Ahhh, and here we are. After months of (sort of) prep, I've had another brush with "the ducks". Three days ago I ran my second ultra marathon with the goal of hitting 60 or (gasp) 62 miles in 12 hours. Spoiler Alert: It didn't happen. But I'm not even the slighest bit upset. Read on (warning, tendency to ramble ahead).
So, two years ago I signed up for "the ducks" on a whim - my friend Adam had done the race and I figured...if I wanted to test out my endurance beyond a marathon this was the spot to do it - with a bathroom break and aid station every mile. How does one train for the race? Well, who the heck knows. 12 hours after my inaugural ducks, I had 53 miles, a serious case of GI distress, a few pump breaks (yeah, who does an ultra with a 10 month old??), and alot of new (crazy) friends. I was hooked. I couldn't wait for the next year to do 100k,
2015...I decided that being pregnant was more important than ducks. And even though I know I could have done it and walked for a few hours, lets not kid ourselves. If I sign up for 12 hours of running pain, I want to get my moneys worth. Dammit.
2016. Cue the registration opening...could I do an ultra with a two year old and an 8 month old?? Well, why the heck not (yes, I asked for Greg's blessing first. I'm not dumb). I decided to do Ducks to first of all, see what I could do if I improved upon my nutrition, and also to reach that friggin 100k. Five months later....you guys know the story if you read the blog. Training for an ultra with two littles is ridiculous. I had two training plans, the second of which my husband mercifully destroyed on me. I averaged about 40 mpw running 4 days a week...sometimes breaking up a 16 mile long run into 3 runs to get it all in while working full time and being a BFing mom to a little. Why I thought Ultras were less selfish and more doable than an Ironman, I'll never know but....bless my husband. That is all. And my flexible work schedule. Anot not my achilles, which sidelined me a few times too many for my liking, Thank goodness for cross training - but - needless to say, the training wasn't conducive to a 100k in 12 hours.
|Pre Race Happy Feet ladies!|
Plan B - beat 2014 mileage. Anything over 53. Ok, I can do that. Race week, I tapered well, carb loaded with abandon....mmmmm....cookies, and ignored any talk of inclement weather. Learning from 2014, when I packed the kitchen sink, I went simple - one tote with clear baggies of nutrition, medical stuff (hello bandaids and immodium), an outfit change, and my breast pump (wait, thats not normal to pack?? Maybe I should look into doing a race when I'm not BFing...food for thought). And rain gear, cause F Rochester.
I drove to the site and said hello to some of my ultra friends and a few MRTT ladies going for their first ultra. Took care of business, ready to rock, and with little fanfare at 7am, we were off (I adore these low key races).
The first 3 hours were pretty perfect. I kept around a 10 minute mile, stopping for a drink every other loop and a bite of either watermelon, potato, or grapes on alternate loops. I listened to music. I chatted. I enjoyed it. My mom and my uncle showed up to cheer me on, which was pretty awesome - always excellent to see a friendly face!!
At mile 20, I implemented some strategic walks (on the ever growing "hill" on the course), and hit the bathroom for my first pit stop. Somewhere between mile 25 and 30 I stopped to pump, I don't remember where. This would be impressive save for the fact that my friend Amanda actually walked a loop while pumping. I am in awe of her bad assery. Hit mile 30 at 6:05 and felt pretty good.
About mile 35 my achilles started acting up and I hit some ibuprofin. I know myself well enough to know that if I took a break, I was done, so I kept on truckin'. 10 to 11 minute miles became 13-14, and thatw as fine with me. I made a few more friends on the course...some Ironmen, some ultra newbies, and a gentleman who was prepping to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. Yikes. I enjoyed the RWG runners that alternated arrying the American flag while running....I ran a lap behind them just for the beauty of it. I remembered again why I am so damn lucky to be able to do this. And then, at mile 37, my husband and kiddos showed up, which was icing on the cake. I pulled over for some baby lovin and chatted briefly with my cousins that came to say hi (my family is awesome).
|The art of running in the rain!|
I hit mile 40 about 8 hours and change in and started to do some mental math. I wasn't too sure about hitting 60 but knew if I kept it up I could PR. Then, the random rain showers that had been coming in and out all morning hit hard. Wind, driving rain, and yuck. Stop? NO WAY!! I ran through it, hung tight, wisely abandoned my childish otions of mud puddle jumping, and changed my shoes at mile 45. Hit mile 50 at 10:33. I knew I had at least 55 in the bag, but also knew I was done running. My achilles was yammering, my body beat. I drank some coke (which I never drink) and it was nectar from the gods. I thanked my lucky stars that I had had no GI issues to date, and clocked in mile 50 with my friend Amanda, who had just finished her double and was ready to call it a day. I'm a stubborn ass, so I knew at that point unless I broke something, I was going to get all the damn pain that I paid for - all friggin 12 hours of it. My friends Liz and John who came to support me toward the end, along with my mom who came back, gave me an oooh- rah, and I was off, equipped with a jacket! to walk those last 5 miles. Until I reached lap 53, and the jokers from trailsroc drinking beer on the hill encouraged (ok, mocked) me to run up it. Dammit I did. I averaged about 15 minute miles for the last 5 miles, walking every step but that stupid hill. And I love them, Whoever they were. On lap 56 I found a friend for the last .2, who encouraged me to run it in with him. Eff my body. I ran in the last few hundred meters, a big smile on my face. I finished in 11:57, with 56.67 miles, good enough for 5th female and 18th overall.
|Swag and mileage awards|
I was exhausted. Slightly hypothermic. A mess. And beyond content and excited with what I did. Did I make 100k? Nope. Still a goal? You betcha. But I know that I gave it my all, and for where I am in my life, and the circumstances leading up to MTD....I feel pretty darn awesome.
Except stairs. Those still suck. But butt scooting is super in fashion.
A big thanks and hug to everyone that helped make my day great - my family, friends, ultra ladies, and new friends I met on the course - I am so inspired by everyone from those that completed their first marathon to the winner, who clocked 77 miles and set the Canadian National record for men 55-59 (seriously, what a feat!!) and of course, Gil Robs, the RD, who always puts on a first class event.
MTD 2017? We'll see. Now its time for some lower mileage, like a few marathons in the next 4 months :-P
Yikes I'm twisted.