Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I just got back from an absolutely amazing run. I am in Vermont this week visiting my sister. It isn't always easy to fit in run times for us but today she spelled me for 40 minutes and I took full advantage. I went for an awesome 5K on the snowy roads. It was like running in wonderland. Snow falling on your head, sticking to your face, feet freezing with every misstep into a huge snow pile, it was honestly amazing. I had a great run and really just went as fast as I could. Figured if I was running short I had to run fast. So not really jealous of you all that live in places that it snows all winter but can see why you enjoy your outdoor runs in the snow, it is awesome.
This morning we took the kids sledding. Now that should count for a few runs or at the very least a hill workout. Carrying Chloe and myself up the hill dragging two sleds was quite a workout. She had a great time and I got to feel like a kid again flying down the hill on a sled. Usually I hate cold weather but slowly I am accumulating gear that keeps me warm in the cold and I don't seem to mind it as much when I am warm, bet most of you already knew that was the answer :). Only took me 36 yrs to figure that out.
Happy running all. Hope you all get out for an awesome run today no matter how long or short.

Friday, February 19, 2010


After my last post I finally did the smart thing and looked up the foot injury and it turns out it is most likely a Fallen Arch which is a strained muscle in the top of the arch. You know what? You can just tape that sucker and run on it. So I then went to and found a video on how to tape an arch and I was off. Seriously I ran 3.2 miles yesterday. Today I ran 4, and those 4 miles felt like heaven. Yesterday I could only run about a 1/2 mile then had to stretch or walk. Today I made it 3 miles before I had to stretch my legs and I could take a full on stride. It was blissful. So meet my new best friend:

That is right. A roll of tape is now my new best friend. With tape I can walk without limping, I can dance with Chloe and I can run. Yippeeee! The good news is I am headed to VT to visit my sister this next week so I won't be able to over do the running. So one more week of low mileage and then let the Boston Training commence. I see Hill Repeats in my future :).

Thought you all might be interested to see my feet (well foot, the left foot looks perfect) after 1 1/2 wks. I think they are looking good and only one toenail seems iffy, all the others I think are hanging around for another race.
So Happy Running all! I will try and report from Vermont. Love visiting my sister, hate visiting the cold. That being said there is something awesome about running in the snow so that should be fun.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I got an email two days ago. It was from the Boston Athletic Association letting me know there were only 9wks left until Boston. What? Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Really there are only 9 wks left and I can't even walk a 1/2 mile without my foot screaming at me. Oh no. I am guessing running a 100 mile race at 10 wks out was not in the prescribed training plan. Now I have to figure out what to do.
a. Take time off until the foot feels better. I think the foot is more messed up than the knee.
b. Do some minimal workouts to stay in shape but risk keeping these injuries.
Oh boy, this is tough. I think I could run a marathon in 9 wks even if I didn't run a step between now and then but, it would be slow and who wants to run Boston slow? No one. That is the answer. If you qualify for Boston you want to RUN it. Not jog it. I think for this week at least I will take more time off and then reconsider my plan next week. Who knew recovering from the 100 would be so tough? Oh don't answer that it was meant to be rhetorical :).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Inventory of Parts

Well it has been a week since the race.  Figured I would give an update on my body part inventory.  I am not going to lie to anyone, Monday after the race was by far the worst I have ever hurt muscle wise.  I am not sure I can even describe how my legs felt but, suffice it to say: walking down the stairs holding Chloe litterally made my stomach turn  it hurt so bad.  She however, thought it was a blast to go down the stairs backwards and would say "you can do it Mommy, you can do it." My little cheerleader. 

The picture on the left is after the  race on Sunday.  Cathy and Marny didn't leave until late that evening so they came home and met Chloe and another Running Mom (Cindy) came over to meet the crew. 

