Monday, April 26, 2010

Sybil Ludington 50K /Boston marathon--April 19 & 24, 2010

coming into the mile 29.5 Sybil aid station

Ellen (who volunteered), Lucimar, Joe, Elaine and myself after finish

Frank and Elaine sample the subs after finishing

Joe Handelman at finish with Joe LeMay (2 Princeton grads)

Frank, Hugo and I at finish of Boston Marathon

Always a time for firsts, and at age 51-almost 52- this was a first for me --the hilly Sybil 50K came on the heels of Boston Marathon (April 19 so 4 days prior) and 4 weeks after the Umstead 100 miler...I knew that I would finish, even if I had to walk, but also knew that Boston had taken alot out of me (as ran quite a bit after Umstead -weather too good and so happy to have the tapering behind me) and had no idea how I would feel. (I had done Boston/Sybil back-to-back in 2007 and felt much better in Sybil so hoped this was the case). I was thrilled that I finished Boston in an 8:42 pace (3:47) as my body was still fatigued from Umstead and the Scarsdale 15K!!! (week before, where I did push myself at a 7:15 pace). Boston is a tough roller coaster course and aside from the race, I had the best time!! so the weekend with running friends and with my son was more than worth leaving my Sybil race at the took it really easy after Boston, with walking and swimming. I had a bad pinkie toe blister that killed me the entire Boston race, and was not healed! It was raw and sore --but taped it, wore different shoes and hoped for the best.
The morning of Sybil was a disaster --I forgot to put the plastic holder in my coffee maker and it leaked all over the kitchen-had to leave it as no time to clean (but later mopped and scoured the whole area)!!Then, tossed everything in car and as pulled out of driveway, realized my tire was flat (again)...arghh.. so quickly got the keys to other car, put my stuff in (forgot iPod) and left to meet Frank at the Bedford commuter parking lot --by now was 10 min late!! Fortunately, we were early to the start -haha --arriving just as a crew from the Brewster train station pulled in (Lucimar, Sal, and other city folks). The weather was just perfect --a touch chilly and windy but bright sun and not too hot. I was frazzled from the flat tire problem but managed to forget about and concentrate on the 31-plus miles ahead.
I carried a water bottle, and a fanny pack (which had bought at Umstead!)with some food and Advil/s-caps. We were driven to the start a mile away and I rode with Admas , who is coming back from a stress fracture and who hoped to finish and resume her Comrades training--I had told Frank to go ahead and get a ride to the start as I wasn't ready! We started a few minutes after 8 a.m., and Byron, the front running men and Frank took off up the hill _ I took it very easy, not paying attention to any of the other women --just holding back at an 11 min pace. I talked to Seth, who had run Umstead --his fiancee, Frances, had also run Umstead and was running Lake Waramug 50 the next day (and she had run Boston! but she's 20 years younger than I)...I soon left him and ran by myself along the busy route 6--soon we turned and went to the North of Lake Mahopac --hilly, but scenic --oh no--my quads were already tired by mile 4--it would be a long day!! I caught up with Michael, the race director of the Staten island ultra --we leap frogged each other until the half way point,where the eventual womens' leader passed me--I then started to feel better and to pick up the pace --it was just glorious outside, and I wanted to take photos of the road around the resovoir at mile 15 --but that road was short lived and soon I was on a long stretch of highway, where ran alone for an hour --finally I saw a person- Hiroshi, who was running in the relay. he told me that he was racing NJ marathon next weekend so didn't want to run the full 50K --the next stretch, after Cathy G.'s aid station at mile 19 and mile 21.7 and a wonderful aid station with a friendly woman and homemade cookies, was tough --rickety dirt roads and undulating terrain -here is where I saw Antonn, who told me that Joe Handelman was ahead --so I looked forward to catching him (he was running for his 80th b-day and started early)and to seeing Eliot at mile 29 --before that is the toughest hill of the course --a mile long hill at mile 24--endless!! at the top is an aid station..and then the marathon point is around the corner --I love this section of the course, because although hilly, when one comes out to the highway we only have 4 miles to go!! I started to click off the miles and forget the fatigue in my quads and hamstrings..I had caught up with Joe, given him a hug, and had my photo taken by Anton -'save some beer for me', said Joe, who added that he felt good save for a tight hamstring. Finally, I saw Eliot and the aid station --he told me we were at mile 29.5--horray!! After 10 or so min, a woman told me that we had 1.25 miles to go--what? But by then I knew the last mile --across the causeway, and down a hilly and busy thoroughfare into town. I felt good -at that point it's all mental.
After i finished (5:29--made up some time after the pitifully slow start), Frank took some photos and we talked with ellen and joe leMay, Tom and Frank D...then it was into the lodge where we got birthday cake and food --I was so pleased to get a nice handmade plaque for first master female and to see Frank get second 40s (Byron was in the top 3 overall)...what a great day!!! I really love this race, and I never attempted it until 2006, when Frank suggested that he run it as his first Ultra -it is now one of my favorites and the one great thing about this low-key event, as opposed to Boston, is that I can slow down and walk whenever I want; or push myself--absolutely no time pressure..that's the nice thing about 50Ks -and this race is a Taconic rrc event! I could not muster the energy to drive up to lake Waramug the next day to run the 50K or pace in the rain...but many friends did run and finished their first 50 miler and ran the 50K/100K -congrats to all!! Can't wait to run both next year!