Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Indiana Trail 100 Race Report

So this race was Indiana's first 100 mile race; very exciting! I was so impressed with how well everything went. They had awesome aid stations, great volunteers, well organized, med people available, heat lamps...you name it.

Prior to the race, I did my typical training- did a 50 miler a few weeks ago and then really just ran one or two times more in between. From the 50 miler, I knew the course would be very easy- nothing technical and not too many hills; six loops that you repeated. So without a doubt, I expected to finish this race. But, it had rained a ton prior so the course was super wet, muddy, sloppy, and there were a lot of water crossings that went up to your ankles and some up to your knees. Then, it got down to 25 degrees at night. Yuck.

It was my bday on Friday and so as a gift, my husband went down to the race with me, along with our other friend. Spent the night in Ft. Wayne at friend's house. I actually got to bed at 7pm, woke up at 2:10am and couldn't get back to sleep, then my husband and I drove an hour to the start line around 4am.

As seen in the picture, I met up with Bill, Chris, and Bernie at the beginning of the race. Ran the first couple loops with Bernie, and those loops were just OK- wasn't feeling great. At some point we met up with Bill and another girl, Karen, and ran together awhile. Third loop was just OK, too; I was losing motivation already.

My phone got reception out there so I had a text list of 51 people that I was sending updates to each loop. It was awesome to hear from them throughout the race and get encouragement. I told them I was down and they pumped me up for the 4th loop. I felt awesome and I left the group behind and passed a good  bit of people.

Thennn on the 5th loop, it was dark and it sucked going through the nasty mud and stuff while holding my flash light and then getting cold. I was walking a lot and I was losing motivation. I wasn't planning on it at all but as I was walking up to the last aid station, all I could think about was resting and getting warm. I sat down inside for awhile and I was so sleepy, I put my head down and didn't want to move. After resting awhile, I decided to call it quits. I knew I only had 2.5 miles left to go on the loop, and I knew that things could change for the better, but I just didn't want to walk another 2.5 miles, especially since there were more cold water crossings. Ugh. So I made it 81-82 miles in about 20 hours. I know I could have walked the sixth loop and still made it under the cut off time, but I just had no desire to walk that much.

I met a guy, Ben (RD of Bad Apply Ultra), who was pacing another guy that quit at the same time and he had offered to walk with me the last 2.5 miles; so nice of him!! Still couldn't do it, though. So we both rode back to the start together. Earlier I had told my husband to just pick me up at 8am on Sunday morning, assuming I'd finish the race by then. So instead of sleeping in a chair by a heat lamp waiting for him, Ben let my nasty self sleep in his sleeping bag in the back of his warm car, while he slept in the front. We slept for like five hours; it was awesome!

And here's a video of the first half of the race:

Anyway, I don't like that I DNF'ed this race because although the conditions were bad, it makes me feel like I won't be able to finish any 100 mile race again unless it's super, super easy. I think 2/3 of the runners ended up quitting which makes me feel a little better, but I still feel like a failure. Sucks.

So, I wore shorts for the whole race except for on loop 5. During the first loops, mud and junk were stuck to my calves for a long time. And then I would sometimes try to run on the side of the trail through the brush to avoid some of the water crossings. So, my legs were pretty jacked up. Well I have never had this happen before- look at my nasty legs! It looks like a rash or something. My calves were all puffy and they burned sooo bad to the touch. What the heck? It looks like chafing; but I've never had that on open legs.


I know, it's ugly. When I got home, I tried to get in the shower. I literally turned on the water and was screaming so much and crying from the burn, that I had to get out without washing. I was so stinky and gross but I didn't care- it was awful. I laid down on the couch and slept from about 1pm-7am the next day. And then thankfully since Monday, I've been fine and able to walk and all that. Recovery was super quick- knees, ankles, feet look a little swollen  but I was already back to wearing high heels at work. Nice. Hope to start back at CrossFit tomorrow again.

Oh ya- the MIRACLE. How am I NOTORIOUS for getting blisters and I didn't have one single one during this whole wet race? That makes no sense!! Does it mean I should always just keep my feet in cold wetness to avoid them? Oh well- that part was awesome.

Here are before and after pics. They look pretty gross and pretty much the same in each pic, right?


Blah. We shall see. The shower incident definitely scared my husband and he doesn't want me doing any more ultras, or at least any more 100 milers. I know the end of the race and the pain later were horrible and no fun, but I just don't like the fact that I didn't accomplish the whole thing. I can't end on that note.