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Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile - RunUltra Marathon

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Huntsville, Texas
United States
Rocky Raccoon Trail Run
74F / 23C
Total Time = 22h 02m 19s
Overall Rank = 53/229
Age Group = Grand Masters
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

Flew to Houston on Thursday evening, and stayed at the Holiday Inn in Conroe so had a 20 mile drive to the race site. Was concerned about this drive post-race. Left early and got a perfect parking spot.
Event warmup:

Not much sense in warming up for a 100 mile run.
  • 22h 02m 19s
  • 100 miles
  • 13m 13s  min/mile

4 loops.

1st loop. 3:58:34
A bit anxious waiting for the start but not too bad. 375 people is a lot for a single track course so I was concerned about crowding. Then there were another 375 starting an hour behind us who were running 50 miles. As it turned out it was very crowded to the first aid station at about mile 3. I did not stop here and was able to shake most of the crowd by just running through. The first lap was mostly just dealing with the crowded start, settling the nerves, getting warmed up, shedding unneccessary layers of clothes, and figuring out the course. I'm horrible at remembering details after a run but I do remember that I had to make three potty stops and fell three times on this first loop. Tried to remain patient and walk all of the uphills.

2nd loop. 3:59:51
Some people complained that the day got hot, but it was good for me. I'm a warm weather runner and the cold is what hampers me. I'm not sure exactly how hot it was but close to mid 70's. Most of the course is shaded in the woods so it was nice for me. I did have to pull the baseball cap out of my bag to deal with the sunlight strobe effect coming through the trees. I hate wearing a hat but the bill on the hat is the only thing that seems to control this for me. Fortunately, I didn't have to wear it that much. I stuck it in my vest and carried it more than I wore it. I think I fell twice on lap 2.

3rd lap. 4:09:37
The think I remember most about this lap is that I had promised myself music on this lap. When I pulled out my radio, it had somehow gotten turned on while in my vest and the battery was completely dead. No tunes. During lap two I kept telling myself, work this lap, lap three you can have music, lap four I knew I had a volunteer pacer coming out with me and lap 5 would be my victory lap. I was so disappointed that the music wouldn't play but I handled it well mentally and didn't let it get to me too much. I told myself it would be that much sweater on lap five when I could finally get tunes.

lap 4 with Paul Schmidt 4:49:33
Paul was the long time RD of the San Diego 100. I had met him in the lobby of the hotel on Friday morning and we chatted for quite a while. He was not running and had just come out to offer his services as he is good friends with the Rocky Racoon RD. When he found out that I was all on my own for this race, he volunteered to run lap four with me since it is often the most difficult lap. I was very thankful to have him. It was getting dark just as we started this lap and within the first couple of miles we had to turn the headlamps on. I told him that I am not a good night runner. It slows me down a lot. I also told him that I walk a lot and try not to run for more than 5 minutes at any time withtout doing a walk break. This is just my way, it is the way I've trained, and about the only way that my injured back will allow me to continue running. There were a few times when he attempted to push me a bit into extended running but I didn't let him take me out of my rhythm. This was the first time I've ever run with a pacer that wasn't someone that was a good friend and that I had run many miles with previously. It was very different trusting your race to someone who doesn't know your style. Paul is very knowledgable about 100s having directed them for many years and run over 60 of them himself. I was very fortunate to have him along.

5th lap. 5:04:44
When we finished lap 4, I realized that I had seven hours to get lap five done and still be under 24 hours. I figured that I should be able to do that but you never know what lies ahead. I started out on this lap just running everything that I could but never pushing it beyond where I thought it might put things in jeopardy. I had a very upset stomach as I started this lap. I was desperate to get to the first aid station to use the bathroom. Then when I got Dam Nation they had some Tums which seemed to help some. If I tried to push the pace at all, I found a very definate line beyond which my legs were willing to go but my stomach was not. I stayed at that line and did not push into the area where the stomach was going to go completely bad on me. As a consequence I didn't eat much on this last lap but I figured that I had done well enough throughout the day and being my last twenty miles I could probably get away with it. With probably just under a mile to go my headlamp gave me that warning flicker that my battery was about to be dead. I had another one in the pack but decided to try to pick it up and get myself home before the light died. This was a very runable section that I had enjoyed on all of the previous laps so it was nice to finish off the race with a stretch of quicker pace.

The finish line was sweat!!!!

