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Bryce 100 - So That Was Kinda Tough

I just signed up for this race on a whim. Originally I was looking for an easy 100 miler but one night I was feeling the urge to do something a little more epic.  When I saw that friends were doing different distances at this event I figured the views looked good and signed up.

Going into the race I was confident in at least my ability to finish the thing.  Training was fairly solid and I'm really bad at telling people I want to quit things.  So if no one tells me to quit it's not happening even if I want it to end in my head.

My parents decided they would come with so Gretchen got to come along as well.  We flew into Vegas (the grossest city in the US)  and hung out for a day.  Mostly this meant time in the pool with Gretchen.  The next day we drove up to Bryce found the hotel and my super friend Katie.  Who had driven down from Colorado to pace me for 22 miles overnight.  I just wanted bib pick up, food, and bed as soon as possible.

Everything took a little longer than I would of liked.  Dinner was 3 - 4 slices of pizza then back to the hotel to lay out everything I would need for the race.  I didn't make a drop bag.  I gave Katie some extra snacks to save for me and that was about it.  I really have no idea what people put in those huge drop bags, like no idea.  I can see not wanting to carry something like your headlamp the whole time but how do you know when you are going to need it.  I was in bed a little later than planned at 9:30 ish.

Alarm went off at 4:00,  I was up dressed and out the door at 4:30.  My dad drove me over to the shuttle buses that were to carry us to the start line.  I realized I had completely forgotten about breakfast so I ate a honey stinger waffle from my pack.  Way fewer calories than I like to start a race with but to late at that point.  It was a little chilly waiting at the start for a little over half an hour till the national anthem was sang and we were off.

Start-Thunder Mountain 10.5

The first miles went by quick with amazing views of the hudoos.  Felt good, just tried to take it east and not worry to much.  The trail went up and down but nothing crazy.  The first aid station was there in no time.  Reapplied sunscreen, ate a gel(only because of my lack of breakfast) and carried on.

Thunder Mountain - Proctor Canyon 19

Well this felt a little tougher but kept moving forward plenty of downs to make up for the ups.  Still feeling fine at mile 19.  Oranges and bladder refill of half tailwind/ half water.  Thinking well the next section will probably be a little easier.  About an hour later I'm thinking I should start paying attention to elevation profiles.

Proctor Canyon - Blubber Creek 28

This was the worst section of the entire race.  I know I wasn't the only one feeling this.  There were some serious climbs in this section and the temps were rising.  It was hot out.  Also there were a few areas that while I felt confident going across at the moment they looked like they might be a bit sketchy when I made my way back the next morning and I was a lot more tired and a lot less with it. You know like I step wrong and take a serious fall and cause some serious body damage. 
I ran out of water about 20ish minutes before hitting the aid station( I think a lot of people did.) It was pretty early on for things to feel this tough.  This is really the only part of the race I was unsure about finishing and thought about dropping out but like I said I don't really know how people drop out.

For the very first time in my life I sat down at an aid station.  So it was tough.  I refilled my water and had a piece of quesadilla and some fruit and Swedish fish.

Blubber Creek - Kanab Creek 36

This section was some trail and then fire road I think.  It went much quicker and I was feeling a bit better about things.  Don't really remember this aid station but I'm pretty sure I had a can of ginger ale.

Kanab Creek - Straight Canyon 41

Things got better on the way to 41.  Illinois told me the worst was behind us and while I was a little disgruntle he was cheery and totally right.  It was getting late in the day so things would begin to cool off and Straight Canyon was the station I'd meet Katie at, not at 41 but when I got back at 62.  Mentally it made the race closer to the end than the start though.  At Straight Canyon I had more coke and cheese quesadilla with pickles and water refill.  I left fairly quickly knowing it was all up up up to the next station.

Straight Canyon - Pink Cliffs 46.5

It was mostly fire road up to the pink cliffs but they were pretty awesome to look out across.  Took a moment then headed over to the aid station.  More coke and and quesadillas and topped the water off.  

Pink Cliffs - Crawford Pass 51.5

There was a lot of downhill in this section.  I love me some downhill and I also love getting past the halfway point.  I did quite a bit of running here.  Once closer to the aid station there were a few spots where us shorter folk had to make jumps to get across.  Just some chips and Swedish fish here.  I left fairly quickly wanting to get past the jumps before dark.

Crawford Pass - Pink Cliffs 56.5

I had to dig my headlight out just before getting to the road.  It was more up than down but nothing serious.  Running mostly and then aid station for more quesadilla, pickles, Swedish fish and mello yellow.  Topped off the water and was out.

