Sunday, June 08, 2008

FANS 2008; A Tough One

Earlier last week I was thinking about goals for FANS 2008. Goal 1: Run 100 miles no matter what. Goal 2: PR at 117 miles. Goal 3: 120 miles, why not?

I really believed I could run 120 miles. I'm in the best shape I have ever been in. I purchased a Garmin 50-the low end model as a pacing tool,without all the GPS that I probably wouldn't be able to figure out anyway, AND it has a 200 hour battery, I still can't believe the GPS's have a 14 hour battery. When I called my friend, Kevin, to ask him to help manually calibrate it for me, I told his as much, without thinking. He told me he had a Garmin I could use. I stated "it only has a 14 hour battery life, what good is it, who the hell runs only 14 hours?" Oops. He chuckled and let me off the hook. You know, when you are running with, hanging out with 100 mile runners, you forget that 14 hours is enough for most.

Anyway, I took the Garmin for a spin: it worked, I could calculate my pace, mph, etc.etc.etc. I mean, come on, how difficult is running an 11 minute mile for 24 hours? I figured for potty breaks, food, etc. I could get in 120. Or 100. Or 117; the three goals.

The day was beautiful. Remember, I love to run in the heat. The forecast said 80, humid, storms. I could do without the storms.

E Fisher Drew invited me last week to set up near she and John, the crew extraordinaire. I took them up on it immediately. I brought out my duffel and cooler, arranged what I needed. Gels, premixed Hammer Heed (last year it took so damn long mixing up my Heed I wasted huge amounts of time), I had PBJ, Turkey, Julie's Balls, Code Red Mountain Dew, Red Bull, ice, ready to rock and roll.

I pulled into the lot, parking next to Steve Quick, on a mission for his first 100. He realized he forgot a hat; luckily, I had a spare for him. It fit, too :)

Visiting is the best part! I saw lots of friends, I can't list them all because there are a zillion. They are the best. We talked, laughed and mingled. Great fun.

Monica, who I worked with at Berkley Risk, walked up to me as I was sitting in my chair, with her sister. Her sister points to my leg and says "Oh look, its fat". I just kind of looked at her, and again, she said "FATS" I was thinking what the hell? They walked off and I asked John Drew "did she just call me fat" He said "I think so. But she's wrong" The man next to us said " No, she said SPATZ" Apparently spatz are gaitors?? I had on my bright pink gaitors, which received many comments by the way. Most comments were very nice, a few of the older stodgier men thought they were goofy because I wasn't running trail. Guess what? I still took dirt out of my socks!

The sun was warm, the humidity was becoming oppressive. I was sweating early. After a few laps I stopped at camp to reapply sunscreen, get my sunglasses and refuel. I couldn't eat solids. Already. Too early to not have an appetite. My mantra is eat early and often. I was drinking 24 oz of Heed every hour. My turkey sandwiches gave me the queasies. Everything did. What the heck? On 100 mile trail races I eat whole sandwiches, potatoes, soups, what's up with this?

I was never able to stomach any solids the whole 24 hours. Thank goodness I had 30 Espresso Hammergels along with 3 gallons of Heed. I also had Recoverite mixed in another gallon. This is what allowed me to get through the race.

The day was beautiful; there was a nice breeze, a partly sunny, then all sunny sky, I was all smiles and feeling good. I felt strong. I felt like I could hammer. Why run 10-11 minute miles when I feel good at 9-930? Well, for one, because it is a 24 hour race, silly girl.

I ran a few loops with John Taylor, who was doing well, looking strong. The rest of the day I ran by myself. It was fun to watch the families at the public beaches. I was shocked to see so many dog owners DRAGGING their dogs along on leash, tongues dragging, obviously in distress. One little Chihuahua was laying down as this woman pulled him along. I said Oh my gosh, can't you carry him? She says 'oh I suppose' Well, come on woman! I saw exhausted warm dogs all day -not to mention runners!

