Kettle Moraine 100, 2019: My 100k Race Report

(Photo credit: Mile 90 Photography)

Race Info:

June 1, 2019

Nordic Trailhead near Whitewater, WI

There is a 100-mile, 100k, 50k, and a 38-mile fun run

I participated in the 100k (62 miles)

The 100k race consists of a 31-mile out and back on the Kettle Moraine Southern Unit of the Ice Age Trail

Focus, Robin.

I ran 62 miles on Saturday. Then on Tuesday I Googled “Potawatomi 150.” Now, why can’t I just focus on one thing at a time? I was still recovering from the 100k that I’m going to tell you all about in a minute – AND I’m already signed up for my first 100-miler in October. FOCUS, Robin… focus.

The very first thing I’m going to share here is that my race went really well. It’s a spoiler alert. I didn’t have any major breakdowns, I didn’t puke and my feet did not fall off. My legs got sore, my feet got sore, my butt chafed a little, and I lost my appetite at about mile 55, but the most dramatic it got was balling my eyes out in the pouring rain because it, along with the thunder, was so beautiful, fun and electric that I couldn’t stand it. I just couldn’t. And a couple of other times I cried when I thought too hard about my crew standing in that rain, waiting at the next aid station, just to cheer me on to the next one. So I got emotional a few times, but it was due to overwhelming gratefulness and happiness each time. During that rain downpour, slopping through foot-sucking mud (I mean, it literally made an obnoxious sucking noise as each step would sink my foot into wet mud up to my ankle), I felt more alive than ever. Just so… so alive. If I ever wanted a “why” for doing this crazy shit, there it was.

Muddy and fun and smiles. (Photo credit: Mile 90 Photography)

So with that, I’ll list some of my stats here next, which you can skip if you don’t care, and that’s totally fine – a lot of this is for me to look back at when I inevitably won’t remember any of the specifics and want an easy reference. After that I’ll get into my crew, a brief (maybe) section on my training, what I did for nutrition, my gear, and other snippets of race details along the way as I think of them. It was such a fun day, and I hope I can really get that across here. I mean, what? I think it was like mile 46 when I did shots of Fireball with the crew from my favorite podcast. Yeah. That’s just an example. Fun.

My stats:

Total miles: 63.1

Total time: 14 hours, 16 minutes

Overall pace: 13:34/mile

Elevation gain: 6,040 ft.

Overall rank: 27/97 (63 men, 34 women)

Gender rank: 7/34

Age group rank: 5/15 (but I was awarded 2nd place here)*

*So I was awarded the 2nd place medal in my age group when I crossed the finish line, which was a shock to me – I mean, I never even thought once about placing. Anywhere. And it felt pretty freakin’ cool, if I’m being honest. After the race I pulled up the online results and my age group results did show me as 2nd – but the overall results show me as 5th, so I’m pretty confused by this. I don’t know if maybe the 3 other ladies in front of me dropped down to the 100k from the 100-mile on race day, which, I believe means they aren’t eligible for awards?? I emailed the race director just to make sure I wasn’t mistakenly given the award. If I was, I’d like to send it to the rightful owner!! But either way, this in no way hampers my thrill with my final results, because… holy shit I went so much faster than I thought I could!! Below I’ll post a video from race day. You will see that I keep mentioning that I was afraid all day that I’d bonk. I was running faster than I thought I would – or probably should – but if felt very comfortable, and it was almost an effort to slow down, so I just kept rolling with it and ended up with a pretty steady pace all day. I did place in the top 10 for women, so that is… insanely awesome. Stuff like this makes me question what I’m capable of. And it scares me. Because I don’t want it to go to my head and make me push too hard in future races to chase awards. It’s a fun perk if that happens, but it’s not what I’m out here to do. I just want to keep having fun at this. Ya’ know what I mean? Gah, I’m so proud of myself, but at the same time… I gotta bring it back in because that 100-miler, I think, is going to be much tougher than this one. I even told Adam, “I’m going to make it a goal to NOT place at my 100-miler just to get it out of my head — so I don’t push it too hard.” I just want to finish and have a fun race! (Okay, again. One thing at a time, right!?)

