Sunday, June 03, 2007

FANS 24 Hour Run

I have ultra- brain. I'm having difficuly putting together sentences and my body doesn't want to rest. My adreneline is still pumping, my endorphis are still flying and I just lay there as I try to sleep. My legs/feet are so achy they keep me awake too. Gee, might as well go for a run. Not. I'm now cooking some turkey roasts, mashed potatoes and gravy for my hungry family that has existed on pizza for the past days. They are tired of pizza! Troy had four baseball games this weekend and I didn't make a one. I feel a bit guilty for that. I really thought I'd catch the afternoon game today but oh my gosh, it's pouring out, my legs are tired and I can't think clearly. I asked Troy if it would mean a lot to him for me to be there and he told me it was fine for me to miss the game. Thank you, Troy. Next weekend is Tyler's tournament and I will be at all games. Mom guilt.

I was nervouse again going into FANS. I was wondering if last year's 100 (116) was a fluke or not. Could I run 100 at FANS again? Could I run over 100? Could I run 116 again. Didn't know. Hoped to heaven I could get 100.

I woke up incredibly happy yesterday morning as the sun was streaming through my bedroom window. Sunshine!

I left my camera and iPod on the laundry room floor when I left for the race. Troy had a friend sleep over, they were downstairs and I didn't want to wake them. 20 minutes into my drive I realized my error. I HAD to have my iPod. If they were ever to ban iPods from FANS, I could not run FANS. I could not bear it.

I turned around the car, thankful that I had some spare time, as I left early so I could get a good close parking spot, and headed home. Sure enough. Both items were waiting on the floor.

By 715 I was at the race start and was still able to get a good parking spot. The forecast was on and off storms for the next 24 hours so I kept my clothing in the car, brought out a card table, a cooler filled with my camera, iPod, a few cans of warm pop-Diet Code Red Mountain Dew and Diet Pepsi. I know, I can use the calories but I just can not stomach the sweetness of the sugar, (I didn't use ice this year-last year it made an absolute mess and I couldn't eat my sandwiches which were floating around in sog), a few peanut butter and butter sandwiches.

As I was setting up I realized I was next to Karen Gall, who was running her first FANS. She was running the 12 hour; setting her sights on 50 miles. She rocked the house. Third woman in the 12 at 57 miles. Congrats, Karen! Her daughter and a friend sat there all 12 hours helping Karen, saying nice things to me, etc. It was nice to have some company. I was feeling very lonely. It would really be cool to have a family member come out one time. You see so many familes out at FANS together; cheering, pacing, crewing; it looks like a whole ton of fun.

On my other side was Ollie Nayes, from IL, who I see at McNaughton each year. I was in great company :)

At the start I was all smiles; it was sunny, dry, beautiful! I was having a blast. Lots of chatting with friends that were running; I began with John Taylor who had just finished Massannutten 2 weeks ago (and McNaughton before that), it was fun to hear about the Massannutten course. Ouch though. No thanks. I spoke with Pierre about his run at Badwater in July. He finished two years ago in 45 hours and is heading on back. He asked if I could crew him but I have Vermont that weekend. I'd like to someday run Badwater and know that if you crew someone there you have a better chance of running the race. My credentials are getting stronger, someday I may have a chance to at being selected.

My plan from Lisa was to run 8/2, with a 5 minute break every 130. Well, the 8/2 went out the window. I could not do it. I did it 3x, I felt like I felt too good to walk. I will try it though in the future. I'm sure it would make my legs feel fresh at the end, but mentally it is very difficult for me to walk flats. This course is pretty flat. Instead I did about a 20/3, walking a portion of the concrete bridge each lap.

Don Clark and Maynard Legacy from the infamous Minnesota Dog Pack were having WAY too much fun. Neither was entered in the race, many of their Dog Packers were, Don and Maynard were taking pictures and being plain old crazy. I loved seeing them all over the course. They hooted and hollered at me and told me nice lies about myself as I passed on by. I told them they were having too much fun, they would never want to run FANS again now. They said I was right!

A few loops into the race I heard JULIE BERG! JULIE BERG! I'd recognize that voice anywhere. Donna Rae Sutherland. I just love her. She and her friend were cheering on the grass for me, she was telling me how great I looked, telling me all kind of fun things. It was great to see you out there, Donna!!!

