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Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K - RunUltra Marathon

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New Port Richey, Florida
United States
Trail Luna Chicks
84F / 29C
Total Time = 4h 54m 50s
Overall Rank = 1/20
Age Group = Open
Age Group Rank = 1/20
Pre-race routine:

I needed some race nutrition to execute my plan correctly so Bri and I went to get some cola and chicken broth for the race, and then a smoothie as my pre-race meal. Then we headed out to New Port Richey.
Event warmup:

I did some stretching. It's unlike me to stretch before a race but with my hamstring and back being so volatile lately, I figured it'd be the best way to keep the back pain and hamstring cramping away. Brian left for his 13 mile run and wished me luck. Terri and Pete saw me off.
  • 4h 54m 50s
  • 31.07 miles
  • 09m 29s  min/mile

The race was supposed to start at 3. But there were many racers already out on the course. So I decided to start early myself. I started at 230pm, figuring I'd probably have about a 30 minute jump on the sunset and I'd still get to finish in the daylight.

Lap 1 - I started out strong. I knew what the trail was like (or so I thought) so I figured I'd be able to start strong and run the first half mile fast before the deep sand kicked in. Well...due to "reforestation" in the park, the tree-covered dirt trails were now treeless sand roads. And the deep sand started almost immediately. In the first quarter mile the sand became like running in the desert. It was immediately evident that I needed to really stay on top of my nutrition plan or this was gonna be a long day. I had figured on running each of the 3 laps in 1:20 or less. If I could go 1:15 on laps 1 and 2 I could slow down and go 1:30 on lap 3 and still hit my 4 hour goal. As I ran, I kept thinking, the sand MUST be ending soon. Mile 1...still deep sand. I could see where they had just control-burned the forest, some of the stumps were still smoking! It was a barren wasteland as far as I could see, and the sand was relentless. The sun was hot, it was 85 degrees and there was no wind at all. I was sweating at Mile 1, it reminded me of Disney 2007 when I was just totally drenched even before I got to Mile 1. I was feeling good, so I just tuned out the extra effort that the sand was eliciting from my legs and pressed on. I started out running sub 8 pace, but quickly slowed to about 830 because of the sand. I took no nutrition at the first aid station at Mile 2.5 because I had just taken a gel and water 20 minutes ago. Finally at Mile 3.2, the sand ended. THREE POINT EFFING TWO MILES OF SAND!!!! But as I turned the corner to go onto the back trails, it was all grass and dirt again, just like I remembered. I was able to pick my pace back up to under 8 minutes. As a matter of fact I was able to start running around 7 flat for that last 2 miles before the turnaround. When I got to the turnaround a little past the 5 mile mark, I took a gel and some water. I quickly left knowing that I needed to stay ahead of the curve. So far, I was in the lead because no one who'd started early had gotten to 5 miles in 38 minutes like I had. But a few guys started at 3pm. They had arrived right before I started and I noticed that they looked fast, so I needed to stay ahead. I turned around and ran back to the sand road at a good speed. When I got to the sand, my legs got tired REALLY quickly. I knew at that point that this was gonna be difficult come lap 3. Boy was I correct. I saw two of the three guys that I was waiting to see...they were walking. OK, so that makes only one I need to worry about. When I saw him, he was FLYING. I knew this was my competition. I got back to the start/finish area at 1:18 on the clock.

