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Kettle Moraine 100 Mile - RunUltra Marathon


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LaGrange, Wisconsin
United States
70F / 21C
Sunny
Total Time = 16h 59m 30s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

This was as my Mom (the ultimate race travel companion) said our last "Hoo-rah". I'll see her again when we load the U-haul in a few weeks, but otherwise probably not 'til next summer and then probably not for a race. We left my parent's house mid-morning so we could check out a small town she had thought looked interesting on our way to the race site. This turned into a garage sale-ing mini-marathon. We went to at least 12 and I stocked up for Montana: waterproof runner boots, calf-length coat, sweater= $4. We had a fabulous lunch at a winery bistro... and down the road about 10 minutes from the race site I realized that my Dad had "helped" by loading the car, but of course only carried my bags from the house, ALL of my race gear was in my locked vehicle at their house. I contemplated running in the shoes I was in, but no sports bra and no headlamp really would've made the day impossible. So, we picked-up my packet while we were close and turned around to meet my Dad half way. So with driving to their house and my Montana trip,etc.= 35 hours+ in a car in 8 days. NOT a great things to do before a long race. I was glad to get my gear, but it did mean I didn't get to bed 'til about 10:30pm.
Event warmup:

We got to the race site early, picked-up my chip and I ate breakfast in the car. I did come kind of close to leaving my handheld in the floorboard until I saw someone with one and went back for it. If you know me, you know I am an insatiable camel when it comes to fluid. Running without water is about my worst-case scenario :) I didn't really think much about the task in front of me before the race, which was probably good.
Run
  • 16h 59m 30s
  • 100 kms
  • 10m 12s  min/km
Comments:

I started towards the back and did well walking the hills from the beginning... more coming back than going out, or at least it seemed. I couldn't even relish the downhills since they're almost slower for me than the ups. I knew I needed to pace muyself, but I also knew that I would be walking a LOT at the end and needed to bank at least a little time to meet cut-offs later in the race. That course must inspire something in me because at Ice Age I kept repeating in my head "Get into the Zone, the Running Zone" to the tune of the Auto Zone commercials and at this race I kept hearing "Make hay while the sun still shines" and kept thinking about my Grandma and her funny sayings. (She always tells my husband he's as handy as a "pocket on a shirt" etc.) It made me smile and kept me focused to be sure I was "making hay"=running as much as I could. I was going so well the first few miles and around mile 9 (Garmin-less for this run) took my first fall, probably on a rock. Big bloody gash on my elbow and banged up my right knee, but not too bad. Run on. A mile later, I wipe out again and land the exact same way. Leaves and dirt in the gash now, more knee damage. I'm now comfortably hanging with the sub-24 hour guys and go down twice more banging up both sides of my left knee sometime before the 24 mile aid station. This is also when my feet start aching like crazy, which isn't entirely new, but not super common that early in. My Mom was working the aid station when I came through around mile 24 so that was nice, except I really was feeling kind of bad. I had to remind myself several times during this race not to extraopolate the pain. Just because I feel awful at mile 24 doesn't mean I won't feel really good later on, and I kind of did. After leaving there my feet started to feel a lot better and I couldn't even feel my gashes anymore, but it felt like a long, long way to the turnaround for the first loop at mile 31. Heading back from there was nice because it was in some ways the "home stretch", for the first loop at least. My upper back and shoulders were the sorest I think they've ever been and I kept thinking how nice it would be to have a little massage. I asked the general crowd at the mile 37ish station if anyone would be willing to rub my shoulders and a spectator did. I felt a little awkward asking, but I knew I would feel so much better and really did. I was so thankful for her!! Somewhere in the stretch I met a girl doing the 100k in a very low spot. She asked me if I though she could walk it in and apparently she didn't know she had until midnight which really should've been enough time if she kept moving. Then she said she didn't have a light. I had a back-up in my drop bag at the next aid station and offered to run-walk there with her, but she didn't want to run at all, so I got her name and number and told her I'd leave it with the workers for her. She was a little worried about not being able to return it, but I told her that she could keep it or pass it along to someone someday. Somehow, knowing I could help fellow runner really buoyed my spirits and from meeting her to the mile 47 aid station (where my Mom would also be working)were my highest miles mentally at least. I thought I really was doing alright when I saw Mom again at mile 47. She massaged my shoulders and I had some pumpkin and banana bread. We made plans for her to head out to the finish line for me the next morning and I was optimistic that I really had a chance of making it in. In the next few miles I was attacked my mosquitos, which I think is somewhat irrelevant to the race outcome, but I should've sprayed down at the aid station and I also started losing speed and was having to walk a lot more: some due to lack of training, but a lot due to the rough terrain. I needed my headlight around 9:30 and it was so dim it was useless in the woods. I had a handheld LED too, but wanted to save its batteries for later that night. So, at this point I was totally planning on making an all-night go for it. I did have extra headlamp batteries though and had a volunteer change them out for me at the last aid station before the 100k finish/end of 1st loop. Such a difference. It really was stupid not to plan and pack with more care. (I should've learned my lesson after packing old, leaky, foggy goggles my last tri to really inspect my gear. The low battery light was on from the beginning.)
I then started a little math. This took some time, but I knew I would finish the 100k in around 17 hours which would give me 13 hours for the last 38 miles. I knew that meant walking 20 min. miles. Generally, that would be totally doable for me maybe even for so far. However, my knee was starting to not ache so much as just not cooperate, especially on the constant hills. I checked the mile markers against my watch (the last 5 miles are markedas a countdown) and I was taking around 22-23 min. per mile and I wasn't sure how much longer my knee would hold out period. So, it was pretty disappointing that last mile knowing that I should call it a night since I had no chance of even making it under cut-off and was starting to worry about damaging my otherwise quite fine knees. Even sadder with the perfect weather conditions and full moon. I had to choke it back a little at the finish line announcing that I was a 100 miler dropping to the 100k as I ran under the mocking banner. The race director said I looked really good and seemed really together and offered me time to reconsider since I had another hour before the 62 mile cut-off, but he commended my choice when I explained about my knees and how I had been doing 22-23 min. miles for the past 4+ miles. I might have been just a little out of it though since when he pointed to my waist and asked me to "snap it off" I thought he was asking for me race number to mark me off the 100 mile list, but it was really my headlamp he was talking about. Then he asked if I ever drank beer and I explained that I don't drink and he asked if I ever had a Coke and I said "yes" thinking maybe he was offering a drink, but it really was just making small talk about the finishers' bottle opener/pocket knife that went with the little copper kettle. They label everything the Kettle 100 so it works for 100 mile and, I guess, 100k. I used his phone to call my Mom (in bed) at the hotel to come get me. She was really good about it. Supporting my decision to drop, but also saying how proud she was that I ran what I did. She even let me stay in the car got my drop bag for me that had been taken to the 85 mile aid station. Ok, I didn't think I was too upset about dropping, but I'm actually crying a little now typing this all out. It's good though to care and learn. I did for the first time not have blisters on the balls of my feet (I put Dr.Scholls blister pads on pre-race hoping they would stick to clean, dry feet. They didn't, but the glue stuck my sock to the balls of my feet and it was perfection(!)and am happy with near perfect nutrition/hydration. I did some new things nutrition-wise and they went very well.
I'm not really sure how I actually thought I could run 100 miles with the recent chaos of my life, but I'll try to be content with the 62 I did. There's no point in wondering what I would've felt like if I hadn't fallen so many times (actually 4 ties my record for least number of falls during a trail race). It didn't really hit me until I got up and around this morning and realized that I would've still been out on the course that maybe I should've kept going until I actually missed a cut-off. I know realistically, there was no way I would be able to walk 20 min. miles 85 miles into it when I couldn't even make them 60 miles in, but a person still wonders.
What would you do differently?:

Training would've helped. I did have an October 100 miler, solid winter training of back-to-backs and two spring 50ks and two spring trail 50 milers, but it just wasn't enough.
Post race
Warm down:

We hit the McDonald's drive-thru for a Diet Coke and chocolate shake after getting my drop bag before returning to the hotel and I had the worst, most sudden wave of nausea I think I have ever experienced. I was seriously worried about puking in my Mom's brand new car. I rolled down the window and laid the seat back and it passed in a few minutes, but it was close. Maybe if I feel like that during a race I'll at least have the experience of knowing that it might pass.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Working 50 hour weeks plus prep/grading/commute and preparing to sell a house and move cross-country is not conducive to training. Just one of those "life" things I guess.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2012-05-14 12:00 AM
Running
16:59:30 | 100 kms | 10m 12s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
100 Mile registrant-dropped to the 100k
Course: Kettle Moraine Forest: lots of hills and rocks with open meadows between.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2012-06-03 9:11 PM

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Veteran
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Subject: Kettle Moraine 100 Mile


2012-06-04 9:51 AM
in reply to: #4242284

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Kettle Moraine 100 Mile

I know it wasn't the race you were hoping for, but I think you should be DANG PROUD of 100K with everything life has thrown at you this year! 

