Monday, October 15, 2012

Heartland Race Recap

First off the pictures are all over the place sorry I am not the best at using Blogger.

Heartland, ughhhhh, well I went in thinking I could really do well here. I was so full of hope and probably too cocky.  I went in thinking if I didn't go for it sometime I would never know what I was capable of doing.  I thought Heartland was a safe place to go for it, I did pretty well last time so why not go all out there?  Well here is my tale of why not.

Joanne (super running buddy from CT, pacer #1) and I flew in on Thursday.  Stayed in Wichita and waited for Anne (Running Mom, pacer #2) to come in on Friday morning.  We all drove up to Cassoday together and met with Tracey (Master Crew Chief) and Danielle (Running Mom, crew).  We grabbed my packet hung out for the meeting and then drove to El Dorado (closest town with a hotel).  We ate (thank you Tracey for the homemade GF pasta) and got all the gear laid out.

At the pre race meeting they went over some crazy weather they were expecting.  I was trying not to let the weather get to me.  What could I do about torrential downpours, hail, lightening or tornadoes? Nothing. So why worry.  On race morning Tracey, Danielle and I went to the start.  It was almost warm and not raining yet so I took off in my skirt.  You may not know this about skirts but in the rain they get heavy.  See the skirt length at the start, check it out later in the race, it was knee length and growing by the second, lol. 

Well I think the picture says it all about the weather

About 1/2 way through the first section the sky opened up and dropped loads of water on us.  I am talking drenched us.  It was crazy but sort of fun.  I think I may be nuts.  I came into Lapland and saw the crew and boy did that make me feel good.  My nutrition was on course, my fluids were good but I wasn't taking Enduralytes because I didn't think I needed them with my drink and the weather (not hot).  I think this was mistake number 1.

Uncle Ronnie and I trudging along.  He was trying to block the wind for me.

Not sure where this is but somewhere in KS :)

 After Lapland I saw the crew again at Teterville and Ridgeline.  I was feeling good the entire way.  I met some awesome folks.  Lent a guy my phone so he could call for a new ipod.  Saw a snake or two and I was eating and drinking.  Calories seemed good and fluids were in check.  I was getting tired of wet feet but it wasn't so bad either.
I look so cheery at the start

 By mile 42.5 at Matfield Green when I saw the crew and picked up Joanne for pacing I was feeling loopy.  I knew when I left Ridgeline something was up so I took my first Enduralyte of the day and something for my headache.  Alert Alert Alert!!!!! Don't you wish your head sent off alarms like that or your crew could see the red flags waving as you ran into an aid station? I had a headache (I never get headaches) and I was disoriented.  Duhhhhhhh!!!! How did I not know I was in serious need of salt.  Anyway, no alarms or bells went off so I trudged on like a ding dong.  I went out with Joanne.  We picked up the pace, having a pacer will do that to you.  We hit the turn around (50 miles just in case that isn't obvious) at 9 hrs.  Once again, how was that not an ALARM!! Come on, 50 miles in 9hrs.  I was in over my head.  If I had slowed down right then and there I might have salvaged this thing but instead I did the opposite.  I cranked it.  Dropped the pace into the 9-10mm range and dug deep.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! What was I thinking?  Joanne and I saw Uncle Ronnie and that was great.  I love that I have a 72yr old uncle who is willing to come out and run with me.  He is amazing.  Seeing him only made me go faster.  Clearly I am nuts.  By the time we hit Matfield Green again (mile 58ish) my stomach was D.O.N.E. done, as in done.  That was it for food staying down.  Uncle Ronnie and I headed out for Ridgeline and I slowly fell apart.  By the time I got to Ridgeline I was a mess.  I had never felt that bad at that point in a race and I didn't know what to do.  We changed my clothes and I chilled for a bit while I tried to eat and then I headed out with Anne.  She BTW did the next 18 miles with me and they were horrible (pace wise), she kept my spirits up and kept me moving. She was the BOMB!! When we reached Teterville, I was a more of a mess than before.  By this time I had figured out that eating anything was trouble and I was just going down hill.  I stopped and tried to recoup and Anne and I headed out again but, by 1.5 miles out of the aid station we were both thinking we should turn back for help.  We somehow decided to press on, the pace got slower, my digestive track got worse and we just kept walking.  It was brutal.  I was with it but couldn't really walk straight or stand up without help, I was a total wreck.  By the half way point of the 8 mile leg we both knew it was over for me.  For a bit we thought if I could get to Lapland we could get help and I could move on but we soon saw the writing on the wall, I had let myself get too deep in the hole.  So at 82 miles I dropped.  Tracey picked us up and we headed home. 

This wasn't the journey or outcome I planned but I have to say I had a great time with the crew and I learned a lot and once again I have been taught a lesson on patience.  A 100 miles takes patience and resilience.  I need to work on pace, go out easy and see what happens and I have to stay on top of my stomach.  Big lesson learned and a great weekend.

 Thanks so much to the crew.  I am in awe of all of them.  They all worked so hard.  I am a lucky gal to have such great friends. 

Until the next adventure...Happy Running!!

The Awesome Crew!!! Anne, Joanne, Tracey and Danielle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It is Racing Week

This year I decided for my 100 I would head back to Heartland.  Why?  For a couple of reasons: 1. Tracey lives close and she is an amazing crew chief so that means no worries for me while running 2. It was the only place that I have truly enjoyed a 100 miler (they have all hurt but this one I felt free and like I was flying for the majority of it)  3. I don't feel like I did my best last time, I know I can do better.

 Training for 100's is hard for me.  I am always trying to squeeze in runs here and there and sometimes I am not sure if my training is on track because my runs are all over the place.  One year I might be able to string together 30 miles day after day and, the next year it just doesn't work out that way.  That being said I was able to hit over 100 miles a week for a couple of weeks at the end of this training so, I think I am in a good spot but who knows. Really...who knows??? It is so hard to train for 100.  I feel like I am shooting in  the dark and hoping for the best. But I LOVE it!! Love the battle of 100 miles, the challenge, there is literally nothing like it. 

  I keep wondering if the difference between me and a better runner is all mental.  If I just ran harder and chose to go into my pain cave and hunker down if I could do even better.  Is that what the guys that are breaking 20hrs doing?  Are they enduring the pain for longer or are they better runners or did they train better?  Maybe it is a little of all three.  There is only one of those I can work on at this point in the game and it is the pain so here is the plan...Last time I ran a 21:39 which is a 13mm pace, in April I ran a 9:30mm pace at my 50miler, I want to break 20 hrs so that involves running faster than a 12mm pace.  So...I go out at a 10mm and hold on for as long as possible, I try and make crew stops as quick as possible.  I run hard for as long as possible and most of all when I hit that wall at mile 80-95 I DO NOT, DO NOT let myself walk for more than a few minutes at a stretch, I force my legs to keep running.  I CAN DO BETTER!!! I know I can.  It is time to put on my big girl pants and see what I am made of.  Fingers crossed this goes well.

Happy Running