Taking my mom and daughter with me I left for the airport early Thursday morning for Houston and we were already in Huntsville around 11 in the morning. I got that nervous feeling like you feel when you are on a roller coaster right at the very top right before it is about to go down. I felt that way till race morning. Like I was just about to jump off a cliff and the feeling only got worse once I figured I wouldn't have a pacer. My 1st 100 and I had gotten diffrenent feedback on weather I'd really need one or not. Some people were like you have to have one, others said it was a looped course so not necessary. Didn't matter really at this point anyway and it turned out fine without one. Lots of people were running without one.
Friday we went over to packet pick up and they had a kids 1 mile trail run. An out and back of the first 1/2 mile of the Rocky Raccoon course. 7 kids participated and Gretchen was the yougest but they made it super nice for them with numbered bids, race shirts, timing and lots of cheering. I went with Gretchen and she ran/walk the whole mile finishing in 15:30 and was given a metal chicken for her efforts. So Cute!
After we went out for pizza, perfect prerace food. Grechen was sleep deprived and I thought it might be brtter if I didn't force my mom and her up at 4 in the morning to drop me off. I put up a FB message to see if anyone staying at the motel 6 would give me a ride and got a response. I was in bed by 8 but not asleep till much later and woke up several times during the night. 3:30 came quick, I dressed double checked to make sure I had all I would possibly need in my bag and was out the door to meet up with Jason and his friend David for a ride. They turned out to be perfect early morning prerace companions. Stopping for coffee on the drive over then chit chating in his truck till close to start time.
I ran into my friend Rick who told me he just decided to sign up for the race the day before. Talked a moment then dropped my bag off in the start area, hit the bathroom and it was start time. Still dark when we started out but with so many headlamps I didn't even turn mine on for the first couple of miles. Getting through the first 3 miles to the aid station was slow with 367 people starting the race but probably good to keep myself slow. It thined out a little by the next aid station 3 miles later and after that it really thined out and I could pick my own pace.
I felt good and kept with my plan to run an 11 something pace till dark then figured I'd have to slow down at that point.
I wore the same shorts and compression socks I wore at both my 50 mile races because they seem to work well for me. I wore a long sleeve technical shirt, a light jacket, stocking cap and went with my Nike Pegaus road shoes. Twice while running someone yelled "nice shoes" that day. I have no idea if they were being sarcastic or serious. I would assume sarcastic but thats my nature. I wore a vest with a small hydration pack for water. Carrying Honeystinger chews in case I got hungry between aid stations, extra batteries, extra salt and wipes just in case.
The aid stations were spaced about 3, 6, 12 & 15.5 miles apart with the start/finish area at 20 miles. During the day and night I took 2 salt pills at every other aid station, ate at least 2 full PB&J sandwiches, mini pancakes with bacon, pickles, oreos, pringles, gummy bears, mashed potatoes, rammen and a few other things. I started drinking soda in addidition to sports drink at the aid stations around mile 40. Mostly Mountain Dew, and ginger ale for no particular reason.
I think my nutritional, liquid, salt intake the whole race was pretty spot on. My stomach felt great and I never felt like I was having any dehydration or other issues.
I felt really solid about my running up to about mile 73ish. I was happy to get out of the start/finish area for mile 60 before dark and was able to get a few more miles in before headlamp time. I figured I just had to get through the next 20 and the last 20 would be nothing. Well the first 12 of that lap felt great then I guess my legs just decided they were done and I had to start walking. I would try to run and there would be this intense pain in my glutes everytime my foot hit the ground. Forcing myself into a shuffle for a small bit was the best I could do and then I would just think about how my foot was going to catch a root at any moment. Walking that last loop was all I could do. It hurt when I looked at the split times later and saw how long that last loop took. Walking it everything seems so much farther apart especailly in the dark. The course was set up so you would pass people regularly except for the 6 miles in the middle of it. It was late and I was tired. I would look at the dirt trail and think how comfortable it looked, how I could just lay right down and fall asleep but I resisted. When I was fairly certain no one was around I started singing to pass the time on that last loop. "This land is your land" over and over again to myself, just felt right. When I finally would reach an aid station I'd grab some food quickly and push myself out of there because those people sitting down with blankets looked so so commfy. Of course they probably were not commfy, there was a reason they were sitting down, probably involving some serious pain.
I perked up a little leaving the last aid station knowing I only had 4.5 miles to go till the end. I finally let myself look at my watch and thought I could get there in under 24. Once I saw the start finish area I started running, seemed easy when I was down to 1/10th of a mile to go.
Finished in 23:25:03 was handed my belt buckle and just so happy to have finished.
Lucky me Jason my ride from a day ago came over, he was waiting for his friend to finish and offered to drive me back after. His friend finished less than a minute after me crazily enough. We hung around for a short bit, I sat my butt on the ground for the first time since the race started. Was nice. Back at the motel about an hour later I was in the shower immediatly because I smelled so so bad. Spent the rest of the day sleeping and eating, eating and sleeping.
|Total Race Time||23:25:03|
Really great experience and looking to do another one maybe in the fall. I think if I increse my mileage a bit and maybe a little more time with weights in the gym I could probably improve my performance. Also really cool to be in a race with so many impressive runners and the race were the female north american 100miler trail record was broken by Nicole Studer. She ran the race in 14:22. I remember her passing by me a few times during the race and she looked really happy and was friendly.
Any 100 mile race suggestions?