Thursday, April 11, 2013

Umstead 100

WOW...It is real!! Where to begin and hope to not be my normal self and jump back and forth all over   the place making reading this a total nightmare for those interested!
The fun started Wednesday evening when my left IT Band started to bother me - All week I felt some pain but couldn't figure it out since I haven't had any ITBand issue for a long long time...I was worried about the hamstring and glute more then anything. I decided to foam roll out the ITBand Wednesday evening and my dog Andi always thinks if Im on the floor its time to play..and she jumped back and forth over my head and when I went to protect myself her hind leg nailed my right eye! Started to swell right away and at that moment I knew I would be going into my first 100 mile run with a black eye! Who would think a foam roller could be so dangerous. I drove to Raleigh on Thursday to get settled in and a friend of a friend contacted me about pacing me...this was my Easter present! Up till then I didn't have anyone going with me or anyone that I knew knew that was going to be there for sure. On Friday I got up and decided to drive over to the park to see where I would be going to pick up my packet, after I left I called my mother and I found out that when I was talking to someone on the phone they could only hear me on speaker or bluetooth so I had to find an apple store. They gave me a new phone but lost everything except for my contacts (then when I got home I plugged it in and hit restore from my previous iphone and then lost all my texts and photos from the new phone! yes all my late night crazy texts to Amber and Trixie) Went back for my packet and then met up with my pacer Ben and some new friends Alex and Kelly (Alex was doing his first 50 and his fiancee Kelly had done Umstead last year and was hoping to do it in under 24-by the way she is a amputee runner and she kicked total ass going under 23 freaking hours!!!) Super company and conversation to get me ready for my first 100! I got back to the hotel a little after 8 and tried to get a decent nights sleep. It was a typical night up and down looking at the clock counting how many hours left till I had to get up, ended up just going ahead and moving around 3:45am. Ate a bagel with PB got dressed and made sure I had everything I needed. The hotel shuttle brought me to the race site and we left at 5am. Arrived put my AS 2 drop bag on the truck and found a spot inside the cabin for my main drop box. As I got up there was BEN!! He came to check out the start of the race and wish me well....was really a nice surprise. The race started and I tried to keep with my plan...walk every up hill and run the flats and downhills, someone was talking with me in the beginning and even though it felt good to run I was not going to go off that plan...I had read too many reports of people feeling good and running because they felt good and dying and having to DNF because they did. I came into the first AS and was ahead of pace a bit but I didn't know what the course was like to know the back side had a bunch more hills, refilled water and grabbed a quarter of a PBJ sandwich, wasn't too hungry but I also read grab food no matter what at every AS! I got thru the first lap in 2:39 which was 6 min faster then what my plan called for but it didn't alarm me....BEN was there!  Lap 2 still uneventful when I got to the first AS they had the grill fired up and decided I'd go ahead and have a wiener! 

Finished this lap in 2:50 and was ahead of this lap pace by 5 minutes. Think I changed shoes here for the first time as my other Hokas didnt have as many miles on them and something wasnt feeling 100%. Started out on Lap 3 my vest started to rub my back where I had a tank top on and my pinkie toes were starting to get kinda hot, when I arrived at the first AS I decided to take off the tank and just put a short sleeve shirt on, took off the socks to tape up my toes and could feel both of my IT Bands kinda acting up? This was strange as my hamstring and glute that had bothered me for so many months and this was not an issue at all. Ben was getting ready to leave and try to rest and would return in the evening and sent me a text so I told him about my ITBand...he went to a Dicks and grabs some straps and had them with my stuff at the HQ AS for the start of lap 4. Lap 3 also started with my inspire notes, I had requested if anyone wanted to send me an inspire drop it off in a sealed envelope or email my mother and she was combining them into envelopes for the laps so when I had some down moment everyone could lift me up-boy was I overwhelmed at all the notes of support! I made it thru lap 3 pace had slowed some as I found I was better off going at a very fast walk pace cause even the slightest jog and added pressure was killing my left side...I coulda run thru it but I also knew if I did I would never make it to 100 miles and that was my goal. Time for lap 3 was 3:14 and I was suppose to do a 3:05 this was ok i was still on track since I was 11 min ahead of schedule. I also knew my plan gave me an hour and 55 min of emergency time for incidentals. I strapped up my IT Bands and the right side did stop but the left side (my bad knee) just continued to get worse. This sucked! Or as my new mantra the rest of the run became THIS SUCKS ASS or THIS SUCKS ASS AND BALLS (sorry for the foul language but I repeated that and the some for the next 18 hours!) Lap 4 begins...once I finish this lap I would be half way there and then only one more lap till I got my pacer Ben. I got to the first AS again and when they asked if I needed anything I asked for a shot of cortisone...nobody found that as comical as myself  but the PT lady did come and ask where would I want it if she had some...asked about the straps I said the right one stopped but left wont...she barely touched it and wow it hurt but I let her take "the Stick" to it to try to loosen it up a bit and she tried a wrap to take the pressure off but that didn't work either.  