“Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.” – Vincent Thomas
I LOVE things that are Free. I’m a sucker for good deals, and I’m a novice “couponer”.
Except for the Gas $$ it took to get to NJ- everything for this race was Free. I had earned a FREE entry from winning last year, My neighbor donated her points for the Hotel- making it FREE (which I am incredibly thankful for), and I had worked “Free”dom’s Run Marathon Altra Booth- earning a FREE pair of ALTRA Paradigms to run in.
Needless to say, I had a good feeling about this race.
I had a not so secret fantasy goal of 140 Miles, I would have been happy with 137, and marginally satisfied with 132 (a PR).
Race morning was COLD- I needed a cold race for my body to be happy, but BRRRR. People at the hotel gawked at my bare legs, but with temperatures getting into the low 50s- pants were not an option.
When I got in line for registration- I thought, “That hill doesn’t look as bad as I remember it” It felt like a good omen.
Milestones: 25M, 50K, 50M, 12Hr, 100M, 120M- for each Milestone I had a target time/ distance that I wanted to hit. My mini goals were:12 Hr mark 73-75 Miles and complete 100 in 16:30- that seemed reasonable. There’s a fine line of “banking miles” and running more even splits, I didn’t want to risk blowing up.
Miles 1-25: Its always hard for me to find my groove in the beginning of races. It was cold;
my legs weren’t excited to be running. I ran most of them with Charlotte, a strong runner from previous Canadian 24hr teams. Since we didn’t want to give up a good thing we had going, we took a pee break together at 17 miles. You know girls, always have to go to the bathroom together!
Miles 25-50: I started to pick up the pace, and ran many laps with Aaron. He was willing to match my pace and the miles ticked by.
Miles 50-75: These were what felt like my strongest miles. I had gained time on the clock and was feeling great. Ran a bunch with Serge. I added another layer because the temperature was dropping. I ran 77+ miles in 12 Hours. I kept praying that this was the race of my life and that I wouldn’t bonk. My Right arm/ upper back area also really hurt. Hurt so bad that I had to take an Advil to dull the pain.
Miles 75-100: I adopted new crew at this point. Max had started his race, and I would leave things on the table for him to refill when I ran out. This way Max could break up the day and not be bored, and he could get his training run in. Fortunately, Matt and Mike both came to the rescue when other needs came up. I am forever grateful for these two keeping me running.
- I had developed a HUGE blister that encompassed my entire Big toe that I could feel around mile 30, I debated on if I should take the time and deal with it our keep running. Fortunately, around mile 80, I stepped on a pointy rock and felt a beautiful warm sensation in my socks. No more toe pain!
- At mile 85, I realized that I had NOT walked ONE step up to that point, and me being the stubborn person that I am, I wasn’t going to walk until I hit 100 miles. So I didn’t. Looking at my lap data, there were only 5 miles that were minimally over 10:00.
- I crossed the 100 mile mark at 15:41- I was scared, I shouldn’t PR in the 100 Mile on the way to a 24 hr, but I thought of Jenny H, who had done the same thing and if she could do it, I could do it and I pressed on.
Miles 100-121: It was cold- literally freezing at this point. I made the mistake of just adding layers, instead of changing out of my base layer. This cost me time, because there were multiple wardrobe changes trying to warm me up.
- Miles 106- 121: Were filled with 9-1-1 Emergency Explosive Pit Stops. It took 6 Imodium to make it stop! I had a rhythm, and the stopping and bending down was hurting my legs. I just think how many more miles I could have covered if I wasn’t constantly pulling over to poo.
- I pray a lot during my races, God listens when I’m in pain or need to think things through. I also made a deal with God in this section that I wouldn’t run for a week if He gave me the strength to run 140 Miles. (A promise I kept!)
Miles 121- 140: My body hadn’t had a chance to acclimate to colder temperatures yet, and I seriously suffered. The temperatures dipped to 25 degrees. I run on a treadmill if its under 28. My asthma started to act up- I took my rescue inhaler along with my regular 2x a day inhaler to no avail. Because my lungs weren’t getting good amount of air, my legs started to seize up. I asked for Advil and my IPod to help the situation.
ALL of my liquid nutrition was freezing– turning to chunks of ICE! My tailwind- frozen, my soda- frozen, my 5 hr energy, PowerAde, even my boiled potatoes- FROZEN! Matt and Max went and warmed up my potatoes more times than I can count.
The only thing warm that I could stomach at the Aid station was chicken broth- I am a
devout vegetarian, and I had a “to Hell with it” moment. I was so cold; I just needed something to warm my insides. So I drank the broth. Only to find out at the end of the race when I made the suggestion of having veggie broth on hand that there was a pot on the stove all night that the volunteers weren’t aware of… DOH!
Before the race, I had the discussion with Max that he needed to push me, not to accept any of my doubts or excuses and to be mean if he had to. With 3 hours to go, I didn’t think I could hit 140, I was spiraling downward in my negative thinking. He told me “Don’t be a vagina and man up” this made me laugh and with some words of encouragement from Charlotte, I quickly got back to work. Thank you Helen for starting that joke at the Ring.
Those last 3 hours I was doing the “Ireland Shuffle” I tried to push my body to run harder, but ended up in coughing spells and unable to breathe. So I shuffled and walked different sections in my mind that made sense.
When I completed my 140th lap- I was in tears, it hurt so good.
Now to cross my fingers that this performance is enough to represent the United States in Ireland next July.
Tailwind- A LOT
12oz bag of pretzels- THE ENITRE BAG.
5 cans of Pepsi Max
2 5 hr. energy
5-6 boiled red potatoes
2-3 bottles of watered down PowerAde.
Huge Thanks to: