Wednesday, July 22, 2009

more thoughts on VT 100/race report

For the week leading up to VT, I wasn't even sure that I would make it past 20 miles,
as my foot had been hurting --I believe that I bruised it in the New canaan mile (beware when doing something different) and then went on to NOT listen to my body by running a high mileage week-90 miles
leading up to July 5...then I was careful,but during the Norwalk summer series 7 miler, it was
just hurting with ever last week -ice, rest, and drugs (went to see Dr.)I did cheat
and walk/run 5 miles on wed a.m. and swam a mile on thursday. On Friday, fellow Greenwich resident and VT 100 entrant Hugo picked me up and off we went to Silver Hill meadow--so much fun riding up with him, as I got
to hear about western states crewing),Miwok, and Boston..and got to read my book.
We made a couple of stops and got to registration @3:30--frm then on it was a social time, catching up with friends- imagine my surprise when i saw Yuki Nishide, ready to run her first 100 (she is Frank's and my friend and
an awesome runner, so know she would do well). And the biggest surprise of all -Nick wanted to pace me! Nik is experienced as they get, and he would be volunteering at camp 10 bear during the day, an so wold be ready whenever i was. So we hooked up my current pacer Hannah with Bob G., who sadly dropped out with stomach and foot issues (but he was Ok with that!).. We put our drop backs out, got weighed and got our blood pressure taken, and then stood in line for dinner which went past the dessert line so ended up eating dessert first).
Sat with Lydia, Bob and Admas... Hugo drove me back to the lovely Yankee village motel
where I attempted to sleep -plus, it was raining all night, an there was a party next door so didn't sleep that well..maybe 3 hours? The runners next door agreed to knock on my door at 2:30 to make sure i was awake and hugo picked me up at 3 (he stayed down the street)--the starting area was very dark, and I found Frank at the start
looking very flustered --he had made a wrong turn and gotton lost. Then, I left my flashlight in the grass
while taking a last minute bathroom stop!! Fortunately, a guy next to me lent me a flashlight (number 17-thank you) or I truly would have been in the dark..I ran the first 15 or so humid miles (it had stopped raining) with Frank and Yuki and Yuki --my foot was a discomfort with every step! I am not a morning person so it was had to get in the one on 3 hours sleep in the humidity...but the horse started to come by and that was fun -plus we had some nice scenery and a new muddy trail,which woke me up Finally mile 21, where we saw lots of our friends
and I did some stretching and ate while Frank changed his clothes. Then the fun began-we hit a major climb up a meadow and then had to run back down the other a few steep climbs. Afer mile 30 aid station where I llled around for 10 minutes too much, Frank and I set off to climb Suicide Six --I had forgotton how tough this was!!and we still had 3 more hours until the second half!!! We got to mile 47, camp ten bear, at 2:35 --25 minutes earlier than last year!! But by the time Frank talked with his wife and daughter and by the time I dealt with Hugo's cooler to put a sandwich in, it was 3 p.m. -- by now I had taken at least 4 advils, 4 succeed caps and 2 pepsid acs, tons of food and tons of drink --so the foot was feeling better and i felt OK...
the next section was called 'agony hill' and it kept going up and up through mud and rocks --this was a new section of the course! Finally we got to Tracer Brook, mile 57, and the start of more climbs! lol--3 miles of climbs.We caught up to Yuki and I told her what was ahead --but it was fun climbing as we all talked together.
Frank and I ran the downhills to Margaritaville (2 miles worth) and then pretty much ran/walked to the Grateful dead station at mile 65, and to camp 10 bear. From miles 62-70 is hands down my favorite part of the course, as
the terrain is runnable and it is exciting as it gets dark to come back and pick up our pacers --and then the best news -'only' 30 miles to go!! Frank ran ahead down the last hill to Camp ten bear and I walked to save my quads --I sat down with my bag and cleaned my feet (which were filled with debris), changed my shoes, went to bathroom and all that stuff, and off we went...Nick and Rob ere waiting for s and it was such a good feeling to know hat Frank would have Rob to stay with him and me Nick. But we hoped to finish together. I know how Frank get second winds, and so wasn't too worried when he complained to Rob that he was really tired...when we got to mile 77, Zeke got him some soup and some coffee, and i had some soup and off we all went into the dark meadow.
Miles 77-88 are tough -they call it the witching hour -but I really like the peacefulness of the night and don't have sleep issues..I do take a ton of caffiene! Gels, coke, coffee, and chocolate...the night was spectacular!! Nick an I stayed behind or went ahead Frank and Rob until we climbed (with another pacer whose runner had dropped) a big hill before Bill's at mile 88, where we got weighed(124 --omg) and met Trail Pixie!! and saw Joe L., who had had stomach problems and had to rest.
Finally, the last 12 miles which seemed like an eternity --and mile 90 is a huge, huge hill, then tough single track...Nick kept saying 'they TRY to make it hard -this is trail run'. It is hard to describe how happy I was to see Polly's aid station at mile 95 -ONLY 5 miles to go!! Frank got something to eat and we all jogged down the hill and along some nice road stretches...Frank took off!!He was running in pain but running fast!
I had hoped he would wait for me to cross the finish line but it didn't seem like it. I did my best to keep running and was overjoyed to see him and Rob walking. Nick and I caught up to them and we all stayed together through the finish line in 26:16!! We both said Never again!! But this was the first 100 we have done together...After some photos, I collapsed with painful was all I could do to shuffle over to get my bag. I saw Hugo in the medical tent, as he had dropped out at midnight, but was cool with that.
Nick drove me to his hotel where I had a hot shower and a nap --well deserved!! Never again --well, maybe!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

