This was not the race I prepped for. This was not the prep I had in mind for a 100 mile race. My “A” race this year was Kodiak 100 in Big Bear, CA, August 17-18, 2018. This race did not go as planned, and I dropped at mile 45.
Two days later. . . at the LV airport. . . I signed up for the Georgia Jewel 100 (September 22, 2018) at the urging of my husband. I prefer to train in the heat and humidity of the South and to race in the altitude and cool air of the West. So, this would be something different. I decided that because it was close to home, and $200. That I would sign up. If I decided that I would not be able to race in 4 weeks, I would only be out $200.
Lead up to the race: I rested for a week after my DNF (45-miler).
- August 20-26–39 miles
- August 27-September 2–16 miles. UGH! I pulled my hamstring!!
- September 3-Sept 9–walk 15.5 miles/run 30 miles
- September 10-Sept 16–41 miles
- September 17-Sept 21–rode the bike
- Sept. 22-23–race day 100 miles
Logistics: The trip from Franklin to Dalton, GA was about 3 1/2 hours. Our hotel was 1/2 mile from the race start. The room was nice and this gave my crew a place, close, to nap and shower as needed throughout the next two days.
Drama: This race was not short of drama for me. I dislike drama. My two crew members/pacers were first rate, cool as cucumbers, happy, fun. I COULD NOT have finished this one without their consistent, calm reactions to my ‘drama’.
- around mile 16 I fell, slid off the trail and came to a stop with my head against a rock. The hit jarred my jaw. I sat for a minute. Thought to myself, everything seems okay. “Surely, my head is not bleeding from that!” I put my hand to my head. I was bleeding. The blood covered my hand. I took my tank off and used it to put pressure on my head and I walked for a while.
- around mile 93, I started my period. REALLY?! This was laughable. I was not necessarily expecting it but in hind sight it helped to explain my ‘sleepy’ tiredness and the fact that I had to poop, like 5 times!! (In my past two 100s, I was not tired in the sleepy sense. I also rarely have to poop in a 100-miler. I usually do that before and after.)
- around mile 96, I could not squat fast enough to pee. I peed on myself. The worst part about this was the instant pain from the extreme chaffing I had from my pubic bone to the top of my thighs. I took my tank off and tucked it into my shorts. I did my best to situate it so that it did not look like I had a bulge in my compression shorts!!! HA.
My pacers/crew: Mary and Kathy were the highlight! These two did not skip a beat. They are made from the same calm, collected mold!! They both crewed me and paced me. They let me cry. They let me sit. They let me feel sorry myself, B R I E F L Y.
(at mile 19) “Guys, I hit my head and I am bleeding. . . “
Kathy, “It looks okay.”
Mary, “It will clot.”
(at mile 43) “Kathy, I think I want to be finished.”
Kathy, “Okay. Let’s finish the next loop and then, make that decision.”
Kathy and Mary are seasoned ultra runners. I think it was challenging to crew and pace, because they did not get to rest much, if at all. They were always on. These two were probably 50% of the reason that I finished this one.
This race was an easy one to crew and pace. Miles 42-71 start and end at the same aid station. There are 2 loops to complete, 2 times each. Mary paced me for 1 of loop 1 and 1 of loop 2, miles 50-63. Kathy paced me for 1 of loop 2, plus the distance to Snake Creek aid station, miles 63-81. BOY, it was great to have them both. I moved faster with them, then if I were on my own.
The course: I loved the early start. This course was pretty. This course was tough. This course was fun! LOTS of ups and downs. The Keown Falls section was the toughest part in my opinion, not the first time through during the daylight hours, but the second time through during the night! Wow! Tough. I think one of the best running sections for me was the part of the course from miles 42-71. You have four loops to run, before heading back to the finish. These were very runnable miles.
The aid station at Dry Creek was fantastic, after each loop, the runner came back to the same spot. They had a bathroom and my favorite aid station food, almond milk, peanut butter, banana smoothies. YUM!
N E V E R give up. The last 10 miles were so hard. I cannot tell you how many times I was ready to stop. Thank you to sweeper extraordinaire, Ginny Kelly!! (Is there a moment when she in not a spirit of joy?) She helped me keep moving forward.
And there I was D F L.
Thank you to Jenny Baker for an exceptional race. Well run. Well organized. Well staffed. Great race. Put it on your race calendar!!