I told John I was planning on getting my iPod at 4 hours, but then told him I had to get it now. We were only 2.5 hours into the race and I needed music. I struggle from the 10-25 mile stretch. Trying to get a feel for pace (of which I have no clue-or I thought), trying to feel my rhythm, it takes me a while. Man, I never took that iPod off, until the short laps during the last 30 minutes. As I came into the start/finish I'd turn it off and listen for my lap counter, but then I'd put it right back on.

After 6 hours I looked at my pace sheet from last year. I was 15 seconds faster than 2006! I couldn't believe it. This gave me great confidence. I was feeling good, I was taking care of my feet, I was drinking HEED, eating gels. I wasn't eating a whole lot of solid food. I was having toilet troubles. At 4 hours I was weighed at was 6 pounds lighter. Yeah, all the poop I imagine. My stomach was in distress, and had been since the start. Nerves maybe? Pressure on myself? Who knows.

At 1:00 Maria Barton came to work her shift as lap counter. It was so nice to see her each lap!

As I was rounding a corner I saw Nancy Griffith, Tom Burr and Jim Stocco. It was so wonderful to see them out there! After hugs and a few words I went on my way. They stayed for 4 loops! Even through the rain. It was a huge lift to see them. Tom told me he thought I'd run 110 miles, based on my 50 mile time. My eyes glittered! I would LOVE 110 miles. Thank you so much. OH, and Nancy told me that Jeffrey Swainhart would be out around 1000 pm to run with me for a few hours. Thank God. I hoped it wouldn't be raining and he might have to bag the plan. I could definitely use some company. I was incredibly lonely. The rain storms were putting me in the dumps. I should not let weather affect my mood. Especially during a race!!

Pretty soon John and Cheri Storkamp drove by, hooting and hollering. They found a spot in the lot. After hugs and chatter Cheri ran the rest of the loop with me. Another little treat, it was fabulous to see them. As we neared my set up I took out my splits from last year. I was 3 seconds off. Crazy.

As I was running through the camp city I spotted Bonnie Riley! I thought she had entered the race, but hadn't. She was pacing Les during the night hours. It was nice to see another friendly face :) During the next few hours I was able to see them quite frequently.

Before I knew it the clock was 1000 and I hoped Jefferey would make it. Sure enough, as I finished up my loop, there he was, waiting. Jeffrey had run out at Afton for a few hours earlier in the day, and hadn't had a nap so he wasn't completely fresh. Thank goodness for me because I had no zip left. I was draggin'. Jeff set the pace and off we went. My loneliness lifted and I had an excellent time running the laps. Jeff reminded me that I wasn't eating very much and my bottle had hardly emptied since our last lap. I was sick and tired of eating and drinking. Blech. He prepared a few bottles for me as I ran and I tried to drink the best that I could. We had an excellent run. Jeff was ready to head on home, he hopped on his bike and headed off into the dark. What a lifesaver for me!

It was taking me forever to pour my water, get salt, mix up HEED, grab gel. I couldn't believe the minutes I was using taking care of myself. Then the feet. Sit down, take off socks, put on lube, sock back on. Shoe. Man. I just wanted someone to help me. I felt like a needy little baby. Good greif. Come on, be self-sufficient, woman!

Every time I began to complain to myself about how difficult this was I told myself this was a baby race. Think about Superior and how you felt at 77 miles at 30 some hours. This was finished at 24; you wish Superior was finished at 24. You'll still be climbing at 37 hours so suck it up chicky and keep on going. Drop the negativity!

As I reached the secondary aid station at 2 AM I spotted Scott Wagner. Another lift! I was SO glad that he was manning the aid station. Now I was running aid station to aid station instead of lap to lap. Just knowing Scott was out there gave me something to look forward to.

I was getting bone tired. So tired than my bones ached. That concrete and asphalt is so hard on my body. During the light hours I was trying to run alongside the sidewalk on the dirt trail but during the night I was afraid I'd fall. The asphalt make my bones so scrunch, crunch, crunch. Ouch. My legs were hurting, the balls of my feet were in pain. I was sick and tired of taking the time to put on my foot goop with all of the rain and such, I had blisters and just kept running. I didn't walk hardly at all-just up the first half of the bridge, and in later hours, the full bridge-otherwise I ran the full race and I was feeling it. But, it hurt me more to walk than run and lord knows, walking was going to take longer.

