Monday, June 05, 2006

Detailed FANS 24 HOUR RUN Report

Thanks for all of the congratulations and thoughts you are sending my way. I appreciate it so very much.

I wanted to post a more detailed report as to how I was feeling, what was going on, how the food was going down and how the feet were holding up.

More personal items that I am more comfortable posting on my blog (for the world to see..why is that) than in an email that I send to people that I really know in the real world. I probably feel they would be sick of me, you know?

I know that there are many of you out there who haven't run a marathon, want to run an ultra, who want to lose some weight, who are afraid to run because you think you are too fat (been there). These are details for you. If I can do this, YEAH, you can too. Hard work and training gets you there.

So, as you know, I was scared shitless. Scared to death. I pulled into the FANS parking lot and there was my friend, Don. He said good morning, I said goodmorning. Here we are at f*cking FANS. I told him I was going to check out my attitude right there. It was a wonderful race, I was dropping the negativity. I had tried to drop the negativity I felt for FANS (last year race) all week but was having a very difficult time of it.

I and John had planned to set up next to each other. Shortly after I pulled in he and his wife pulled up. We set up tables, tent, coolers, etc. John taped an inspirational message to the corner of my table that I looked at every other lap. We pulled out our bottles, drink mix, etc. We were all set up with about an hour to race start.

I checked in, had to pick up my packet, a cool t shirt and do the weigh in. Every 4 hours they weighed me. My weight only fluctuated 1-2 pounds each time. At the final weigh in, I had 1/2 lap to go for 100 miles. I told the 'weigher' 'Don't you dare take me out of the race now! I'm about to get my 100.' He said he knew all about that, hop up on the scale. All was well!

Before the start I glopped on my foot potion. I received quite a few questions, rolled eyes, etc. but hey! I was desperate, I will try anything for my feet and it worked at Superior 50K. My plan was to re - lube every 30 miles.

This year we didn't have to clip the lap numbers onto our shorts. As I passed through the start I would yell out "41" which was my number(my age) and my lap counter would tell me what lap I was on and what mileage I had in. I was very fortunate to have Maria and Amie as lap counters, two friends of mine, for 1/2 of the race.

The Director gave a few minute speel and bang! We were off and running. I was filled with terror. John told me that pain is fear leaving your body. Bring on the pain. I want this fear gone.

The first couple hours went by uneventfully. I was running with a gal I recalled from last year; Deb Robinson. She ran her first 50 mile last year and this year was entered in the 100. She had a stress fracture in 2 places in her foot over the winter. I can't imagine. I enjoy speaking with people who have come off an injury and are back stronger than ever. Some day I'll be in their shoes. I hope I can handle it. She ran the full 24 hours.

Duke and Eve are John's friends; they came to watch/run with him and really helped me out. Each time I ran through our area they would get me whatever I needed. Gel, turkey sandwich, HEED, etc. They were awesome. Sometimes you just can't think of what you need while standing there. I would think about it while running and then shout it out as I came up to them. They'd have it all ready. It was great.

I was getting sunburned. I don't need any more wrinkles! I kept on applying sunscreen but it must have dripped off immediately. I think it was 80F, but not sure. I did manage to cover most of my face with a hat and sunglasses. It was getting warm; they stuffed my hat with ice and I dug around and found a bandana for my neck to fill with ice as well. That helped immensely.

The first 4 hours were probably the toughest. Trying to find my rhythm, trying to gag down food. I mean GAG it down. I would take 1/4 of a sandwich, go 1 mile to the bridge and it would finally be in my stomach. Then I'd feel better. But it was horrible gagging it down. I learned though that I have to eat. That's the only way for me to finish this monster.

I drank 1 scoop of HEED in a 24 oz bottle each hour. I took 1 SUCCEED caplet each 4 hours. My hands didn't swell at all, which always happens. I think it is because I cut back on the SUCCEED since there are electrolytes in HEED.

Someone told Eve and Duke they were mixing my HEED too strong. She asked me about it and I told her to keep on doing what she was doing; it was just how I liked it and how I had been drinking it the last year. HELLO! Eve was doing a fantastic job. She would pop out of her chair and do a cheer for me as I came in. It was a riot!