Made it thru lap 4 (14 minutes behind schedule) and now I knew every step I took from here on out would be one step further then I had gone before. Here I had to switch to my other Garmin and plug in my 910 that I was using into a portable charging device I bought, I had to have something to be able to watch pace at all times because I figured I would be close. I had also bought an iphone portable charger cause I knew I would be face booking and texting and talking to some folks out there, The love I felt from everyone on FaceBook was so amazing and kept me pushing on. I honestly believe you can do anything you set your mind to and I love to update my status and post pictures throughout all my runs as if it only inspires ONE person to change there life style then it was worth it! During this lap I was overcome with tears, it was still daylight and I had this overwhelming sensation of my grandparents being there with me in disbelief and so much pride in what I was doing. My grandfather had passed when I was still wearing a size 24 and smoking 3 packs of cigs a day and my grandmother passed shortly after I had lost weight and was finding my new healthy lifestyle. I couldnt shake it off, I would hyperventilate while trying to get the lump out of my throat and then I put my music on to try to get into a different place. That worked! The pain started to get unbearable in my left knee and I made a video in the dark for my facebook friends to see my wonderful view and yes I used my mantra THIS SUCKS ASS in that video. All you could see was my flashlight lighting a path in which I found hilarious because most of my videos and picture do show the pretty scenery. About a half hour later my body came to a stop, I literally couldnt get my leg to move forward as the pain was so bad...I debated what to do, I had some stronger pain meds with me but then I was worried about taking something stronger at 9:20pm and having 10 hours to go in the dark but I also knew that in just a couple miles I would be picking up my pacer Ben and he could help me stay awake if I decided to go ahead and take it. I texted my 2 friends Trixie and Amber both multi 100 mile run finishers and told them what I was going thru, (too bad my phone wiped out all that as I dont remember all the conversations) they both helped me thru that and I did decide to take the pain pill and start walking on, it seemed to help pretty quickly and the pain went to around a number 8 on a pain scale of 1-10 which sucks ASS :-) but I can deal with that level.  Got thru lap 5 and now it was time to have Ben come with me. I needed to get some warmer and dry clothes on as it was getting cooler and would continue to drop and we would be moving much slower, I grabbed a dry bra and tried to find a place to change and a lady took me behind a door and stood in front with her jacket open and I walked back into the cabin to find a dry shirt and just used short sleeve and a heavier jacket. I also  felt like I had to get out of the Hokas and into my Asics just for one lap I told myself thought maybe that would help with the pain, well after 1 lap I forgot about switching back until we had headed out on lap 7 and I wasnt turning around. During Lap 6 it was night and around 10:15, I was scheduled to start this at 9:45 so I was ok, I knew if I kept moving forward I would make the time cutoff. Ben grabbed envelope 6 to read to me on the back side while we went up the hills and he read a few but then it became to hard to try to read and not fall off the hillside or sprain an ankle! It was funny cause each one he would read I would then feel the need to tell him a story behind who wrote it....the strangest thing was my mothers, to this point I didnt have any notes from her and he pulled hers out and it read " I know your Grandma and Grandpa are on your shoulders" Now that kinda freaked me out because 6 plus hours earlier is when I felt them on my shoulders and had a little emotional break down! So then I proceeded to tell him another story of how my grandmother loved yellow birds and when I see yellow butterflies out biking and running I always think of her and wonder if its her spirit coming to say hello. Now we are done with Lap 6....less then a marathon to go but knowing that this marathon is going to take over 9 hours to do was a hard bite to swallow. Our time in the AS's started adding up now as I changed back into my Hokas here, changing flashlight batteries and just so many small details that take a few extra minutes.  