Pink Cliffs -Straight Canyon 62

This went by fast in the dark,  it was pretty much all downhill and I knew I'd be meeting Katie at the the next station.  I got there just after midnight and Katie saw me before I saw her.  She was all business.  Got me a shirt to put on and my snacks.  I ate some ramen more coke, water refilled and we were off.   

Straight Canyon - Kanab Creek 67

This section went pretty well.  Like I said Katie was way more business than usual trying to make me run everything that wasn't uphill.  I did pretty good throughout these miles and they passed pretty quickly with Katie talking then putting on some tunes.  Aid station I don't remember I think we split a coke.  

Kanab Creek - Blubber Creek 75

I don't really remember where this section started or ended but we can just assume I was more whiny and slower than the last section but not quite as much as in the next section.

Blubber Creek - Proctor Canyon 84

This section was not so great.  I might of gotten a bit whiny.  There were pretty significant climbs here and I felt the need to catch my breath and felt a little nauseous but seemed to get over it as we started closing in on the aid station.  The sun had come up and was feeling nervous but good as Katie was leaving me at this point and I had 16 miles left.  Only 16 miles but it was a long 16 miles.  I gave all my extra clothes since it was warming up again along with my headlamp, had here spray me down with sunscreen and I took off.

Proctor Canyon - Thunder Mountain 92.5

Getting here was a little rough, I took off thinking I was energized and it would be quick and downhill.  I don't know why.  There were 3 huge climbs in the first 3 miles and then it was just hot out.  I could tell I was going to run out of water again so I was trying to be a little conservative but wanted to use it all up like immediately every quarter mile.  There was a small water crossing, I totally got in it and drenched myself the best I could.  It was so cold and felt amazing!  At aid station I sat for a bit, water refilled and iced myself down.  I think I ate something but it wasn't much, wasn't feeling the food at this point.  Got up, next stop Finish Line but it felt so so far away.  

Right after I finished.  I have no idea what is going on in the pic.  photo credit:Michelle Lingenfelser

Thunder Mountain - Finish 100

I may of walked most of this.  There was still a lot of climbing to be had and I was feeling like I was on the verge of overheating or dehydrating the whole time and could tell I'd run out of water before the finish.  There was a lot more people around once I started closing in on the last 5ish miles.  Half marathoners were still out and the fastest 50kers were coming in.  The last few miles were up, around and down multiple canyons, mountains, whatever they were till we finally came down then it was about a mile of road to the finish.  I wasn't feeling great so I probably didn't really appreciate this until I finally saw the finish line, saw my dad then decided I could run the last few hundred feet in.  Suddenly I was good, had some water and sat down.  I really wanted my socks and shoes off but with all the sand that had molded itself into my socks along with my feet swelling a bit the compression socks did not wanna come off.  Luckily Katie found some scissors and cut them off of me.  I was good.

*I finished 88/135 finishers, not horrible can always be better but I'm good with it.  They are saying 92 people started the race and DNF'd. 

*I think my training was really pretty good for the race.  My legs didn't tire out that much.  I mean they ached and were tired but not that bad.  My body didn't feel bad after the race.  I was walking just fine the next day.

*I would of done a lot better had the temps not reached the upper 90's and had I not ran out of water multiple times.  More aid stations would of helped for sure but it's a 100 mile race.  I'm not going  to complain about lack of beverages or food.  I could of spent my money on a carnival cruise if I wanted to be catered to.

*I feel like I improved over my race at Never Summer 100k from last year.  

*Still happy with my training the running, weights, stair master.  Feel like I did it right.

*Only had a 2 liter bladder for water.  Need to figure out a bottle or comfortable handheld option to go with.  Especially for these zero waste races.

*I ate 3 quesadillas while writing this post.  It's like I'm always training.

*So So happy I had Katie as my pacer, made it so much easier to get through the night and faster than it would of been by myself.

*The boyfriend sent a ton of nice inspiring texts through the day and night and next day.  I only saw them when I occasionally turned my phone off airplane mode but they always perked me up.

My friends Leia Anderson ran the 50 miler and Shawn Daugherty ran the half marathon and wrote race reports.  Good Reads.

Now what should my next 100 race be?  Is it time for a 200 miler?

Ready or Not Bryce Canyon 100

Race start is less than 3 days from now and I'm starting to get a little stir crazy  about it.  The way you feel when you go from running 70+ miles a week and spending 7+ hours in the gym a week to running about 10 miles in the past week and skipping the gym a couple of times.   I made an unplanned trip to the gym today so I'd chill out.  Just did arms, don't figure I'll need them for running.  I didn't give up my diet so I've managed to put on a pound or two in the past week.   Come Friday I'll be ready to pounce and the extra weight will be gone by the end of the day.

