Date: January 14-15, 2017
Distance: 101 miles
Elevation Gain: 144 ft
... I cannot believe it is OVER! A year of my life spent planning, training, preparing for 1 race event, 1 weekend of my life and it is finally over. So many sleepless nights of anxiety, race planning sessions, research, strategizing with other ultra runners... all of it is finally over.
The race was a loop course, five 20-mile loops. From the start/finish area you ran approximately 2 miles to the spectator area/aid station. Then you went straight out on a 6 mile out and back (where there was another aid station half way through) finishing that portion back at the spectator area. From there you headed out to the left on a 4 mile out and back (which the entire race I thought was 6 miles... it felt so long!) arriving back at the spectator area we would then head back out on the 6 mile out and back, then would complete the 20 mile loop by finishing on the 2 mile trail back to the start/finish line.
Pace: Stay between 11-14 minute miles for the first 50-60 miles then try to keep it under 18 after that. I knew the night hours would be slower but I banked enough time during the day that I could power walk as needed and it would be ok. I had some miles that were slower when I had to address blisters, or change clothes but my goal was for an overall average of 16:42 to finish in 28 hours. Major goal was "DO NOT STOP MOVING" Do not sit down, PASS go, and collect $200. Just keep moving forward.
Calories: Eat 150 calories per hour from the start of the race, more when I could stomach it early on. I planned to eat my avocado roll ups and PBJ sandwiches during the day (in addition to fruit, gels, chips ect) and my soup during the cold night hours. I planned to have caffeine between 12-4 when I needed a boost, and eggs/potatoes around 7am for breakfast with the sunrise to give me a little "pep in my step" before finishing at goal time: 11am.
Hydration/Electrolytes: Drink about 16-20 oz of water per hour (a little more when it was warmer mid day), and salt off and on throughout the day.
My mom drove out early Saturday morning and started the race with me. She was able to bust out 26 miles with me with no training or fuel! She is amazing! She kept me on track for my pace, and slowed me down when I would speed up. I believe she was part of what saved my overall race by keeping me on pace and not letting me go out too fast. She reminded me to eat frequently and stay hydrated. We had a lot of fun on this trail course and chatted about everything. At one point we saw a beaver.... err, maybe an otter? It was eating a stick so it had to be a beaver, but it sure looked like an otter. We decided it was a Bevotter and we named him Pink Floyd (2 beaver-otters, so Pink & Floyd) reminding me every time I passed to stay "comfortably numb". I loved seeing that little guy. My mom headed home and I was alone for a few hours. During this time (miles 27-42 or so) I was on my own for support.
|The Bevotter eating his stick.|
This is where I failed. Several times I came through my tent and did not eat my planned food because it was not "ready". I SHOULD have taken the time to prepare it but I didn't, I figured when Justin arrived he could prepare it and I would get it next round. This was Critical Mistake #1. I had no idea how long Justin was going to be gone so I just kept going. I ate bits here and there but certainly nothing close to what I had hoped for at this point. I felt great physically but was starting to struggle a bit with some indigestion.
|Spectator Area a.k.a. Tent City|
|Please don't rain!|
|Some fog rolling in-raptors were definitely out there|
Jason was SO ANXIOUS to get out and running after spending the day in the car, then sitting while others ran. He joined me for 20 miles. We walked a LOT of this 20 miles. I mean, a lot. I couldn't shake the indigestion and every time I started running I felt nauseous like I was going to throw up. Over and over I reminded myself "this will pass, stay positive". UGH! It didn't pass. I didn't eat. Jason was a trooper. We talked a lot about velociraptors, which was our explanation to all the creepy sounds when you are on a trail in the dark after almost 24 hours with no sleep. Raptors. It was a funny joke, and kept us entertained for awhile. He tried to trip me with a vine he tripped on (which then pulled up almost tripping me, ya Jason I know you were trying to make me fall so the scary trail raptors would get me and not you). Somehow I managed not to fall - thank you Jesus! He also used my amazing headlamp to make shadow puppets while we power walked. Turns out, he's pretty good at shadow puppets! Haha. I started falling into a dark place toward the end of his 20 mile stretch with me. Jason quickly, silently prayed for me, which was probably one of my favorite moments of the whole race. I didn't miraculously get better, but this did remind me of the bigger picture, and my life wasn't just this race. No matter what happened there are bigger things going on than how I feel RIGHT NOW, in this moment. Although I entered into a very dark place after this, I believe his prayer was also a turning point for me in the race, and without it I may not have had the push to continue.
|100k! Had indigestion about 8 miles at this point,|
otherwise was feeling fantastic!
I was growing very frustrated with feeling so sick and not being able to shake it. My body felt good to run but every time I started I felt like I would throw up. SO FRUSTRATING. #GIproblems
This was going to be my FINAL loop. My 5th and final 20 mile loop. Oh. My. Goodness. Mile 80 I text Justin and asked if he were coming back. I told him I was struggling with feeling so sick and I just wanted to cry. He arrived around mile 83 (2:30 am) and continued walking with me. By the time we hit mile 88 I was weak, I was shivering cold unable to produce enough heat to warm my body. I could not walk straight, I was dry heaving, my eyes were blurry and I had no energy left. I started hallucinating, and that freaked both of us out. I won't go much into details, but I was certain there were disco balls buried along the trail. I was so certain that I kept reaching down to touch them and pull them up, but when I would they would disintegrate in my hands (sand). I didn't understand what was happening. I was very confused and disoriented. He reassured me I just needed to get food at the next aid station, and my warm change of clothes. We had about 1/2 mile to go, when I tried to lay down on the trail. I decided it was my time to die. I was ready to curl up on the trail and be left to die. He somehow convinced me to power through on what was the hardest and longest 1/2 mile (actually found out later it was only 1/5 mile...) of my life. It felt like hours. Every step was hard.
|My darkest hour. Mile 88, 5:00 am.|
Sipping hot vegetable soup broth and sobbing.
|God said "Let there be LIGHT!" Talk about a renewed|
energy when the sun came up.
They had a chair at the finish line and the race director promptly propped me into it, then awarded me my medal. I received my silver 100 mile finisher Belt Buckle. Again, this prompted more crying. Geez! I am not a crier!
|I loved this woman. What a great race.|
Great memories made, especially those regarding Pink & Floyd the Bevotters (which later turned out to just be otters), Raptors, shadow puppets and disco balls.
|Jason, Jessica me and my husband. Greatest friends a girl could ask for #mycrew|