I had taken a pretty light running schedule the week leading up but did my normal 10 miles on Sunday, 1 mile Monday, 6 miles Tuesday, 5k Wednesday and then 1 mile each day on Thursday and Friday leading up to the race on Saturday. The week leading up to the race I had a combination between beef and noodles and pasta and the day before I had some more pasta for lunch and then a Subway Club from Subway which is what I do before leading up to any race. My wife and I headed up on Friday night with the kids and stayed the night at my father in laws house who only lives about 20 minutes away from the course. The plan was for me to race on Saturday and then have Christmas dinner with her family that night. I got a not so good night sleep because let's face it. I can never sleep very good the night before a race. The morning of I had my normal 2 nutri grain bars and about 20 oz of Gatorade for breakfast. We drive to Chain O' Lakes State Park and arrive around 6:45 am. There is always great parking space here and the start is relatively close to the parking which makes it nice. Upon entering the park I notice some snow along the road. Where did that come from? I really wasn't expecting that but who cares. It just makes it that much more fun. I pick up my packet without a problem. They offer race day pickup and also offer packet pick up the night before with a pasta dinner option.
|Amanda(Too Tall) Fritz and I after the race|
Pretty good temperatures for the start of the race. Lower 30's so it was time to race. I had decided in this race as I have in my past couple marathons to just take Cliff Shot Mocha Gel and water. It has worked amazingly well for me in the past few. I would carry them on me and get water at the aid stations provided upon the course. The plan was to take one about 30 minutes into the race and then about every 35-40 minutes after that depending on how I felt. The aid stations were spread out pretty well and there were 4 along the course. I would have to do 2 loops of approximately 15.5 miles to complete the race.
|Toni and I after the race|
established but end up with an 8:27 that first mile. The next few miles I get established and have a 7:58, 8:12, 7:59. Running strong and feeling pretty good but wondering in the back of my mind if I am going out too fast. My current pace would have me finishing right around 4 hours which would destroy my PR by 1 1/2 hours. I think to myself, I'm feeling good, just roll with it and see what happens. I take a Gel at the first aid station in which most are stocked quite nicely with all the essential foods you would expect to see at an ultra like chips, cookies, PB & J, fig newtons, water, Gatorade, M&M's, Coke. Yep, I run so I can eat!! :) I decide not to walk any of the hills in the first loop and just attack them. Like I said before, I was looking to tear this course up because of the conditions we were dealt with at the Indiana Trail 100 but that's Ultra Running. You don't make excuses. You go with what you are dealt with, smile, have fun and go for it!! Running really strong the first loop and halfway done with the race I'm at 2 hours and 2 minutes (7:50 pace). I'm feeling good and strong and in the back of my mind I'm thinking maybe under 4 hours if I just pick it up a little bit? Well reality finally kicks in about 4 miles into the 2nd loop and about 11 miles left to go. I'm starting to tire from the blistering pace I took off at from the first half of the race. The hills are are starting to wear on me and I am paying for it now. My pace starts to slow but I am still not walking any of the hills yet. The course is still in pretty good shape, a little snow and ice here and there and a little mud plus one little water crossing you had to get around which I got wet on my first loop around but nothing terrible. I keep running but the legs are now starting to feel like lead and it was all I could do to move them. With about 5 miles left I decided to walk the hills to conserve
This race gave me a little bit of redemption on that course and still has me thinking in the back of my mind of running the Indiana Trail 100 again this year because in the back of my mind I really want to run a sub 24 hour 100 miler and know I could do it with the right conditions.
One key race for me in 2014 is the One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon (Indy Mini Half Marathon) where my goal is a sub 1:30 half marathon and top 500 finish. The other key race for me is the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November which my goal is a sub 3 hour marathon (3:09 this past year there) The IT100 is the week before the Indy Mini so if I do the 100 miler again this year it gives me no time to recover before that race. I did it this year and still ran a 1:33:45 at Indy Mini after the 100 but I want to give myself the biggest opportunity to do well at that race. For now I am satisfied and we will see what 2014 brings. Maybe another 100 miler? Maybe a 100 mile run with my good friend Leigh Ann from Get Fit with La? You just never know.
I couldn't do this without out the tremendous support I get from my awesome wife and my family. Thank you all for all your support. You Rock!!