I ended up finishing dead last for 2007 in 29 hours and 36 minutes (24 minutes ahead of the 30 hour deadline). By the finish I was completely exhausted, in more pain then I have ever been in before or since and ready to sign up for the next year (okay, I'll be honest that took me about 4 hours post race to achieve!)
I learned alot about myself during the race and was really proud of this achievement. To this day I always wear my 100 miler pendant with pride. The only times I have removed this is when my initial necklace broke (but some string saved the day), and recently when I had my thyroid scan. I would conjecture in life the only two items I really would be distressed about losing are my wedding ring and my Umstead necklace. Since April 1, 2006, my necklace has taken the same journey in life I have experiencing both the ups and down. Of course my engagement ring has been a "hitchhiker" since June 2000. We too, have had some good times--and one brief separation due to my apparent inability to treat jewelry gently (in my defense I kind of mangle my body just as bad with stumbles, falls and ripping somewhat essential pieces off through no fault of their own...for example, I curently have only half a thumbnail thanks to a recaltratant door that refused to open without being turned first...how outrageous eh??).
Well, back to positive thoughts. Below you can see some pictures from 2007. Sadly in 2008 because of the 24 hours of rain (out of 28.5 hours on the course), I have very few pictures and the few I do have are of very poor quality! But alas, luckily in 2007, the weather was perfect in my world. Close to 80 and Sunny.
About to finish my first 100 mile. Boy do I look tired! And of course in my husband tradition of snapping pictures with exposed undergarments, you can actually get a quick peak at my Moving Comfort Seamless Underpants above my skirt and below my sparkeley waterbottle...Tristan really needs to take a glance at the scene he is photographing because I just don't think people want to see my unmentionables.
Gilligan and Tristan greeting me at the second aid station. This picture provides a typical view of the course surface. It is pretty wide and very groomed. Thus you can sort of close your eyes at night and just try to run straight. Seriously I ran many miles with one or the other (or sometimes both) eyes shut.
A sign my friend Julie made that I could see 2 times every lap. It was really nice of her to make it and nice of my husband to put it out. I became slightly famous during the race because I had my name on my shirt and this sign. Thus people rightly guessed it was for me. This sign made me really happy. It provided encouragement for the entire race and was so colorful, vibrant and energetic, which is exactly what I needed during my last several laps late at night and early the next morning.
It is less than 7 days until Umstead 100 mile. I am really nervous but know I have done the best training I could do considering my professional life, personal life and even the weather.
I have been starting to pack including for pre-race, post race and of course drop bags. I have several pacers/crew/chaffeurs arranged including my husband, my sister and hopefully a friend from the statistics workshop I am arranging.
Tristan, my husband continues to fight a nagging knee injury/pain so may not even pace me a full lap, Cindy, my sister has committed to a full lap. Tristan of course will be driving me to the race and home after the race. Thursday night we will continue our tradition of staying with his father in Richmond and Friday we will stay at the LaQuinta. So far the weather is looking good, so we likely will be taking Gilligan with us.
As I get ready for the race, here is some advice I would share with others who are going to be running a 100 mile. My biggest advice is:
1) DON'T read the ZODIAC killer on the trip to the race...seriously it is not a good motivational pre-read (well unless you want to scare the crap out of yourself in the middle of the woods about 2 in the morning!)
2) Make sure your pacer is appropriately dressed. If they do not have on adequate layers or raingear you either will have to share your gear with them (and perhaps be cold/wet yourself) or else they might want to make you go fast to get warm.
3) Make sure your crew knows explicitly what gear you need. Having recieved "flip flops" at mile 98 during my first Umstead 100 miler when I wanted Teva Support Sandals (which then I foolishly put on from mile 98 to mile 98.1) I now know to make sure items are clearly marked (oh yeah and now my husband knows the difference between flip flops, sandals and other items...I also have taught him that magenta and fuscia are two different colors, my helpful advice know no bounds!)
4) Take care of your feet before small problems become HUGE problems. This year my goal is to change out my shoes at mile 62 and my socks at mile 88. Of course this timing is very flexible, which leads to my final advice:
5) Have a plan for your race (figure out your needs, the logical timing of these needs and plan accordingly). I have an EXCEL spreadsheet that lists out what I might need at various times (shoes, socks, gaiters for shoe change time; sunglasses, baseball cap during the day and thermal pants, shirts, jackets, headlamps and flashlights at night) and each of these items are available within ziplocs in my drop bags.
Good luck to all who are competing in Umstead 100...now it's time to cram (or is it taper?...I can never get them right, aarggh:-)