Sunday, March 22, 2009

100K Done!

Jenny and I were successful in our 100K quest. We began the race at 9:00 am and finished at about 4:29 am the next morning. We took a "trailer break" at 50K for about 20 minutes, resting, changing socks and clothing, then another trailer break at 42 miles, another at 52 miles, and the final one at 56 miles. Those were shorter - a quick change to warmer clothes, a minute to sit down, a minute to roll out the muscles with my tiger tail roller and back out. Jessica was true to her word, showing up to run 13 miles with us and then cooking pancakes and grilled cheese during our 50K break. I ate an entire grilled cheese, which was a mistake. I spent the next five miles feeling queasy and thinking many thoughts of putting on warm clothes and walking the rest of the miles. Jenny helped me through that low spot by keeping me moving. I think, in total, throughout the hours, we walked two complete laps - one right after the 50K break, and the final lap. Otherwise, we ran each long stretch, and walked the ends. In the last five miles we added a couple walk breaks to the long stretches too. We had grand plans to hit 100K and then walk a few more laps - that lasted till what we thought was mile 59, but in reality was mile 58. Finding out we had one more mile to go than we thought took some of the wind out of our sails. Those last few miles were of the "put your head down, grit your teeth, and get it done" variety.

There were several things about the race that are remarkable. The first has to be the fabulous camaraderie of all the runners - our entire fun group from Puyallup, Van, Tony, Lisa, Tim, Bret, Gail, Olga, Marilou and all the others out there on the course. Everyone was cheerful, friendly, encouraging and amazing. Steve pulled in 101 miles, Lisa pulled in 113, Tim something like 126. Those are truly amazing distances. Other successes ranged from Abi's first 50 miler, Bret and Gail's first 100K, Linda's 75 miles and Eric's 50K in the morning, six hour drive and second 50K in the afternoon. Oh, and Jess and Linda B were with him too - I'm not sure what Linda's final mileage was, but I know Jess ran 49 miles at Pac Rim after the morning 50K. Watching others keep running through the dark, the steady and relentless lapping, the ups and downs, the cheery "good jobs", the quiet "not doing so good" comments, watching runners dealing with sore muscles, sore feet, disappointments and successes. It was life in a microcosm, and it was amazing. I am so inspired by the human spirit, and mostly, by the sharing and caring nature of other runners. It was epic in a quiet way.

The next is friends like Margaret and Jessica, driving 2.5 hours to support us - running laps, cooking, helping a stiff runner (me) pull on tights over my shoes at 42 miles - because my shoes were the perfect tightness and I didn't want to ruin that. (Yes, things get that silly on a long run). Coaxing us along, cheering for us, and just plain old giving of themselves. Thanks you two!

The weather was remarkable too - cloudy, with flashes on sun, and dry all day. One downpour during our 50K break, then dry till sometime after I was asleep in the car. (Eric made us a fabulous camp bed in the Element and we slept for an hour or two).

The food planning paid off, sorta. I did lose my appetite, and nothing appealed, but at least I had options. I went through three shirts, two pairs of tights, two pairs of gloves, one skirt, two pairs of socks, the armwarmers, a headband, a hat, a vest, a lightweight shell and a raincoat. Again, nice to have options.

My feet are toast. Red-speckled with a flat rash, lost half of a toenail (of which half was already missing), blistered under the nail, and on the pad of the toe. Two other small blisters. Bruised on top of both feet (swollen feet in shoes that were the perfect tightness), bruised where I injured myself a couple weeks ago (which bothered me in the beginning, but with an adjustment of laces and a smear of arnica cream at every break, didn't bother me again).

I thought we could match last year's pace, and crank out those additional 12 miles in three hours. I was way off. I learned that 62 miles is a long way to run, that those additional 12 miles are the hardest 12 miles of my life, and that I'll probably never want to run 62 miles again. I'm satisfied I've done it, I'm proud of myself - I set a challenge and I met it. But, I think marathons and 50Ks are far enough! (At least today,sleep deprived and sore, that's what I think).