Lap 2 - After a quick chat with Pete, and a quick vent about the 3.2 miles of sand on the course, I took some chicken broth, coke, a gel, and some water, and headed off. This lap wasn't as hot as the last one. It was about 4:20 and the sun was already starting to set. I prepared myself for the sand and when I hit it, I was able to keep up an 830 pace like I wanted to. I figured I could still go around 7 flat from the 3.2 mark to the turnaround and back to the sand, so 830s would still be okay. Around Mile 12, I realized my legs were fatiguing quickly. So I decided to take a gel at the aid station at 12.5. I did. As I stopped I saw my competition (his name was Jon) passing the Mile 8 mark. I was at Mile 12 and I started a half hour before he did, so my lead was in serious jeopardy here. Only about 1 mile between us. I ran as hard as I could to the turnaround once I was done with the sand hell. On the way I saw the Luna Chicks walk-running and having fun. They whooped at me and made some jokes about not being allowed to be faster than the Luna Chicks and I returned some witty remarks...they laughed. I got to the turnaround and my back was hurting. My legs were tired and sore. I was only at Mile 15.4. I took some Advil that was at the aid station. I must have had a momentary lapse of reason because I know that I cannot take Advil in race situations. Oh well, I always make one huge mistake it seems. I ran as hard as I could back to the sand hell. Saw the Luna Chicks again...Pam took my picture. By that time, I had noticed that I felt a bit queazy. I wasn't taking in any nutrition. So at the 17.7 aid station I took a gel and some water. As I ran, I heard it sloshing around in my stomach. I wasn't absorbing it. Immediately my legs started dying. I was running 9's...then 930's. My heart rate was spiking, I felt totally dehydrated, and I felt like I couldn't run. I was still passing a few slower people out on the course, but I felt like total crap. As I passed Mile 19, I saw Jon going out for lap 2. He was at Mile 11, so now there were 8 miles between us! He must have had a bad return from lap 1 or taken a long time between laps. I felt comfortable now that my lead was secure. But I felt like I was gonna die. My pace was around 1030 to 1100. I came back to the start/finish area at 2:52 on the clock. That last lap had taken 1:34...16 minutes more, which is over 1:30 per mile slower. OUCH.

In between laps I had no choice but to sit down and try to recover a bit. I took some chicken broth and my supplements. I drank some cola. My stomach wasn't too bad, but I could feel that I wasn't soaking up the nutrition. Brian was there, but Terri and Pete had left. Brian told me he did his 13.1 in 2:01 which was a big PR for him. That made me happy and took my mind off my stomach for a minute. As I sat, I could feel my stomach getting worse. Brian went to check to see how far in the lead I was and I got up to follow. But then I just couldn't avoid it anymore, I was gonna throw up. And I did. FIVE TIMES. I tried to be as stealthy about it as I could, knowing they'd probably wanna take me out of the race if they saw my throwing up so much. When I was done, I walked over to Brian and told him. But I felt much better now that I got rid of the excess stuff in my stomach. I drank some cola and had some water. I figured now I was okay for Lap 3. So I headed off. I had picked up my head lamp, knowing now that I wouldn't finish in the light.

