I’m starting to think about MdS as a restful vacation with a bit running thrown in. I’m not underestimating the desert...
In which I try to ruin Hal’s race, PR, and set a new CR at the Umstead 100Liza
Well, let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat. I ran the first loop of the eight-loop Umstead course with Hal Koerner. This was very fun, and also smacked of being crazy, since I’d only run one 60-miler since the baby was born (yes, that was the nap attack 100k) and a 40-miler on the treadmill, during which I took every possible opportunity to stop and do other things – like tidy the garage. But I figured “What the heck?” the pace feels comfortable, and how many times will I have the opportunity to run with Hal Koerner and pick his brain about ultrarunning? (Not many since I live in San Antonio, Texas.)
So things were going swimmingly and I was just beginning to think about the best excuse to slow down after the first loop. “Well, I’d love to keep running at this superfast pace with you, but I guess I’d better stop to use the breast pump….” “Breast pump” is never questioned as an excuse. Sadly, I never had to lie because as we came to the turn to the start/finish, I got confused and convinced myself AND Hal that we needed to keep going straight. The course was well-marked, and the whole thing was a total fail on my part. The extra mileage itself wasn’t too grim – just a mile and a quarter or so, (Maybe more, I was too busy being mortified and apologizing profusely.) But while it’s one thing to screw up your own race, screwing up a someone else’s race – especially if they’re going after the course record – is quite another thing. Siiiiiiiigh. Anyway, Hal was totally gracious and kind about the whole thing – and didn’t beam me with a water bottle or anything. It was impressive to see how fast he was running out there until a 13-hour ski-mo race the previous weekend took its toll. Shall I tell you how I came into the 6.85-mile aid station asking for electrolytes because my legs were cramping (Yes, I know! Professor Noakes, but it made them go away…), and the aid station didn’t have any, but they said, “But Hal does.” and I turned around confused, and saw him sitting there – done with his CR attempt – gamely holding his electrolytes out to share? Dang.
OK, now that that confession is out of the way, you should know what a wonderful job the RDs, Blake Norwood and Rhonda Hampton, and their volunteers do at Umstead. Blake and Rhonda told us that their goal is to take good care of every runner. And they do. The course is well-marked, the aid stations are well-stocked (snow cones!!), and the aid station crews are knowledgeable. They made me a breakfast taco after I finished the race for gosh sakes. I described it and they kindly soothed my Texas appetite. I must have looked a bit frightful after the race because I was quickly led over to a cot by a fire and ministered to with the greatest care.
And I couldn’t have run the race I did without Alison Bryant’s crewing. She is the very best. Similarly, Matt Hart’s coaching was invaluable.
And Eliot. Well, we already talked about his near perfection.
Anyway, here is a Cliff Notes version of the race with some splits. I’ll write more tomorrow. I have to brave the shower before I fall asleep. Chaffing and soap… 🙁
Loop 1: Fun. Then mortification. Split: (With the extra 1.25-ish+ miles): 1:44
Loop 2: Hot, but fun. “Oh my gosh those are real hills!” “Wish I’d had time for any hill training…” Split: 1:36
Loop 3: Stop for pumping. “I can’t believe I have to run six more loops…. I feel like crap.” “Good grief! the hills…” Split: 1:53
Loop 4: Food can make you feel better. Split: 1:44
Loops 5 & 6: Bleh. “There are other things I’d like to be doing right now instead of running.” Splits: 1:55 (with pumping stop), and 1:58
Loop 7: “I might cry on that 2ish mile slight uphill to the turn to the start/finish.” Split: 2:05 (with pumping stop)
Loop 8: “Keep it together.” “Keep on running.” “Stop walking!” “No really, stop walking!” Split: 2:09
Wonderful gear from sponsors who stuck with me during my pregnancy and had faith that I’d get back to being useful to them:
New Balance: Shoes 1400v2, Super excellent shorts with compression tights built in, Sports Bra
Handheld: UltrAspire 8oz
Nutrition: Tailwind (and random gels)