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UltraCentric - RunUltra Marathon

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Grapevine, Texas
United States
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /19
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Rushed to get to Lake Grapevine. Drank wanter and Gatoraid on the way. Had a PB&J. Finaly get there 30 minutes before the race start. Organized my gear in a grass area close to the loop start and finish.
Event warmup:

Stretched....kissed the wife and baby. Got the MP3 player ready. Trying to get in the frame of mind to keep moving for 48 hours.

  • 15h 00m
  • 33.6 miles
  • 26m 47s  min/mile

This was my official, "I am off the couch" race. Searching around the web, I found the Ultra Centric website. When I saw the 48 hour race, I became very interested. I know..I is just my personality to pick the hardest one there...Even if I wasn't ready. This wasn't the first time, and I bet, it won't be the last. ;-) Even though I did not make it the full 48 hours, I am happy with what I did accomplish. It was a great learning experience that I will use to better myself for the next one. So, to start off I am going to focus on what I am happy about, and then I will get into the rest. ;-)

1. I officialy got off the couch and commited to a race.
2. First race since 1996.
3. Previous longest distance "Race" was 10 miles.
4. Completed my first marathon distance.
5. Completed my first ultra distance.


A few minutes before 9am, 19 of us lined up behind the start line. A couple of seconds after 9, they said "ok, have fun". I made sure that I started off at the very back, because I wanted to watch everyone. I saw several that took off in a good run. I was wondering how long they could keep that up.Several went on into the dark before I saw them walk.

The first lap, I walked with a Dr. and fellow x-paratrooper, that would become my best friend later that day. We talked about old Army times and some of the runners out there that day. Some of them have held records in these events. We talked with others as we passed or got passed on the course. Everyone out there was really nice and helpful.

Not too long after started the second loop, I could feel some hot spots on my feet. This is way too early to start having problems. I finished the loop and changed my socks and shoes. Although, I had put some miles (several short runs and walks), it was not enough. This combined with some really crappy parts of the track, started chewing my feet. One of those "hot spots" had already formed a blister. I changed back to my older shoes, which felt great. The socks did feel a little strange as took off again.

Now my feet felt much better than before, but I could still feel myself compensating for those pains from earlier. It is going to be a long day. I continued on drinking at both aid stations (every 1.2 miles) and would grab a gel or snack at the starting aid station. Other than my feet, I was feeling great. I continued to be amazed at how some of these people were still running and had a long time to go. I started wondering what kind of sleep plan they had, if any.

I continued to walk / run until about mile 16. My feet had slowed me down a lot. One of the runners came up to me and asked me about my feet and what I had on them. I told him... he said that he had some really good socks that he wears on all races and has never had blisters. He was going to leave them on the bumper of his truck and I could get them as I went by. This is another example of how nice everyone was out there. He also told me there was a DR. near the start, and that if I already had blisters, I should get him to look at them.

I finished this loop, right @ 17 miles and asked to see the doc. They said he was on the course, but would be by in a little bit. I thanked them and went to get some water. I waited about an hour for him to get back to the tent. It was my old Airborne buddy! He lanced about 5 blisters and there were already 2 or so that had opened on their own. After that, he handed me a can of his homemade foot lube. He said to put a thin layer over my whole foot and b/w my toes. He also said that if I had someone that could bring me a short pair of hose, I could wear them under my socks. I totally forgot that we used to that in the Army on long road marches. I made the call, but they wouldn't be there until about mile 27. I did double up my socks (one really thin pair and one normal pair to try and get the same effect). This helped some.

Most of the next loop, I ran, since they were feeling better. For the most part......WARNING.. If you don't like gross stuff..skip a few lines (this is gross to my I thought I would post that..) Near the end of that loop, I stepped out to avoid a bump in the road. When I did, the big blister on the ball of my left foot, still had a little fluid in it. As I stepped and put pressure on it, I felt the skin separate and shoot the blister b/w my first and second toe...haha Good times! From this point on, I had to really concentrate on foot placement.

As the sun is setting, the temp started dropping quite a bit. The first loop after sun set, I was dealing with mosquitos. But, not for long, the temp dropped too much for them. Thank goodness....As I looped back around, I grabbed a small bag of pizza rolls that I had cooked up before heading out there. I only ate a few and they did not stay around long. ;-) . Good thing my brother called and he was on his way. I had him bring me those hose and plain double meat cheeseburger from McDonalds.