The inventory: It seems I might have a case of Runner's Knee, I looked up the pain I am having and it seems to match up.  A little time off should cure that.  My right foot has a tendon that is super tight.  Other than that all soreness is just muscular.  Think I might just need another week of doing almost nothing.  I tried a run/walk this evening and it was just too dang painful to run for long and I have no reason to push it.  The next race coming down the pipe is Cathy's Marathon in March and then Boston in April.  So I think for now I will take things slow and see if  I can get my legs back up to speed before launching into my Boston training. 

I am sure some of you are wondering about the Back, well I saw the MRI and sure enough that disc is herniated.  It looks painful :).  There is this bulge that you can see is pressing against the spinal cord forcing it to bulge as well.  Here is the wacky thing, my back no longer hurts.  The doc said she couldn't explain it but, I am telling you around mile 60 my back no longer hurt and hasn't since.  I can stand straight, I can bend backwards, you name it, I can do it.  What I deduce from this is: If you have a herniated disc the only real cure is a good 60 mile run.  Happy Running All. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cathy's Crew Report

In Mama Cathy's words:   "well, it started off great, we were all so excited!! we get to the race site about 4:30 am.We were told that parking was an issue. I don't know who was more nervous, Tara or the crew!!! Off she goes, all goes well, soon she is on mile 60 and flying into the aid station telling Marny "I hope you are ready to run because I am on fire!" Off they go, mile 80 and she is not looking too bad, cold yes and visibly tired, but dang she just ran 80 miles!! Tracey's turn and off they go. We go to the next aid station which is 3.1 miles i think and wait for them. Time begins ticking away. It is over one hour now and we are really beginning to worry. Finally...... we see them. I took one look at Tracey's face and knew something was not right. Then i looked at Tara. She was literally asleep on her feet. She kept mumbling, I have to sleep. We checked her in at the aid station, making sure it was ok to take her off the course to rest. Bethany and I literally had to carry her down the stairs to the car. We put her in the back and all of us cover her up and then she starts shaking from head to toe. I have never been so scared in all my life. Marny tells me to climb in back and "cuddle" her. Sorry Tara, but it had to be done:) she then starts babbling incoherently. O.K. time to get some medical help. The nurse comes over and gets in the car and looks her over, deciding we need to get her out of her clothes and socks and into different ones. All the nurse could say was " You ultrarunners" Not sure if that was a compliment or not? :) Well, Ultara sleeps until about 3:45 and wakes up and asks if she can continue and all i remember is all of saying Yes!!!!! Off her and bethany go for 12.5 miles. oh how we were worried, but she looked better so that was a good sign. Bethany texted us "3 down, 9 to go" YAY!!! What a feeling when we saw them coming into the aid station!!! 4.5 to go!! I am so honored to have been there to share the last miles of rocky raccoon with her!!! What a trooper!!! She tripped a few times and kind of moaned, her legs were hurting her so badly, yet we kept walking at a pretty good pace and never once stopped. By far this was one of my best expierences ever with a group of girls that i feel will remain friends forever. To see her cross that finish line and that Tosta victory smile!!! YES!!! YOU DID IT!!! YOU KEPT YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE, TOSTA!!!! You are truly an inspiration to us all!!!!"

Rocky Pacer's Reports

I was interested in the Race Report from the point of view of the Pacer/Crew so, I asked my crew if they would write something about the race from their point of view.  Below you will find reports from the crew, my notes will be in purple

