Monday, August 19, 2013

Beast of Burden 100 turned 50

     Little recap of this event. It had a 10am start on the flat erie canal tow shade which we knew about. The webpage boast All three aid stations will be stocked with a wide variety of food and cold beverages. We really try to offer a feast at our Beast! Our drop bags were at the end of the 12.5 which was the turn around and at the start. I started off with Sandy and things were feeling good and we were going out WAY too fast...we both spoke of this a lot and I had a plan to follow and but still came in almost a min and half faster per mile for this 12.5 mile loop. The heat and lack of food started to play a toll already and I was consuming a lot of water but also started having major cramps, like side stitch cramps in my upper belly near my ribs that I couldnt get rid of. My tummy looked bloated and felt bloated, my head was hurting, my ears were popping and felt hollow and I was dizzy already....never felt like this before at all. My mind and legs all felt great but something wasnt right. At the first aid station which was about 6.75 miles out they didnt offer ice had water, heed, cookies, candy, PBJ quarters and fruit. I tried the PBJ but just wasnt gonna cut it so it was a small banana and water and scaps. Made it out to the 12.5 mile AS and again, PBJ, cookies, candy, and fruit so here it was watermelon but they offered ICE!! filled the bottles with ice and little water as the heat made the water so hot within min this would be cold for a few. Here again nothing not even the food I packed tasted good still cramping still dizzy and overheated and I grabbed water melon. On the way back I set my watch to a 4 min run 1 min walk...this was quickly too much for Sandy so I changed to a 3 to 1 and that worked for a bit....legs felt like lead, lungs felt like lead and the strange cramps in the stomach still were not going away nor was the ringing of the ears. Got thru the first 25 and the pace had slowed way down, the heat was unbelievable and lack of nutrition wasnt helping things. I got a snowcone with little bit of red and blue juice and it tasted great! Still only PBJ candy and fruit for choices and I grabbed watermelon and brought with was hot too so I kept it close to my water bottle just to give it a chill....stopped at my car since it was able to be the main AS got right on the course and grabbed my twizzlers and a couple things hoping something would taste good but it wasnt. Sandy started out a few before me and I saw them up ahead but I just went with a 2 to 1 pace at this point....I also knew that I was going to just stop at the 50 miles and i was ok with that.....I kinda thought even leading up to this i may just do the 50 but told my friend I would do it with her as her first 100 and then she bailed on the sunday before due to lack of training this summer, getting married and her dog was now scheduled for a surgery the day she would be home. So I send a message to the RD about seeing if it was too late to drop I never got a reply back...that was another thing...communication before the event was terrible...posts on the FB went unanswered by many and emails as well. Earlier when I had asked about dropping I was told you sign up for one or the get a DNF if you sign for the 100 and stop at the 50 but had read last year there was a certain date you could do that by but didnt see that this year.. Randomly they would respond to post.  So I got the AS that was just a little over 6.5 miles out...looking again for food!! Now there is broth in the crock pots, ok not many calories but maybe it will settle the stomach so I can handle something else...poured it in a cup took a sip cold as ice....just sitting in the crock not turned back to the watermelon. Made it out to the 12.5 and was so dizzy by this point I thought about dropping there but then I really wanted to get atleast 50 in and if I took it easy I wasnt going to hurt myself?? I could just see myself in a buffalo hospital alone and them calling my folks to come get me 8 hours away. Finally some food!! semi warm grill cheese but that was heaven for a moment...changed shoes and put vaseline on my toes as the ones next to my big toe were starting to blister underneath the toe nail. I told the gals there whats up with the poor food choices and the cold broth? They said the guys prolly dont know how to turn the crock pots on. I said I was gonna stop at 50 that something just wasnt going right with my body and I have a lot of other stuff coming up this year I didnt wanna miss and this was kinda a last minute sign up to do with a friend who bailed on sunday anyways....they said to let the guys know at Gasport that I was gonna drop and they would call them and have them send my drop bag to the start. I got back to Gasport let the guy know could tell he wasnt going to understand or do it cause to get me checked in with my number took about 5 min of what was that number again...did I get you checked in,,,what was your number now im looking again for food...its 9pm and I went to the crock pots and I said is the broth warm or hot yet?? They said oh we are just getting ready to turn it on? Hmmm ok you have a race that starts at 10am in 85 degree heat no shade you know people are not going to be consuming the calories they need nor what they are use to so they gotta get it from somewhere