I knew exactly what to expect the second time.  In this section I got passed by a few fast 50K’ers.  All in all, I got passed by 2 women and 5 men that were in the 50K.  In this section I was so focused on the grass, my irritability and the fact that I was trying to drink every 5 min which I allowed myself a 30 sec walk break and then run for 4:30 and for some odd reason that meant I was starting at my garmin far more than I wanted to be.  There had been lots of times that I lost track of what mile I was on and I like it that way.  I like to have my garmin for specific reasons (to keep a pace, to keep my motivation level up, know how far a specific place is, etc.) but staring at the clock is definitely NOT one of those.  Anyway, I was running along when all of the sudden something caught my eye to the right.  I looked up and I wasn’t more than about 15 feet from a humungous buffalo staring right at me!  It really did look like it was going to charge me.  They had told us that buffalo can be aggressive and to approach them slowly and walk around them if necessary and here I was, off in la-la land running right at it.  Geez…I’m a disaster.  Luckily there was another guy (50K’er) that was right behind me and I turned around to say “Oh my gosh, that buffalo just scared the crap out of me”.  He kept on running right by me like I just talked to the grass and the buffalo didn’t try to spear him so I figured I was safe…and I was.  I really did spend a lot of time in this section thinking about quitting after the first loop.  I’m not sure if that was because I was feeling down about the pit stop that I had or if I was already starting to have problems with my caloric intake or what.  The bottom line was the first loop just mentally was a challenge for me.  The second loop was much better and I had a lot more strength that time around. 