First up: Marny (Picture on the right)
If you have some time head to the Marny link and read her entire blog on the race, it is awesome.  She did a great job of capturing the whole race.
Tara came in to mile 60 just after 6PM so she was still on pace. The goal was to pace her to run the 100 miles in under 24 hours. We had plenty of leeway. When we started running together, Tara told me she had been walking all the hills. As a pacer it was my job to remember this and to start walking when we approached a hill. Tara and I had different definitions of "hill" and I kept forgetting to walk them. Luckily, she was not too far gone to remind me. It grew dark a few minutes into the run. As night fell, things got hard. Tara needed more and more walk breaks. After several minutes of walking, I worried that the whole loop might be this way. I had to get her moving faster, not just for the sub 24 hour goal, but just for the sake of not being out there so incredibly long. I asked her to run again and she agreed so I started to play around with different run/walk intervals. 4 minutes jogging to 1 minute walking seemed the most feasible, but even that was hard to keep up after awhile. We were moving slow, but we were moving. The one thing Tara didn't do was stop. At one point I looked at her face and she just looked so tired, so sad and so down. The mom in me wanted to scoop her up and carry her to bed, tuck her in and let her fall into the sleep her body was so forcefully pulling her toward. But out in the middle of the woods, that wasn't an option. I kept glancing at my Garmin. "Run....Walk....Run.....Walk...." I glanced back every now and then, but mostly just listened to her quiet shuffle. I listened to the rustling of her Honey Stinger packages and the sucking sound of her hydration pack and when several minutes had passed without those sounds I reminded her to eat and drink. The chews were making her stomach hurt. I wanted to say "Ok, forget them" but they were all we had until the next aid station. She didn't want to eat, but she did anyway, knowing it was the only way to keep moving. Pacing Tara was a lot different than I expected. I thought we would talk, laugh and sing the night away. I knew there would be hard times, but I didn't expect the whole 20 miles to be so brutal. Maybe I was a boring pacer. I threw out a few stories and anecdotes where she politely laughed, or grunted her acknowledgment, but for the most part I just said "Run....Walk....Run...Walk..." Maybe I didn't come through on the entertainment portion of pacing. Maybe it was Stage Fright. Maybe I just didn't have enough material. Maybe it was the stress of Miles before us and the solemness of Night, but nothing seemed like the right thing to say. Except "Run....Walk....Run....Walk..." After a couple hours of being on the Run/Walk schedule, I realized it was still early and that Tara was still on pace for a sub-24 hour run. I told her this and she brightened a bit. There was a renewed energy now that the original goal was still up for grabs. I asked her if she still wanted it and of course she did. I wanted to allow Tara at least six hours to do the last lap. I felt this would make the goal more realistic. I knew the last lap would be the hardest, which meant it would also be the slowest. To make room for that, we had to pick up the pace again. I'm sure picking up the pace seemed like the worst idea in the world to Tara, as she had already resorted to the "survivor's shuffle" and there was nothing left in her legs. But she was down with it! We had an hour and a half to get back to the finish line by midnight, thus giving her 6 hrs for the last loop. My eyes stayed glued to the Garmin the entire time. "Walk..Run..Walk..Run.." That last 90 minutes flew by for me because I was so focused on time and intervals. Tara kept on eating and drinking, but now only on my recommendation. She was focused on moving and that was it. We made it to the start/finish/turnaround area a few minutes after midnight as planned, and the crew was waiting with warm clothes.
Marny was awesome, she kept me focused and moving.  She did an awesome job on a very difficult leg of the race and she kept telling me the next leg would be easier and somehow that made it so much better.  Later on she told me she knew the last leg would be even worse but she thought the little lie might keep my spirits up and she was right. 

From Tracey (Picture on the Right):
I really was not sure what to expect when I signed up to crew for Rocky. I just knew Tara was doing something amazing and I was lucky to be a part of it. Looking back on it now, I think we should have had some plans for if things got bad. I have read many race reports and knew that most of the time there were problems, but I just never thought more about it. When night fell we knew we had to have her change clothes, but we ONLY planned for her to be running. So we sent Tara out in the woods to freeze for the next 6 hours when her legs started to get tired. We then got her dressed better, but by this point she was exhausted. The next three miles were the hardest 3 miles of my life, and I am still shocked at how fast things got bad.