15 miles in my lap counter began to ring a cowbell and say YOU DID IT! I was like ... me? Yeah, you got it! I thought he lost a marble and was talking to someone else. I asked the gal I was able to get ice from and she told me that someone must have just reached 500 miles. I looked at my bib and it said Julie Berg 485 miles. I said, oh, that was me! Ooops.

As I was running through the public beach lot I saw someone up ahead waving her arms over her head. I couldn't quite figure out who it was yet, she was a ways away. It was Donna Rae! Donna, thank you so much for comming out. I look forward to seeing you at FANS each year. Pat came long too, it was great to see her again. Thank you DR! Love yah :)

Duke, Eve and Wynn came out to cheer us on. Eve did her classic jumping jacks for me! John, Cheri and Emma came to visit; it was great to see friends along the course. A big lift!

We had to weigh in at 4 hours; I was down 4 pounds. Of course I had been hydrating all week and I ate a bowl of oatmeal before the race. I was up higher than normal. By the next weigh in I stayed at 130 and continued to do so for the remainder of the race. You know what? 2 years ago when I ran this race Paul Hasse was on the scale before me, 155, I weighed in, 155. He looked at me and said with a big nice smile "Hey! We weigh the same!" He didn't mean it to say I'm a fattie, he was just pointing out the cool point that we weighed the same. I can't tell you how good it felt to weigh in at 130, fully dressed and carbo loaded-hydrated.

Maria took over my lap counting duties; it was so wonderful to have a good friends cheery face each lap. I reached 50 miles in less than 10 hours and 100K in less than 12. I've never run so quickly at this race before. I was feeling excellent, strong, on top of the world. I was concerned that I wasn't able to take in solids, and I was concerned about the runners who were calling it a day at 50 miles, but I continued to hydrate and gel up. It was the best I could do.

Sara and Pam were running their first FANS. They looked great! Sara was having difficulty with blisters but once she had them taped up she was able to get back to running. The had lots of smiles.

After Maria was done with duty, Jan took over. Jan had filled me in on Leadville and I just saw her at the Superior 25/50K. It was fun to see her each lap.

My knight in shining armour comes to run with me each night during FANS from 10:00 to 1:00 or so. Jefferey says he comes in the evening so that I am already worn out and he can keep up with me. I was getting worn out. My legs were cramping, my stomach was upset, I kept passing gas, it was embarrassing, I was running 1130 minute miles. He told me Sue Olsen was 7 minutes ahead of me, on the same lap. I didn't have it in me to catch her. I was just running my own race, lap by lap.

We ran 3 laps together, then I told him I had to walk one. I hadn't walked at all yet during the race. We made it to 83 or so, then Jefferey was off for home. I sure appreciate him coming out each year! Thank you :)

It began to rain, a bit, then harder. I changed out of my tank into a short sleeved shirt. I was soaked, cold and sore. I just wanted 100 frickin' miles. Funny how you re-adjust. I ran 100 miles at 21 hours and then walked two loops. My quads were fried. I couldn't figure it out, there are NO hills, it is flat flat flat other than one concrete bridge. It had to be the heat..this is the first time I had run at anything over 68F. The two warm weekends here I was up north. It had to be the humidity. It had to be the constant pounding of the pavement, which I haven't run on at all. I was hoping for 80! I love to run in the heat. Yikes. I need to add: after I am acclimated I like to run a 100 in the heat. My quads hurt, my skin hurt, my waist hurt and I wasn't wearing a belt around it! I was using a hand held. I was a hurting until.

I finished my final lap with Les. He joked to Cindy that he was with me so that he could beat me. He said he was +only+ 26 miles behind me.

At the finish Tom and Nancy arrived. They are just the sweetest. They carried my things to the shower house, led me into the shower and Nancy promised to check on me in 10 minutes. A shower has never felt so good. All the salt, dirty, sun screen, bug spray, dirt and whatnot..I was a mess.