else like liquid....just not much in a slice of watermelon and not much in broth but there is some sodium no food again. It was now starting to get dark and the nasty big ass bugs were out they would go up your nose in your mouth yulk belch ick...I pulled a bandana over my nose and mouth still they snuck thru then i just used my hands and kept trying to wave them away....used more energy but that was nasty!! It may have lasted about 30-45 min??? Then it was frogs haha small ones big ones every so often and i didnt want to squish any. I did put my music on here finally and just stayed focussed on a 2 to 1 pace and still my legs and mind felt good but I knew I needed to stop. I got there and told the RD who was at the laptop I was stopping at the 50 he says oh ok...and then he is pulling up the winning time for the Boston marathon discussing it with the guy sitting with him...I then tried to ask about my bag as i didnt see it and he just looked at me at first...i said I told them out at Middleport I was planning to stop at the 50 and they told me to tell them as Gasport so they would call and send my bag then a lady says are you sure its not there and the RD says oh ok you were there when we were and that was the last trip I said no when I was there is was just ladies and its been almost 4 hours ago and he says yes thats when it was we dont go every hour..then I said ok can someone please tell me how to get there and get I can go get remember this is after 11pm I just ran 50 miles in the heat my ears are still ringing completely dizzy havent eaten anything except a half grilled cheese and watermelon and this RD is too busy playing on his laptop...never even questioned how was I feeling either when I was dropping....but now the gal looks at me and says are you ok?? I said well Im dizzy and disoriented and my ears are ringing but they have been like this all day...there hasnt been much food choices the broth still wasnt turned on and now I dont have my bag I think I'll go sit for a second.  I got up when I saw pizza boxes and it was sooooo cold you couldnt even get the squares was upside down cheese off half of it a wreck...yes I took photos so if i ever am having a day I feel like eatin pizza and I shouldnt i can look at this picture and ruin that craving. So now Im back to please tell me how to find my bag as I need to get it and I now also still need to find a place to stay tonight since I checked out thinking I would be running all night. So I said even if you can just give me an address I can put it in my this other guy next to the RD says yes I can do he's looking for an address the RD then says...It's all online you can go there and get it if that helps....I was shocked I was pissed I was like oh ok....thats cool I'll do that...and shook my head and walked to my car.....he said we can do it we can do it Im like please dont let me trouble you. So i get back to my car spend some time in the back trying to pack up my stuff some since the back end was my aid station and posted on my FB page I am totally unimpressed with the folks that put on the Beast of Burden 50/100 mile run....took my blood pressure i always have my portable one in the back due to doing bootcamps out of my car some evenings back home and if necessary its handy...Mine was registering 70/60....then sat to try to find where I was going but now no bars but it says here comes the RD...(he is on my friends list from where I wanted them to see the video I made rewording the song Beast of Burden) he says do you still need direction i just posted them on the FB page...I tried to pull it up but it is so slow I said I dont have any bars...then finally it came up and its giving me direction like go south here East west etc i looked at him and I said I have no idea where the heck i am right now let alone which is east north west or south i said can someone please just tell me how to go or give me an close by address??? He finally says oh yes its very simple go up two street turn up the hill to main street turn left and its about 12.5 miles total...ok thats all I asked for over 30 min ago!! which i didnt say but come on...granted I had ONLY ran 50 miles and was by myself and yes I did sign up for this and drove myself but you would think they would be a little more helpful and attentive. I got my bag and was so livid I just grabbed it and thanked those volunteers again and went to my car. The hotel did have a room that night still left they said it was a small one and I said it didnt matter. I heard from some friends out there food got better in the night and folks got very attentive I just musta came in at the wrong time. I meet some great new friends and met some FB friends as well.....I am grateful for my ultra running family! We understand each other and would bend over backwards for each other at any given moment. This is why I do Ultras. Real Friends! Am I happy with my choice to do the 50? Yes very much schedule is packed and I surely dont even feel like I just did 50 miles a day and half ago. I took the week off to get my son back to college Weds and get my house organized so today I have gone up and down all flight of stairs carrying storage containers, my bike racks, 4 bikes downstairs, sweeping mopping and oh I even trimmed the bushes out back!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

50K from Hell!