When we took off from the start she wanted was doing good. She was still shooting for the sub 24 hours and we planned on a walk run. We started off walking then she wanted to try a run, about 30 seconds later she said no running. She decided at this point that the goal would have to be to finish, the sub 24 was not going to happen. Her legs were shot after the last 80 miles. I really started to worry when our pace kept slowing down and she started not understanding what I would say at times.  She told me she was tired and needed a nap, but I was so worried if she slept she would not want to get up or her legs would lock up, so I told her she needed to consider that. I finally convinced me that she had to nap or there was no chance of finishing when she fell asleep walking. Her feet stopped and she started to lean on me. I pulled her forward and told her that she had to keep moving and that she could nap soon, we were almost to the next aid station. All we had to do was get to the next station and she could sleep. When we finally came around that corner and I saw the lights for the station, I cannot even tell you how thrilled I was. Tara you scared the crap out of me!

I think as a first time crew we did well, but there are things we could have done better. We should have planned for a slower pace at night which would mean warmer clothes. When the Ensure gave her a wonky stomach we should have some peanut butter to give her. There are a few things that would have made this easier on her and I hope that one day I will have the chance to try to do better for her. Poor Tracey got stuck with me when I bonked and when I say bonked I mean it.  I ran out of gas totally and completely it was all we could do to walk those 3 miles and get to the car for a nap.

From Bethany (picture on the right):
I got to Huntsville a day later than the rest of the crew, and Tara had already started racing, so the first time I met her was after 40 miles. She was doing great—good pace, good form, good spirits. We switched out her gear at the start/finish and sent her back out. I tried to rest for a few hours because I knew, even in the best case scenario, I was in for a long night—little did I know how long! The girls got me up around 8:30 and we headed back to the course, where Marny was out with Tara, pacing her on miles 61-80.

Luckily, Marny had her cell phone on her because the day started taking its toll on Tara. Her pace slowed, Marny said they were walking a lot more, and the temp had dropped a lot from earlier in the day. In retrospect, this is the point where we should have taken a good look at what Tara was eating and realized that she needed more “real” food, especially protein—most important lesson learned for next time! Marny and Tara made it back to the start/finish around midnight and we added a layer of tights and a shirt for Tara (another lesson learned—should have added more layers earlier. We knew her body wasn’t keeping itself warm and she could always take them off later, if needed.) Marny was a rock star and did an amazing job of getting her and Tara through what was arguably the toughest loop on the course.

Tara set out with Tracey for what would turn out to be the longest 5K any of us had ever experienced! Cathy, Marny and I waited at the aid station for her, watching other runners come and go—there was a guy who only spoke Spanish and tried to converse with one of the aid station workers who spoke Portuguese, a smokin’ hot guy who came in and brightened our night for a few minutes, and a lady who seriously had to be 70 years old and was rockin’ an ultra marathon! We got there about 45 minutes after Tracey and Tara had set out, and watched the time closely—50 minutes, 55, 60, 65, 70….at 70 we started getting a little nervous.

Finally, about 80 minutes after they left the start line, we saw two lights moving slowly through the trees. Tara’s bright green jacket and Tracey’s red shirt slowly came in to view and we finally saw them shuffling along. The first words out of Tracey’s mouth were “We’re going to take a nap” and we all sprang into action. Tracey and Tara checked Tara out of the course and made sure it was ok for her to leave, Marny, Cathy and I helped Tara down the stairs and into the car. Tara was literally asleep on her feet and we basically carried her down the stairs and helped her into the car. While we talked strategy for the next step of the race, Tara’s teeth started chattering, she was shivering and mumbling incoherently. So we high-tailed it to the medical tent. Marny went for help, I grabbed a sleeping bag and bear suits, and Mama Cathy climbed in back with Tara to help warm her up. For a group of five women who had never met in person until 24 hours before, I think we worked together amazingly well.
Ohhh I forgot that I got to snuggle with Cathy :).  I have never been so cold in my entire life, it felt like my stomach was going to shake its way out of my abdomen.

The medic who came to help was no brain surgeon, but she checked Tara out and basically said if we got her warmed up and rested, and got some food in her, she should be fine to return to the course. Tara napped for a couple minutes on and off, we got her to eat some broth and potatoes, and then drove back to the aid station where she had left the course. She got close to an hour of good sleep once she warmed up. We did the math (several times, in fact!) to figure out how long she could sleep and still finish the race without having to push the pace too fast on her tired legs.