Posing at the finish with my finisher’s buckle and age group award.

Also, an interesting sidebar on these results – I ran my 50-miler in Marquette, MI last August in 14:18. I ran this 100k in 14:16. I ran 12 more miles, and my total time was 2 minutes faster! Crazy! Now, there’s a lot of factors that can go into that, though. A couple of biggies – first, my training was probably more consistent for this 100k, and second, the terrain was a little easier. Now don’t get me wrong, the Kettle Moraine 100 is not an easy race. But… I just think the terrain was easier than Marquette. There were a lot of long, runnable sections at this one. There are actually two separate units of Kettle Moraine. This race was in the southern unit. I train mostly in the northern unit. And I’ll be honest here – the terrain in the southern unit felt easier than the northern unit. Those long runnable sections really made for a fun race because I could just go into autopilot and run for a few miles at a time. So in the end, I don’t know, it was just a good day, a fun course, and a great race.

Training:

It was March 2nd. I was in a funk. I finished the Frozen Otter in January, and since then I was having trouble getting back into any sort of training plan. I was only running a couple times each week for short distances and just overall feeling lazy and yucky. That day, on March 2, I was driving my truck down the road, feeling sorry for myself, and making all kinds of excuses why I wasn’t exercising more than I was. But all of those excuses felt fake. I felt like a fraud. The only real excuse I had was that I was being lazy, and I had a race I needed to eventually start training for. So I just decided to stop talking at myself. I decided right there, rolling down the interstate at 63 mph, that I was going to at least walk one mile every day for the month of March. I was calling it my “no excuses mile-a-day challenge.” At the next rest area, I pulled in, parked my truck, got out and walked circles around the parking lot until I reached 1.35 miles. It snowballed from there. 92 days later I ran my 100k. I ran a few longer runs in between there, climbed a couple of mountains when I got a load going out to Washington, ran a bunch of little shorter runs over the road, but you know which miles ended up being the most important? The one mile I walked at midnight after a really long, stressful work day after finding a spot to park my truck in a tow zone at a service plaza (because it was midnight and parking is full everywhere at midnight). I did my post-trip inspection, and immediately walked around the parking lot until I got my mile in. It was the best part of my day. Another time, at a rest area, I woke up a early to do a little run around all the parked trucks before starting my day and it was pouring rain outside. I put on my damn rain jacket, stepped out of the truck and went anyway. No excuses. There was also a couple of times I ran after dark. No excuses. That’s what I kept telling myself. I always figured, if nothing else, I can walk 33 laps around my truck to make a mile. I should be able to do that anywhere. 

Top of Mt. Si in North Bend, WA. Mountain climbing is good training! It kicked my butt in the very best and most rewarding way!

My training really picked up once I got my momentum back from my March challenge. I continued it all the way until… well, it’s still going today. And I plan to keep going because it’s doing good things for me. But anyway, I ended up with a couple of high mileage weeks – mileages that I never thought would even be possible as an OTR trucker. I hit a 40-mile week, then a 50, then a couple of 60’s, and even one 70-mile week! I felt ready for this race. I hope I can slow down a little here for a month or so, but I also hope I can pick it back up and do something similar for my 100-miler in October.

This photo was actually taken during a training run. A large portion of the race looked just like this, so I guess that training session worked out!

Also, in addition to all the running, I sprinkled in strength training. I keep that pretty simple just so I am more likely to be consistent with it, and the exercises I do are usually things I can do inside the cab of my truck with dumbbells or a kettle bell. I do this strength training 6 days every week, and each workout is anywhere from a short 10 minutes to 30 minutes, but it’s usually the former. Monday I do legs (squats, lunges, straight-leg deadlifts). Tuesday I do arms (bicep curls, tricep extensions, push-ups, shoulder presses). Wednesday I do core/abs (elbow plank, side plank, sit-ups, russian twists, side bends). Then I repeat, Thursday legs, Friday arms, Saturday core/abs. It’s simple, and it’s been working.