It was hard, it was wonderful, it was my epic adventure. It was so much more than I ever imagined myself doing, and certainly not anything I thought I'd do at the age of 51. I'm happy.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michelle~
Congratulations to you and Jenny!! Job well done! As I'm reading your blog I'm thinking "that's exactly how I felt!" Glad I got the 100K done, don't think I need to do another one. And I got queasy after eating a slice of cheese pizza... wow, that was terrible to feel the nausea and have to work thru it. And I also have a rash on my feet - weird! It sure was great sharing that experience with you and the rest of the gang. Be good to yourself now and enjoy your victory! ~ Gail

Bret said...

Yep you did it! Even with that bad grilled cheese sandwich!

I didn't even think to read your blog as I am too tired to write mine but Gail said your's was up.

Awesome job. Yeah when I looked at those runners out there at midnight just running hard I was amazed how they do it.

See you at the next non-100k race.

Irene said...

I'm very much amazed how much you take on and get it all done. Congratulations! A marathon must seem like a piece of cake after that.

Take care.

Jenn said...

Yeah, YEah, YEAH!!!!
Congrats! And never say you won't do it again, cause you know you will! :D

King Arthur said...

Everyone here is real proud of you. Good job!

Makita said...

YEAH!!!!! Congratulations Michelle! I'm so excited for you! :D

Annette said...

Truly amazing! I can't imagine how hard that must've been. What an accomplishment. You are my hero. :) Now get a little rest and take care of your poor feet!

Lisa B said...

Congratulations!! Your performance was amazing. As I said, I was impressed and inspired by the way you guys worked together to achieve your goals. Very nicely done!

PNW Runner said...

Oh Michelle CONGRATULATIONS!! you are truly inspiring, you showed us that your determination never ceased. Because of you, things are starting to swirl in my head about how I'm doing to attempt some feat like that after this baby pops out in September!!

robtherunner said...

Congratulations on reaching your goal, Michelle! Your determination to reach your goal, and a huge goal at that, is indeed inspiring.

L said...

Wow! Great job! I'm so inspired! (As I sit here in pain after my 18 yesterday. It seems so measly!)
Way to go!!

Anne said...

Yeeessssss! Been waiting to hear if you made or not...not that I had any doubts. Sounds like Jenny was a great companion when the grilled cheese sandwich upset your stomach. Please...not feet photos. The imagery is making me wince already. Take it easy, Michelle.

Anonymous said...

That gave me such a boost to see you hit your goal, I can only imagine how good it made you feel. Next time i'll try to be a little bit more noisy when I sneek up behind your group;) . Conratulations on a great run Michelle!

Joe L.

craig said...

Wonder Woman lives!

Congratulations Michelle. You've accomplished a lot over the past two years. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Just between you and me, I bet you can go farther (:])

Thomas said...

Michelle,

that's such a fantastic achievement! Just think about it, how many people out there are able to run 100k in one go? And now you're one of them. Wow! Huge congratulations. You should be so proud.

As for the "never again" comment, we all say that after the first run of any distance from the marathon upwards. Then the amnesia sets in.

Wes said...

Congratulations, Michelle! That's tremendous!!! I was wondering how this fit into "things you thought you'd never do", but you summed it up for me!!! Well done!!!

olga said...

Nobody really doubted:) You had a great crowd and support, and that what made it fun and worth suffering. Good job, ladies.

plualum said...

I bet you are so proud! Congratulations on your conquest!
~Heidi

Anonymous said...

Michelle,
Congratulations. You are inspiring on so many levels. You get the job done at high cost to yourself because of your commitment and dedication.

Way to go. I'm amazed.

You are the ultimate closer.

Judy DJ

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Truly a blast. Let's go again sometime!
Jenny

Sunshine said...

What an added benefit to have some dry weather. I like not-too-sunny, too.
Congratulations on doing the distance. Whether or not you choose to do it again, Your accomplishment stands!!
Good job, Michelle.

scott keeps running said...

You're awesome. That's all I need to say. :)

Dori said...

Michelle, you are amazing! Congratulations on an incredible feat!

lizzie lee said...

And you will continue doing amazing things at 52!