At about 3:50 am, Tara and I set out, knowing we would have to cover each mile in about 27 minutes in order to finish by the noon cut-off. Other than that, the pace plan was flexible—we would walk for a while to warm up and loosen Tara’s legs up, and then maybe try jogging. We hit the aid station at Dam Road (now known as DAMN Road to Team Ul-Tara!) at about 4:55 am, just under 22 minute/mile pace so I knew we were in good shape. Soon after that, Tara felt up to trying to jog a little—she took two steps and that was the end of that. Her legs were done.

Everyone had told me how much the Damn Road loop sucked but I just kept thinking, it’s 6 miles, how bad can it be? Let me tell you how bad it can be—crazy bad. I kept trying to think of ways to motivate Tara and it was like my brain was just numb. We would talk for a couple minutes and then just concentrate on getting up the next rise.  Did I mention it was cold? The temperature had dropped to the upper 30’s and it was freakin’ cold, which couldn’t have been helping Tara’s legs at all. But we pushed on and I almost cried tears of joy when we saw the lights of the tent at the 9 mile point of the loop (six miles and halfway through the leg I was doing with Tara). After that (I think it was a little after 6 am) it started to get better—we knew the sun was coming up soon and the sky started getting lighter. We got to the dam just as the sun was coming up, and it was gorgeous—a light mist on the water, two guys out on the water in a fishing boat…and only about a mile back to the Damn Road aid station. After climbing down the dam, backwards, we got to the aid station about 7:20, still hitting about a 23 minute/mile pace.

At that point, we knew that Tara’s finish was a lock—she had 8 miles to go and four and a half hours to do it. Worst case scenario, she could have crawled to the finish line! There was still one particularly long, straight stretch of road that was brutally long, and would have been much better traveled in the dark so we couldn’t see just how long it was. But we made it to the next aid station at about 8:40 and I handed Tara over to Mama Cathy for the finish.

We all walked a little ways onto the course to meet Tara and Cathy and walk her into the finish together. With help, Tara sat down and flashed the best smile I’ve ever seen, holding up her buckle for the camera.

I can’t even begin to describe how impressed I am with Tara’s achievement, and how lucky I feel to have been a part of it. All the Running Moms were so supportive throughout the whole weekend, with emails, Facebook posts, thoughts, and prayers, and I’m just so lucky to have found such a great group of women.

Lessons learned:
-Go with our gut as far as switching out equipment, etc—if we know she should change her socks, gloves, etc, or put on more layers, make sure she does it. It won’t hurt anything to have her switch out or add more gear, and it will probably benefit her and prevent problems later.
-Make sure she’s eating real food. Have small containers of peanut butter, diced chicken breast, cup of chili, etc
-A longer time in the rest area later in the day might be beneficial—don’t hurry her back out onto the course, but make sure she takes a couple minutes to eat substantial food, get dressed, etc.
Bethany was awesome.  She kept me marching for 12.5 miles.  I can't remember all that we talked about but I remember that it was so nice to talk and just think about something besides how freakin bad each step hurt.  She kept me walking at an 18 mm pace which I think as pretty dang good for that point in the race.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rocky Race Report

Ok lets begin with a Recap so for those of you who do not want all of the details you can read this section and head off.  Oh and stay tuned this week because each of the crew members is writing a little something about the race from their perspecitve and I will post more pics as I get them.  Please ask any questions.  I am sure I have left a ton out.

Overall:  The race was awesome.  The course was well marked until night time and for some reason by the wee hours of the morning the glow sticks had run out and it was tough to know if you were still on the right track.  There was tons of mud.  And this was the hilliest "flat" course I have ever ran.  It wasn't super hilly but if you are going to call something "flat" then I would imagine most runners would think it was absent of hills, not the case.  It was well organized and the other runners were awesome.

