Friday, April 8, 2011

Umstead endurance run 100 miler-april 2011

After the finish --5 a.m.!

Noonie and Tammy before start of race

Out on the course with Noonie
Since some friends have asked for details of my race, I decided to come out of blog-hibernation once again and to write up a hopefully short race report...
Background-- this winter was really tough to train for a 100 miler or even for any length race!! Last March, I signed up for the NJ Ultrafest which was on the thirds weekend of March. It sounded like a great event, and was near my parents' house so I could stay with them. I signed up for the 100 miler but wasn't sure which distance would do -plus, the weather can be very unpredictable!!!
So, in Sept., to hedge my bets I also signed up for Umstead 100 miler -this would be my 4th time in Umstead and it is one of my favorite destination events. However, I had finished that 100 successfully and really could have quit while i was ahead--but had a desire to try again a few times and maybe make the Umstead 500 mile club for a t-shirt;-) Now that would be a big achievement. If you ask me whether I want to go thru the training and mental anquish again...might say NO:-(
My training started out with a jan 8 fat ass 50K (on 6 inches of snow), followed by the 14 degree Manhattan 1/2 (where did 21 miles total for day); Run around manhattan (32 miles), Albany marathon (16 degrees with real-feel of zero); the Boston build up series and caumsett park 50K (torrential rain)--it was too much pounding on concrete as my third metatarsal on left foot, where had injured it before, weakened and i got discomfort and swelling. I did back off before Caumsett but it was held in the pouring rain and the shoes that i was wearing created bad foot pain in the last 2 loops...Frank did most of my training races with me, so if you read his blog you can see how bad caumsett weather was:0( so I rested for 2 weeks til the NJ ultras, and decided to drop down to 100K. Actually, the weather turned out to be great, if cold.
I ended up running the full 100K (well, actually 65 miles) in 13:44 w/my friend Noonie--it was inspiring and motivating to see Betsy, John M., Joe G.,and other finish the 100 miler!!! The afternoon got very cold and windy and Noonie decided to stop, and my foot was still bothering me from Caumsett so i was happy to stop at 65 miles --plus, we started at 4 a.m.!!! BUT what would this do to my Umstead performance? Did I ruin everything????
The next couple weeks i rested, running 13 miles easy of the Wurtsboro course, while Frank, Kate and neil raced it!. Strange-this was one of the first winters where I didn't do any speedwork or shorter races-I really felt that i had lost it!!! I started work coaching track and the weather was cold and miserable, but at least i was doing a few intervals:-) Horray for shorter races.
I flew down Thursday night with cherie and Mat, and Cherie's mom, from JFK. Raleigh was cold and rainy , and Mat and I took a shuttle to our hotel. I was very happy to be in my warm hotel room, and since i had had GUM surgery on Tues (another story -was told by dentist not to run), the hotel's frozefruit bars saved me -they tasted so good and so i had 2 of those in my room and went to bed. Last day of antibiotics, and tooth felt achy..On Friday, I slept in (the reason why i flew down on thurs) and mat and I walked over to the outdoor shopping mall next to the hotel, and had lunch at a great noodle place. We then went over to the Umstead park to get our bibs and shirts, and since Mat had never seen the course, i showed him the famous headquarters spur and the start/finish area...i also saw tammy! Then we went back to hotel and rested, and at 5:30 came over for the pasta dinner, which wasn't that great -but Admas and Roger gave us a ride to Target and the hotel, which was fun, along with Bob, a new friend doing the 100 (staying at our hotel)...I went back and organized my stuff and since Noonie had also entered both races, I was to meet her in the lobby at 5 a.m. -she was driving up from a swim meet in charlotte...
so 5 a.m. rolled around and we were ready to go -I was nervous and didn't sleep well as usual. We found a great parking spot, and went into the start/finish cabin area, and talked with friends.I briefly saw Tony, but would see his wife Ginette cheering on the headquarters spur all day!!!
I lined up with Noonie and we ran into the dark, when the race promptly started at 6 a.m. Since Noonie had never seen the park or the loop, I enjoyed 'showing' it to her--amazingly, we run pretty much the same pace, so we decided to stick together (12.5 mile loops x 4 for 50 miles)-the weather was perfect, actually, if a touch chilly. We were consistent, finishing each loop in about 2:30. On loop 4, I changed out of my trail shoes and into my Nike dual fisions (lighter and more flexible)--oh oh!! The top of my foot immediately started aching --it was tough with every step, and i thought -this is it, am going to have to drop at 50. Noonie pushed me thru, saying 'let's be productive' to 50 miles, and so that became my goal--we crossed the 50 mile finish line in 10:15 !!! 5 minutes before NJ, only 2 weeks earlier --I had been eating and drinking all day, and my jaw did not hurt!! I felt good except my aching foot..Noonie decided to stop, and get into her warm car and drive to her daughter's swim meet/hotel. As she left, she offered me a ride back to the hotel!! But I was determined to go one, because i knew i had a lot left in my body, and had trained so hard and spent so much $$ to come to this event;-)!! I changed back into my trail shoes, got my iPod, took some Advil (had taken so many drugs -ugh), and started walking --walk/ran for awhile, and slowly the foot felt better -must have been the shoes and the hills!! I listened to music, and finished the next 2 loops in 6 hours. I then decided, as I was coming up the headquarters spur (and of course was grateful to see Ginette!!! and Doug vaughan's wife), that i need a pacer. Well, God was looking down on me, as an older man stepped up and asked me if i wanted someone for 25 miles and i said YES!! and he turned out to be the perfect pacer for me. he immediately got me some food (i was nauseaus at this point from the s-caps, drugs, and junk food) and drink, and off we went, and he had an extra strong flashlight to shine on the ground, too, which i needed. My pacer's name was geoff Scott, and he had moved from Ct to Chapel hill! I found out that he had finished 19 100 milers and 13 iron tris...he was also an awesome power walker so essentially walked while i jogged -my running muscles are much stronger than my walking muscles so i would jog along as he walked..somehow we made it thru the next loop in 3 hours, walking and running. It was getting really cold, and i saw Mat come up the headquarters spur shivering, with a blanket on--I wondered if he would be able to go back out.
Earlier, Noonie and I had come upon Marge, who tore her achilles --she had to sadly stop but she was cheering on Susan Grant, who was a bot behind me...anyway, my pacer made me get warmer clothing on and get some expresso gels and food--we then rejoiced that this was our last loop (the victory loop, as they call it) --I was never sleepy, but just dead tired and feet of course hurt--i was able to run and so tried to scamper along as much as possible-my pacer said that i was keeping up the finest pace he'd seen (trying to be nice) and he regaled me with stories from his 100 milers (didn't know that runners got swept away in the hardrock river),,,slowly we were closing in on the finish. We made it to mile 95, and hooked up with catra Corbett and some others who my pacer knew --we were all ready for this to be over with, as it had ceased being fun! I just needed to put it on cruise control for a couple miles, so as not to pull anything or get injured...finally we got to mile 98 --with rolling uphills --I started to run, and i ran the last few hills, with my pacer beside me-- he head his flashlight as we went down and up the last .5 mile to the finish!! I could not believe that it was over. We cross the finish line in 22:39..I thanked him and sent him home a he needed to leave the park at the 5 a.m. gate opening --I then saw Cherie and her pacer-they had finished only 4 min ahead of me. We all went inside, where Mat was leaving for his last loop -I knew; I hoped; that he would get the job done..after changing clothes, i started to feel the fatigue and thankfully Cherie's pacer drove me back to the hotel. I was able to take a shower, a short nap, and then left for airport w/mat and his wife.
During the race, i said i would never do Umstead again...but my memory will fade, and I may very well sign up for the very last time...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Boston Buildup series/jan recap