Maybe this is the universe's way of telling you you need to come back to Kansas for Heartland in October

2012-06-05 2:23 AM
in reply to: #4242284

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Member
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2525
Maryland
Subject: RE: Kettle Moraine 100 Mile
Amber, I'm new to the ultra forum. In my dreams I've always said some day. Three years ago my only claim to athletic fame was the Marine Corps marathon. Since then I've completed other bucket list evets -up to tje half iron man distance. Sometimes the event is not a longer distance, but just a race that has been burning inside. A couple of years ago, like your grandpa, it was my Gram whose words were ringing in my ears as I finished a half marathon, "'I see I see,' said the blind man as he peaked through the knot hole in a barbed wire fence." It's funny how our minds on a long run perform an invevtory of those who went before us. Hold your head up for for your race. I'm proud to know that you not only offered your light, but you went out of your way to see that your running mate would find it when she arrived at the aid station. I hope you realize that no matter what sort of hardware she may have won from the race, the most charised item she took away was you light.I've got a bib for the JFK 50 miler this year and I hope to cross the line thinking out my Gram again, perhaps her words, " reading and writing and arithmatic, dance to the tune of a hickory stick" will ring in my ears. Thanks for the memories.You did well!Regards, Michael
2012-06-05 11:54 AM
in reply to: #4242284

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Master
3117
20001000100
Toronto
Silver member
Subject: RE: Kettle Moraine 100 Mile

Wow.  A big congrats on it - for toeing the line when life is so crazy, for helping out fellow racers, for making tough decisions - and to still be able to do all that math to figure out your pace and possible finish times!

It may not have turned out the way you thought but you made the right decisions for you.  Congrats!!

2012-06-07 1:52 PM
in reply to: #4242284

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Elite
3644
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West Allis
Subject: RE: Kettle Moraine 100 Mile
Sorry we didnt get to meet up and huge bummer about having to go back and get your gear!!  in the end, you had an outstanding day and an amazing performance, truly inspirational in my opinion!  next year, um, right?  (both of us!)
2012-06-14 9:35 PM
in reply to: #4244969

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Champion
5313
5000100100100
Calgary
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Kettle Moraine 100 Mile
runamarathon - 2012-06-05 1:23 AM

Amber, I'm new to the ultra forum. In my dreams I've always said some day. Three years ago my only claim to athletic fame was the Marine Corps marathon. Since then I've completed other bucket list evets -up to tje half iron man distance. Sometimes the event is not a longer distance, but just a race that has been burning inside. A couple of years ago, like your grandpa, it was my Gram whose words were ringing in my ears as I finished a half marathon, "'I see I see,' said the blind man as he peaked through the knot hole in a barbed wire fence." It's funny how our minds on a long run perform an invevtory of those who went before us. Hold your head up for for your race. I'm proud to know that you not only offered your light, but you went out of your way to see that your running mate would find it when she arrived at the aid station. I hope you realize that no matter what sort of hardware she may have won from the race, the most charised item she took away was you light.I've got a bib for the JFK 50 miler this year and I hope to cross the line thinking out my Gram again, perhaps her words, " reading and writing and arithmatic, dance to the tune of a hickory stick" will ring in my ears. Thanks for the memories.You did well!Regards, Michael


this is a very nice post.



2012-06-14 9:36 PM
in reply to: #4242284

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Champion
5313
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Calgary
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Kettle Moraine 100 Mile
hey, great job. Tough race. Clearly though, you got to figure how to stay on your feet, that is the first battle.

Sounds like you did a great job using what skills you have though. Giving your light to that girl was super thoughtful, and it is tough to be thoughtful that far into a race.
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