Now, my already slow laps are getting even slower. My brother showed up in time to watch me finish my first marathon distance. After I crossed the line on that loop, I changed over to the hose and thin socks. One the blisters had filled back up and had blood in it. I decided to leave it. I put the shoes back on, ate the cheeseburger, and headed back out. We walked and talked...the past couple of laps, my lower back had started hurting, and I am feeling it more now. My brother comments on the quality of the trail.He can't believe some of the ruff areas and speed bumps that people had to avoid at night.

At the end of that lap, I had a small cup of black beans and rice. This tasted really good, walking through the cold air. We do another loop, and I am getting even slower. I know my feet are swelling, because I can feel the toe area of my shoe getting really tight. The end of the next lap, they had spaghetti w/o I got some and walked to my chair. I put the pancho liner down in my chair and covered myself with a sleeping bag to rest for a few minutes. No matter what I tried, I could not stop shaking. I sat there for a few more minutes but it did not work. My brother had his truck started, warming up, before he left. I sat in there for about 20 minutes before trying to head back out.

I crawled back out of the truck and tried to turn my mp3 player back on and the batteries were dead. I walked back to my chair and put some new ones in, before heading out. This was going to be the loop from hell. My legs never really loosened up again, after that break. I continued to move forward, slowly. I got about a quarter of the way into that loop and threw up the spaghetti I had earlier. When I did, my lower back cramped, which in turn caused my quads to cramp. Outstanding......I stood there a few minutes, trying to get it back together...finally started walking again. I made it to the aid station at the turn around and drank a little before moving out again. I slowly made my way back to the end of the loop. That loop (once I started moving) took me almost 2 hours. I grabbed some potato soup and sat back down in my chair. Started shaking again, but this time, there was no truck to warm up in.

It was time to make a choice. My feet are hamburger, my legs are pretty locked up, I am getting way to slow, and even if I wanted to get some sleep, I don't think I could stay warm. I also promised my wife that I would not jack myself up to the point that I couldn't enjoy my first "vacation" with our baby. So, I made the call and turned in my chip.

Yes, it sucks...but there is a lot about that race that I am happy about. I learned a lot, that I will use to prepare for my next one. And the short time my brother was out there, he now wants to do the next one with me. ;-)
What would you do differently?:

Hmm.. there are several.

1. break in my other pair of shoes more.
2. have socks that I tested for longer distances.
3. do the 24 instead of the 48 on the first one.
4. bring a tent.
5. bring a space blanket.
6. walk the course before, to get an idea of what I was in for.

Post race
Warm down:

Warm up by the heater of the car on the way home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

All things point to being better prepared.

Event comments:

Overall, the people that ran this race were very nice and helpful. It was a great learning experience for me. I will be doing this event again.

The only half way negative comment I have about the race, was the track itself. It was much different than what I expected from the discription on the website. This was my first event of this type, so I do not have much to compare it to. But, I did hear others (that have done many of these) complain.

Overall...I loved the event and will be back.

Last updated: 2006-10-15 12:00 AM
15:00:00 | 33.6 miles | 26m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/19
Performance: Good
Course: Course is a 2.4 mile loop, pavement, along Lake Grapevine. The last 200 yards or so....was the "suck" area.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-11-19 2:46 PM

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Subject: UltraCentric

2006-11-22 7:27 AM
in reply to: #603431

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Subject: RE: UltraCentric

My legs never really loosened up again, after that break. I continued to move forward, slowly. I got about a quarter of the way into that loop and threw up the spaghetti I had earlier. When I did, my lower back cramped, which in turn caused my quads to cramp.

Outstanding indeed.

 You definitely started with a bang! 

2006-11-22 12:32 PM
in reply to: #603431

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth
Subject: RE: UltraCentric
One heluva way to get off the couch!!
2006-11-22 5:02 PM
in reply to: #603431

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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: UltraCentric

The couch will never seem the same ... congratulations on starting your marathon training with a flourish.

2006-11-22 5:30 PM
in reply to: #603431

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: UltraCentric
Thanks for the detailed race report!

Yea... uuummm... you know you can get off the couch with something small... like a sprint triathlon?

2006-11-22 6:20 PM
in reply to: #603431

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Extreme Veteran
Williamsburg, Virginia
Subject: RE: UltraCentric
That is awseome!!!!!!Congrats

2006-11-22 7:17 PM
in reply to: #606829

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Subject: RE: UltraCentric
KSH - 2006-11-22 5:30 PM

Thanks for the detailed race report!

Yea... uuummm... you know you can get off the couch with something small... like a sprint triathlon?

haha... I have several of those planned...once they start back up. I worked one this past season, it it looked like a lot of fun!

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