scenes from the VT 100

Lydia, Bob and adamas at check in

me at about mile 7 --5:30 a.m. and only about 25 hours to go

Joe at mile 57

long uphill to mile 60

Mile 62 -Margaritaville

The famous trail pixie (after pacing all night)

Doug at the lunch

Frank and I receiving our finishers' awards

Tammy with her finisher's award

Monday, July 20, 2009

VT 100 mile endurance race - july 18-19

slogging through the mud at mile 43!

before the start with yuki and hiro --trying to be calm...

Yuki attempting her first 100 miler -she finished in 27 hours

Frank on top of the mountain at mile 21

looking down at Bill's at mile 88

looking up at Bill's at mile 88!

Frank and I at finish with pacers Nick and Grant

I have so many photos to post!!! The day has gotton ahead of me so here is a quick report that I wrote to my friends Grant and John...will post all my photos later!
John, Grant et all -- I did finish the VT 100 in 26:15 --crossed the
finish line with Frank!! We ended up having perfect weather, but
unfortunately it had rained all Friday night making the course muddy
--it rained for the 4 a.m. start and was miserably humid (heard that
the Westport race was humid also) til about 9 a.m.... then the sun
came out and although it was hot, it was prob a high of 80, which was
much better than 90. The night was mild and clear --beautiful to be
out!! Since I am a night person to begin with and don't have too many
sleep issues, it was just wonderful being out on a star-lit night. I
just loaded up on coke and expresso gels.
Frank and Rob (his pacer) and me and Nick pretty much leap frogged
each other for the last 30 miles, and decided we would finish
together! Frank couldn't run the uphills, and couldn't run the downhills -
what a pair we made --but our pacers stuck with us at own pace:)

On Friday, my friend Hugo Mujica from Greenwich drove me up and back --we were
staying nearby each other so it worked well. (hugo dropped at mile 70
but felt good about making it that far with his minimal training) .
The first person I saw when got to registration on Friday was Nick!!
who said he wanted to pace me --I was thrilled as Nick,
a 15 time finisher, knows the course back and foot had
been bothering me and wasn't sure I would even make it to mile 70.
Speaking of feet, saw Zeke and his girlfriend Yuen --her foot was in a
cast as she has a tendon tear (Zeke was joking that she had a foot
cast from kicking him)- she took bib numbers at mile 76!!! Zeke did a wonderful course talk as usual....ate dinner with Admas, Lydia and Bob --Grant, we missed
you!!!!! Saw so many ultra friends -Tammy, Christine R, her husband Joe, John Holt, Yuki and Hiro --fun to see everyone, and to catch up--everyone nervous!!!
Admas said this was the first time in 10 years she had not seen you at VT 100...
plus, got to meet 'Trail Pixie', a blog friend, who was pacing.

