Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Umstead 100 Endurance Run 2012 Part 1 - History and perspective from my 2011 DNF

First some history: For the 2011 race, I had registered for the 50 miler and had only two marathons under my belt at the time (and the second one I completed that Fall after registration for the 50), but I somehow got the crazy idea that I would go for the whole enchilada. I had paid for the whole thing after all! I remember Charles West giving me a hard time for thinking I could do the 50 when I had only done one marathon. Well, I went farther than 50...

Here's a run down of my long runs prior to my 2011 attempt: I ran my first ultra, Frosty 50K on Jan. 9th, 2011, ran my first 40 miler at the Falls Lake FA on Jan. 27th (and that was a tough first 40!), and ran my first 50 miler at Umstead park using the race course on Feb. 19th. I was a disaster waiting to happen. I ramped up WAY too quickly and I injured my left soleus during that 50 miler though I did complete the entire thing in a respectable time of 10 hours and 45 minutes. I couldn't have done that 50 without the gracious assistance of my friends Rhonda Hampton and Bill Parquet and Bob Sites (Bob volunteered to pace me though he didn't even know me at the time). For the next few weeks, I was subjected to the tediousness of elliptical and pool running and the more enjoyable option of biking. I recovered enough to complete the Umstead Trail marathon on March 5th but then injured my right ITB the following week. I could not get the ITB pain to go away and did not really run again until the 100 miler on April 2nd. During the race, my fingers were swollen by mile 15. I completed the first 50 in 11:04,  which was too quickly for my limited experience considering the injuries and interruptions to my training leading up to race day. On the 5th lap, I realized I did not have much left for the second 50. In addition, I was feeling a strain in my right achilles that had me concerned. When I started the 6th lap, I felt nauseous and overwhelmingly sleepy. I seriously wanted to sleep on the side of the trail and it was only about 9:00 PM! I managed to walk the airport spur and make it back to the camp gate where I sat on a large rock and puked my guts up and then felt very cold suddenly. My head and hands turned icy and prickly and I felt very ill. With the help of my volunteer pacer, Donald, I barely stumbled back to HQ, where I spent the next few hours in a mummy bag with hot water bottles, being propped up by my husband and sipping hot chicken broth. It turns out I had hypothermia. I recovered, but the 2011 race was over for me. I had made it to just past 100K.

 I recovered from my ITBS for 5 weeks following Umstead 2011 before starting very slowly back to running, only 2 or 3 miles at a time in the beginning. It took great withstraint to not do too much too soon and slip back into injury. I am sure I drove my husband crazy during this time of minimal running. My (and his) patience paid off and by September, I was able to complete 41 miles at Hinson Lake 24 Hour. In October, I completed New River 50K and Medoc Trail Marathon. December brought Pine Mountain 40 and a 41 mile training run at Umstead. I ran my first official 100K in January at Weymouth Woods and felt great. Two weeks after Weymouth, I went for a training run with my friend Bob Sites and ended up with peroneal brevis tendonitis in my left foot. I treated it aggressively and fortunately, was able to recover in time to run the Umstead Trail Marathon on March 3rd and a confidence building 31 mile training run on March 10th. During my Umstead training runs whenever I passed my "puking rock" at the camp gate, I gave it a nod and promised it I would not be visiting again this time around.

And that brings me to Umstead 2012. Are you still there after all that background? If you are, stay tuned for part 2.
Elizabeth Werner crews me at Umstead 2011.