So far, the story this winter has been the weather --snow, snow and more snow. This year's Boston Build up series started on January 9 with the 10K --on Friday, Jan. 7, the area got 6 inches of new snow. The NYRRC even moved the Central park Fred leBow 5 miler from sat the 8th to sun the 9th. I thought that Jim might have to postpone the 10K, but he went ahead and had it, with a record turnout of over 300 runners. I
started my Umstead ultra (training has been non-existent) build-up on Sat. Jan 8 with the 'recovery from the holidays' fat ass 50K, which was put on by the
MHRRC in Straatsburg, NY took me and Frank C., along with other friends, alot of effort to navigate the snow-covered roads of the 3 mile loops course -
I finished in 5:40, which was perfect--wanted to go slowly and walked alot on the snowy areas. On the way back, a group of runners met for
a beer at the new Hyde park brewery, and since the sun came out, and I finished, it was a successful day.
On Sunday, wasn't sure how would feel, but wanted to run the 10K as a social workout. Last year, the wind chills were -3, and the custodian of the Norwalk
high school gym never showed up, leaving the runners stranded outside in brutal weather!! This year it never warmed above freezing, and a stiff wind blew,
but at least the school was open!! and it was a touch warmer. The Rowayton/Norwalk course was beautiful with all the snow, and the first mile
was exciting with so many runners slipping and sliding on the high school entrance/exit road --since the first 3 miles are downhill, I was able to maintain
a faster pace (7:40s) than the 8 minutes I had hoped for (the day after 31 slow miles). I don't remember my splits, but do remember that my quads started hurting on the last section with the climbs --I made it to the top of the hill without stopping, and felt pretty good in the last push to the finish--I ran even splits for a 7:42 pace. The nice thing about the 10K is that we know everyone --lots of Wolfpitters ran, including Anton. This is a tough course!!! I was glad i wasn't in shape to race it.