I was probably about two miles out when I realised that I was going to PR, my previous best was 22:19. I started to really cry at that point and had to get it back together. There would be time for that later.

I suspected that I may win the Grand Masters. Based on the winning times from the last several years, I certainly should have but you never know who might show up. I hadn't seen anyone else that looked over 50 that was running that well. Then again most people wouldn't put me over 50. I was thrilled when they confirmed that yes I had taken first place in Grand Masters.

Sunday evening I was checking the website to see if overall results were posted yet. They were not but what I did find was a link that showed the course record for each individual age.

I broke the course record for 51 year old females by over 27 minutes!!! That ROCKS.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. This was about as good as it gets.
Post race
Warm down:

I was hurting pretty bad when I finished. The 20+ mile drive back to the hotel was not going to be safe. Paul who had paced me on lap four was at the finish to present me my buckle. He was heading back to his hotel in Huntseville (he was at my hotel in Conroe on Friday where I met him but had moved to a closer hotel for Saturday) for a quick nap and said he had an extra bed. A Super 8 never looked so good. It was a hot shower and clean bed. Though I wasn't able to actually sleep, the rest was just what I needed. We got back to the race site with a few hours still on the clock. I watched the people come in all the way to the end. It was amazing watching these last people finish and hearing their stories.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of running single track, more specifically lack of running single track in the dark.

Going into the race I was comfortable with the total mileage that I have put in but was concerned about my lack of elevation. All of my miles have been flat. As I was running, my calves became increasingly sore. I knew they were going to pay dearly. Post race the right calf is so tight and strained that it is bruised and the left one hurts nearly as bad. Guess I should have found some hills to train on.

Event comments:

This was a test for me. I've completed the Umstead 100 twice but Umstead is my home course. For several years I lived ~1.5 miles from there and ran it all the time. I wanted to know that I could complete 100 miles on a course other than Umstead and I wanted to know that I could do it on my own without having a trusted friend or pacer with me every step of the way. I definately succeeded at that.

The race organization and volunteers were hands down the best I have ever experienced. That is hard for me to say that it was better then Umstead but I belive it was.

I'm signed up for Umstead again this spring but after that I don't know if I'll do any more 100s. I really kind of like the 50 mile distance and may go back to some HIM or IM events.

Last updated: 2013-02-05 12:00 AM
22:02:19 | 100 miles | 13m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 53/229
Performance: Good
Course: 20 mile loop done 5 times. Mostly single track with some jeep road. Lots of tree roots. Aid stations were nicely placed, ~3 miles to the first station, then another ~3 miles to your first stop at Dam Nation. From Dam Nation you did a ~6 mile loop that brought you back there again. We had drop bags here so it was nice that we hit them twice on each loop plus our drop bag at the start finish. Leaving Dam Nation you had ~3.4 miles to the last aid station then ~4.5 to the start/finish. The 5x20 loop was a good fit for me.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
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] 5

2013-02-05 8:16 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Ft. Myers, Florida
Subject: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile

2013-02-05 8:26 PM
in reply to: #4610333

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Queen BTich
Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
WOW! Congrats on a well executed race, solid job. AND congrats on the placing AND the course record! That's so awesome. 

I thought it was a great event as well. 
2013-02-05 8:29 PM
in reply to: #4610333

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Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
Wow! This is awesome!!! Congrats, Judy. Hahahaha., you're going to take it easy and do shorter stuff like IM. Love it! Course record!!!!
2013-02-05 11:56 PM
in reply to: #4610333

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San Antone, Texas
Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
That is awesome!  Congrats on the CR, really that is some amazing running.  I broke down pretty bad on the end of lap 3 and all of lap 4.  your pace is really even pretty much most of the way, it's really impressive!  I'm gonna have to figure that one out...
2013-02-06 9:58 AM
in reply to: #4610333

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Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
way to go!!! Hope to see ya at Umstead will be my first 100
2013-02-06 10:43 AM
in reply to: #4610333

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Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
Amazing job out there! Very impressive.

2013-02-06 3:22 PM
in reply to: #4610333

Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
Simply amazing!
2013-02-07 2:44 PM
in reply to: #4610333

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Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
what a wonderfully well run race.  Congratulations.  That is Awesome!
2013-02-09 12:49 PM
in reply to: #4610333

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The Woodlands, TX
Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile
Great Job! Looks like your pacing was outstanding!
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