What Worked: The crew.  Man, my crew ROCKED this race.  They were all over it.  If you are going to do 100 miles you need to find yourself a couple of awesome people to crew for you.  I couldn't have finished the race without them, in fact I might be still sleeping the woods somewhere if not for Tracey leading me to an Aid Station.  My nutrition plan was pretty good to go but I should have had an alternative to Ensure, it started to mess up my stomach and when I dropped it out of the plan I also dropped all of my protien, which none of us realized until the next morning.  Injinji Socks were the bomb digity, used them and blister shield and my feet are looking pretty good considering all of the mud puddles and hills and what not.  Hydration Pack was perfect. 

What Needs Work: Nutrition (mentioned above).  I need to train harder for the next one (yes, I said next one).  I need a better run/walk plan (or to use one at all especially in the beginning).  Need warmer clothes for the middle of the night. 

Ok, lets get long winded: Here is a picture of me at packet pick up.  I was so psyched to find I got a fleece jacket for the race instead of a shirt.  It is awesome, wearing it now.  All of the girls were taking pictures so I felt like a super star.  It was great.

Race Morning: We all got up around 3:50am to be on the road by 4:15, I somehow woke up on my own at 3:45 and made coffee and waited for Cathy's alarm to go off.  We left our hotel picked up Jack (Cathy's DH) and headed to the course.  The race began at 6am but, they told us a million times that parking would be an issue and none of us wanted issues on race morning so we got there early and waited for the gates to open.  We parked and then of course being super nevous and type A I had to move the car once I figured out we could get closer.  Why I didn't just have Tracey drive is beyond me, she would have driven around and found a close spot to begin with for sure.  Lesson learned there: don't let super nervous first time 100 mile runner drive to the race :).  We went to check in (at ultras you have to check in before the race so they know who is on the course at all times).  In line to check in I reallly felt the nerves start to kick in, all of these people around me were talking about all of the ultras they had run and I was beginning to feel ansy plus all the driving the day before had made my back super achy.  After Jack and I checked in we went back to the car and just sat in there until closer to race time, Cathy handed me a card with a coin in it that said "shoot for the moon" of course I almost started crying. Then I got in the back changed into my race gear and began to frantically tell the ladies one more time all about my gear.  I was getting hyper and nervous by this point.   Tracey wisely took hold of the situation asked a few questions, gave me a different flash light and walked me to the start.  Jack and I (see picture below)  went into the starting area together and nervously chatted as we waited for the start.  It was amazing there were all of these people all geared up, some howling, waiting to charge onto the course.

1st Loop: We headed out at 6am.  There were so many people that it really bottle necked for the first 6 miles, it was truly stop and go, you would run until you had to walk because the flow of traffic was walking and then run again when the traffic picked up.  During this section I met a man from Minnesota, two teachers (men) from upstate New York and an awesome lady (Rhonda) from Tennesee, she runs a 100 mile race every year.  She told me she had two words of advice "Don't Quit."  And I thought: ok you got it.  I would see her again at the very last aid station, how awesome is that?  At around mile 8 I ran into Alan, nice guy who let me know that I would learn to hate this stretch of the race as the day wore on.  Alan was right.  The Damm Road loop became the Damn Road loop by nights end.  For the first 20 mile loop I just tried to run easy and walk the up hills and meet as many runners as possible.  I love talking with other runners at these races.  They are just awesome.  I met one guy on this loop he was from Ireland his advice was to run hard until 60 so that I could meet up with my crew.  Oh I met Katy from Colorado Springs who knows Jamie Donaldson, yes the one and only.  And she told me Jamie was at the race (Cathy had said she thought she saw Jamie's name on the entrants as well) so from that point on I was on the look out for my hero. I mean she had to lap me at some point right :).  I came into the Start/Finish (S/F) and was ready to go.  Man, my crew was all set up and ready for me.  Tracey ran off with my pack to refill it and Marny took me to the place where they had set up camp and helped me quickly find what I needed.  I changed to my skirt, hit the head, had Marny tape a toe, got some new supplies and headed on out.  I think with their help I was in and out in a few minutes. 1st loop took just under 4hrs.
2nd Loop: I ran the first 6 or so miles by myself.  But, I saw Jamie Donaldson.  yep, she was already on her way finishing the 2nd loop as I was running out on it.  So I did what any crazy fan would do: I shouted "Jamie Donaldson" she looked and I said "You are my idol." What?  That was all I could think of, :).  It was awesome to see her flying by.  Just after Damn Road and  I ran into Marisol, well I sort of tripped into her.  As I ran by her I tripped over a root, and stuff went flying from my pack, she helped me put it back in.  We ran the next 6 miles together.  She was awesome, she is a chiropractor and yoga instructor who lives in LA.  She runs ultras all the time but this was her first 100 as well.  We chatted the whole time we were together it was great. Oh and she knows and runs with Barefoot Ted.   I don't remeber anything else super exciting about this loop. Ran it in just under 4hrs as well.  When I got to the aid station Marny was gone but Bethany was there and so was Cathy.  Nice to meet Bethany.  Tracey took my pack and Bethany and Cathy took me to the gear.  I hit the head, I drained a blister and duct taped it, we refilled my food and I headed back out.