Kanawha Trace 50K! Where do I even start.  At the pre race meeting the evening before we are told we will be going over barbwired fence but there are tripods built for us to climb over, we would be going under electric fences, thru a field with a loose bull and each year a lot of people do get lost. So maybe this is why there is a 10 hour time cut off for a 50K with some finishing in the 11 plus hours last year??? I camped in my tent the night before and didnt get much sleep but only brought the thin air pad so my hips and such bothered me causing me to toss and turn during the night, I think i got up to pee atleast 4-5 times too. The run was to start at 7:30am and busses took us to the start.....that seemed like forever and even though I travel to WV often I just couldnt grasp where in the world we were and how were getting to the finish. We got off the busses and there was one porta john about a half mile down the road so I followed the large group that headed that way...ugggggg They did wait for everyone and started the run at about 7:50am. The start was on a road road for a couple miles then we hit the single track and I could tell it was gonna be a day! The hills and trail were tough to start out and it was already super humid out, temps were not super high but the humidity made up for it. The course was not marked well at all and at two points I was passed by the same big group of front runners due to them getting lost already twice. I met up with Kim and some others and we didnt remember hearing anything about creek crossing but where we were sure enough it was a creek crossing, it actually felt good as my socks were already wet from sweat dripping down my legs, as we noticed the tall grass was tramped down we followed it even though we saw no yellow flags, opps wrong way, back down the creek we go to where we crossed, ah ha we should have turned right and climbed the steps up that bridge, I do recall the RD saying there would be bridges at the creek crossing. Back on was mentally draining getting lost so much! I found myself backing off some as the balls of my feet were getting some hot spots, I think it was the little gravels in them and I didnt get it out in time, my feet just hurt. I finally arrived at the half way aid station....shit half way and its been like 5 hours!!! I sat down to stretch as my inner thighs were killing me. One of the ladies at the AS said I have a mat over there I can stretch you out I was all for that. She did a great job, took about 10 min or more though but I knew it was gonna be a long day. I was with a group of 3 other guys leap froggin up to this point but the stretching set me back as they went on, as I was leaving the AS the guy was informed all the others after me had dropped out. I couldnt tell exactly how many more miles were left as my garmin was reading almost 2 miles extra from all the wrong turns. There was a lot more big gravel road roads then I expected as well. After this AS I head into the field with the loose bull, this was terrible! I knew nobody was behind me there was no markings in the field anywhere, I saw 2 horses but never the bull, I followed what looked like the trail back and forth over and back over fences for almost 25 min trying to figure out where to continue on, it started spitting the rain which felt amazing but I was so upset by now I just sat and cried for a few minutes and then decided to head back towards the AS and see if they were still there to tell me where to go, this was prolly a mile?? As I started to climb back over the fence I thought maybe I'd go straight up the field and the guy who owns the farm here may be out and could tell me?? Got to the top there was the electric fence to crawl under and there was the trail marker again!! Back on a road road, I passed a young girl sitting in someones yard and she was a runner, I asked if she was ok and she answered she was fine but she had enough, she too had been lost so much it just emotional drained her, she said she had a ride coming asked if I wanted one and I answered no thanks I dont like to quit things but this one has me wanting to quit but I cant. She understood she said this was her first time quitting something.  I got to another AS and they asked how I was and I was honest...this sucks, the markings are terrible I have been lost so many times! I refilled my water and grabbed some pretzels, shortly after that the bike sweeper was to me, he had good intentions but really was an ass. He said so many had been lost and last year the course was almost over marked and he wasnt sure what happened this year, Im not sure where he went but I got to another area and no more flags, a car was sitting straight ahead on the road and a sign that pointed to the left said something trail so i thought ok will go this way, headed out there for awhile still no yellow flags so I turned around, as I was heading back that way I could see another bridge and a yellow flag in the distance and oh the bike guy, gee thanks for telling me which way to go up ahead! The damn car was sitting on top of the yellow flag!!! After this he had to go a different route I believe as the trail was heading into an area with a lot of rocks and climbs and was really cool when I got to a cave...hmmmm which way do i go from here? I venture into the cave holy shit how cool the trail went thru the cave! A couple hills I had to use my hands to climb the rocks later and one hill I had to sit down and scoot. There was another area of beautiful rock and a gnome sits in one of the holes...looked like it had blood dripping from its mouth ha. Asshat bike is back now and telling me we still had another 10 miles to go.....great.  