Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Umstead 100 - 84% done.

So first off, wasn't it Yoda that said, "There is no 'why'" ages ago? Don't look to me for reasons why me or anyone else tries to run 100 miles (or any distance, for that matter). As I've heard, for those who don't understand, there is no explanation; for those who do understand, no explanation is needed. I know, in some way, that I ran 84 miles this past weekend, but it doesn't seem real. Who in their right mind...?! Anyway.

I first got involved with this particular race by volunteering (aid station and pacing) in 2009. I was 2 weeks past running my first marathon, still very new to running, and it was like someone had dropped me on a distant planet. One that just happened to be the planet I was apparently stolen from at birth. I knew someday I wanted to run it. I went back in 2010 - paced again, and stayed in HQ overnight taking care of the finishers and runners who had come in to thaw or tend to an issue. I arrived on Friday, left on Sunday, and slept maybe 3 hours the entire weekend. It was already on my calendar for 2011, but this time I was going back to run it.

This is not a race report, I'm not going to do a lap-by-lap rundown, discuss the crazy dude or the tree that fell. I may or may not do one of those, I've already made a list of what went right and what went wrong, but that's more for internal consumption. This is just some of the post-race musings.

1. Sunday afternoon I told my mom I would likely survive any zombie attacks. I couldn't outrun them, but they'd zip past me, thinking I was one of them - just the slow one that would starve because there would be no brains left when I got there.
2. I used to think I ate like a horse. During the race, I ate like a miniature Shetland pony with its jaw wired shut (which ultimately led to the crash and burn). However, since getting home on Sunday morning, I have eaten like a plague of locusts. I'm not kidding, I think I'm inhaling at least 4000 calories a day. My fridge was full Sunday, and now I'm scrabbling.
3. Also tied to the nutritional failure, my internal sodium balance is all botched up. Monday I topped out at something like 10 pounds over prerace weight due to water. So despite my 4000 calorie intake (oh wait, 4500 today, I got into the Ben and Jerry's) I've dropped 5 pounds today.
4. My left foot feels like an elephant stood on it. The soreness from pounding on my feet for 84 miles is gone, but the top of my left foot is just... odd.
5. I put shoes other than flip flops on today for the first time since the race. My Uggs were a bit tight, my running shoes were pissing off the elephant's footprint. And then I decided to go to spin class so I put on cycling shoes. I didn't exactly strap them on tightly so we'll just be happy my feet stayed in them during class. I'm glad I don't have to get dressed to go to an office these days.
6. None of my toenails feel right. *sigh*
7. Epsom salt soaks are great. Unfortunately I had to wait till Monday night to get one, because there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell of me being able to get myself out of the tub on Sunday. Getting out of BED was hard enough.
8. All the kids in me neighborhood think I'm some sort of rockstar. This cracks me up. On the other hand, when one of the dads at my son's T-ball practice last night saw my Umstead 100 hat and asked if I had ever run the race he did a double-take and looked surprised when I replied yes, but only 84 miles. The other two dads had similar reactions. That was even funnier.
9. Bugging the hell out of SportKilt and getting my kilt shipped to me overnight delivery was the best thing ever. Everyone knew who I was (particulary odd for someone who doesn't like being the center of attention, but it was fun).
10. And finally - I really do like lap courses. It was like a reset button every time I came into the start/finish. I felt as good starting Lap 3 (37.5 miles done) as I did at the beginning of Lap 1. Bizarrely, I never got the typical Mile 18/19 slump of grumpiness.
11. There is a limit to physical pain. I found it.Somewhere along the way the pain in my quads and feet got to a certain point... and then stayed that way. How many people actually want to FIND that point so they can then chase it down again?

On the positive side, my IT bands do not appear overly hostile. And even better, the hamstring that plagued me so badly last fall is as quiet as it was preinjury.


  1. oh so close. You did great out there and no doubt you'll take the lessons learned and get you a buckle next time wherever that attempt might be.

  2. Good writeup. I can identify with so many of your points. Big congrats on making it 84. I was *done* at 50.

    You 100 milers are my idols. I hate the idea of all those training miles, but I'll do it one day.

  3. Amy bloggin'!!! Love it! You are one heck of a runner and just a generally fun person! No wonder all the kids think you are a rock star! *4 miles is so awesome . . . I know a little shorter then your plan. But this leaves something to do next year!!