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Potato Creek Trail Run - RunMarathon

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North Liberty, Indiana
United States
Brett Onnink
65F / 18C
Total Time = 5h 57m 25s
Overall Rank = 5/8
Age Group = Female 0-55
Age Group Rank = 1/3
Pre-race routine:

Set up camp with hubby on Friday then took a walk and relaxed around the campfire. Slept good. Got up before the alarm and ate normal, dressed and rode my bike the mile or so to the start. As I'm walking up to packet pick-up I hear my name and see a friend from BT - Jayne! She'd decided to do the race at the last minute so I hadn't known she was going to be there. Sweet! Chatted, got my bag and layered down since the forecast was for a warm day. Starting temp was about 47 so used arm warmers but no gloves.
Event warmup:

Ran to the pit toilet and back and that's all. A bagpiper begins the race with the playing of Amazing Grace and it was beautiful.
  • 5h 57m 25s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 38s  min/mile

It was so fun to run the first loop with Jayne and another guy we knew - Joe. I didn't know what to expect of myself since I'd paced a friend in the IT100 for 30 miles just 6 days prior. Since that was mostly walking, it felt good to run. With changing the direction of the course it seemed we were always heading up hill on the hiking trails. The course was not marked well in certain places and at one point we had no clue which way to go so we headed toward some cars that we could see to ask directions and we had to turn around and go back. That was a bit frustrating. The aid stations were stocked with the general stuff but nothing besides some trail mix peanuts that was salty which is what sounded good to me. I'd packed plenty of things in my drop bag but unfortunately I didn't pack salty pretzels or chips. Dumb me. I felt like I drank pretty consistently. Overall, the first 13.1 felt like a confortable run with good fellowship and conversation. Jayne and Joe broke off to the finish and I did the second half by myself. Literally, I didn't see another racer. I enjoyed the alone time (there were plenty of hikers out by this time) but it just felt weird to not see another racing soul. I asked at the first aid station about others and they told me there were 2 girls who were a few minutes ahead of me. I started feeling a little light-headed about mile 5 but just dismissed it and took in some more water and gatorade. A burning pain also started at the top of my right foot - big toe area. I felt that off and on last year and need to get it checked out. I know I ate throughout the first and second loop but I don't remember all I had - trail mix for sure plus some beef jerky, potatoes, a rice cake, part of a banana and oranges. When I completed the hiking trails and got to the drop bag I finally caught sight of the two girls as they had left the aid station and rounded the turn into the mountain bike trails. Jayne had stuck around and was there helping me fill my bottles and encouraging me which was a boost. I was feeling more lightheaded but really wanted to catch up to those other racers so I took off but I was getting more and more nauseous. The burning in my foot hadn't subsided but I largely ignored it. I could hear the girls talking through the switchbacks and finally caught up to them at the last aid station with about 3.5 miles to go. They were rolling their calves so I grabbed some M&Ms and took off. I was starting to get tunnel vision and a more lightheaded. The last 3 miles were a major struggle. The weird thing is I could not walk without feeling like I would faint. If I jogged I did better, but there were some hills that I couldn't jog up. When I got to the top I had to stop and put my head between my legs. At one point I completely laid down on the trail to stop the dizziness. This had never happened to me before. The tunnel vision scared me more than anything but I started to hear the other ladies voices and the competitive part of me didn't want to get passed, so I continued on. After another hill I was sitting on a log with my head down when Jayne came and found me. She was an angel, getting me up and moving again. When she told me I was only about a half mile from the finish I was so relieved but I still had to stop one more time to keep from fainting. It was so strange to have my legs feel strong to run but my head not cooperating. Sweet Jayne ran with me to the finish which I DID cross with a smile since that is always my goal. :)
What would you do differently?:

Days later and I'm still contemplating what happened to my body - nausea, dizziness, tunnel vision. It took about 24 hours for the lightheadedness to go away. I wasn't straining my body, or so it seemed (especially in light of my pace). I'd come off a weekend of lack of real sleep, not eating consistently and that's the only thing I can think of because during the race I handled my nutrition better than I usually do. I guess I'm too old to do back to back events and my body just had enough.
Post race
Warm down:

I immediately laid down on the grass and then was presented with a first place female marathon trophy. Yippee! I guess my determination to chase down the other two marathon girls paid off (although I felt like crap). A nice paramedic guy named Chris came and took my blood pressure which was low but not alarmingly so. Again Jayne came to my rescue, going to get my drop bag and put ice on my feet which relieved the burning. I rested, ate some chips and drank some concoction the RD mixed for me. Rested for about 30 minutes then was able to get up and ride my bike back to camp.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Using an old, warn-down body instead of a fresh, young whipper-snapper one. This is what I'm stuck with, though, so I'll make the most of it.

Event comments:

Small race in it's third year and I think it was hurt with the IT100 the weekend before because there were only 49 half marathoners, 8 marathoners and 3 ultra folks. There were more than double that the year before. The RD and his family are sweet folks, though, and do a decent job with their resources. Turns out that some hikers had taken the tail markers down and that's why the course wasn't well-marked but they should check that race morning. They also need to advertise this race better - it's a beautful location and the trails are well-maintained.

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Last updated: 2013-03-18 12:00 AM
05:57:25 | 26.2 miles | 13m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/3
Overall: 5/8
Performance: Average
Course: Loop course on the trails within the park. This year we took the wide track hiking trail loop first, running it the opposite way we had in the past which took us UP more hills than down (or so it seemed). Next we took the single track mountain bike trails.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2013-05-10 2:28 PM

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Subject: Potato Creek Trail Run

2013-05-11 10:30 AM
in reply to: #4736946

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Potato Creek Trail Run
Brenda great job on finishing that race. You really had to tough it out on that second loop to get to the finish but you did it. I think you're right about the IT100 and pacing your friend the week before may have affected you for this race. BTW you did a fantastic job at the IT100. Congrats on finishing both and winning your AG at this race.
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