I wanted, needed 100 miles. That was my goal. 100 miles. That was what I came to do. One final weigh in, down 2 more pounds for a total of 8, but I assured the weigher I felt fine, and I was on my way to get that blasted 100 mile mark. As I approached Scott I told him this was the one. He wrote it in the book and I contemplated walking the rest of the race. Man, that would be 3 hours though. I didn't think I could walk that long. Plus, it was raining and I'd get even more soaked. If that were possible.

So, I picked up my aching feet and legs and kept on running. I was waiting for the hours to tick by, for the sun to rise, for this race to be finished. I heard many say they were dropping at 100 miles. I just couldn't. I had to keep on going. I entered this for 24 hours. I sucked it up and kept on going. 102 miles, 104 miles, 106 miles...round and round and round. No more food, no more drink just finish this up.

I had 40 minutes left to either do a lap, which would be cutting it very close for me at this slow run pace, or to run short out and backs. I ran the out and backs for 40 minutes. I felt like I was on display. The race volunteers, the spectators, the finished runners are all applauding and congratulating and you are running with everyone in the race on this small stretch. Back and forth. It's crazy; but kind of fun.

Finally. 109.8 miles for 24 hours. Third woman. Woo Hoo. It wasn't a fluke. I did it! Pure Joy.

The 24 hours expired right as I was next to my table! Karen and girls packed me up, brought everything to my car and we met up at the award ceremony. I was able to sit with Greg Allen, E Fisher-Drew and John Drew and Karen and the girls. It was so much fun! Greg received an award for the longest lap-he ran the first out and back then went to his boys baseball games, and then returned for the run! He acheived 50 miles too. I received a very nice stone plaque for 3rd woman in the 24 hour and my 100 miles in a day FANS sweatshirt. Karen received her 3rd woman for 12 hour award. Life is pretty sweet. Sitting in the banquet room, with all of these like minded people, the feeling was incredible. It doesn't seem so crazy to run these 100 mile runs when you are sitting with 21 people that have just done the same, and more! It was awesome. I only need 15 miles at FANS next year to get my 500 mile vest. Woohoo. Guess where I'll be the first Saturday of June next year? Right On.

Pictures will follow. I took my camera on one lap to get photos and took some at the banquet.

Now, dinner is ready :)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm very sad that this was such a lonely and hard race for you. I feel like I let you down as a friend; wishing now that I knew what you were going through and would have been there for you, encouranging and helping you every lap at your little table of needs. I am very sorry. It was so Awesome seeing you, you were putting on such a strong face and stride, and didn't look at all as to what I have just read. Please accept my apology as a friend. Take care... wonderful person that you are...Stay Strong..B

ollie said...

Congratulations on an excellent effort and result.

I love this race; I wish I had been in shape for it.

ollie

Julie B said...

Don't be too sad, Bon. I am PMSing and feeling sorry for myself! I would have liked my son, Tyler, to come out for a bit but couldn't talk him into it. Ah well. You don't have to apologize! It was wonderful to see you there in your new 'doo!

Thanks Ollie, it was great to see you there!! I'm glad you enjoyed the race.

Travis said...

another great race, you just keep racking them up! I hope you recover well.

olga said...

Awesome, woman, you rocked again, Jul!!! 110 miles is no shubby, on concrete - I can hardly manage 12:) Shoot me, you are one strong (pms-ing:)) woman! So happy very much for you, I was clicking your blog and race web all day today! Rest up, geer up, you are amazing!

Jeffrey S said...

Nice story Juls,

I had fun running w/ you.
You are SUPER TOUGH
When I left you were at 81 miles and running as fast as I do on a regular training run. Holy Smokes

Good job on 110 miles. Look for me next year, at say, around 10:00 PM.
:-)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

yay you did it!!!

Sherpa John said...

NOW GET READY FOR SOME HILLS!

See you in VERMONT!

WAA HOO!

Bob Gentile said...

OLGA said: you are one strong (pms-ing:))woman!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LOL .... I agree with that funny Russian Gal:-)

AWESOME Job Julie on a STRONG Effort!!

robtherunner said...

Congratulations, Julie! Another solid, inspiring run.

Runningdoctor said...

I love reading your race reports. Thanks!

Kim said...

Julie I too always love reading your race reports... dare I say, you actually not only make running 100+ miles sound do-able for a non runner like me, but damn almost fun :o) Someday Robin and I will have to schelp ourselves to one of your races and be part of your crew... course we'd need instructions on what to do, but it would be a blast to be there cheering you on in person..

SteveQ said...

Congrats, Julie! You looked really strong as you passed me at midnight (about the time I had to call it a day).

SteveQ