Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Umstead 100 mile Endurance run --March 27-28, 2010

Tammy and I are the pre-race briefing

hugo, frank and anthony at pre-race briefing
before the pre-race briefing

at finish with jenny chow

I am finally updating my blog:). The long road to Umstead 100 and the long winter is finally over. In short, I set a new P.R. in this year's edition of Umstead with 22:08 -hard believe would still be setting at P.R. at age 51!! So many stories from this weekend, I hardly know where to begin. For starters, Frank paced me the last 2 1/2 loops and finished in 22:08 also!!! He ran an amazing 9:11 for the first 50 miles and then backed off which allowed me to catch up with him--his goals were to finish and to come in under 24, and he more than surpassed those! Tony ran a P.R. of 19:34, and friend Eric finished his first 100! So many friends were also out on the trail -ira, kim, fred, joe L., tammy, steve t., shannon, meredith, Hugo, jenny c.,and the NJ contingent (johnny, laura, susan and marge). We were lucky that Rick and Johnny were around for support most of the day until they paced. and Wayne came down to pace Marge! This is a rolling dirt-road course with 12.5 mile loops -2 aid stations per loop with awesome volunteers to help get the runners food and drink. The weather was chilly but dry with a full moon--really lucky, considering we had rain friday and monday--heavy at times, also!
Background ---with Umstead as my primary goal, and the Boston Build up series as my secondary goal, and NYRRC 1/2 marathons, I put in an average of 60-70 miles a week plus tempo runs or long runs (Watchung, run around manhattan, albany,florida 6-hour run, caumsett).
I felt ready, but hamstrings had been tight and foot was still alittle off after long runs --was never sure that my training was enough but my only goal was to run/walk productively and finish under 24 hours. On Thursday before the race, I barely slept-I fell asleep a 3:30 a.m. and woke up at 5:30 a.m. to meet Tony to drive to plane flight....what an awful way to start the day!! Despite the 2 hours sleep, I had a good day!! Tony and I got to JFK and met ira, karen, steve T., and his wife alex and son joey. We had an easy flight, rented a car, and met Rick, Tony's pacer.
We checked into our hotel, Homewood suites, across the street from a fun mall. We all went for lunch, then over to Umstead park for registration. Then we hung around (in the rain) for the pre-race briefing, where I saw Frank and all of the above!!
We then went to wal mart for supplies and a subway sandwich and went back to hotel -I was exhausted and the race hadn't even begun!!!
After a 4 a.m. wake up call (fortunately, I was asleep at 9:30, after preparing my bags--ended up forgetting hat and sunglasses!!!:( lol), met Rick and Tony in the lobby. We had a bit of a mix up in that Tony forgot his energy drink and had to go back to the room! We then got to the park around 5:15 and went into the cabin to get organized and have some breakfast. It was chilly and I needed a headlamp.
At 6 a.m. we all assembled and were off --I was sooooo nervous. The long road was about to begin....we went out and back on the airport spur and I will never forget seeing all the headlamps coming back!!! I then ran with Frank til mile 7 and he took off. I settled into a groove with ira and Eric. After the second loop, my hamstrings were alittle painful and i thought my race would be over. Plus, I had a painful blister on my pinkie toe --after the third loop, I asked Rick to pop the blister and treat it --he did, thankfully, but it felt so raw and painful I did not think i could continue...but it went numb and my stride returned to normal. Thank God!!! I learned a lesson about blisters and shoes. I ran with Eric off and on (he passed me) and finished the 50 miles in 9:58!! This uplifted my mood as this was my fastest 100 mile 50 mile split. When I was coming back out (after having birthday cake at the aid station), I saw Frank and he said that he was walking some of the next loop and that he would 'take it easy' so that I would catch up with him. I could not bear the thought of us running the same pace for 50 miles, each alone, with him 1/2 hour ahead!!! So, I sped up and hammer the next lap in 2:37!! I saw him coming in and he said he would walk and I could catch up. We ad 3 loops to go...so again, I worked as hard as I could to catch up and no Frank--finally at mile 4 of the loop I saw him walking up the big hill. All of this made my race, as
I worked harder to catch up with him than I would if just plodding along. We then finished the loop in 2:40!!! for me. The next loop was long, eve though we ran alot of it. we stopped to get Frank and expresso gel as he was falling asleep standing up., and then we stopped to get me gloves and root thru the bags for tights (we had a discussion about putting on tights and finally decided not to!!). I was getting mentally and physically tired. At mile 88 and at the headquarters, we saw Hugo and again this was so uplifting --only 12.5 miles to go!! We had been on our feet for 19 hours...and this last loop was the hardest part. We started off and decided to run as much as we could --we still walked all the hills but did run the downhills, as much as they were painful on my quads. Frank was really strong and pulled ahead and kept asking if I was back there!! It pushed me to keep up. Finally, we were at aid station mile 7 (95 miles --5 to go)!! We had gotton thru the dark, dreary section, and now had the hilly sawtooth and the main road to headquarters turn. We clicked off mile 96, 97 and 98 --we then walked up the big hill and I said to Frank, let's tryand run this and I can break my time of 22:18 --so we ran the entire last 1.5 miles. Frank had a strong flashlight for the rocky, dark, last .5 mile --he led the way and we crossed the finish line at 22:08. I was so elated that he finished his first Umstead!! They gave him a choice of pendant or belt buckle and he chose a pendant for his daughter --great!!! Anthony, rick and steve were at the finish to greet us. They wanted to catch a 5 a.m. gate opening so we went with them after socializing a bit and taking some photos with Hugo. I was cold, wet, and ready to go inside. Frank's wife came to pick him up in the hotel lobby (early for her)...and then i checked into my room and went for a hot shower and nap...painful blisters!!
I couldn't sleep so got up and we went over to the park to see Meredith finish!!!
We also saw Tammy (she set a PR) and the NJ guys and Wayne. fun day!!! finally took a nap, went mall walking, and out for easy dinner and flew back yesterday. What a great weekend and what memories, and what fun to meet new friends.