Fast forward to the 15K (planned for Jan 23) and the weekend of january 22 and 23--more snow fell on Friday, jan 21, and the forecast was for bitterly cold temps.
The NYRRC held the Manhattan 1/2 marathon as scheduled in 14 degree temps, but Jim wisely postponed the 15K with snow covered roads and 8 degree temps , with
windchill of zero...turns out that the sun came out that day but it was truly bitter cold. So, ANOTHER snowstorm (over a foot) pummeled the area
on Wed jan 26, and Ridgefield looked like a winter wonderland --but would the 15K be on as scheduled? It was touch and go, but Jim did decide to go ahead. He changed the course to and out and back along the road (eliminating the undulating dirt road but still included some snow covered roads)The day was much warmer, although it did seem cold at the start (25 degrees??) and almost every runner wore 2 or 3 layers. We started out with 2 loops around the parking lot- another exciting start!! and then out onto the rolling roads --i love this course, as like the hills, and loved the snow covered roads as it is more of a strength workout. I wanted to run this one faster than the 10K, and went out a bit fast --my breathing was horrible--could not breathe or catch my breath so was forced to slow down, and the
snow covered roads helped me relax...especially as woman after young woman flew by me:)) The last mile is tough --uphill to the finish with a
sharp climb --the course seemed to take longer and when I finished i found out that it was really 9.6 --which was good...a better workout. and everyone else had to run the same course.
Thanks to Rick F. for manning the waterstop--it was great to see him, even thou I couldn't answer his question 'how's everybody'?...and congrats to all the Wolfpitters for finishing this tough run. Afterwards, new Ridgefield resident Gail J. had a lovely brunch at her house, but parking was next to impossible with all
the snow around her roads!! Amazing....what will the 20K weather bring?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recover from the Holidays 50K-Jan 8, 2011

After a month-long 'break' (following the dec 11 bartram forest 100K), I finally toed the line at a 50K..Frank and I had gone to the new year's marathon but 2 feet of snow foiled the efforts of most of the runners to do the full distance..we ran the 1/2 marathon in knee-deep snow covered trails and that was enough for me --I was moving for almost 3 hours!. the following day i ran 10 easy on the roads and felt completely beat up from the snow running!! So, appropriately, it snowed again on Friday, jan 7,
and running the MHRRC 50K seemed questionable--I worried about the drive up and about the snow on the course. I needn't have worried --the drive was easy (getting out in the dark was hard)if an hour and a half; and the sun came out and the day was pretty nice for January at Norrie Point park. The race started at 9 a.m. and was 10 loops of 3.1 miles --Frank and I got to the park at 8:50, right on time -I started with all my layers on, and wore my trails shoes-the footing was pretty bad, and my legs just wouldn't move!! Despite a rest day on Friday, they just seemed dead tired, and my quads were hurting--I think it was the combo of the stiffer trail shoes and the snow...but I didn't feel like i could pick up the pace and 15.5 miles took me 2:50! (with stops)--I then changed into some lightweight shoes, and felt much better -I was able to pick up the pace in the last 3 loops (34 min each) and to finish with negative splits in 2:40 (5:42)--we then met seth and Frances at the Hyde park brewery on the way home, which was the highlight!of the trip, besides finishing and seeing running friends like Lisa G. finish her first ultra!
The next day I ran the Boston Build up 10K, and while quads sore and overall tired, actually felt good and had some pick up in my legs to run a 7:42 pace...this week my achilles is bothering me--i think from the snow --so have to take it easy this weekend --next long run with hopefully be Run around manhattan in late jan...