Lap 3 - I kept thinking about the vomiting episode and how it affected my body. I was still feeling dehydrated and I had no water or nutrition with me, other than two gels. I ran for a bit, but was feeling really really tired. At the 4 minute mark I decided to run one more minute and then walk a bit. And so I did. At Mile 20.6 I started walking. This was a huge blow to my ego as I haven't walked in a race in a few years now. Not even in my past two 50 milers. I realize a lot of walking will be done in my 100, but this was 30 miles. Come on Jeff!!! So after a minute of walking I started running again. Immediate pukage. UGH. Walking again. I got to Mile 1 and I saw the Luna Chicks again. This time they didnt' cheer...they ran up to me asking if I was okay, telling me I looked white as a ghost. I told Pam about throwing up and the Advil. The other two girls asked how much I had to go, and I told them 9 miles. Pam said "this guy has kicked ass all day, he's won the 50K, he could walk the rest and still win it". But I told her I couldn't run and I wasn't sure if maybe I should just give up and DNF. She told me, no you can do this. She gave me a swig of water from her CamelBak and Linda (one of the other Chicks) gave me her water bottle. They totally rock. I was a little over a mile from the aid station. Pam told me to take as much food as I could handle there and try to recover. They also gave me some Luna Moons (kinda like shot bloks) and I said I'd eat those on the way. They headed off and wished me good luck. They told me if I need to quit just tell a runner heading in to tell them and they'll come get me. I walked away. about 20 minute pace. It was so disheartening. I decided that I'd try to walk as fast as I could muster. I started drinking water and eating a Luna Moon every 3 minutes. Within about 10 minutes I started feeling a bit better. Twilight was setting in and it was starting to get dark. I turned on my head lamp so I could get used to seeing it in front of me. I got to the aid station and drank some Gatorade, ate a few chips, and some jelly beans. The calories made me feel better. I stood there for about 2 minutes and then I decided to start jogging to see how it felt. It felt okay. Not a minute after leaving the aid station, I saw Jon, and he was running. He was less than 4 miles away, which meant he was IN FRONT OF ME as far as time went!! I needed to run to regain the lead. But damn, I couldn't even go faster than 930. I was still so tired, so fatigued. And it was getting dark so I really couldn't judge my pace. I came to the end of the sand and decided to start picking up the pace a bit on the grass, as much as I could muster. Suddenly, I was running 830's again. Wow! The walking recovery had worked!! I suddenly felt great again! It was dark now, and I was running by the light of my head lamp only. It was kind of surreal. Like I was in a bubble. I could see nothing outside that blob of light. About a mile and a half from the turnaround, I was running along, doing about 845 pace when I heard something to my right. Just then a HUGE rattlesnake screamed and jumped right in front of me!! It missed me by a foot (I guess it didn't have great moving-target abilities, thankfully) and disappeared across my line of sight. It scared the hell out of me and I screamed like a girl! In the instant it jumped at me I ran so fast I could have won a 40 meter dash! I was scared shitless. I looked down at my Garmin and I was running 639 pace in total fear. I kept that up for about a minute when finally, when the adrenaline rush ceased, I was back to 824pace. But holy hell I kept it there. Another half mile or so and I heard another snake in the palmettos beside the trail...I kept up my pace and ran hard all the way to the turnaround. The second snake didn't try to attack me. But I knew I'd have two snakes to deal with on the way back. I saw some other runners and warned them about the snakes. I took more Gatorade and water at the turnaround and headed off. I didn't want to stay there long knowing that the snakes were mounting their attack!! On the way back, I ran as fast as I possibly could. Thru the parts where I saw/heard the snakes I was able to keep up a 745 pace. At this point I figured I had to be retaking the lead...I was going way to fast not to be making up time now. I got back to the sand hell. It's funny, in the dark it didn't seem as bad. Mile 27 to 28 was ok, but after that, my legs started to feel the burn again. I had been almost unable to run at all, just an hour ago. So I decided to walk a bit. I didn't want to give up my "perceived lead" so I only walked a little while, like 90 seconds. And then I ran again. Soon I was at the 28.5 mark and I knew I only had 2.5 miles to go. I figured I could run the rest of that, even at a slow-for-me pace and still be okay. So I did. My pace was around 920 but I at least felt like I could run that for the rest of the race. No more snakes to startle me. I was seeing alot more runners going in the other direction so I wasn't feeling so alone. Soon I came to the 1 mile to go mark, and I was happy...I knew that, even though there was still a mile of sand to go, it was flat. I kept hearing Pam in my head saying "he's won the 50K" and that made me feel confident. I came into the start/finish area feeling MUCH better than when I left, but VERY happy to be done. It was dark and I was tired. Brian, Pam, and a couple other runners met me there and congratulated me. All I wanted was something cold to drink and to get out of my disgusting clothes. I asked Brian to check if I'd won. He said, looks that way, no one's even close to you. But I was fearing the worst from Jon.
What would you do differently?:'s the devil. If I'd not taken the Advil, I'd most certainly have PRed. Oh year.
Post race
Warm down:

After it was over, and I'd sat down a bit, I wanted to get showered and changed. Brian told me there was a shower with warm water in the pavilion next door so I grabbed my clothes and got ready to shower. Suddenly, Jon finished. Uh oh. Would I see my victory taken away? As it turned out, I had finished only THREE MINUTES faster. At one point he was ahead of me, so I really HAD taken the lead back after the snake episode. THAT SNAKE WON ME THE RACE. Thank you snake.