I not particularly nervous about the race itself.  The travel stresses me out way more.  I'm a throw your stuff in the car and go then figure it out when you get there type.  This time my parents, daughter and plane rides are involved so there was planning.

Reasons not to be nervous about such things as long races

*You chose to do this 
                  -I signed up, paid and made travel and work arrangements to make it happen.
*It doesn't really matter what happens 
                  -It just doesn't. 
*Get some time to yourself to think
                  -The race offers up to 36 hours of free time with my phone in airplane mode!
*Probably won't kill you
         -I mean anyone can go at anytime and you might as well be doing something awesome                                                                      when it happens.
*Get to see cool shit you wouldn't otherwise experience 
-All the views!  All the trails!  All the hours!  Best way to experience  nature is to fully immerse yourself in it.
*Be a bad ass
-I mean if you wanna be a bad ass you have to do crazy bad ass stuff.
*No regrets
-End of life, why didn't I try that kind of stuff.

Made I music play list like last year.

Actually it is all the classics from my race last year but I added a bunch of Rancid and a little H20 since they seemed to be my favorites during all my high mileage weeks.  Flying in this year so maybe I'll listen to it on the plane.  Parents are coming with and not sure my mom would be down with the play list on our drive from Vegas to Bryce but you never know.

I'm packed, kinda:)

Race Prep: Bryce Canyon 100

Now that I'm in full taper mode and Bryce 100 is just over a week away I finally have time to look and see what this race is all about.  You know the things most people do before they sign up for a race.

I picked this race for a few reasons :

I needed a western states qualifier for the year because I might as well try for that
I know several other people who are going to be running different distances at the race
The views are supposed to be amazing 
I've never been to Bryce 
I was having a bad day and signing up for crazy things always peps me up

I read through the race website and made some notes to try and figure out what possible time it might be reasonable for me to finish in.
The overall elevation is a 1000-2000ish, less than Never Summer my race from last year.  Then there is less elevation gain per mile if you divide it out but it's also 36 miles longer that Never Summer so there's that.
Bryce Canyon 100 had last years finishers times listed in a google document.  There was 19 female finishers so I looked up each of them on ultra signup then cross referenced there overall rank and age rank with mine to try and figure out a goal time.  I came up with 27 hours as a hard but reasonable goal.  This has me finishing around 9 am Saturday morning.  I could be totally off on this and things can always go wrong but I feel like my training has been more on point than any of my previous races so I'm going with it.

I now care more about the weather in Bryce than the weather here in Missouri.  Apparently it will get a little chilly at night.  Glad I checked that out before race day.

Now I just have to pack and loosen up my hamstrings.  

See anything wrong with my math or reasoning on pace?

How the Waitress Life Allows for A Life to Pursue Your Passions


Probably means I'm doing something right.  When I first see this the immediate reaction is ugh waitressing isn't a goal job.  While I'm decent at it anyone can get a serving job.  Literally anyone, they will hire anyone.  Now some people can't handle it and end up quitting or get taken off the schedule but anyone can get hired.

There are a lot of upsides to waiting tables.  I rarely work 40 hours a week (I supplement my waitress income with teaching group exercise classes  so I can wait tables even less.) Schedule is flexible.  Don't have to sit down and look at a computer all day.  Might be free food involved.  Have time off when Gretchen is in school so I can go run for hours on end.  Once I leave work I don't have to think about it or bring any work home unless it is free food:)

I do have to work on most weekends when other people have time for their long runs which does usually mean I'm doing a lot of my running alone.  I don't particularly mind it just as long as it's not all the time.

My life goals might be my hobbies and to be able to do them as much as possible.  If I worked a "normal" job I wouldn't have the 20+ hours a week I take for running and weight lifting.  I like sewing, crafting, and messing around on this blog but chances are none of this will ever make me a living wage.

Gretchen sees I work in a cool looking building and bring food to people.  She remembers every thing she has ate there when visiting me in the past 3 years.  She also sees I spend a lot of time running, working out and sewing.  Hopefully doesn't mind too much that she gets to spend extra time with her grandparents since I have to work a lot of weekends (the one real downside.)

While I may hope Gretchen does something different than wait tables,  I hope she does what she truly wants to do in life.  Doing what you truly want in life is what's most important.  What you want to do may not lead to a "real job"  by other standards but finding a job that isn't bad and allows you to do the most of what you want with your life is worth it.

P.S.  All that said I'm still always trying to figure out an even better option.