Don and Bonnie and Marie were at the finish line. I ate breakfast with Don and Bonnie, Angie and crew and Don D. I had my appetite back! Usually I am not hungry after a 100, but boy I was famished this morning. After I stopped running and showered, my stomach came around. I ate scrambled eggs, bagels, fruit and sausage. Bonnie even went up to get me seconds on the sausage! It was fabulous.

I only live an hour away from Minneapolis. I had to stop in Minnetonka at a gas station to snooze for 30 minutes before continuing home! I am beat.

I'm very happy with 105 miles. Very very happy. I ended up with 3rd woman; Debra Horn was first at 114.xx and Sue Olson was second with 114.xx A very close race for first and second!

Sue received her 2000 mile award AND a cake with candles. Super cool. She rocks, man.

Last year 26 runners ran 100 miles; this year..I believe 6. The weather had a lot to do with it.

The boys unloaded all of my gear and were very happy to find my salted nut rolls, Red Bull, Julie's Balls, Code Red and Coke untouched.

I filled a cold bath and soaked as they snacked.

16 comments:

Kel said...

Awesome results under tough conditions - Great job Julie!

PS> I think "Julie's Balls" would make a great name for a thoroughbred race horse ;)

Anonymous said...

105 in those conditions is great! Lots of runners here in WI dropped yesterday at the Kettle 100 due to heat, including the one I was gonna pace. Heat acclimation just isn't developed in early June like it is by July, especially for us runners up north. And I still say all-flats is harder on the legs - need some variety to work the muscles different. Anyway, great to hear you are doing so well! Brent

Jeffrey S said...

Good job Jules,

105 in tough conditions. I'd probably make about 40. It was nice to get some quality time...

See you at the Beta!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Julie! Great job in tough conditions. You are an inspriation to those of us contemplating running distances beyond the marathon. Don

Carilyn said...

Way to stick it out, Julie! The weather in the Midwest was wicked this weekend, and it definitely takes its toll. Recover well.

Travis said...

The same thing happened to me with a GPS watch. My cousin then said, I think you can get a charger to carry with you. Yep, I'll just tape a battery to my arm. thats too much to mess with. Awesome job! I know you can run over a 100, but throwing down 30 hammer gels and that amount of heed is what impesses me the most. I'd have puked for sure :) This heat and humidity has been brutal especially with how fast it got here. There was not a transition from cold to hot! Keep up the great work!!

Runnin-from-the-Law said...

Congrats! What a fabulous race for you!

Runner Brewer said...

As always, you rock.

If you were a marching band geek, you would know what spats are. I guess you were one of the cool kids.

You should have a quote attached to you "Julie Berg, she outlasts her own batteries"

Carl Gammon said...

Great job, Julie.

Every time I saw you, even in the dark hours of the early morning, you were the happiest person on the course. It certainly kept my spirits high.

SteveQ said...

105 on that day's amazing. I'd've killed for 105.

And thanx for the hat!

keith said...

hot damn! that was a tough day to run in. i'm going to have to find another adjective for you besides "amazing..." because I use that one on you every time you post a race report. Nice job!

olga said...

Juls, you are awesome, and the attitude along with preparedness is your greatest assets! Very happy for you:)

Helen said...

Well done Julie! Amazing feat in those conditions. Great to finally meet you. Wish I could have seen some of the race but headed over to Kettle Moraine for the night run. Wet, wet, wet...

Helen

Carilyn said...

Hey Julie,

Great to hear from you! Please tell Matt hello. I ran with him for quite awhile, and his company probably kept me from dropping earlier. I was so discombobulated by the end that I forgot to ask him his full name.

Take care,
Carilyn

MN Ultra Runner said...

Great work Julie! If you remember the big group just before the timing tent that was cheering everybody...they were a group from one of the hospitals I work at. They said you were their favorite runner. I thought I was supposed to be their favorite runner!

Anonymous said...

I don't know which is more amazing; the 105 miles or the 30 hammer gels!!! That made my stomach hurt...but it got you through! Great job! Zoey