Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lone Ranger RR

Lone Ranger Race Report

This is going to be a long one so if you just want the short and sweet details here the are. I finished 7th for females, 25th overall, ran 84.5 miles in 17hrs officially, 92miles in a few more hrs unofficially, and, in my mind, had an awesome race.

Ok, for those of you who are hardcore and want details: I dropped Chloe off at my sister’s house in VT and then drove down to Philadelphia. I arrived around 3pm on Friday, met up with Anna and Bethany, and we headed off to packet pickup. We quickly realized that the pickup was a bit of a disorganized mess. You see each of the Lone Rangers had to get their medical stats taken and there were multiple lines for each station. Some lines weren’t moving at all some had no one in them. Some people taken temperatures were doing so with a thermometer that didn’t seem to work and the guy operating the scale was asking the athletes what weight sounded good to them. I obviously opted for the lowest weight possible since that would help me out with any weigh ins the next day. In the end it all worked out. When we got back to the hotel, Bethany’s dad made us dinner while Anna and I went through my gear the first time. Yes, I said first time--I was so nervous I went through it about three times overall. I just had to make sure everyone knew where everything was and what I wanted done with what. Since I am a Type A, anal, control freak leaving all of my running gear in the hands of others is really, really hard. It makes me way more comfortable to go over where and what everything is and know we are all on the same page. Jill arrived and we all had a wonderful dinner. We were really lucky to have Bethany’s parents with us--they were such a big help and I think her dad even made the wonder broth, which I will talk about later. After dinner we went over my gear again and I went to bed, while the girls headed out to get some supplies.

On Saturday morning we got up in time to go down and enjoy the hotel breakfast and then head to the race course. Bethany and I tried with all our might to get the tent set up and did but never could figure out the top thingy that my sister sent with it. We met some awesome folks from a Delaware Trail Running group and got a few moments to relax. Of course thanks to Bethany Saros I had the song “Racing Day” from the Backyardigans stuck in my head. She is another member of our Running Moms Group and she had posted the song on my Face Book page and me being not the brightest bulb in the drawer actually played the song. It was playing on an endless loop in my head driving me to the brink of insanity. I was certain that this could only cause me to go totally bonkers during the first lap so I did what anyone would do and put on my iPod and blasted the Black Eyed Peas, lol. We headed over to the starting line around 9:55 and …

Lap 1: And we were off. I got a few feet into the race and realized I had forgotten to pull up my compression sleeves, so pulled over and did so. I was surprised to find that not many people talk in these races, they seemed to mostly like listening to their music so I followed suit. I put on my iPod and let the music carry me along. The first lap was nice--it was my first time to see the course and I was running with people the whole way. At around mile 5 in the loop (8.4 mile loop is what we were running) I saw another lady from Team Aquaphor and I sped up and caught her so I could talk to her for a while. It turns out Ethel is a super experienced ultra runner--she was really nice, down to earth and passed on as much knowledge as she could in our few short miles together. She was great. Unfortunately her plan was to run a lap then walk one and keep doing that all day/night so we didn’t get to run together again. As I came into the start/finish area, Bethany was waiting for me. She took my pack and filled it while I ran to the restroom before taking off again. I think it was this lap that Bethany had to track me down on a bike to give me some Enduralytes. You see I sort of raced through the aid area and didn’t give my crew a chance to fill all of my gear. Poor Bethany had this stunned look as we both frantically exchanged gear and information and I took off. Possibly I should slow down next time. Sorry B.

Lap 2: The first few laps all seem the same in my head. Nothing exciting happened. Came around the bend to finish the lap and saw the whole crew and they had signs and were cheering me on. It was awesome. I threw them the pack, ran to the restroom, grabbed my pack and a new iPod, and was out of there.

Lap 3: This lap is where things started to go south with my stomach. I made it through the lap with a few stops along the way. The girls had a great new system. Before I got to the chute one of them would take my pack and another would hand me an Ensure. Then I ran through the chute went to the restroom and met them at our tree (yes we now had our very own tree, ok it was just where we met up every lap but it seemed like our tree). Once I met back up with the crew at the tree I let them know something was wrong with my stomach.

Lap 4: OMG stomach issues! Those severe cramping issues you get--you know what I am talking about, right? It was hard to stand up straight, much less run. I just stopped as often as I needed to and drank as much as I could. This lap sucked. Got some medicine at the end and that seemed to fix things.

Lap 5: YAY. Hooray, hooray. Bethany ran with me. At the start of lap 4, she had run up alongside me and said that Thuy (a pacer from Philly) wasn’t going to make it for the 5th lap and was I ok running by myself? I said yes I would do it but dang I felt like crying. My stomach was killing me and I was sick, sick, sick, sick of listening to music. So needless to say when I came around and she was ready to run, I was over the moon. I handed off my pack and switched to a handheld waterbottle. I think we started off running, and then switched to a 4min/1min run/walk ratio. That seemed to work. About halfway through the lap I pointed to a lady and said, “You know who that is, that is Laura Yasso.” Next thing you know, Laura said hi to me. What?? Yes, to me, she said hi and that Thelma (from the first lap) and told her to talk with me. She ran with us for a few miles and they were absolutely amazing. She was the nicest lady.

