|Guides & Crew (minus Jill, Lucy, & Maggie who had to leave early) Photo: MassUltra|
This will be a short report (for me) partly because I was fortunate enough to recap my race on Ultra Runner Podcast, which is my favorite running podcast. They also previewed my race here.
A couple of general thoughts and thank yous seeing that many people contributed to this race:
|Chris cleaning me up with Jill supervising.|
My team was absolutely amazing and so on-point the entire weekend. My crew (Jill & Lucy for the first 50, Jeff for the second 50, and Chris for the entire 100 miles) brought their A-game. I knew it was going to be a solid day when I rolled into the first aid station with crew access at mile 21 and my crew had everything all laid out and ready to go. This continued throughout the entire race including the tough evening hours in the dark.
The team of six sighted guides and two pacers were flawless. Amy Rusiecki, who took a break as the VT100 RD to guide me, set a great tone and pace for the first 15.5 miles. First time trail guides Elaine (1st overall time guiding!) and my Team Nathan ‘mate Maggie (she has guided on the roads with Achilles Philly) did not miss a beat and crushed their miles. My trusty seasoned vets Samantha (she also paced me for six miles later in the day) and Michelle got me through some tough miles. And rising super-star guide Nicole showed that her 31 miles at Pineland were not a fluke. She guided me through some tough technical sections and always kept me moving forward. And Karin Lee George paced me for the final 23 miles and kept me smiling, motivated, and in as good spirits as my tired mind and body would allow. I am beyond honored to have the support and friendship of my guides and crew. I will never forget finishing the race with my guides and crew who were still in town.
|Guide transition (Amy Rusiecki to Maggie Guterls) |
at mile 15.5
· Looking back on your training plan is always a case of hindsight is 20/20 (pun intended). I knew going in that the climbs were going to be tough because it was hard getting in a ton of elevation. More than that, I think I was more focused on “quantity” and not “quality” miles. I was hitting my mileage goals but I think my effort and intensity of training could have been more. Something to improve upon going forward.
· My A+ goal was sub-24 and B goal was 26 hours. Finishing was my third goal. I tend to get stressed about time and hit a low if I fall off it during the race. Jill was super supportive leading up to the race making sure I stayed positive regardless of the time outcome. I am very thankful for her sage advice and tried my best not to let this impact my overall race experience.
|Coming into Camp 10 Bear aid station. Elaine is on my right & Samantha on my left.|
|Maggie selfie as we were climbing up the "Sound of Music" hill.|
· For better or worse, I didn’t stress out about falling off pace somewhere around mile 60. In fact, I would describe the entire day as “average energy and mindset.” I never hit a super low nor did I get amped about my pace. I just didn’t have that “fight” and sense of competiveness that I’ve had in previous races. Maybe an awful three nights of sleep leading into race day contributed to this. Or perhaps in the back of my head I was already resigned to the fact that my most important goal was to simply finish. I never once considered dropping but after mile 50 there were a lot of thoughts about just wanting it to be over. I am a very “wear my emotions on my sleeve” type person so this is interesting to me.
|the medic volunteers did an outstanding job taking care of my blisters.|
· My left knee started to ache pretty early on especially while running the downhills. I wonder if this was a result of changing my stride due to the blisters on my left foot? I saw Amy R coming out of the mile 30 AS and as I walked up to her and my friend Laura B. I told Amy I was dropping bc of my knee. You should have seen her face! I quickly told her I was joking as I jogged off with Samantha. Luckily Amy wasn’t close enough to whack me J But I already knew my knee was going to make for a long day esp on the downhills.
Without a doubt, I am incredibly proud of finishing my first 100-mile race. I am proud that I put in the training time and had the support of so many friends and family. Although I did not “race” VT 100, spending 28+ hours continually moving forward toward a goal is no joke.
Finally, a humble thank you to Jill and Lucy for supporting this crazy idea. At peak time, I was running 7-11 hours on the weekends and adjusting our already hectic family life to squeeze in 20-25 weekday miles. I do believe that running and training for these type of races makes me a better person, father, and husband and I am thankful that Lucy and Jill support me in creating the space to make this happen.
|Small buckle for my first 100 finish!|
What’s next? As long as my knee holds up, I have Ghost Train 100 in October with a likely rune-up 50k in September.
See you on the streets or in the woods!
Topo Athletic Runventures & Terraventures
Nathan Sports HPLw/ b;adder & soon-to-be released pack w/ front bottles
Note: I took no gus/gels this race. Definitely helped my stomach but maybe contributed to my low-energy levels?
Garmin 220 & Forerunner
I had a big Russian Imperial Stout the night of (thanks Andrew Becker)
The next night Jill and I enjoyed a 2014 Trillium American Wild Ale-delicious!