I finally spotted the Nine mile AS and THOUGHT it had a porta potty.  This was definitely not a deal breaker but eventually found that they didn’t have a bathroom which was a bummer.  The good part was that the next AS was only 3.5 miles away. I did need to go potty but not so urgently I couldn’t wait.  Kind of like when we were on road trips as little girls (my sister Amber and myself) and we’d tell my dad we had to go potty.  As my mom (Kathy) said, he’d say he was going to stop but would drive right on past the rest area.  Mom said she couldn’t believe that my sister and I could hold it for so long.  Now my sister and I joke about how we have bladders of steel.  I remember this AS being very friendly with the guy running out to the trail to meet me and cheer me in, asking me long before I even got there what I needed and how he could help me.  I decided to take my coat off at this station since it looked like the snow was going to be done for the day.  It was windy but not so bad and depending on what side of the island you were on, and what mountain was where, the wind was calm or strong.  Nonetheless, he helped me get my coat off and he rolled it up and put it in my pack…looked like a mess and I never did get it back out…so that’s what it looked like in my finish pics, a big mess.  Honestly it didn’t really matter but I just don’t like things usually hanging off of my pack like that.  I like them organized.  It was at this AS that I also realized my pink bandana was gone.  It had been lost at some point between the last AS (the ramen noodle one) and this one.  There were lots of dried and dead sunflowers and the dead blossoms were a lot like Velcro…the rough side of Velcro and grabbed onto my pack several times.  I was convinced that on my second loop, I’d find my beloved pink bandana hooked onto a dead sunflower near the trail…that never did come to fruition though.  Bummer deal.  It seems as though I’ve lost a LOT on the trails in the last few weeks!!!  Three weeks ago I lost my wedding band, two weeks ago I lost an arm sleeve at the foothills frenzy and now a bandana.  Is this normal?  I think NOT!  Once out of the AS I was happy to know it was only 3.5 to the next AS.  I ran into lots of people b/w these AS.  Boy scouts, old guys hiking, just random people.  This part of the trail crossed over the main road a couple of times and there must have been some pull outs where people could pull over and then walk on the trail.  Honestly, no hiking.  I began to wonder why I wanted to do this race since once again, there was NO change in the terrain.  The good news however was the ground had gone from the disgusting mud to a more sandy texture and so the water from the earlier snow had just melted away and did not leave the trail in such muddy conditions.  I was really happy to see the next AS however and I could see the porta potty from a ways off.  I was happy to use it once I got there.  I didn’t need water so I just grabbed a few handfuls of food and was off.  I remember there being two guys there and one of them said to me “see you in 6-7 hours” and my reply was “yeah, that would be amazing” and in my mind I thought to myself that he must be crazy to think I’d be back in 6-7 hours.  This loop was taking me more than 7 hours…there was no way I’d get the next loop done quicker.  I also thought about the amazing sacrifice it was to run an AS and not only just man the AS but be the last AS in line which meant you may be there until the bitter end (or close to it) and also would be the scene of some people getting pulled from the race as to not meeting cut off times.    Just felt very appreciative of the AS workers in that moment.  About 4-5 miles after this AS, the trail turns across the road again and then the trail heads up the side of the hill.  At this point, my garmin was saying about 28 miles and it felt like I was climbing Mt Everest!  I got a little nauseated in this section of maybe a qtr mile uphill hike and that should have been a sign to me that I needed to get some serious cals into my body.  There was the post race buffalo chili cooking and it smelled like barf.  There were PBJ sandwiches I took a few of those which was beginning to sound like vomit.  I felt really good since Jan (the lady I’d lost after my million hour pit stop at mile 12-13) was sitting there changing her shoes and socks.  I checked out as everything was pretty chaotic as some were done racing the 50K etc, and set out for the second loop.  There was something refreshing and rewarding knowing that this was my final lap and I had already stepped on every portion of this trail and I knew there was no part of it that would be insurmountable.  I felt a bit elated and this lasted for a great portion of the second loop.  I spotted about 3 buffalo up ahead of me all mingling around the trail.  I turned around hoping there was some person who knew what to do behind me.  Luckily there was Jan behind me a ways but close enough for me to stop and wait since it was either A: get some advice  from a local trail runner about these massive beasts or B: charge ahead or something and try to not freak out.  I ended up doing both.  I waited for Jan and she had the same concerns I did.  She had wanted to stop after the first 50K.  She said she just felt like she had no energy.  Her husband had made her sit down and eat, she changed shows and the RD, Jim Skaggs told her that she could either call it quits and he’d give her a 50K time or she could carry on and try to make it to the next AS.  She told me that if he would have said if she quit he’d give her a DNF she was going to quit right there but knowing that she could carry on risk free (still have the 50K time if she quit during the second loop) she felt free to try and carry on.  That baffles my mind in many ways.  It seems that I would be spurred the opposite.  Anyway, Jan said when we saw the buffalo that this must be a sign and she needed to turn around.  In my desperation to have a buddy of some kind on the trail, I said firmly and loudly, “no way!  This is not a sign…we just need to figure out how to get around these buffalo, get you to the next AS and then see how you feel.  I’m finishing this and I know you can do the same!”  We went off the trail and went way around the buffalo.  We talked the entire 3ish miles up the first assent.  It was a nice climb with a super pace of 16-17 min/mi…a nice steady walk pace uphill.  Felt perfect!  We got to the top and as we had on the first lap, I’d get ahead during the downhill portions since she was very fearful of falling and probably because I haven’t fallen downhill yet, I have little fear that way.  She was faster than me on the uphills which isn’t hard to accomplish.  We made it to the first AS together and she was already perking up and I was feeling better and better knowing I’d gotten to the first AS of the second loop, found another person to at least be in the vicinity of while running and as a bonus, at that first AS (first of the second lap) we met up with another guy who was running the 100K.  He was a super nice guy who was friendly, asked me where I was from but quickly proved to be a much faster and stronger racer.  His name was Jeremy Ebel.  I didn’t see him very much until the very end of the race but this was where I met him for the first time.  The three of us took off from the AS after maybe a 2-3 min stop and it was obvious that Jan was going to be slower since we were descending and Jeremy was going way out in front.  I was in the middle.  This section was serene and beautiful.  You can see some pretty scenery in this section and it didn’t look like you were going to be running flat for the next 9 million miles so that’s always an encouragement to me.  This was one of the very few sections where I actually felt warm.  It was WONDERFUL!!!  We got down close to the beach-ish portion that was full of gravel and then sand.  What was weird about the gravel was you would just sink down into it as though the small rocks were on some odd surface that made them sink lower and lower with every step.  I tried running on the edge of the path since sometimes that helps but it seemed to really only make it worse, certainly not better.  It was nearly impossible to run though this part, at least not without doing some sort of massive cardiac and leg workout which is not what I needed at mile 40.  After getting through that section, there was a large rock formation that jetted out and once around this section, you could see the trail going up the side of the small mountain.  I could see the tree that I recalled being about half way up.  I turned at this point and saw 3 men behind me.  I was baffled since I knew Jeremy was back there but who were these other men?  Well, whoever they were, I didn’t want them to pass me up too quickly.  They all eventually did but hey, I gave it a shot.  I started my assent up the last climb of the day.  It went well…easily so.  I know I was going at a slower pace than the last time but this was the exact area where I had to take the million hour pit stop last time so I was looking forward to just carrying on through that.  Before I got to the tree (half way point) I heard from behind me, what sounded like a large group of very loud, partying teenagers.  I turned and saw nothing.  I carried on and soon the sound returned only louder and carried on.  I turned again to see exactly where the sound was coming from and over near the rock formation that jetted out (I was now eye level with the top so mostly looking down now) I saw a pack of coyotes all wrestling around one another.  They were most likely playing and just jostling with one another but the sound was just kind of creepy.  I saw the three men below too.  One was emerging from the beach-ish section and the two others were behind him but not by far.  I knew I needed to get a move on and my 30 second stop had proved long enough of a recovery to jet up the rest of the mountain.  I tried something different since I’m not really sure what my best form of hill/hike/power walk is yet.  I tried taking quicker, smaller steps up the hill but that felt more tiring than just the slower, lengthier speed but seemed to be relatively the same pace overall.  As I crested the summit I saw Jan leave the AS.  I looked at my watch and the minute hand said 36.  I wanted to see just how many minutes I was behind her.  When I entered the AS I told them I would take some broth but no noodles and they offered me a potato which I refused.  Looking back I think this probably would have been a key decision for me to eat the potato but I turned it down.  I took the broth, a handful of m&m’s, cheez-its and a PB&J.  I looked at my watch and the minute hand said 39 so I was only 3ish min behind Jan which made me feel good since it seemed like she was light years ahead of me. 

