Monday, May 12, 2014

Mind the Ducks Race Report 2014: Life in a 1 mile Vacuum

Aww, heck.  Let's just do the whole race report, shall we?  No spoilers, no teasers, no nothin'.  Just fresh verbal vomit of this whole 12 hour shindig while it's fresh in my mind.  Pull up a chair.  (Minor Spoiler - clearly I did "finish" as evidenced by the mug.  And now, I am not out there running's a hilarious typo).
MTD 2014 Race Report

Pre Race - You all know the silly story of my dental debacle, so with two days to go, I was still unable to eat solids or swallow much.  Really puts a dent in the carb loading, but I did manage to choke down some pasta on Friday night and drink a reasonable amount.  Good enough, good enough.  My knee and hip still felt niggly, but overall, I was good to go.  I packed the car, made some pancakes for the morning, and managed to get about 6 hours sleep, thanks to my saint husband and cooperative kiddo.  Race morning dawned somewhat cooler (whew) and with a bit of humidity (boo).  The best benefit?  5am is NOT early anymore to this girl!  I pulled together my things, kissed the boys, and headed out to North Ponds Park, where I quickly picked up my bib and went to go set up my aid station with Gretchen and new friend Tonia.  Tip #1 - Setting up a tent with pre-race jitters sucks.  We managed to wrangle it up and get our things settled with about 5 minutes till race time...yikes!  I hit the bathrooms super quick and grabbed my mp3 player (um...missing body glide and sunscreen....ugh).  With little fanfare, the RD yelled GO and we were off!

Miles 1-12 were pretty uneventful.  I connected with a few people, clocked pretty consistent 10 minute miles, and stopped at my aid tent to grab some powerade or dried fruit, which I could choke down.  I also applied a little body glide and sunscreen to my shoulders and cheeks (forgot my legs....this would be bad later!) and was back off.

Mile 12ish...feelin decent!
After 2 hours, my stomach started to revolt and my easy run became more of a 12 minute mile, with a few walk breaks in the mile path.  My biggest issue - nothing would do down.  So I started living off coke and Popsicles, with a salt tab every once in awhile.  My uncle showed up to crew about 9:30, which helped out a TON with ice and wet sponges, as it was starting to get quite warm.  About 3 hours in I spilled Gatorade on my shoes (&^@%#$%) and needed tp do a quick pit stop to change.  I managed to hold out a steady run/walk for the next 3 hours to hit my first marathon in 5 hours, and 50k in 6 hours.

I'm an eternal optimist, but I was fully aware that 100k was not happening today.  It was a pie in the sky goal with no thought as to what holding an 11:30 pace meant for 12 hours.  I also realized at this point that my training (back to back to back semi long runs) might work for some people but that a few more 4-5 hour runs r a steady 8 hour walk would have helped me a bit more.  I had figured my Ironman experience would help with didn't.  The only think I had in that bag was a mental stubbornness, which really would come to pay off.   New goal = double marathon....maybe 55 miles?

Mile 25ish....don't mess with me!
In the early afternoon, more family and friends showed up, including my awesome husband and 10 month old, who "ran" a bit with momma!  Everyone was really supportive about getting me what I needed, including a run to McD's for a burger and coke (coke worked, burger didn't).  Ok, ok.  Liquid diet.  I get it.  New running pace after hour 6 - 13-14 minute miles.  We're still going.  It's ok.  I kept running into awesome people each loop - my friends from the gym Kim, Joe and Tanya all came to cheer on the course, and my new "crazy" ultra friends Tonia, Kim, Allison, Pat, Joe, Kristen and Alan all pepped me up whenever we ran into each other (the true beauty of this course!!).  At about 9 hours in, I was at mile 43 and really starting to fade.  I was hungry, but nothing tasted good.  My hip hurt like a mother.  And could I really do this??

At that point, my FIL and his wife showed up.  With Popsicles.  YES.  I know this was gonna be a 99% walk to the finish, but I'm a stubborn b*(&ch.  I connected with my friend Gretchen, who was trying for 45 (she got 47!) and we walked together with a purpose for a good hour, averaging 3.5.  And that was the rest of my race strategy there.  Aid station.  Walk with purpose.  Get to the next mile before 16-17 minutes.  DON'T STOP MOVING.  I crossed 50 miles at 11:00.  Could I get in 54?  I tried a shaky run.  Nothin doin.  So I walked.  And hit lap 52 with 30 minutes to so.  My buddy congratulated me on a fine double marathon and I got confused....I had 30 minutes left!  Who cared it 53 wasn't an incentive goal, dammit, I was getting there.  So I did. I managed a sad little sprint into the last .25 mile and crossed for my last lap... 53.64 miles in 11:50 and I am a proud ultra marathoner and ducker (although there was one lonely duck on that course....and 99 million geese!!) 

Mileage Awards
Post race I got my swag (all the incentives BUT the cooler!) and hobbled toward my aid station, where my little angles (love you dad and Lois!) helped me load the car and I was off.  Sunburned, stomach a mess, barely able to walk, but proud.  I managed a decent placement (top 15%) and even though I missed my goal, looking at the was not a reasonable goal.  Live and learn.  Would I do it again?  You betcha.  This race was solid- the RD was awesome- supportive, attentive to his runners, a great presence and encouragement throughout the race.  Stellar.  The people were amazing - both pre race and throughout the loop, everyone encouraged each other, and I made some great friends.  The venue was perfect- oddly enough, NOT boring.  Your life existed IN THAT MILE - every 10th marked off, the finish line served as a "refresh" for your next lap.  Two thumbs way up.

So whats next?  Well, I WILL for sure do another Ultra.  We'll see when.  Two days after, I can walk again, though my stomach is still somewhat upset with me (gotta go get that filling fixed).  I'm looking forward to some biking miles to prep for Musselman in July and a strong fall marathon, but make no mistake.  26.2 + and I have something to prove.  That 100k is mine.  


  1. Congrats on being an Ultra runner! Despite having all sorts of stomach issues you did well and stayed positive. Happy running and looking forward to hearing about your next adventures.

  2. You are a rock star! Congratulations on achieving another goal! You continue to inspire me to do better! Miss you!!!

  3. congrats!! an ultra is on my short list of things to accomplish !

  4. Thank you guys! Ultra is no joke but it was awesome :-) Appreciate your sweet words!