08 Apr Umstead 100 – 2014 Race Report: How I beat Hal Koerner
Umstead 100 – 2014 Race Report: How I beat Hal Koerner…
2. Run Happy (more to follow)
3. Run Smart (more to follow)
4. Break 17 hours
5. Break 16 hours
Whenever I run, I always set goals for myself. I always set goals that are high reaching. I feel that goals are what keep me to keep pushing myself. This year however, one of my common themes for every race will be Goal #2 & Goal #3. So, I will evaluate Umstead 100 in terms of my goals.
Goal #1. Finish. Check the Box!! WooHoo. I always set a goal that I think is totally accomplishable and since I have yet to DNF in any of the 100+ marathons and ultras I have done, Finish is always my first goal.
Goal #2: Run Happy. We all run and see various kinds of runners: serious, focused, happy, angry, etc. Those of you who know me, know that as the race progresses, I am sometimes all of those emotions in one race, often ending in the land of grumpy-bitchy. I have been known to throw out some sailor phrases and once or twice have reenacted some toddler behaviors. However, I want to be happy the whole way through the race. It is a goal that think it is a valuable goal to put effort into doing well this year. I believe that if I can be positive and happy, the race will go better mentally, and thus, better physically. Ideally, this would end in a better race result. Plus, and more importantly, I would really like to keep those closest to me happy and feeling appreciated (it would also save me from profusely apologizing after the race). As many of you who have done ultras know, our crew (mostly family and friends), take the brunt of what we can dish out when we are spent and our filters are gone.
So, how’d I do at Umstead…I give myself a B/B+ I was happy most of the day, but said a bad word twice (once for good and once for evil). I said it in a bad way, when my training partner/crew/pacer Jeff told me that a small incline I was walking was not a hill. I was on loop 7 (Umstead is a 12.5 mile loop that you run 8 times), and any incline is a hill. I previously told him that I wanted a gel on the next long hill we would walk. He meant to say that this was not my gel hill. All I heard was “this is not a hill”, which my brain processed as “why are you walking this hill, you lazy b’atch”. So, I smacked my friends’ arm and said F*** you…(Not Happy). That was my worst moment in the race. I apologized within the next mile. I said it in a good way (the F*** word is a word I am truly trying not to say and it can never really be used in a good way) at the end when I ended up with a new PR in the low 16’s; “F*** Yeah!”, I said as I crossed the finish line. Not so good. I immediately started feeling bad (hoping as a mother that I didn’t teach a child possibly in the crowd a new word) as soon as it came out of my mouth.
Goal #3: Run Smart. I am older, should be wiser, but usually am not. I am a marathon pacer who can tick even splits like a metronome. But, when I put on a bib to race, I often go out waaayyyyy too hard and die at the end (which is not helpful to Goal #2). So, I am trying this year to have a plan, a smart one, and to stick to it! I wanted to do 1:55-1:59 loops for my ultimate goal of sub-16.
So, how’d I do at Umstead?…I give myself an A-. My splits were: 1:53, 1:52, 1:53, 2:04, 2:07, 2:04, 2:09, and 2:10. I was pretty pleased. I went out a little fast, but not awful. Loop 1 & 2: I talked with my friend Mike and another Umstead veteran, Duran. We all had similar goals, and were enjoying each others’ company, so ran together for the first few hours. Lap 3: Duran went ahead, and Mike was behind, so I turned on my ipod and be-bopped to Cheap Trick, Avril Lavigne, and Katy Perry. Loop 4: I was having a rough time. Aunt Flo came today uninvited, I was having diarrhea for some unknown reason, and had a headache. I started thinking about why I do 100’s and how, like Ian Sharman, I sometimes wish I was a good 5K runner so I could be done. Umstead allows a runner to drop to an “official 50 mile finish”. It is enticing. Both years at Umstead (2012 and this year), loop 4 was my worst mentally because I think about how I could be done, go back to the hotel, shower, go out to eat, etc. I asked to see if Jeff would pace me for loop 5 instead of 7. Loop 5, Jeff helped me screw my head back on right and I refocused. I remembered that I was carrying Tylenol and Imodium in my pocket and took them. My headache started improving immediately and after 5 Immodiums (yes…one pill over recommended doseage) sometime into loop 6, my diarrhea was gone. Loop 6, I heard that this girl at the 2nd main aid station was a new 2014 USA 24-Hour team member and had just qualified in March, which is why she wasn’t running today. Cool! I thought. I hope she is there the next time I come around. Loop 7: Jeff came back out with me and I was happy (got to meet my new teammate, Shannon Johnstone-reason I have my hand outstretched in the picture-was introducing myself) until later in the loop, when Jeff told me an incline wasn’t a hill. Loop 8: Hilarious volunteer pacer (also named Jeff) made me laugh, and lied to me profusely which is just what I needed to keep me going….so excited to accomplish Goal #4
Goal #4: Break 17 hours: 16:16 wooHOO!!
Goal #5: Break 16 hours: not quite, but I will keep reaching.
Bonus Goal: Beat Hal Koerner. Okay…so it really doesn’t count. Hal did 6 laps and dropped to the 50 mile finish. He had run a lot recently and didn’t push through the 100 finish. This was not an original goal because it is just SLIGHTLY UNREALISTIC but, I have to say it was motivating when someone told me towards the end that Hal had dropped and all I had to do to beat Hal was to finish. 🙂
All in all. It was a great race, which I can feel good and proud about. Most days, I have been too critical of myself to feel that way. Umstead is a well-run race! Runners and crew are catered too like royalty. Food is plentiful and unique (spare ribs, pizza, hamburgers, french toast, brisket, meatball subs aside from the regular fare). The medical staff are phenomenal, a HUGE shout out to Guido Ferrari, the doctor who has taken such fantastic over the top care of me both years! The volunteers outnumber the runners and are wonderful!
Result: 4th Overall, 2nd Chick 16:16…I’ll take it!!