2010 recap

wow-seems so long ago (July 2010) that I updated my blog...2010 was definately a year that was crammed with races, and had its highs and lows in terms of performance--
the winter was smooth sailing but somewhere in the spring every ultra became harder and i went into over-training mode which stayed with me til August --then felt awesome after Beast of Burden (pacing Frank and running 75 miles) and cranked up the racing and long runs again but somewhere in mid Oct reached that stale stage again, and got sick and the rest of the year was tough--nycm and JFK 50, 2 races which should have been good, were lousy --but I still had fun...and i capped off the year with the bartram forest 100K--the weekend away was an early holiday present to myself, as barely traveled in the summer!! I also ran some high mileage weeks -many weeks close to 100, and averaged 50 miles a week-maybe 55.
My total miles for the year were 2848 --walking would put the total over 3000!!!
Over the course of 2010, I did
2 100 milers (Umstead and VT)
3 50 milers and over (Joe K. 12 hour (59 miles)jfk and bartram Forest)
4 marathons (albany, nycm,boston & nipmuck trail)
9 50Ks/6 hours (watchung, run around manhattan, FL 6 hour run, Camsett park, Sybil Ludington, Greenbelt, LI 6 hour, Trail mixup 6 hour, and Bimbler's bluff)
2 24 hour races (NJ --87 miles; Beast of Burden -75 miles)

when i look over this schedule, I def. see where I can take out some of the 50Ks and prioritize some races --in 2010 it seemed like i ran every race because it seemed like a good training idea at the time but never prioritized!!
So, in 2011, definately want to build more rest (all of fall -no ultras) into my schedule and target a few ultras where i am well rested and ready to go, and avoid burnout and injury-lol

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Belated race report --VT 100 miler-July 17-18, 2010

me at finish with Nick, my pacer

Vermont 100 mile endurance run--three time's NOT a charm!!!
(photos of Frank, Kraz and I during the race and of myself and my pacer at finish)

July 17-18, 2010 was my third running of the Vermont 100 mile endurance Run (my mid-life crisis but should be so lucky to be running like Anton when I am his age:)) and I did finish in 28:37.
It was my slowest time of the three (2008-25:50; 2009-26:16), but since i didn't feel good the whole day (and night), I was proud of myself for digging deep and carrying on.
When I crossed the finish line last year, I said ' never again will I run VT'. It took so much out of me, but it was also a real journey...but i did forget the pain and entered again.
The course, not anywhere as difficult as the western Mountain 100s, is still tough. Mountains and relentless uphills to climb (ski areas like Suicide Six) at miles 21, 30, 39, 57, and 91..
.even the last 2 miles are uphill in the woods --with 1.3 to go, one has to climb the steepest .3 you can imagine!!
Plus, the weather is most likely the typical July heat and humidity. This year the temps were in the low 90s and humidity very high--113 runners (almost half the field) dropped out.
The hills are OK for me, but it's the focus and training that goes into the event --basically 50-70 miles every week for 4 months with tempo runs, hill runs, and typically an ultra (31 miles or more) every other weekend. Also to prepare I did 87 miles in a 24 hour race in May (training to go thru the night); and 60 miles in a 12 hour race (training for time on feet for 12 hours! arghh).
And as the time got closer, i did all my runs in the midday heat, and also did alot of night running (Waveny Park, etc).
So with all that work going into the 100, as horrible as I felt, was not going to quit. But the week of the race I was plagued with a stomach bug and excrutiating migraine headache
(and wanted to save the drugs for the race:) but had to take those Advils). The day before the race, my stomach hurt, and although i didn't feel weak I felt headachy, tired, and
somewhat out of it...and the night before I toss and turned and slept for maybe 10 minutes --wake up time was 2:30 for a 4 a.m. start!!!