At 2:00; 6 hours into it I was ecstatic. I was ahead of my pace chart for 104 miles, nothing hurt, I had good energy, my blisters were not there. Not even a hot spot. I have never had white sweat lines on my shorts before. I was full of that, so I figured I must be salting/sweating enough.

I grabbed my iPod and just had fun. Round and round and round I went. Eventually my iPod froze, the stupid thing. I have had more problems with that iPod. I brought a back up radio which was OK. I like to listen to hard rock and 93X came in perfectly. I listened to it until the finish. I was dancing across the bridge and someone told me I was having too much fun. I heard that a lot. I was having a lot of fun.

At 30 miles I removed my sock and re-lubbed. NO BLISTERS! Incredible. Absolutely incredible.

Soon my single bottle waist pack was bugging me so I switched it for a hand held carrier. I really liked that; I used it the rest of the race. I know that when I used it before-a year or so ago-my arm became extremely tired. That didn't happen this time-at all!

At 800 the night runners arrived and the day runners were finished. FANS offers a 12 hour option. Kevin, from Run Club, arrived for his first distance longer than a marathon. I was quite a bit faster than the pace we had planned on. I think I was just about at 60 miles when he arrived. We ran a few loops, then Jeffrey showed up on his bike and we ran some more, we were going at a good clip. Kevin backed off a bit, and I and Jeffrey ran 5 loops together. We were moving along pretty good. He was pointing out the city architecture to me!

Jeffrey headed out and I ran the rest of the race myself. I preferred it that way. A few friends asked if I would like them to run with me, but I was honest, and said no. I was having a great run, I was enjoying my music and was feeling fine. Crazy but true.

At 20:05 I reached 100 miles. I was coming into Alicia and Scott's aid station. There was a group of people there waiting; they rang the cow bell and I was just kind of in shock. 100 miles. My goal. I reached it. I couldn't even cry or have any emotion. I wasn't sure this was really happening. I told them I was just going to keep on plugging away, that this was a 24 hour race. Scott said "OK, tough girl" and I was off.

There weren't many people running in the early morning hours. I came across a few walkers, but many must have taken a rest or were finished reaching their goals. It was pretty quiet. I decided to grab my flashlight. Eve and Duke had taken off, it was really quiet in 'tent city' where everyone set up. As I ran through with my bottle and ice it was the loudest sound in the area. Strange.

I was able to run, in large part, because I had only ONE blister. I've never had ONE blister. My gosh, what a treat!

I never felt sleepy, I was drinking Coke and Code Red Mountain Dew (sometimes mixed with Cytomax), the Heed, it kept me up all night and all yesterday.

The sun came up, more life showed up on the trail. More people running and walking, ready for the end to come.

I was ready for the end. At 21:30 hours I told Scott and Alicia that I was tired. That my legs were feeling tired and was ready for the finish. I was trying to time myself so that I wouldn't have to do much of the short laps but I couldn't figure out 1+1 so I certainly couldn't do the math.

I saw on the leader board that I had jumped into second woman. I couldn't believe that. How? Did they make a mistake? What's up with this? I am dreaming.

I could no longer look at my pacing sheet-it went up to 104 miles, I never dreamed I would ever run longer than that. 104 was a long shot. I just wanted some 'cushion' to get 100.

Finally, the last loop. One more loop and I'd be doing the short course. I arrived at the last finish with 45 minutes to go. Ugh. 45 minutes of out and back along 1/8 mile (I think) short course. Back and forth with many other others and all of the spectators looking at you. They all cheer though, and it turned out to be fun, but long. One group of visitors told me 'we like you best, you never stop smiling' and they made the wave every time I went past. It was crazy fun.

Finally the race was finished. 24 hours. 2nd woman. 4th overall. It's all too much to believe. I didn't know the total mileage until the breakfast and awards after the race. I though I had heard the counter say 118 but he must have said 116.

I walked to my spot, Kevin was there, packing up his stuff, he ran 45 miles!! Awesome. Kevin walked up to the breakfast and Scott and Alicia came to pick up all my stuff. Again. Just like McNaughton. They packed me all up, and up I went to the breakfast/award ceremony.

I couldn't eat anything. I had been eating and drinking constantly for 24 hours. I felt like I could barf and any second. I received a plaque for 2nd woman at 116.8 miles. Wow. I also received a FANS sweatshirt that says 100 miles in a day.

