Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Umstead 100 (50 for me) race report - Lap Three

Lap 3

After sitting down for a few, calling Jess to let her know that I was half way, and refilling the water bottle, I grabbed a small ham sandwich, ¼ hot dog, M&M’s and some banana and off I go. Being beyond the halfway point it meant that I could count miles to go, instead of miles gone. A subtle difference, but it is one that gives a little psychological boost. On the way out of the HQ spur, I got to say hi to Tammy again as she was heading in.

1.2 miles into lap 3, I became an ultra marathoner (anything above 26.2 miles), and I thought of Dean Karanzes whose book “Ultramarathon Man, confessions of an all night runner”, was my main inspiration.

With the compression underwear on, I was beginning to notice that my shorts started to ride up my legs for some reason, and this was annoying me, as well as irritating the already chafed spot. Looks like I’ll be getting rid of the compression at AS#2.

Shortly after the turnaround, Frankie was coming the other way, the conversation went something like this: “JIMBO!!!”…. “LOOKING GOOD FRANKIE!!”

I ran for a while talking to someone who was running for the fallen firefighters of Fort Lauderdale FD. He was telling me about one of his colleagues who got hurt, and will be out of work for TWO YEARS. Apparently, the city doesn’t take care of these guys well enough – hence his running for this cause. Good for him and shame on the city of Fort Lauderdale. He described his current mood as “in that happy place where it hurts to walk and it hurts to run”. I knew where he was coming from, I was approaching the same place.

This is me a little before 27 miles.

I needed to pee – this time though, despite broad daylight, and a lot more park visitors, I only went a few feet in the woods. I did stand behind a big tree though.

Frankie caught up to me on after my pit stop, and the miles again started to fly by. At 28.7 miles, I entered virgin territory, in other words, every single step I take will be the furthest I have ever run.

As the miles were piling up, it wasn’t long before the dog pile was spotted again. This lap’s 30 seconds were, “It’s starting to dry out, and STILL no one has put their foot in it”

Somewhere around mile 30, Frankie, who like me was listening to music wearing just one earpiece, suddenly put in her other earpiece, and really started to pick up the pace, dancing around and waving her arms in the air – apparently the Eurythmics does that to her, I will have to remember to put one of their tracks onto my music player.

31 miles/50K – we hit that a little under 7 hours, which was something to celebrate. It was also around that time that the talk started that I could finish the 50 in under 12 hours – to be honest, talk of finishing unnerved me a bit, I didn’t want to jinx anything. Apparently though, for a first 50, that is ‘awesome’

At AS#2, I made a decision to switch shoes, from my Merrell trail shoes to an old pair of Kayanos. The cushioning is probably shot in the Kayanos from 100’s of miles of wear, but they fit like a glove, and I felt they would be a little more comfortable around my toes. Also, I had to get rid of the compression underwear, the shorts riding up my leg was really annoying. Change shorts, change shoes, M&M’s, banana, and a piece of potato dipped in salt (sounds awful – it was, but apparently, it is a good way to get salt back in to your system with some energy giving carbs, it also make you thirsty, and forces you to drink). And off we go again.

Frankie left AS#2 ahead of me, and even though she was in my sights, I didn’t have the energy to put in a burst of speed to catch up, and besides, she pulled away further each walking stretch with her very fast walk.

The Sawtooth 79 section was beginning to hurt on the downs now as well as the ups, mainly in my quads. I was also starting to notice the lack of cushioning in the Kayanos, oh well, they will have to do till I get to the main HQ.

Even though I didn’t want to think of it too much, thoughts of an ‘awesome’ sub 12 hour finish were pushing me on, but it was pretty clear that fatigue was starting to kick in.

I got a bit of a second wind when I was boosted by the sight of the Graylin trail sign. I ran all the way down the gentle hill. I even caught up with my friend again, although as soon as the slope turned upwards, she surged ahead once more.

At the bottom of Graylin, there are about two miles to go to the Race HQ, and aid station. During this time there are runners coming towards you until you get there. Plenty of “You’re looking good”, and “good job” and “keep it up”, really helped to keep me going even though I was flagging.

I called Jess and left her a voicemail to let her know I was coming in soon.

And that was it for lap 3.


  1. Congratulations again! Your race report is really impressive and it looks like you had alot of fun:-)

    I think the shorts chaffing/bunching issue is why several (many) of us ladies wear skirts to run. You could start a trend...I think bright pink (like me) or bright green (like Frankie) could really create quite a buzz during the race.

    I look forward to reading about your next lap.


  2. Interesting you should say that. I am working in the Bay area of CA this week, and took the opportunity to visit the Zombie Runner store (if you ever get the chance, you should go there, it is a fantastic place, and Don and Gillian are super nice people). I jokingly said to Don, that I need a skirt for men. Believe it or not, they have sold a few! So, lime green or pink, it really is a tough decision?

    Don also told me that he is working with the people from Zensah on a prototype for some seamless men's underwear, which is probably just what I need.

    They also suggested I do Lean Horse 100.... watch this space, because I may just do that.

    Lap 4 report is on its way (I am halfway through typing it), as well as a report on the gear I used, and my final thoughts. Thanks for your comments about my write up.