I drove up by myself but also in the race were tons of friends, including Old Greenwich's John krazneiwicz, running his first 100 miler at age 59!!!, and my
friend Frank Colella, running his fourth VT --we must have had 30 ultra friends toeing the line. I started with Frank, and it was warm and humid already at 7 a.m. when we got to the first food aid station at 11.5 --I gulped down some pb and j's , drinks, chips, pretzels, and m and ms and we continued onward. Frank pulled ahead of me and I didn't see him
until we came into mile 21--the first big aid station that cars can park at --he was on the ground changing his clothes which were soaked thru. I did not feel well at all-my quads were way too beat up for this early in the race, and my stomach hurt!! i could not even keep up with Frank at an easy pace out of the station and once again lost him until mile 31, where
he and kraz were changing clothes --we all ventured up the big suicide six climb together, and kraz pulled ahead at another big hill at mile 39. It was slow going for
both Frank and I and he walked more than I wanted to but i stayed with him until we pulled into mile 47--Camp ten bear. We were an hour behind!!! Frank had a sausage sandwich and we walked
on with Nick, my pacer (he was volunteering and I would pick him up after a loop that took us back to that camp and mile 70)--we ran/walked over a section of river and single track,
and up some hills -it was here that we (along with another runner, mary) encountered 'the naked runner'--a man running buck naked, along with his clothed buddy -
his chafing was so bad that he had to take off and carry his clothes -lol...He told us not to look and we didn' mile 57 the sun was setting but it was still warm.
Frank couldn't really run anymore as his quads were in pain. So we lost some time walking the hills and didn't get back down to mile 70 til 10:30 p.m.!!!
Frank dropped out--he just didn't want to slog through 31 miles in 10-11 much as i felt the same way, my pacer and everyone else at the aid station told me to GO ON..
that is the way with ultras --put one foot in front of my pacer Nick and i got some food and drink and went off into the woods. We were moving along
at a 15 minute pace, when i felt a twinge in my knee--and it was actually painful. I could not run for the next 5 miles, and after mile 81 i took some drugs and did some stretching and found that i could lift my knee so we ran from mile 81 to 88 --slowly; off and on...until the big aid station at Bill's garage...a beacon of lights in the night. many people were laid out in cots and had dropped.
i felt weird and unsteady on the scales and hoped that they didn't ask me to lie down!! On we went at at mile 92, Nick missed a turn into the woods...we went 1/2 mile down the road and I thought that i would cry when he said we had to go back..finally we were at mile 95.5, and we passed some people going up a huge hill. Already at 7 a.m. the sun was blazing down.
I was so happy to see the marker for the 1.3 miles to go --we were going to do it!! and finish. We crossed the line at 8:37 and sat in the hot sun with my friends who had finished before me.
Frank and his pacer Rob had spent the night on a cot and came to the finish, and John Kraz. came across the line in 29 hours --i was SO PROUD of him. He had a wonderful pace, joe reis, from westchester track club. Yes, says Kraz., he will do another 100 again but a 'flatter one'.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

'3 days at the fair' 24 hour race --Sussex Fairgrounds, NJ -May 15-16, 2010

finishing one more lap!

taking a well-deserved rest

taking a walking break...

Siri and Byron -the mens' 24 hour winners

the womens' winner Susan--her first 100 miles deserves roses!

