UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:
It has been nearly a year since Michelle’s misfortune during her attempt to run 100 miles at Lake Martin (see below), but the wait was worth it…REDEMPTION…
My little ditty on a hundy.
First, I must thank my crew and pacers and everybody who cheered me on! Carolyn and Wendy you never missed a beat! At every aid station with things ready so I could continue to roll. Madeline and Tara, my awesome pacers. I don’t even want to think about what I would of done if I hadn’t had you two by my side during the hardest part of the race. It was truly a team effort!
When it got tough I always looked forward to seeing my crew! Your support, hugs, smiles, and cheerleading me on meant the world! True team work!
When Madeline and Tara weren’t pacing me they helped crew. Thank you for the pickles and force feeding me LOL! I didn’t want to eat, but they knew I had too and wouldn’t let me leave aid until they knew I had enough! You all had my cranky ass back and you will never truly know my appreciation! Or that ham, cheese and mustard sandwiches make you run fast!
My Coach. I mean there aren’t words to describe his support, the time he takes, and the horrendous running schedule. LOL ! David THANK YOU. Such small words for all the great things you have helped me achieve. I couldn’t have done this without your help. You prepared me, encouraged me, and believed in me. Thank you!
This was a tough race, running 100 miles is no joke. The pain is immense and the loopiness of a tired mind makes tunnel walls move and bridges sway. I’m not gonna lie, I was very emotional from the start line and throughout the race. I had fears of getting lost, I had fears of not having enough mental strength. All I knew was I wanted this bad. And I feared failing.
The first 50 miles flew by. I was feeling strong, determined. Mind was set. I was getting that buckle! After the first 50 I had Madeline pace me through the next 26 miles. She is awesome! She knew exactly where my head was at (or lack of lol) and just tried to keep my mind off the cold, the dark, the pain and dry heaves. Those were tough miles b/c I knew I still had 1 more loop to complete. So we focused on just getting through each mile, by mile.
Madeline and I finished our 26. Totaling now 76 miles.
Still more work to do.
This is where Tara picked me up. Oh man. She. Is. Good. She was on me and I needed it. But my stubborn ass was tired, cranky and sore. And Tara kept reassuring me that all of it was normal. She wasn’t going to cut me any slack. And it was good. She distracted me with conversations about family and kids. As we plowed through those last and final miles. She worked so hard at keeping my motivation up when I was in despair. I never wanted to quit. But I wanted it to be over. She was so sweet to keep telling me that there was a finish and a buckle would be mine. She was so upbeat and positive. Even when I hit my very low spots. And told her NO! to having fun lol! I was just a hotmess and she got the brunt of it. Luckily, she has been in my shoes. She knows the pain. She knows the mental anguish, she knows what it feels like to want to be done. She’s just a doll. And my little words of gratitude just do not seem to be enough.
All these wonderful people took time away from their families to help me. I CANNOT say thank you enough.
So there I was mile 90 something. Ugh. The pain had become intolerable. I was so over this and just wanted to collect my buckle and sit in a chair. Lol. Tara continued to push, I continued to give it my all, give the best I had at the moment.
Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel <– no pun intended. The final 2.8 miles. But after running 97.2 miles, 2.8 miles feels like 28. I was getting discouraged and upset. I was giving it all I had, I was digging deep, I was pushing when I could. FINALLY. I see where the gravel ends and the pavement begins. I see flags. I see Wendy, Carolyn, Latoya, Madeline. I hear Tara telling me to GO! I hear everybody cheering me! I had tears streaming down my face. I had done it. I had run 100 miles! I just earned my very first belt buckle! I am thrilled beyond belief! I am so lucky to have so many people want to see me succeed and share in my journey to 100 miles.
I have no regrets about this race. My only wish for this race was to earn a buckle. The time and placing 3rd in my age group were just added bonuses!
I have to say thank you to all my family and friends who called, texted, messaged me before, during, after the race.
During the dark spots I would pull my phone out and see all the messages of support and believe me it pushed me to always go one more mile!
A special shout and thank you to ALL THE IDIOTS there cheering, crewing, pacing helping all of us out! Lending support and giving kind, reassuring words. I love that dumb little club!
CONGRATULATIONS, Michelle on running hard and seeing your dream come true…Buckle Up! – Brian
UPDATE on Michelle’s 100 Mile Race at Lake Martin posted here
The Graveyard 100 miler will be my second 100. Looking back at my first 100, The Umstead 100 mile endurance run, I learned so much about myself and the distance while training for that race. Scanning my Twitter feed over the last few months I noticed one person whom I follow (and you should too) who was gearing up for her first official 100 mile race and decided to ask her to share some of her insight.
I’m pleased to introduce Michelle aka @runnermommy2008
Thanks Brian for asking me to be a guest blogger! I hope this is helpful to anybody considering doing an ultra marathon! Here’s a tid bit on #myjourneyto100miles.
“BUCKLE DOWN AND GET TO WORK”
In 2014 I decided that I was going to earn myself a belt buckle by completing a 100 mile race. Hmmm where to start?! There’s so much to say about training for 100 miler. I’ll start by saying I just felt ready. I had completed a 50k, 50 miler and 100k and a 100 miler just seemed right. I attempted a 100 miles at a 24 hr. race back in September 2014, but was not successful. This kinda hit it home for me. I knew I had to get serious and “buckle” down and get to work. So I hired a coach. And signed up for the Lake Martin 100 miler on March 21, 2015.
My Coach is amazing! He gives me my weekly schedule and is the most supportive and helpful person! He has completed many ultra distances and many 100 milers. So I know he will get me to my goal. You do not need to hire a coach to run an ultra marathon. I did because I am very poor at holding myself accountable. <– the first step is admitting you have a problem lol.
FIT THE TRAINING HOURS IN
Let’s see…. Training wise I run 5 days a week and have 2 strength training days. David has me on a very rigorous training schedule. He’s teaching me to be on my feet and upright for long periods of time. A typical training run can be 3-5 hours in length. At my pace this is around 18-26 miles. And probably the longest will be around 14-15 hrs. Again at my pace about 50 miles. Which I don’t mind b/c I’m a little obsessed with running lol! It’s just learning to fit the hours of running in with everything else going on!
But with every long run, I’m learning something about myself. Running has taught me patience and has been very humbling. I know I’m not the only runner who says this. But it’s true! I’m slowly learning that I am capable of more than I thought. And I’m learning my body will withstand an immense amount of pain. Yet with a little TLC, it forgives me and allows me to keep moving forward on my journey.
GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH GOING SLOW
I’m also learning a lot about heart rate training. And getting comfortable with slowing down. When running an ultra marathon you don’t want to bust right out of the gate since you’ll be at it all day and night and day again…. oye.
I’m learning how to fuel my body and utilize my own body fat to sustain me versus gels/gu’s etc. it’s a little something called metabolic efficiency. It may not work for everybody, but it works for me :))! Regardless, anybody will tell you to start paying attention to what you eat and what your body needs while you train for long distances.
MILES 80 – 100
Lastly, I’ll say physical training is one thing. Having a strong motivation and will, having mental stamina and strength, and determination to complete this distance is a separate beast. I work on this during my very long runs. Does it make me nervous to think about? Yes. Am I scared I won’t be ready? Heck yes! But I know I have the will and determination to finish what I started and I’m hoping that gets me through miles 80-100 ;)
Good Luck Michelle, we can’t wait to hear about your success…It’s Time To Buckle Up!