A sidebar about training: I reached a point during my peak training weeks when I started hitting 60 miles where I started to feel runner’s guilt – or something. I don’t know if that’s an actual term. But with my schedule, I’ll usually get one full day at home. So if I get done with work on Sunday afternoon, I’ll have all day Monday off, then I’ll head back out Tuesday morning. So my one day that I have an opportunity to get in a really long training run that will allow me to test my new foods and any new gear, is that one day I have off. That one day off is also the only day I have to spend with Adam. If I count in 8+ hours to do a training run, plus the travel time to and from the trailhead, that’s the majority of my day. Add in prepping for the run (making my food and gathering gear), and being tired when I get home from the run… that’s it. That’s my day. And I fell into a pretty deep guilt hole for a while, naturally. I’m still working on that. This is a pretty selfish sport, and I know that. I am pretty much dedicating this year to ultrarunning because I got it into my damn head that I want to run 100 miles after I turn 40. Goal oriented? Obsessed? Probably both. But it’s good for me. It’s good for my mental health, it’s good for my physical health, it’s fun, and it keeps things interesting. Some of the places I run while I’m out on the road are experiences in themselves that I would otherwise miss out on if I weren’t training for races. So I’ll continue on and do my best to balance my time and communicate that all with Adam.

My diet was also pretty consistent through the couple of months leading up to the race. With all the running and my diet being pretty good, I actually broke through a weight plateau. I’ve been sitting around 165 – 170 pounds for a couple of years, probably. But one day I stepped on the scale and it said 159. Then 155. I always feel better running at 155, so I was excited. The numbers don’t really matter THAT much to me anymore these days, but I do see the correlation with feeling amazing and that number being in the 150’s. So I’m going to see if I can keep it there throughout training and up to my next race. Then after that? Pizza. ;)

But really, I’ll just mention my way of eating here, but briefly. Only because everyone is so very different, and I in no way want anyone to think this is the “right way” to do it, and my “diet” is kind of controversial. But it just worked for me. I do “sort-of” keto. I would say it’s more generally low-carb, high-fat. Or maybe a mix of all of it. I stay away from sugar and grains. So I steer clear of candy, soda, bread, oatmeal, chips, crackers, quinoa – any of that stuff. I eat lots of meats, veggies, berries, fat and cheese (although I’m trying to cut back on dairy because I think I’m a little sensitive to it – I actually cut out heavy whipping cream, which is sad because I love the stuff so very much). This has actually been working for me because the low-carb thing trains your body to burn fat more efficiently, which is a much longer-burning fuel than carbohydrates. So during a long, sustained run, my body can use its fat stores for energy and go for a long time without my having to constantly shovel Gu gels and shit into my gullet — and those Gus and sugary products all tend to make my stomach upset, and then I stop to poop every mile. That does NOT equal fun. When I’m eating well and staying away from all the sugars and carbs, I feel amazing and my guts feel better for longer stretches at a time. I also practice intermittent fasting on a fairly regular basis, so my meals are usually calorie-dense, meaning I eat quite a bit at one sitting, which also feeds my inner binge-eater, but it a much more healthy way. One of the biggest things I like about being low-carb is that my cravings are almost non-existent, most of the time. I don’t know. Like I said, I don’t want to get too much into it because diet is so personal, and I know there’s a lot of good and bad about keto out there, and it’s now falling into the fad-diet category. Just a note – you can do keto all-natural, super-easily, without all the crappy products on the market for it now. Dammit, whatever you do, just eat real food. That’s the best thing you can do. Aaaaaanywho… it’s workin’ for me. You don’t have to do keto. Or Paleo. Or Weight Watchers. Or the South Beach Diet. You do you. What works for you, works for you. Find that thing, and do that thing. If I were forced to preach anything, which I am in no way justified to do because I am far from being an expert at this crap — just eat real food. Okay, I’m done now. So, on to nutrition for the race!

Testing out a sweet potato puree squishy real-food energy thingy (I seriously need a better term for these things) during a training run.