3rd Loop: Boring!!! I was pretty much solo the entire loop, thought about walking until Marisol caught back up.  But instead I put on my Ipod and jammed my way through those 20 miles knowing I got to run with Marny at the end.  3rd loop took just over 4hrs.  Ladies were waiting, Tracey did her thing, Marny was ready for me, we changed me into compression tights (thanks ladies, they had to help me pull them on but, as promised, I had shaved :)) I also grabbed a vest and my warmer hat for my pack and gloves.

4th Loop: Marny is a Rock Star.  She was awesome.  We took off out of the aid station and I had forgotten something, man she was on the phone, called the crew and they met us at the next aid station.  I was totally amped to see her and I think that adrenaline kept me going for the first few miles but dang I really felt bad for her as the night wore on.  Somewhere after Damm Road we added my ski hat.  It was getting cold.  For a while all I would do is walk but, finally Marny got me going on a good run/walk pace that was working for me, I am pretty sure she tried a few different intervals until she found one that would work.  We began to realize if I kept it up there was a still a chance to break 24 hrs (I didn't but, there was chance).  She said 20 miles is a long way to pace someone, she had to constantly be watching where she was going and checking on me and checking time and asking me if I was eating and drinking and doing the same for herself.  But, I promise to pay her back when she does 100.  This loop took over 5hrs.  Tracey was waiting to run with me when we got in, someone filled my pack, someone else helped me find the gear I needed.  Marny tried to massage my legs a tiny bit and put some biofreeze on them but, I think my legs were gonners by this point.

5th Loop: Oh the 5th loop.  Poor Tracey.  So I guess at the begining of the loop I was still trying to run/walk, I quickly gave that up and we just walked.   I felt awful.  I told her I thought I needed to sleep.  Have no idea what else I said or did but I do know that 3 miles took us 1hr and 20 minutes to get through.  I know Tracey kept pumping me up and was talking but can't remember much of anything.  I checked in at the Aid Station and they said I could go take a nap in the car.  So we headed for the car.  Next thing I remember is shaking uncontrollably and how bad it hurt.  My insideswere shaking, teeth were chattering and the ladies were talking but I don't know I just wasn't with it.  I wanted to sleep but I was so cold.  The ladies took me to a First Aid station they said I was good to go, get me warm, and let me sleep.  The ladies piled a ton of blankets on me and I slept like a baby for I think an hour (not sure on that).  I woke up from the lap ready to go.  We changed some of my clothes and Bethany and I headed out.  Poor Bethany had to Death March with me for 12 miles.  In Ultra Running they call it a Death March when all you can do is walk because once you get to that point pretty much all running is over and you are just putting one foot in front of the other to get to the finish line.  The ladies had figured out how long I could sleep based on how long they thought it would take me to walk the last 17miles.  At this point getting me to the finish line was all out team effort.  And all of us were ready to fight for it.  So Bethany walked with me, pointed out every root, kicked limbs out of the path, tried to get us around the huge mud puddles, we just walked and walked and then walked some more.  We kept doing the math and it seemed I would be able to finish.  I kept trying to walk faster but there was only so much I could do at this point in the race.  My legs were zapped.  When we got to the last Aid Station there was the crew cheering us on.  Oh man I was so dang happy.  I knew I was on the home stretch.  Bethany and Cathy traded off and we headed out.  Cathy was awesome.  We just walked as fast as I could and got it done.  I was so dang excited.  I even sang to her :).  So after running the first laps in about: 4hrs, 4hrs, 4hrs, 5.5hrs, the last one took me around 10.5 (including a nap). 