But most importantly, I learned that hard work pays off. "Feel the fear and do it anyway" I was scared to death. For a YEAR I have thought about this darn race. I almost didn't run it. Why go through it again? I'm glad I did. Hell, I may even try it again.

As I pulled into the garage yesterday morning Topaz was at my car door. I opened the door, he jumped on top of me and I just cried. And cried and cried. I held him and I bawled. It finally came. All the emotion I had been holding back, afraid to let it go. All of the gratefulness, the fear and the thankfulness came pouring out.

Last night I and Topaz were curled up on the couch. Tyler sat with us and said 'Look at you two, he ran around the pool and played baseball with us all day and you ran for a day. Now you both need to put your feet up and rest'. We did.

Troy was happy that he didn't have to beat me with a baseball bat. He told me if I came home early, like last year, that is what he'd have to do.

Steve is just in shock.

Run On!


nancytoby said...

Incredible feat of endurance! Bravo!!

Ellie said...

Oh, Julie... this is amazing. Totally amazing. I'm going to do this someday. Maybe it will be my next goal after Ironman FL. Oops, nope, after IMFL is Qualify for Boston. OK, maybe the 24-hour-race after that.

You done good. Thanks for inspiring me!

TriFeist said...

Spectacular. That is so awesome. Congratulations!

jessie_tri_mn said...

OMG I'm speechless. I can't even fathom staying up for 24 hours straight let alone accomplishing what you did out there.

Great job surpassing all your expectations. & beating that demon!

Lora said...

Awesome! Great! UNBELIEVABLE!! How amazing you enjoyed yourself sooooo much!
Now all we need is your training plan....ideas to help us all get there with you!

Jessi said...

Incredible!! And I'm glad the foot potion worked at keeping the blisters to a minimum.

marathonP said...

Way to go Julie and thanks for the information. You do provide us with the ideas for the training plan: every workout, every run, every calorie. All someone has to do is read your know, and just run straight for 24 hours...stuff like that :)

I'm am excited to mix my own foot lube mixture and run blister free on my next 35 miler...blisters are my weakest link.

Julie, on a sad note, just as I am getting to a really great place (about 7% body fat, feeling ripped, 60 mile weeks, 35 mile long runs) my wife said my training is too much. "It takes too much time away from us." "How long are you going to be doing this?" "Is this a one time thing?" This may be harder to solve than the blisters.

I'll try to find a way to make it work, because running and training is joy.

- phil

William said...

Love the report. I don't think I could stay awake that long, let alone run that long. It truly is hard to fathom.

Cliff said...


a oz said...

I think you're crazy, but that is AWESOME! Way to go women!! It really gives me inspiration. I am starting to run again after having a baby and now feel like I really can do it. Thanks!

Sheila said...

You are amazing and totally honest. And don't think I missed that you are a Code Red user. There must be something in that stuff :) If I ever think my bad knee can handle running 100 miles, I want to do it, and I want to be as crazy happy as you are while doing it. You make it all look so easy, but I see the hard work and dedication. I am still finding it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that you RAN farther than I BIKED a week ago. You are really nuts!

Ellie said...

Hey, Julie... how much of that foot glop do you put on? A light coating, or a glop? And do you wear socks?

mg said...

Thanks for sharing the details! You make running an ultra sound so ... not easy, but do-able.

Julie B said...

Thank you for your comments, I appreciate them.
Ellie-I glob the foot potion on and put on a ton. And yes, I wear socks over it.
Phil-I'm sorry your wife is having a hard time with your training; that is one spot where I have no advice. I haven't been there. I hope you can work the training into the relationship without big waves.
Sheila-that Code Red, yum yum. When I'm not racing I'm drinking the Diet Code Red. I love it. I couldn't believe how good it tasted in the Cytomax! I hadn't mixed them up before but figured what the heck.

marathonP said...

Thanks Julie, I'll handle it just like running: one step at a time.

:) phil

matt said...

Julie, you are an incredible inspiration. What an amazing race and I look at this report as a recipe for success in ultrarunning. My sincere congratulations to you!

By the way, I tried your blister potion at my trail marathon this last weekend…not a single blister. My feet felt great the entire way. Thanks for everything!