Monday, January 21, 2013

Long Haul 100k, January 19, 2013

So, because Chip broke his foot right after signing up for Long Haul 100k, he made me take his bib. I was not planning on a run this long for another couple of months. My only goal was to finish under the 18 hour cut off. I had the girls this weekend so my dad met us at the hotel to take the girls to Mt Dora and I went up after the race. I was glad to be there with Jami, Maria, John and Jim. This was Maria’s 2nd 100 and Jami’s first. They had training like crazy for this and were more than ready. Jim was gonna help them out during the day and then head down to St Pete for the half marathon the next day. I had arranged secretly for Kurti to come up and run with the girls through the night. The course was basically and out and back of 14.3 miles with 2 lollipops and coming through a central junction 4 times per loop. I had a 5 mile starter before 4 big loops. The 100M was 7 laps. John and Jim were going to take out stuff out to the spectator area for us on one of the golf carts that RD Jen Pearson had set up to run back and forth for the entire event. So all we had to do was go to the start line and get ready to run. The weather was perfect for racing and we were off, 15 minutes after the hundy group. I quickly settled in with Salt Shack and Kathleen Wheeler. My plan was to run 8 minutes and walk 2 minutes. They both liked that and hung out with me for a while. Kathleen pulled back after a few miles while Salt and I ran the first 20 miles together. We were having a great time, doing the 8/2, chatting away, and really enjoying the race. Over time, my 8 got slower and slower but I stuck to the 8/2 plan for 48 miles. I had to let Salt go ahead on the 2nd big loop. I put on my music and pretty much ran alone the rest of the way. With the out and backs I still saw everyone plenty of times, but it was just hellos and great jobs. The feet really started to hurt by the end of the 2nd lap, but I was drinking a ton and eating very well at the aid stations. The food was amazing but all I really wanted was peanut M&M’s and pizza. They even had sun screen and bug spray at the tables. The third lap was a blur until the last 3 miles when I go to run back from the south lollipop without my headlamp. The trail wasn’t technical so I wasn’t worried about the footing. I love running free in the dark. Picked up my headlamp and headed in to check in for the last lap. I was anxiously awaiting Jill’s arrival at this point. I was hoping to see her on the 3rd lap but she had trouble getting out of the house with her kids. I only saw them for a few minutes because they were in the tent sleeping shortly after I headed out for the longer out and back. I did have Jill pull off my tall compression Injinji’s and put Icy Hot on my feet. I wasn’t going to put the tall socks back on and wasn’t concerned about my calves so I put regular Injinji’s back on. I have never blistered in them and that is all I will wear if going over 10 miles or running trails. I think I was down for 10 minutes while she worked on me, but that was the only time lost during the entire race. This last lap I realized that my foot pain was the same whether I walked or ran, so I ran. I figured the quicker I got done, the sooner I could get off my feet. It was quite dark and there were a lot of noises in the woods. I wondered if I could dodge a charging pig. As I was coming back down from the north lollipop I realized that I was probably going to break 17 hours and then as I headed out on the south lollipop with only 3 miles to go, I knew sub 16:30 was gonna happen. Then it got even better, I realized that I could run fast (well, fast for 60 miles in) and that if I pushed it I could break 16:15. Jill had said she would run the .3 to the finish with me and I was cruising when I got to her. I ditched my bottles and headphones and said we gotta go. It felt like a near sprint as I filled her in on what could be happening. I ended up crossing the line in 16:13 and Jen was right there to hang a medal on my neck. She was all over the course the entire day and there to greet every finisher. I got a hug and a kiss from Jill and then Jen led me to the food. I grabbed two slices of pizza and just wanted to sit by the fire for a bit. My feet hurt and I was tired, but I felt really good considering I had just run 62 miles, 2 months ahead of schedule. This race really helped me learn some things about myself. The main thing is that I can finish a 100. I realized that I can run with the foot pain. It will slow me down a little but I can deal with it. My legs didn’t really tighten up and felt strong at the end so when I am in the shape I want to be in by the end of March, I feel very good about Ft Clinch. Well, back to training, got a couple weeks off before the next one! Loop Times: 5M Starter Loop-1:00 1st Full Loop-3:00 2nd Loop-3:18 3rd Loop-4:14 4th Loop-4:41