 Cathy and I finishing the race up.  I was so dang happy I can't even put it in words. Oh and Bethany, you were right I should have changed gloves at the Aid Station mine were soaking wet, hadn't noticed.

This is me crossing the line.  The lady in blue is the wife of the race director and she gave me a big hug before my team rushed me.  It was the best feeling EVER!
The Team: Cathy, Marny, Tracey, Bethany and Me (I am the one sitting, I think Bethany and someone else lowered me into the chair).
The buckle: worn yesterday.  Love it.
The toes.  Not bad.  We had both big toes duct taped during the race.  I think I will just start the next one off that way.  I had to work to get the piece of duct tape off that you see here but it is off now and toes feel great.  Well, great for having put in 100 miles.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Got a Feeling

I Got a Feeling that this race is gonna be a GREAT GREAT race. Anyone think the Black Eyed Peas will be at the race and could change the lyrics a little?  They did it for Oprah.  Ok maybe not, but that is what will be playing in my head.  I am at this very moment listening to the song at a ridiculous volume and just got done with some dancing that involved: fist pumping, jumping and twirling around.  I am ready to go.  I am focused on the goal and focused on how awesome it feels to run and be free and finish what you start. 

My toes as you can see are painted purple.  Love the color, thanks for voting it in.

And here is all of the gear for the race packed in the storage bin.  I figure once I have the hydration pack and all on that the shoes will then fit inside or at least 2 pairs, I plan to wear 1 :).  I am so dang excited, not even sure what to say right now.  How about: I will post on Monday with results.  Keep your fingers crossed that the herniation doesn't bulg more and that we all have an awesome time.  So excited.  It is the best feeling to go into your first race at a certian distance.  All of the unknown.  This is just so exciting.  Ok will report back.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rocky Crew - Marny

The other Ultra Runner: Marny. That is right Marny is in the midst of training for her fist Ultra. She will run her first 50miler in April. Marny has been running since she was 12 or 13 and ran in college some. She has also done triathlons. She is one tough cookie. Yesterday she saw a man who was on her husbands recently stolen bike and you know what she did with her 5 foot nothing 100 pound soaking wet self, she chased him down and held onto the bike, speed dialed her husband with the other hand and managed to save the bike. We are talking about one tough lady here. So needless to say I am feeling pretty good about running through the middle of the night with her at my side. Even if we do run into an escape from the nearby prison I am guessing she will kick his butt. All kidding aside she is an awesome runner and I feel so confident knowing she will be running with me when I am super tired. And that my friends, brings us to the end of crew introductions. Next up a post to show off my new purple painted toes :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rocky Crew - Bethany

Ahhhh yes another member of our crew.  Bethany is special because she is ex military as well, you have to love it when we military people find each other especially doing nutty things like running 100 miles through the night.  Bethany lives in Austin so, she is going to drive over and meet the rest of the crew midday on Saturday.  She is pacing through the dead of the night, from about mile 86 to 93.  Bethany began running 2003 when the Army told her she had to, nothing like a Drill Instrutor to get you motivated to run.  She has been running for fun since 2007.  She is a super strong woman and smart too.  Can't wait to get to meet her in person.  She is bringing Chili for the rest of the crew.  I hope my stomach isn't wonky so I get to taste some too :).  Only 5 more days.  Here we come Rocky.