I left there walking since I was sipping the broth and not wanting to spill it but wanting to be moving forward.  Last time I did this I had noodles in this broth and was able to kind of run a little w/o spilling it.  This time, any running made this spill.  So I was doing a fast walk while I waited for the broth to cool some but taking sips at the same time.  I wanted it to warm my belly since I had gotten cold again being on the top of the mountain.  I finished my broth finally and threw the handful of M&M’s and crackers in the my mouth all at the same time so I could get going.  Once I got that huge mouthful swallowed, I was back into my running steps.  At this point, it was a nice flatish section that weaved in and out of some rocks. The trail was kind of rocky but not too awful, more just pretty and a nice change of scenery.  I don’t know if I was only a mile but it just didn’t seem too long that this part of the trail lasted before it turned into a very wide kind of a road almost that headed down into the ranch.  It was a weavy kind of a down and some parts of it seemed like it would weave on forever.  I had a good time through here and one of the men behind me passed me through here.  He seemed like a grumpy old man and I tried to talk to him but he acted like he was running a 5K and to not bug him.  Geez…I wondered if my running community is the only place where trail runners are so warm and welcoming.  Oh well…move on old man!  :)  I saw him catch up to Jan and pass her eventually.

Shortly after this I was doing a good job of drinking water every 5 min still but my water bladder was acting very weird.  I would try to take a drink and it would seem like all I got was air.  And it was like I was holding my breath while trying to suck up water into the tube.  It was exhausting and all I was getting was air.  So I ended up sucking in but still breathing out of my nose and just trying to be careful should any water come out because I needed to keep moving but I needed to get a dang drink.  Eventually a burst of water came through my tube and caught me off guard.  I started coughing to get the water out of my breathing airway and down the correct “pipe”.  I coughed very hard and my entire core, the front, back and sides went into total spasms!!!  It was excrutiating yet I was still trying to not drown in the gulp of water.  This was the one and only actual pain that I felt along the way.   As I got down to the ranch there was a lengthy straightaway that had massively huge puddles. The porta potties were tempting and I really did need to use the bathroom but they were much further off the trail than I remembered from the first lap and I didn’t feel like taking the time to go over to them, nor did I feel like expending the energy to make it over to them.  They were probably 100’ off the trail.  So, after the ranch, you cross over a gate and turn onto a single track trail.  At that point, I snuck in with the thick annoying grass and had a quick pit stop.  I was scared to squat down since I wasn’t sure I’d make it back up.  It was nice to have a change of position in my legs but it was not an issue getting down or up.  Thankfully!  The other notable thing about getting down to the ranch was that it was only about 5:20 and I had estimated on my first that that this is where I would be at 6:45 when I needed to put my headlamp on.  I was far ahead of schedule and that was comforting.  I didn’t think I could let up but just happy I didn’t have to worry about my headlamp yet. 

