Sunday is Marathon Sunday at WRFM featuring Marathon Reports, and running-related stories, often from guest bloggers (see this post:Share Your Marathon Reports! (Guest Bloggers Wanted). Guest Blogger,Amanda Hughs writes a blog called Tiger Runner Chica. Both Amanda and I love to run, belong to the Marathon Maniacs and are InkNBurn Ambassadors. She recently ran a 100 kilometer race called the Javelina Jundred 100K, in Fountain Hills, AZ. That’s 62 miles!! Here’s Amanda’s Report:
I was really nervous heading into this race because this distance offered uncharted territory for me. I had one fifty miler under my belt, but 100k included twelve miles further than that-almost a half marathon longer than any distance I ever attempted! The pressure was even greater to finish because this race was on my home trails and friends would be there to cheer me on, expecting me to perform well. This was also my first race with a coach and I wanted desperately to meet the times/goal he set for me. Packet pick-up was rather uneventful minus my brain repeatedly telling my heart, “You’re going to die, you’re going to die, you’re going to die.” We went for my standard steak and potatoes dinner and crashed early. That night I dreamed of storms with freezing rain and toenails ripping off-typical ultra runner nightmares, right?!
|Sunrise at Javelina Jeadquarters|
We arrived at the start right after the 100 miler runners took off (they had a 6AM start). I got settled in, my pack ready and wandered around talking to friends, trying to calm my nerves. The beautiful sunrise did help ease the tension a little 🙂
|Goofing around pre-race|
Fast forward to 7AM and we were off. My coach gave me a pacing plan broken out in five mile increments, which made the miles go by faster-as long as I could think of five miles at a time, I was golden. The first lap was pretty uneventful. I met some interesting people from California and Texas and chatted them up for a bit trying to pass the time. I knew I had a lot of mileage ahead of me and just tried to maintain my pace and run conservatively. Towards the end of the first loop, I began seeing all my buddies running the 100 miler heading back the other direction on their second loop. This washing machine loop setup was great, because I was able to encourage people and vice versa throughout the entire race. I finished the first loop right on time according to my pace plan, got through the checkpoint and carried on my merry way. I wanted to bank some time if at all possible before the sun was in full force. I maintained pace on the second loop as well and ended up PR’ing my trail 50k time on the same course as my previous Personal Record.
|At the 50k mark|
I hiked the first part of the third loop with an older lady that was heading out to volunteer at the aid station for 21 hour shift. She was a fellow Marathon Maniac and successfully distracted me with her tales of traveling for marathons. I am currently working on my fifty states and she had already done that once and was working through them a second time. I picked her brain about the best ones to do in the different states and the two miles passed quickly (yet, slowly since I was hiking).
|Just a marathon distance left|
After I left her at the aid station, I started running again, but the sun was just too much. I began hating myself, hating life and wanting to succumb to the heat by passing out. After stumbling a few times, I decided to walk some. I eventually got to a bench in the middle of the trail and sat with three other runners-all of us not wanting to continue. There was no shade and that bench was the only relief we had from the brutality of the desert. After four or five minutes, I got up at the same time as another guy heading in my same direction. We stayed together for the next seven or eight miles. Lance from Glendale was actually an Arizona native attempting his first hundred miler that day. This meant I was catching up to and passing Hundos at this point. Sadly, that made me feel a little better about my own misery. Lance was struggling and we were only in the 30s-40s mile range. We traded stories from our different races and kept up the small talk for awhile until I decided to pick up the pace as the sun fell behind the mountains. I kept telling myself that if I could just make it to Javelina Jeadquarters, Chris was pacing me the last lap and knew he wouldn’t let me DNF. Poor Lance tired of hearing me repeat that (trying to convince myself it would be okay). When I left him, I only had a little over one lap left, but he had three more plus a smaller loop to go. I checked the results the next day to see how my new friend did and he ended up taking a DNF.
|The sun was brutal|
|My friend Don, the pregnant cheerleader|
|Mile 39.6 and yes, I had a Sam Adams|
I had another reason for picking up the pace-My headlamp was at Jeadquarters and I started chasing the sun, trying to make it back before dark set in. With only 30% battery left on my cell phone, I knew relying on my flashlight app was risky at best. At this point I was clocking 10:20s on trail, 40+ miles into the race. The hiding sun eased the torture just enough for me to go all out in my effort to make it back before dark. If only the sun could stay hidden, but not disappear…. My luck ran out about three miles from Jeadquarters and I ran a mile by phone app until I got to the next aid station. Thankfully, one of the people working the station had packed their headlamp in case a runner needed it and loaned it to me until I could get to Jeadquarters. I eased up on my pace a tad on that last mile and a half, trying to conserve my energy, and finished my third loop with a new sense of determination. Now that the sun was down, I could do that lap one more time.
|Started running at sunrise, still running at sunset|
Chris was ready and waiting to pace me for my last lap. For the first mile, he caught me up on all the College Football scores of the day, providing a desperately needed distraction. I couldn’t believe that Florida had massacred Georgia and A&M and TCU had barely escaped losses. No wonder my ESPN app had been going crazy with alerts all day! About a mile into the loop, Chris’s headlamp died. I replaced the batteries the night before, so it must’ve been the bulb. We got to the aid station where the girl loaned me her headlamp on loop three and I asked if we could borrow it for the remainder of the loop. Much to our relief, she said yes and we carried on. At this point, Chris was practically skipping and I cursed him under my breath. What I would have given at that point to feel like I had fresh legs! I hit the fifty mile mark and realized I PR’d my 50 mile as well-by thirty minutes. This gave me the boost of confidence I needed to add a little pep in my step. I realized Chris was aware that I was behind schedule and how much that bothered me and he was really goading me because he knew I could gain back some of that time-he had more confidence in me than I did at that point. We ran/hiked until we got to the next aid station. After that, I ran most of the way in, passing people left and right. It seemed I was one of the only people actually running that last loop. I counted 21 “kills” (Ragnar terminology) in my last five miles. I know some of them were pacers, but it still made me feel good to know that there was some juice left in my battery. Chris kept up the pep talks, pointing out any changes in the terrain to keep my clumsy self from tripping. About two miles out, I started choking up. It hit me. I was going to do it. I was going to get my first buckle. I started rambling on about how thankful I was until a hiccup stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t allow myself to get too emotional, because that would just lead to an asthma attack and then I would have to be carried in. I pulled myself together. Chris asked if I had another 250 yards in me and I said, “yeah…. it just won’t be pretty.” I was right. I crossed the finish line in 15:32 and that’s when the waterworks let loose. I started crying and I kept repeating “I buckled, I can’t believe I buckled!”, hugging everyone around me until the announcer said, “I think Amanda is excited that she buckled.” Ooops! I was called out in front of the entire Jeadquarters for my abundance of enthusiasm. With the remaining 8% of my phone battery, I took the picture below with me and what I’ve started referring to as “my precious”:
Wow, congratulations Amanda!! If they had a 50 or even a 60K version, I’d want to do Javelina, but I’m not sure I could do the 100K, unless maybe pregnant Don wants to run with me?