The first 50 miles, aside from the mountain climbs at mile 21 and 30,
and the mile-long steep climbs at 35 and 40, had plenty of mud--we had
to go through a new portion of single track up a hill that was really
slow going as had to step around huge puddles.! I ran behind or with
Frank and stayed with him at mile 20 and mile 30 aid stations --he is
such a good downhill runner and would be out of sight,but then i would
catch up with him as I jogged up the hills ..ha. He, at aid stations,
changed his shoes and socks and sweaty clothes (I did not --wore injinjis which were great --didn't change socks til mile 70) --we got into camp 10 bear at 2:30, and
unfortunately spent 25 minutes there...however, we both needed the break to change socks, get something to eat, and Frank wanted to spend a few minutes with his wife and daughter who had waited around for him!! Off we wet at 3 p.m.
Grant, they put in 2 horrible uphill muddy single -track miles (called
agony hill ) at mile 49-50!!! It was never-ending!!
Then we hit the hills at mile 57-60 --I must say I was trashed at that
point, and wanted to quit at mile 70 --but Frank and I RAN miles 60-70
pretty well --we stopped at Margaritiaville station only for 1 minute
for a cheeseburger and cookies to take while we walked!! and ran on.
A 8:40 p.m. we hooked up with Nick and Rob --I had to clean my feet, put
body glide and bandaids on, get some coffee and food in me so sat in a
chair for 10 minutes barking out orders:) --also had to go to the bathroom --
finally we were off...Nick led in the dark trails from miles 70-77 and I felt
good!! Nick knows these trails well, and Rob is a good trail runner so we followed them...My feet were hurting but physically i felt good --Frank and Rob hung
back as he was tired --then we hit aid station 76 and saw Yuen and
Zeke! Zeke got me and Frank chicken noodle soup, coffee (Frank),cookies
and some coke --then Frank and Rob took off and Nick and I didn't see them til mile 82 - it was so peaceful out on the dirt roads --Nick kept saying ''I don't
hear a thing' and he entertained me with all of his war stories
--anytime i complained about the hills or single track trails he'd say ''you want easy?? do a loop in the park --VT 100 is not supposed to be easy'.
We all plugged along -pretty much jogging the flats and uphills til 88,
where we rested for a few minutes at Bill's garage and then tackled the meadow trails and long climb at mile 90!!!!!!!!!!! ran/walked pretty much the rest of the roads til mile 95 when Frank needed food and drink (he wasn't eating and i got mad at him for not eating). I quickly downed a power bar; Frank had iced tea and a gel, and off we went --Nick and I pretty much ran miles 95-97,and then walked up the bloody hill
at mile 98, went into the trails and caught up with Frank and Rob....finally the last mile and finish!!! 26:15..and over. In a nutshell, I didn't care about my time but had we been more Grant-like about getting in and out of aid stations we would have finished in close to 25 hours, easy ---I still think that going under 24 is
difficult for me as I am not a good downhill runner -but Frank is..he
could go under 24 with no problem. we both said never again!!!! I felt very lucky to get thru the race when I couldn't run without pain last weekend. and Frank ran on
painful blisters for the last 5 miles.
Nick wants me to pace him for the whole race next year -ha. and Rob
may do the whole thing and we could pace him...we shall see what next
year brings!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Taconic RRC July 4 Putnam County Classic

the start of the race --8:01 and everyone out of bathroom!!

registration -open bright and early at 7 a.m.!

Lee with John Albanese -he has been carrying the flag inthe race for 25 years!

the 2 winning men and women

well, it's about time to update my blog with a report of the Taconic RRC's July 4 Run for your life race -I am greatly relieved that it is over, but kind of sad...with the anticipation of it all, and the build-up and now it's gone. But I have committed to helping out again, so next march will come soon enough! Hope that National Road Safety Foundation will be a sponsor again -with July 4, it was a good fit. We had over 30 volunteers for this race and could have had it without club support on the morning. Plus, we had an ambulance,police help, and HAM radio operators on course (thanks Frank!).This is the second time Lee and I have been race directors and each year we learn more and tweak a few things...first of all, read Frank's great race report (maybe we will publish this in the Taconic newsletter)...the race, a local favorite, which winds its way around Lake Mahopac, was a big success. We only had 145 pre-registrants, as most people were waiting to see if it was going to rain --we had almost 200 people sign up race day!!! as the weather was sunny,not too hot, and moderate humidity. We also had a kids' run which was only $1, sponsored by Gatorade --they paid for t-shirts and ribbons..we got 100 kids! That was definately a big hit. I am pushing for an ice cream truck next year!!! but we had plenty of food, and thanks to Frank's and Pam's culinary skills --they sliced watermelon, bananas and bagels before the race...