Contrary to what my blog might indicate....I have been racing.
I actually raced a 100 miler between Black Canyon and Run Rabbit Run 100. No, not Western States. I understand where you would make that assumption....if you follow my blog....I mean after all I registered for and raced Black Canyon 100k for just that purpose...and was even fortunate to earn a ticket to "The Dance"aka Western States.
Rather, I was offered an opportunity through the Ultra Trail World Tour to race one of their future races; 100 Miles of Istria in Croatia (170K). This race was April 8th, giving me 11 weeks for a bit of recovery and then prep for Western States. Or so I thought. I had a good race in Croatia. Finished F3 in just over 25 hours and had an amazing time. As I gain more 100 mile experience and have more races to compare...I would highly recommend this race if you are looking for an international experience. Add to this a race of which I traveled solo, no crew, no familiar faces for support, I was extremely comfortable navigating this foreign country. Take a look at the attached video from this years race for a great peek into 100 Miles of Istria.
|Achille flare up during Istria|
may have created a change in gait
and psoas issue??
|If your wondering what the "Tent" |
looks like! Jaz likes it too.
And then it was time.
|Pre race calories with my crew :)|
The start of the race was a climb up Mt Warner about a 4k climb in 4.4 miles to 10,800 ft elevation. With the field consisting of only Hares... we did not spread out. The Tortoses started at 7 that same day. We all formed a lovely chain and climbed the Mnt, I did have thoughts that perhaps we were going just a tad to fast but...what the heck, I was with great company!
|1st Climb of the race.|
I saw Carrie 5 times during the course of the race and had 2 drop bags of which I would visit twice.
First at mile 21. Leading up to this aid, a runner from Canada fell into step with me. We shared miles and swapped stories leading into the Olympian aid station. Per Adam, he was sticking with me as in his experience women pace themselves better then men :)
At Olympian, Carrie provided me with coconut water, Fritos, a croissant sandwich, refilled my water bottle and I grabbed a few more GU gels and raced away. I was feeling my psoas and little random quad pain but all was well. Although I may have raced away without my handheld...oops, short out and back and I was off!
Mile 29.4 would be the next aid and Carrie. I passed some runners and was passed by some. But for the most part ran solo through this section and having a blast. I was singing to my tunes, taking in the sights and thinking of all those out there supporting me during this race. May have been having too much fun as I kinda forgot to pay attention and caught a toe while taking in the views...no harm, just dirty. Time to pay attention.
At the next AS I was feeling my quad, my psoas, my achilles...weird. I got to Carrie, ate a few Advil, more coconut water and Frittos, a small headlamp and was off. Some runners stay away from Advil and while I would not recommend it throughout a 100 mile race, I will take it if I feel the need. It was 545pm and I was anticipating seeing Carrie at mile 41 at approx 8pm. Meaning I would need a headlight but not my full on set up quite yet.
|Tons of great support at this race.|
This section had some nice runnable trails with a shorter climb. Here I connected with a few runners off and on. No women, at this point I was around F5-6. As predicted I hit AS 41.6 Olympian again at 815. It was amazing to watch the full moon crest the horizon as I descended into the aid station to Carrie. When the sun sets and the moon rises and vise versa are special times during the course of a 100 miler. Here we swapped my single headlamp for my Black Diamond head/ waist set up added my Houdini windbreaker, mittens, long sleeve merino and a head buff. I was still warm but knew the temps would be dropping soon. And while this combo worked well I was super happy to have some hand warmers offered up to me at Summit AS mi 57.8 by the eventual 4th place Master Becky. The temps had dropped and I added to my layers a hat, my Houdini pants, and another mid layer....I had hopes of a sub 24 hour finish and while I had been on track I started dropping off pace the second half of the race. I saw Carrie along with Bill (who was crewing his wife Ronda) a couple more times with mi 74 being the last I would see of her until the finish.
The night time sections I struggled with a bit, with needing to take a few breaks either on rocks or leaning against a tree as I found myself no longer shuffling but rather moving in a drunken stagger weaving my way up the climbs. I think fatigue with the cold temps in combination, sapped my energy stores. Thankfully dawn brought with it renewed energy as well as some female company. One came from behind and one from in front. This was a good motivator and brought my mind back to the race at hand. I picked it up and was able to pull away from both runners. Unfortunately my Garmin lasted only about 17 hours and I did not bring a back up so with no time and no distance to have a point of reference I truly felt like time had stopped. With 3 aid stations prior to the finish it felt like an eternity between each aid. At this point our race started co mingling with the 50 mile runners.
And then finally I was at the last 6 mi stretch of downhill...what a bugger of a finish! 24:52 no, not sub 24 but a finish I was certainly happy with. F5, 2nd Master...
|Finish line with my bestie!|
As always the learnings:
I have more mid weight layers that one should own...pack layers in all drop bags.
With COLD temp races go with more rather than less, even if you don't "think" you need it.
I should have brought a pack that was a bit larger which would have afforded me more room to pack more gear.
Carrie! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Love you lady!
Super well organized race. Great aid stations as well as marking and support along the way.
Lots of positive energy going into the race kept me supper balanced even when I was struggling.
Tailwind...I ended up consuming only Tailwind calories for the last 15-20 miles and used it throughout the race. I was impressed with how well it worked for me.
Patagonia-Houdini pants, H20 jacket,
Julbo Access sunglasses
Ultraspire Spry 1L; lo waistbelt; handheld
Picky bars prior to the race
Next up...Wrap up of 2016 and the 1st race of 2017!