Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pulling an all nighter with Frenchy!

It was the day before my 50 mile race in Costa Rica and I see a posting from my bebe, James Lambert aka Frenchy.  He has just registered for RUTS a 10 Hour Endurance race...on a 1/2 mile Horse Track...in Kentucky.  In 2 weeks.  And just like that and within a matter of moments I too was registered for this race.  I mean who does that?? Register for a 10 hour race the day before a rather important 50 miler.  Not to mention a 10 hour race that loops around a 1/2 mi track!!  This would be a first for me.
Pre nap Fresh Squeeze IPA a few hours before the race!
So you know how Costa Rica ended.  And I came away intact and in recovery mode.  With the 10 hour race two weeks away and Vermont 100, 7 weeks away.  My goal was to recover some but essentially train up to RUTS (not a goal race) and see how I felt for the race.  And all the while building strength for Vermont.  This came out to a 49 mile week after Costa Rica and a 23 mi week the week of RUTS.
Ruby and the Baz! And yes, this meant we had a
bed taunting us all night long and just steps away!
Being who I am, I did take a look at the results for RUTS to include the CR of 63 miles (course record) and even though I've not ran a race like this before I felt that if I my body was ready post Costa Rica, I had a shot at the CR.
I was excited to run this race and even had to laugh at myself when I thought about what I was about to do.  Frenchy was more familiar with this type of endurance race and he was getting a kick out of my competitive nature that had me looking up times.  Especially as I had just raced and had no experience with this type of race.  Needless to say we were both looking forward to running it.  We would see each other the entire race and with it starting at 8pm and ending at 6am we considered it an all nighter, date night!
Wheels on the bus go round and round...
This was our first road trip in Ruby and with the Baz!  After a short 3 hour drive, we parked Ruby under the shade of some trees in the center of the horse track!  How cool is that, we would be setting up our own aid station on the side of the track.  A brief nap and then go time.
My strategy would be to run around a 830-9 min pace...until I slowed down.  James was going to do his thing around a 10-11 min pace.  I would see him when I lapped him ;) as well as at the turnaround every 2 hours.  Here the RD  reversed the direction we were running on the track.
And so into the night we ran, around and around.

That's right, no gear!
What a completely different kind of endurance race.!! No hills or mountains, no challenging terrain, no course markings and yet no concern of going off course.  No solo running, no need to carry any gear and no potty breaks without an actual potty...but PLENTY of mental and physical challenges.
Mentally the concept of running in circles, rather short circles might I add was super challenging.  Nothing to break it up, although with the company of ALL the other runners the entire time...kinda cool. Most of the running was just me and my mind, and body.  I of course choose this race to not bring the option of music... Opps, I think I could have used that as a distraction at some point during the 10 hours.
Physical...I felt fine for the most part, but maybe a bit of leg/ hip discomfort from the same motion.  No hiking, just running.  Why, because this is what the race called for.
132 times around the track and 66 miles later and I am fortunate to come away with an F1 and a CR.
Pluses for a race like this...many.  Constant camaraderie with old friends as well as new friends, aid at your fingertips, restrooms the same, support any time you need it, easy to follow course ;), NO DNF's once you start, you are a finisher!  I loved seeing a number of parents out there with their kids.  The kids would run and then take a break and later come out and run some more..all night long. Beautiful!
Minuses...well you need mental toughness to run in circles for 10 hours as well as a bit of crazy :) No actual
The very best part....finishing the last couple of miles with Frenchy and the Baz!

Best night ever!
If you are thinking this might be your kind of race well then, head yourself to Kentucky next year.  The RD Steve Durbin and his crew put on an excellent event.  The 1 and only aid station outside of what you might provide yourself is well stocked and has the best "little" helpers making pancakes and bacon.  These kids stayed up all night cheering and feeding us as we ran around in circles!

If you want to hear a bit more about this race as well as my race in Costa Rica, check out Heartland Running Podcast

Will I run this type of race again....never say never :)

As always, if you are looking for just the right gear for your next race, hit me up with your questions!  The sponsors who support my racing are my sponsors for a reason!!

Julbo USA
Picky Bars
Squirrels Nut Butter

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