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'.