Then he starts telling me that since I was the last one the next AS would be closed but he had some water, I said you better be going ahead and seeing if the AS is open cause if im staying out here getting lost and shit and its gonna be closed im gonna be more pissed! He didnt go ahead instead he decided to tell me that they prolly wouldnt be there at the finish either and wouldnt let me finish....seriously dude i know you are a volunteer but these are things you DO NOT say to someone that has been lost of a course in the heat of the summer and has been out here for 6 plus hours already!! We did arrive at the next AS where he was telling me I still had 5 more miles but the AS was open and i said to them in front of him...he's been telling me you were going to not be here they said they are there till the last person comes thru, I said I believe that is me since the few others behind had dropped, I then asked if I was going to be allowed to finish as he had been telling me I wouldnt and they say yes indeed they will let you finish and you only have 3 miles to go.! I looked at him like WTF dude! I ate about 6 orange slices that tasted like heaven and off I went, he came upon and started telling me about where I was going to go and I said did they just say 3 miles left?? Is it 3 or 5??? He said they musta changed the course since he was on it last they said 3, well my garmin already had almost 30 miles here anyways. I made it up the hill and here he comes again saying boy you were trucking up that hill, i stopped and stretched my legs a bit and then he says in this sad voice "oh no its really starting to hurt now isnt it?" I said no I just wanna stretch so that it doesnt. I keep moving forward and have about a mile to go and then he says, lets see the run started at 7:50 its now what ever time it was and then he says so you've been out here.......and I immediately said YES NINE HOURS AND FIFTY ONE MINUTES!! then he proceeds to tell me I still am not going to make the cut off....I just wanted to kick him off the bike. I saw the lake had about half mile from what I heard them talking about and i ran it at a 9:23 pace and came across the finish in 9:58! Bite me Bike Sweeper! The RD was super nice and apologetic about the course markings and I then told him about how inappropriate this sweeper was! I was glad to be finished thats for sure, I threw my tent in the back of the car and drove to the shower house then headed on home. There were some really beautiful places on the course some I was shocked we had to climb the rocks and such but was fun after the fact. There is a lot I have prolly left out but I have been so bad about doing some sort of race report for myself lately I thought I better get on the ball before I didnt have anything to say

Loonies Midnight Marathon

Found this marathon about a month before and thought how cool is that....a marathon that starts at midnight and it's only about a 5 hour drive plus it will count as the State of Tenn for my 50 states challenge. I got up and taught spin class that am then had some things to do and drove on down to Livingston TN.  I had been in contact for a couple weeks before with some other maniacs that were going and also with Alex and Shawn from Columbus who I had not met yet but had chatted on occasion with about other events in our area.  When I arrived Maniac Ed was there and he and I went to Pizza Hut to eat and such. Packet pick up wasnt going to be until 8pm and the timing company was late so it was I think closer to 8:30 or so. By this time I had met Alex, Shawn, Traveling Marathoner Tim, female Shawn and some other 50 Staters and Marathon Maniacs...yes we really thought we would be able to rest in our cars before the run started....I brought a small air pad and it was humid but left that back end up and windows down put some ear plugs in and a eye mask to block the street lights and I think at about 10:30 I dozed off, 11pm came and Ed was tickling my toes to wake me. Gathering with everyone really woke me up and the start was a little late. Boy was it humid!! The course went a mile and half then did 5 5 mile loops around the town, we crossed highway 111 and I wondered what some of those truckers and out of town drivers passing through thought when they were stopped for runners to go by at 2am 3 am 4 am etc! ha I was completely drenched this entire run, my socks clothes and I wonder if it was from my maniac shirt, this was the first time I had worn my pink diva one point I wanted to just run naked! I chaffed in some areas that normally you wouldnt chaff in just a 26.2 mile run. During the run it was fun to pass by the folks I had met earlier and online and give them a high five. Alex and I would stop and hug and I'd take a photo of he and I together...we were close to the same speed I may have a couple miles ahead of him is all. When I finished I saw male Shawn and he had showered ohhhhhh I heard there was a shower where where where! So I got my stuff out of the car and was heading to the shower and Shawn said Alex should be finishing I wanted to wait for him to come acrossed, I saw him heading up and I had sandals on but I jogged down to meet and ran in with him...then took a lovely shower everything felt amazing except for those areas of chaffing ouch!! Got dressed and started heading home....ok I didnt think it would be a big deal to drive down friday sleep 30 min run a marathon and immediately drive home ha....I was hungry but not super hungry, I decided to wait a bit and stopped at a cracker barrel, it was still early and totally forgot it was going to be breakfast food oh well it was food and it was delish. I was starting to feel tired and drove a bit further and by then my eyes were having a hard time staying open so I decided to stop at a church parking lot and take a quick nap, the problem was it was already almost 90 degrees so I had to keep the car running and ac on to stay semi cool in the back end. I set my alarm for an hour and think I dozed off pretty quickly but got up after about 45 min, I did feel much better and refreshed and had about 2.5 hours to go. I didnt start feeling the tiredness again till about 30 minutes from home but I set cruise control and sang a lot! This was a super fun marathon with awesome people. The bling was great and unique and if I dont have anything on tap next year at this time I will drive again for this one!