The '3 days at the fair' 24 hour race was my third '24 hour' event, and while it was not my best in miles, it was definately the most fun. I had run Race Director Rick McNulty's Watchung Winter Ultra in 10 degree weather and wanted to try one of his warmer weather events..Frank and I wanted to run thru the night as training for VT 100 but we also wanted to run Greenbelt 50K, as trail training. But a 24 hour is what you make of it, and we had alot of friends entered--meredith, Fred, ray, Steve T., Shannon, Byron, etc. Another plus--the course was .86 mile loops and I have alot of experience dealing with the mental aspects of running loops from the B.U.S. events:-) So, Frank and I decided to enter ON TUES before the event-lol --we could carpool and put all of our stuff together -- and see what we could do for 'fun'--but a 24 hour event does take planning and commitment and if Frank was running he would make sure that I double-checked my packing list and that I didn't quit...the fatigue of Boston, Sybil 50K and Greenbelt 50K had left me with 'dead legs'--tried to rest last week but ended up going to Boston to visit my son and ended up walking 8 miles or so and spending hours on my feet --I have to say that walking alot during the week leading up to a 24 hour was a pretty stupid idea:( (the one thing bothering me during the race, besides my quads, were my feet).
The weather on Saturday was sunny and windy -pretty perfect except for the wind, which blew over our chairs-(. I left my house at 6:25; picked up Frank and all his stuff and we arrived at the Sussex County fairgrounds at 8:20.As we were driving in we saw the 48 hour runners out on the course!!! Right away i recognized Ray K., and Steve T. (who was stopping at 24)...we parked right on the course before the finish line/aid station and put out chairs, drinks (forgot water-hum..!)
and clothing/medical supplies...we walked over to the start/finish, where Rick, his family and kids and big Rottweiler had set up shop, and were camping for the duration of the weekend. Other tents dotted the landscape. Picked up our bibs which included a chip in the back; and were given a hat and water bottle (a hi-tek hand-held-yah!) --a 9 a.m. we were off. Right away, i felt pretty sluggish and tired --however, plenty of friends were on course and I decided to take it realllly easy and walk and talk with Fred, Ray and Meredith, just to get my legs going. Decided I might just got for 50 miles. I changed shoes and shirts after a few hours, and Frank, Siri, Susan and Byron went blowing by me every few laps -ugh...finally at about 50K (41 slowww laps), Marge A. showed up to pace/cook/volunteer --as much as I was not up to running (quads and feet hurt --all I could think of was 'good thing i didn't try and race the healthy kidney 10K-woulda been a disaster.. haha) , Marge wanted to run some slow loops --she had hoped to get in 20 miles but would stop when needed in the kitchen. This was just what the Dr. ordered, as I did want to stop. I was forced to run --and we did run 40 laps together, most with Frank,as he had cranked out 50 miles already and was 8 loops ahead of me and was slowing down due to stomach issues (my stomach hurt also --I was severely nauseous-- until i finally found a pepsid-ac in my drop bag). At about 9:30, after dark, we saw the most amazing fireworks, which lasted for 3 loops...(Rick said they were for a Sparta baseball game). Marge lasted til 3 a.m. with us (we got lapped by the 12 hour runners -they ran thru the night!!) and then had to go help prepare breakfast...thus started the 'witching hours' -3 to 5 a.m. where the road became desolate as most of the 48 hour runners were asleep. However, the roads were well lit, and I enjoy running thru the night and was beginning to feel better and found myself in 3rd place due to attrition (7 women started--2 ran 50 miles; one ran 100K and one got sick..) I plodded along and walked a lap with Meredith which was great. Poor Frank was dragging so could not run anymore, while i found i could run/walk, so tried to make up some time, even though the feet were really hurting (nothing like the 48 hour people though!!) -meanwhile my friend Susan was on her way to running 100 miles and marge went back out and paced her for a few miles:) Then it got light and I chuckled when went past Meredith's tent and her daughter Zoe was up, sitting on the grass and having a playdate!! Only 3 more hours to go!! At 7 a.m., Marge told me that the girl ahead of me was going to stop at 100 loops --I finished off my 100th with her, and wanted her to go on with me (we would tie for second and third) but her feet were I added one more loop and called it quits at 8:20 a.m. --could have run a few more laps but just didn't want to --too tempting to stop and finally put my feet up-ahhhh. Frank had finished 90 miles and was sitting anyway...and Fred was almost done. We watched, from our chairs, as the 48 hour runner Liz bauer ,who was setting a record of 205 miles!!, finished with Byron, Siri and the other frontrunner...amazing!!! And the mens' top 48 hour runners racked up laps until the bitter end --one also set a record? of 200 miles --truly inspirational!! also uplifting to see the kids run so many miles, 'effortlessly'..
After a change of clothes, coffee and a beer (wonderful), we hobbled back to the finish line where Rick awarded the top 3 in each race handmade pottery jars..i ended up getting second female for 101 laps,which was just short of 87 miles..
but what a great event this was, and def. want to go next year back more rested and in the mental zone so can run over 100!!! We had perfect weather, and saw so many friends and rick and his family did an awesome job to help each and every participant!! Rick's son ran 100 miles --now wish my son could do that!!!
Check out the great photos from the race!!!
and Frank's race report

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!