It was in this next section that I knew I would need to spend some time mentally processing what was about to come.  I’d been dreading the night fall and as the sun had been setting on the west side of the mountain, I’d try to hurry down to the ranch just to catch one more little inch of running IN the sunlight.  It was so warm and comforting but I never made it.  By the time I turned right onto the trail after the ranch road, while it was still plenty day light, the direct sunlight was gone.  With that it seemed that I was constantly pushing down some anxiety about the night coming on.  I have been honest with myself from day one about running in the dark.  It’s completely fine with me if it’s before the sun comes up and I know that the sun is on it’s way.  When the sun is in the process of leaving, it feels much more empty and lonely.  It begins to get cold and I was starting to get worried.  So I worked hard during this section to keep my mental state in a good place, to keep my pace at a sub 14 min/mi and eventually a sub 15 min/mi.  When I would creep up toward the 15 min/mi pace I’d spend some time running to get it down to the 14 min/mi range and then let myself walk again, all the while making sure I was trying to drink from my now very annoying Nathan.  I ran along this way for about another 50 min when I knew I was getting somewhat close to the next AS.  I felt good about that and was mentally deciding what tasks I was going to take care of while there, i.e. someone get my headlamp out of my pack, I needed to fill my Nathan and get a large handful of food, regardless of how disgusting the thoughts were of food.  I also was getting very solid in the fact that Emily said she would try to meet me at the mile 55 AS to run with me the rest of the way.  I was trying to stay very flexy about that in my mind as to not have an utter shutdown should she not be there.  I was trying to deny the fact that I wished with all my being that I would see her and Davina at mile 55.  The thought flashed through my mind that what if they figured out where I was and met me at one of the points where this trail crosses over the road?!  Or what if they were at this next AS (mile 51)?  As soon as I thought those things, I refused to let them stay since I knew that was never in the plan and I would only be setting myself up for failure to hope on those things.  So, I pictured myself running through (in the dark) the last AS alone and going up that b-word of a climb at the end by myself.  I pictured myself getting through the longy long hours I would have in the dark and being successful through all of that.  I was in the midst of finding my successful night running self when I looked up ahead to see the little bridge (the only one like it) where I remembered there was some running water underneath.  The first lap I stopped just for about 10 seconds to listen to the rushing water since I love that sound.  This time was a race against the amount of daylight that was left so I decided I would not stop and listen to the beautiful sound. No more did I make that decision as I approached the bridge than I looked up to see a non-runner person standing there.  This person was in a white hat, blue short sleeved shirt with a white long sleeved shirt underneath with black pants on.  I looked at them since I’d seen quite a few non-running people on the first lap but none on this lap.  The more I looked the more this person looked familiar and all of the sudden, like the sky split into a million pieces of the most beautiful sunshine, the person standing in front of me was DAVINA!!!!  She was clapping and yelling and telling me how strong I looked and what an amazing job I was doing and just about every other positive statement you can think of.  I was so happy to see her I completely started crying…not hysterical crying but definitely choked up to the point that I couldn’t speak.  I tried to tell her thank you and nothing came out.  I tried to tell her how much I appreciated but again nothing came out.  She was talking to me during this time anyway and was running behind me.  I was so happy that when she found me, I was running and not walking.  I wanted her to see that I was doing this strong and I am not a wimp.  Not that she thinks I’m a wimp but in my mind, most people are wimps until proven otherwise.   Anyway, she started telling me that I had about a mile to the next AS and we needed to be there by 7pm.  I told her I didn’t think that was right since the cut off was given for the following AS and the cut off was 8pm.  She said that was correct but she just didn’t want me to dilly dally. J  No worries, no dilly dally-ing here!!!  I ran that entire mile back to the AS.  I was scared to ask if she was just here for encouragement or if Emily was actually going to start running with me at mile 51 rather than mile 55.  I was scared because I felt like the 3.5 miles between AS would probably be a nightmare by myself but again, I’d already prepared for it so I should have been mentally strong but seeing Davina somehow seemed to put a crack in my steel frame.  Nonetheless, I asked Davina if they were just going to say hi and then meet me at the next AS or if Emily was going to run with me now.  She said that it was totally up to me but Emily was all suited up and ready to run when I was ready for her.  I nearly lost all my mental power in one full sweep!  I was so happy and elated and relieved and exhausted and loved and supported.  It was amazing.  At this point we got to the AS and Davina was yelling as we were coming so they would know we were almost there.  She started yelling and saying, “She’s running! We’re here!  She’s still running!”  I felt proud of myself in that moment.  I felt proud that Davina found me in a running state and that I ran that last mile and showed her that I had lots of run left.   I saw Emily and she had the biggest smile on her face.  I knew in my soul that she was excited for me, excited to run and happy to pace me to the finish.  I got my Nathan filled with water and grabbed a disgusting handful of food and we were off.  Emily got out my headlamp while we were running and I eventually put that back on.  I know I got really annoying during this part.  I felt like I had so much to say since I’d not talked to hardly anyone for the last 12+ hrs.  Emily said my pace had been really good and had finished the first 51 miles in 12ish hours, maybe 12.5 hrs?  Can’t remember for sure.  I thanked her incessantly for coming to the earlier AS.  I told her how I was dreading running in the dark alone and she said she couldn’t stand the thoughts of me doing that knowing that she was fully capable of running with me now.  I never let it sink in that she cared about me finishing at that point.  Probably I would have fallen apart.  There is something about pacing/supporting/crewing (I’ve never crewed or had a crew but I assume it would fit into this category) that is like going through a traumatic event or a childbirth experience together…it binds you together for a moment in time.  This is how I feel about Emily and Davina, as though we’ve been bound together for just this moment…bound together for the purpose of success and achievement.  The level of gratitude that I felt toward Emily and Davina is beyond what I’ve felt in a very long time.  We ran along and that section of 3.5 seemed to go by very quickly.  I don’t remember exactly what we talked about but I remember telling her that nothing was broken, nothing was hurting really bad and I thought I was probably fine.  We reached the last AS relatively quickly in my mind and things started to happen quickly after this.  I did use the bathroom (the only porta potty on the course) at this AS and something about taking all the weight off of my feet seemed to make my arches believe that they were done.  I had news for them. 