Ya think maybe it was Christine? Kickin' me in the butt and saying, "WIN THIS THING" by throwing a snake at me? Hmmm...

Anyway, after finding out I did in fact win it, they gave me my awards, and I took a few pictures. Then I went and showered so I could feel human again. I was starting to feel cold and clammy, and my stomach was doing flips again, so I showered, changed, said goodbye, and we headed out so I could rest.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

This is a small-town-type ultra, very friendly people and lots of fun. Hopefully the course will be different next year, since they should be done with the "reforestation" inside Starkey Park. We'll see...

Still, this is a great time, I love doing this race, even when it kicks my butt.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-07-08 12:00 AM
04:54:50 | 31.07 miles | 09m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/20
Overall: 1/20
Performance: Below average
Course: 3 loops of an out-and-back trail course. 5.15 miles out, 5.15 miles back. The first 3.2 miles were all SAND!! That makes for over 18 miles of running in the desert. UGH.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-01-05 8:38 AM

User image

Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K

2009-01-05 1:26 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2009-01-05 3:01 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K
Nice job Jeff and great report.  Stay away from the Advil
2009-01-05 3:29 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K
Great job out there, congrats!!!!!  NO more Advil for you!

Edited by AbbieR 2009-01-05 3:30 PM
2009-01-05 5:17 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Queen BTich
Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K

OMG....oh freaking scary! I think I would have sh*t myself and cried as I ran.

Amazing as always! And if Christine did that, she's developed a sick sense of humor up there!

2009-01-05 7:07 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Orlando, FL
Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K
awesome race report and race!! way to take it and win it!!! But the snake story I could do without, I'm scared just reading it....argh!

You are incredible!

2009-01-05 10:58 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K

Jesus. You are such a stud. That snake was just jumping out of your way 'cause it was askeered that you'd grab it and tie it up in knots all while running 5 minute miles through 3 feet of quicksand.

Congrats on another ultra win!

2009-01-06 9:42 AM
in reply to: #1886469

Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K
One word only works for you... STUD!  Congrats on the win and a crazy race!
2009-01-06 10:29 AM
in reply to: #1886469

Extreme Veteran
Latonia, Kentucky (near Cincinnati)
Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K

AWESOME race dude!!! I'm SO freaking impressed that you are able to dig deep and COME BACK after barfing and feeling like crap.  Most people would just either THROW in the towel or walk , but you found your MOJO when you needed it and TURNED on the power.  THAT is what this is all about.  I'm bringing a RUBBER SNAKE to Boston with us...."just in case"!! Smile




2009-01-06 11:07 AM
in reply to: #1888558

Silver member
Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K
Matchman - 2009-01-05 10:58 PM

Jesus. You are such a stud. That snake was just jumping out of your way 'cause it was askeered that you'd grab it and tie it up in knots all while running 5 minute miles through 3 feet of quicksand.

Congrats on another ultra win!


^^^^ He makes me laugh.

Yes! Congratulations. You are my running idol. I want to run just like you. But I'd settle for a non miserable experience every now and again. Wink

You are going to be AWESOME @ Umstead!!!

2009-01-06 3:46 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K
Awesome race report. Wow, great job, congrats on the win.

2009-01-06 8:24 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K
Nice race, congrats on the win.
2009-01-08 8:35 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K

Hard core Jeff!

You rocked it on a hard course..dang snake...I hate them..but this one got you the win..strange.

Congrats on your win!

2009-01-15 2:42 PM
in reply to: #1886469

Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Subject: RE: Trail Luna Chicks "Chic-a-deca-lunaless" 50K
Again, awesome job. Just remember, finishing slow is still finishing and thats always better then quiting.
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