Lap 6: Met up with Thuy. Now Thuy isn’t a part of our Running Mom group--she is just this super nice lady who was willing to run with a crazy lady she had never met. No kidding--I asked my Aquaphor Team mates if any of them could help out with a lap or two and one of them asked some other ladies who asked some other ladies who ended up being Thuy. So the first time she met any of us was right there at the race and these two laps would be her longest run to date—ever--in her life. I was in awe. So there she was, shook her hand and we took off. By took off I mean the girl was trying to kill me. She took off at a 9 min mile pace and I had to let her know that wasn’t exactly my pace, lol. Ok I had to slow her down the entire two laps…that girl can run. I did convince her to let me walk a few times. We had a good time, she was super easy to talk to and super upbeat.

Lap 7: Thuy tried to kill me again but was not successful, lol.

Lap 8: Jill was up and I was tired. I had to change out some clothes because I was actually cold. It was in the 80s but I had run all day in intense heat and was soaked through. I changed out my top half of clothing, got stuck trying to put on my bra, finally was able to struggle into it, grabbed some food and a 5hr energy drink, and Jill and I were off. All of those fast laps caught up with me. I was tired. Poor Jill, she tried to keep my spirits up but all I could do was concentrate on moving and it was tough. She told me countless stories and she prodded me endlessly to keep running.

Lap 9: Anna. Oh Anna. You and your lovely watch. How I love thee.

Ode to a beeping Watch

Oh watch how I love thee

Your beeps are so lovely

They keep me running

They keep me walking

They chime in the most wonderful way

Oh watch you make my day

Ummmmmm, yahhh, I came up with a few versions of this poem while running with Anna and Bethany. Anna put her watch on a schedule to beep every 3 min then 1.5, so I ran 3 walked 1.5. I am telling you that was the best, best, best thing I have ever heard. I just listened to the beeps and moved along. I didn’t complain, I didn’t fight it; I just followed the beeps and listened to Anna’s stories. That lap rocked.

Lap 10: Bethany was up again. We had the beeps messed up at first but after a mile or so we got on schedule and we just trucked along. It was a great lap.

Lap 11: Poor Bethany was up yet again and this is where I fell apart. I knew I wasn’t feeling right around the first mile in this lap because something was wrong with my feet. They hurt and by hurt I mean it was hard to run because landing on them was becoming so painful. We tried shuffling but that was making my knee hurt. We muddled through. Bethany tried to talk to me but she could tell I was a mess and couldn’t think of much to say to someone who was concentrating so hard on each step. By mile 4 I told her I had to stop at the Aid station for medical help with my feet and I think she knew something was very wrong. We stopped and they said nothing was wrong, no blisters or anything. I don’t know if they couldn’t tell my feet were super swollen or what but dang they were so swollen and bruised at this point it was excruciating for them to just get my stupid socks off. Gosh dang that hurt. We got my socks back on, laced up my sneaks, and we were off. We walked another mile and I told Bethany I needed to get better help. I really couldn’t walk anymore. We checked off the course at around mile 5.1, Jill drove us to the medical tent. The doc and podiatrist came over and checked out my feet and said I had an Extreme Severe Overuse Injury. LOL. Somehow that sounded funny. So I asked, “If I ice them can I go back out?” The doc looked at me like I was smoking dope. He asked me if I was banging my head into a wall and it hurt, would I keep doing it. Hummmmm. This somehow was a tough question for me to answer. So the long and short is that the doc said something about stress fractures and breakdown of some sort of bone tissue and we decided to ice my feet and try again. We snuck out of the tent, checked back on the course, and tried again. A mile later I knew I could go no further.

In the end, it was an awesome race. I feel like so many things went right. I am super happy with my performance and can’t wait to get out there and do another ultra. I can’t thank the girls enough--they totally saved my bacon. Bethany, Jill, and Anna did such an amazing job. This race went a million times better than Rocky so I would say we are moving in the right direction. Wooot wooot


JenniferLeah said...

Your endurance and strength is such an inspiration! Way to go Tara~what a great bunch of cheerleaders too :)

Reyna said...

Way to go and AWESOME POST - your best and Ultra!!! Woot Woot...and CONGRATS on the house too!!!

Tracey Kite said...

Awesome job. You inspire me so much and cant wait for your next race!!

jill said...

i love the Ode to Beeping Watch!

Anna said...

LOL at the Ode to the beeping watch...that cracked me up and totally made my day! Glad to c u got ur camera back. Have you tried running again yet?

Anonymous said...

When Jill told us you had a wonky tummy, I asked her to pass along the sage advice to just fart but she felt that might send you over the edge! Great job Tara-Stacie

Paula (Adventure Junkie Mom) said...

Wow Tara, you amaze me. I was finally able to finish reading your posts. You are quite a woman, and I am proud to know you.
Loved the Ode to the Beeping Watch. Funny the things that get in your head on such long distances. Had a few of those during Ironman. =)
Loved this post, and CANNOT wait for your next rest, and cannot wait for you to move it West one of these days to race. Count me in on that one!