Once we left the last AS (7:20pm…cutoff was 8:00PM) my right arch started to feel very unpleasant with most running and I was also now experiencing nausea with every run.  When I was walking Emily was commenting on how fast my walk pace was and that if I was going to walk that fast she wasn’t going to tell me to run but that I needed to still run as much as possible so as to not lose my ability to “have some left in the incinerator”.  The two men that I’d kept off of my heels were now getting somewhat closer and I told Emily that I really wanted to beat them.  Well after we left the last AS (6.5 miles to the finish) we found out that the two men that were behind us showed up and the AS worker pulled out a cooler FULL of hard liquor.  The two guys took some shots and apparently the one guy (Michael) ended up passing us and finishing 9 min before us.  At the end of the race he talked about how he drank a 5 hr energy and took some shots and was running like a mad dog to the end. He said he felt great.  Anyway, it was obvious when he went by that I was not going be able to keep up with him.  At this point Emily asked me about Ben’s WIHMER race and what my thoughts were about it then.  I had actually already been thinking about it earlier in the day.  I thought about how this was similar to asking a woman who was in the middle of labor about her next child.  However it really didn’t feel like that.  I said that I knew I had lots of hard work in training ahead of me if I wanted to truly be successful.  I told her my plan was to lose at least 10#, probably 15#.  Then I need to spend a very good portion of the winter in strength training.  I want to keep my miles around 20 miles a week and then hit it hard in the spring once bball and dance are about done.  We counted down some cool trail mile markers from 4 down to 1 and at the 1 marker.  Around the 3ish mile marker Jeremy caught back up with us and while I was a bit defeated I knew that my pace had slowed significantly since I was only running about 10% of each mile, at least that’s how much of it was running in my memory.  I think I had about a 16-17 min/mi pace through here which is really defeating (in hind sight) but that’s ok.  I was struggling with nausea and dull pain in my arches when I would run.  Walking caused no problems which is why I was highly motivated to walk at a very fast pace.  When Jeremy caught up with us Emily said, he could go by but he said he was happy to just hang back.  We asked if he was sure since he clearly was much stronger than me at this point, but he was totally happy to just stick with us and little did I know that he would remain with us to the end.  He started talking and telling us about his training and his work.  Said he ran Leadville 100 last year and his longest race prior to that was a TEN MILER! Yes, 10 miles!  He trained specifically for 8 months for Leadville and killed it under the cut offs!  WOW…that’s amazing.  I can’t remember all the details of this area except that Jeremy’s presence some how seemed to once again, lift the mood and even the uphill climb at the end was completely tolerable.  We continued walking down the road.  I had decided that as soon as I saw the tent lights I would get whatever run I had left in me and give it up.  As soon as I saw the lights I took off in a mad ultra shuffle that would make a 100 year old lady look fast.  I heard Emily say as she faded off to run to the door of the tent.  I couldn’t figure out what that was which is so funny to me.  As we approached the finish, Jeremy said to me “You go, I’ll be last.”  I nearly burst out crying AGAIN!!!  As soon as I was done I did the umpire deal for a person being out and said in my loudest most happy voice “BAM!”  Davina hugged me and that felt like I might just fall on her.  I was so happy I finished.  I was so happy I think I still haven’t let the magnitude of what I did last weekend sink in.  It’s 5 full days later and I’m finally finishing this race report.  Somehow I hoped I’d have some better stories but as I tell stories to others, they seem to lose their potency in my heart so I’m going to stop telling and just let this report be my story.  That way, my pearls remain mine and are not tossed to swine. 