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vista View 6 Hr, January 6, 2013

2013 is going to be my year. I am going to finish a Hundy or 3 and get my 50k back under 5 hours. I got the year started off with a nice little 6 hour race just across Alligator Alley. The Vista View 6 Hour was a race my buddy Chip Wolfe had done the year before. He had just started training together for the LOST 118 relay when Chip broke his right foot 2 miles into a morning 20 just before New Years so he wasn’t able to join me in the race he suggested. I had been doing my 20’s in 4 to 4:30 lately with a bunch of walking and stops at stores so I felt that I could take a shot at a 50k in the 6 hours. It was a Sunday race so there was no hurry to get over there until Saturday afternoon. We made plans to meet a few FUR runners out for dinner and had a great time before driving over to the park. We have been sleeping in the back of the Expedition on an airbed at races lately. Doing so many races this really saves money. Even watched a movie before bed! Alarm at 5am and the park was open. We drove thru the entrance and parked. I was able to get ready and get our tent set up right along the course before the 6am start. The loop was 1.24 miles and had 3 hills, one large one and 2 smaller hills. I made the decision to walk them all and run the rest while not stopping at the tent for more than 10-15 seconds every few laps. Jill did an amazing job of having bottles ready for me as I needed them. I carried one bottle the entire way and drank water for the first 2 hours before mixing in Gatorade every other lap. After 3 hours I started drinking coke as well. She always made sure I had a new GU in my bottle so I never had to ask for anything. I felt pretty good from the start, running all the flat and down while power walking the hills. It was going to take 25 laps to hit my 31 mile goal. I was on my 14th lap when the clock his 3 hours so I felt pretty good about hanging on for the 50k! This was a last minute race intended to be a quality training run, and my longest run of the season to date. I began doing the math around lap 17, knowing what I had to average to hit the goal. I would recalculate every lap after that. I was in the 15’s per lap at this point and needed to average only 17 the last 7 laps, then 19 over the last 3 laps, 20 over the last 2 and I had a full 24 minutes to run the last lap. I didn’t need all 24 as I came in with about 8 minutes to spare. My lap times are as follows: 1-12:57 2-13:37 3-13:47 4-13:16 5-12:25 6-12:21 7-12:45 8-13:44 9-13:41 10-13:08 11-13:10 12-13:03 13-13:13 14-13:19 15-13:43 16-14:06 17-14:15 18-14:52 19-15:31 20-15:08 21-14:59 22-15:58 23-16:02 24-16:28 25-15:55 One other note I have to point out because it relates to how amazing Jill is as my crew person, pacer and girlfriend. She joined me on lap 23 and I was in a serious funk. I felt great all day, but it was a weird feeling. I was dialed in and focused but was starting to hurt as I was digging deep to hold on for the goal. As we started lap 23 I told Jill that I couldn't talk. She said that was fine, she would just talk to me and I didn't have to respond. About a half mile into the lap I told her that I couldn't listen either. I really just wanted to be left alone to finish my last 3 laps. We finished that lap in silence and she left me alone to finish up my last 2 laps. She was even brave enough to meet me for my last 100 yards across the line. I crossed the line and was instantly back to my regular nice ultra runner self. My streak of not snapping at a volunteer is still intact! I sat down under the tent to get my shoes off and drink some coke when I saw guest runner Ultra Marathon Man Dean Karnazes walking around. I jumped up and was instantly hurting but I wanted to get a picture. Dean was so nice to chat with. I had only briefly spoken to him on the course. But as Jill took a few pics Dean complemented me on my game plan throughout the race. He had noticed that I walked the hills and stayed pretty steady for the entire 6 hours. Very cool of him! On to the next race, unplanned but running Long Haul 100k for Chip!