I dont recall if it was lap 6 or 7 where I got super cold, Ben had a fleece on top of long sleeves and he took it off and gave it to me so now I was feeling much better but by the time we got to the AS he was freezing.  Instead of wasting time in me taking off my jacket and his fleece we got in my bag and found anything warm, he squeezed into my pink Lululemon long sleeve shirt and I had a lightweight jacket, grabbed some coffee but his hands were too cold to drink it! I actually had coffee here as well hoping for some new found energy and it worked for a couple steps. Ben had grabbed a cup full of pretzel sticks and the way he was holding them with the headlamp reflecting off of it made it look like he had on a big boxing glove, when I stated that and laughed he began making all sorts of hand shadows, we taped some of that too and it was good for some uplifting laughter for a couple minutes, then back in the death march. 12.5 miles in 4 and half hours have got to be kidding we begin trying to figure out the clock and what pace I have to keep to finish in time and if I was still ok with Im trying to figure in my head and using my calculator and realize we are fine we are fine even if I do a 26 min mile pace for the entire last loop. The sun was now back out, but I needed changed into real socks, my toes were getting so swelled that I had to get out of my injiji socks. Ben went ahead to get them as to not waste time but when he got in the cabin a friend of his who was also pacing wouldnt stop talking to him so I sat outside and waited for a few so I didnt have to go inside but hated to take off my socks incase I didnt have normal socks inside, after about 5 min I went on in and he had them laying out on the table so I switched as quickly as possible, wow it felt awesome to have my feet out of those socks but they were so swollen the toes were touching each other and that burned a little bit. 
We headed out on the last lap ONLY 12.5 miles to go!!!He grabbed me a banana and I ate some of it on our way out, once we got off that campground terrain and back on semi flat fire road we managed to go a couple miles at around a 16-18 min mile pace...awesome lets keep this up, It didnt last long, my knee was killing me I was tired everything was hurting and Ben found me a walking stick, it was a little short but it helped even if it was mental it helped. He then began looking for another and now I had 2 new legs!!! (arms will be sore the next day due to using walking stick for 4 hours!)  My cousin lives fairly close and she and her oldest daughter were planning to come see me finish, I received a text from her when we only had about 4 or so miles to go and told her its would be about 2 hours maybe an hour and a half and she was like move it move it you got this you can go faster then that get done cause we want to take you shopping....ummmm thats not something you tell someone who has been moving forward for the last 25 and half hours knowing how close they are but cant move any faster then what they are moving. I read that to Ben and we laughed about the shopping part too. She said they wouldnt let her come out and I explained it was an open course ask someone where to go and I also told her which way to turn once she got up the nasty campground entrance road,,,,have I said how much that SUCKED ASS!! I had about a mile to go and there she was with her oldest daughter Alex, We cried and hugged and I started ranting with how back it sucked and what it sucked and came up with all sorts of words. This last mile I think took almost 28 minutes, going down that campground road hurt so much and you could hear the people at the finish cheering for you and one of my walking sticks broke! I hobbled on up the path and makeshift steps with Ben, Charlie and Alex and my walking stick as tears were just streaming down my face. Finish time was 29:33:19...I remember my cousin saying can you get there in under 29:33 and I just grunted and said as long as its under 29:59:59 Im happy!! I sat in the chair so hard thought I would break it, another volunteer took off my shoes and socks and Ben gave Charlie my scissors to start cutting off the tape now while things were numb so the skin wouldnt rip off later. That was painful for her as much as me! Alex went inside and ordered me a omelet and I watched and cheered the last 6 folks across the line. We hung out for an hour or so in the sun then Charlie loaded my stuff in her car and grabbed me a sub from Jimmy Johns and took me to my room, I showered and got ice for my legs and tried to sleep but things were just throbbing and I couldnt get any sleep. I had a couple more pain pills at the hotel and tried that for sleep but think I only dozed on and off for about an hour here or there. I was hungry around 8 but knew I couldnt go anywhere and didnt want pizza so ordered another Jimmy Johns and they brought it to my door. The next morning I went ahead and got moving and headed down to the lobby for breakfast and decided I may as well check out a day early and head home, would much rather be in pain at my own house! I stopped to stretch every hour or so and was glad I made that decision. Would I do it bet! Already trying to decide if I want a different course or try for Umstead again next year!