Finishing times of racers I mentioned:

·         Jan – 14:45:59

·         Michael  - 15:03:14

·         Jeremy – 15:11:40

·         Amy – 15:11:47

Food I ate while racing:

·         Honey from a bottle to total maybe about .25-.3 cups

·         At least 6-7 PB&J sandwiches

·         ¾ of a peanut butter and honey sand

·         A couple handfuls of Cheez-it crackers

·         A handful or maybe two of M&M’s

·         2 cups of ckn broth

·         3 chomps – didn’t even eat a whole package

·         A few orange slices

Bottom line: NOT ENOUGH!!!

Things that were good:

·         I had relatively no aches and pains until the very end

·         Having Emily to run with at the end

·         I feel very inspired by my own self to run a 100M’er.  Is that allowed?  To inspire myself?  J

·         My text from Dad when he said he would be with me the whole way. I didn’t get to read that until the race was over but I cried about it and have continued to cherish that text message for the last 5 days

·         I FINISHED!!!

Things to work on:

·         Fueling and caloric intake

·         Xtraining and strength training

·         Lose 15# (goal wt of 120)

Before the start of the race I felt like such an imposter.  I can’t get over that and seriously maybe I shouldn’t yet.  It’s only been 3 months almost to the day since I ran my first ultra trail marathon and I was just barely… and only in certain road running situations, barely starting to feel like a real runner but in the ultra world, its like starting over again.  I am just a newbie, I don’t even know how to fuel properly.  I don’t look like I have fit legs and especially if you look at my core, you’d see how UNfit I really am.  I don’t have long legs or good climbing skills.  I feel like I have good trail wear as far as clothes, shoes, etc. but that I don’t deserve to wear it.  It just doesn’t make sense but its how I feel!  I hope with 2012 I can spend so much time on the trail that all of this will go away!!!


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