Nutrition:

As I’ve mentioned, I practice a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle, mostly. When I do long training runs or races like this, however, I take in more carbohydrates, but I try to do it strategically. A huge disclaimer? I really have no idea what I’m doing. It’s a constant N=1 experiment, and figuring out things that work for me is a really fun part of all this stuff. To start, I almost always start my runs, no matter how long, fasted. I feel my best fasted, so I run until I feel like I need to eat. Then I eat. This usually seems to happen around an hour into a run (it depends on effort, too). So if I’m doing a shorter run, I’ll hydrate, but won’t eat. On longer runs (and what I did for this 100k), I’ll start out fasted and start taking in calories consistently when I start to feel I need them. This race was an eye-opener for me. The day before I ate pretty poorly (lots of ice cream. Like… lots of it). When I do that, the next day will leave me feeling really hungry, even if I’m not (it messes with the hormones that regulate the feeling of hunger). So at around mile 2-3 of the race I felt hungry, but I waited to see if it would pass because that was highly unusual. I’m glad I did. At mile 5 it felt like someone flipped on a light switch. I think my body said, “oh, we’re doing this again? Let’s use fat instead.” The hunger was gone and I felt great. I went to about mile 15 before needing to eat.

The aid stations at these races are insane. There is so much food. And I wish I could handle running for an insane amount of hours AND eat all that amazing, delicious food, but if I want to feel good during the race, I can’t do both. So I now, so sadly, avoid most of the chips, cookies, gummies, and delicious aid station snacks. I can’t eat Gu or Hammer gels. I can’t handle gummy bears or electrolyte chews. If I need salt, I take a Pure Vitamin Club UltraSalt tablet. I do sip Tailwind, which is an electrolyte drink with calories in it, so I have that as an almost constant carb-trickle. But as for solid food? I realized that if I take in something that I need to chew or work at, so does my digestive system, which is already taxed, because my body is using every resource it has to fuel my muscles, which I think eventually has led to GI issues in the past. So I now make my own pureed food that I can eat on the run and my body doesn’t have to work too hard to use. And I really like them. It’s basically natural baby food. And I love it and it’s been working amazing. These are the ones I use so far:

  1. Sweet potato, olive oil, pink salt, pepper
  2. Sweet potato, pure maple syrup
  3. Avocado, avocado oil, cinnamon, honey, cayenne pepper
  4. Fresh almond butter, strawberries
  5. Coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract

Squishies! If you decide to try these, and you buy those GU-brand bottles, make sure those are really pureed good and have no chunks at all. The other kind of bottles shows here (there’s a bunch of varieties on Amazon) have a larger opening, so if there’s a chunk of strawberry or chia seeds, for example, it’ll usually still go through okay.

I’ve tried an egg salad version, and it was really yummy, but the thought of eating eggs and mayo on a hot race day doesn’t sit well in my head. I’m also thinking about making a split pea one with peas, ham, salt and pepper. And, the avocado one is my favorite. I think it tastes kind of like cake batter. I just puree the crap out of all the ingredients and put them into a bottle made for GU-like gels. Then while I run, I can just squeeze them into my mouth and get my calories, carbs, and real-food nutrition. And to be honest? The aid station food actually didn’t really tempt me. I didn’t want the Oreos and potato chips, so I think I’m doing something right. Again, I have no idea, but I’m trying! The only things I did grab out of aid stations was watermelon (twice) because it’s SO damn good, and a few sips of Coke once I started taking in caffeine (which I also hold off on until I feel it will help me). Other things I threw into my mouth on race day were Pickle Power (an electrolyte drink that tastes like pickle juice), the Pure Vitamin Club Ultra Salt tablets, Tums (after mile 50 when my appetite started to go a little bit), an ice-cold seltzer water, a Starbucks canned espresso drink and a cold-brewed coffee. I think that’s pretty much it. It was nice to keep it so simple. And I pooped twice. Once before the race started, and once after I crossed the finish line. Success.

Gear:

This one should be fairly simple. I wore a visor, a small neck gaiter (to easily wipe sweat from my eyes), an Under Armour racer-back tank top, Ink N Burn 6” shorts (no thigh chaffage for me, thank you very much), a Nathan VaporHowe race vest, a cheap sports bra and my Bedrock sandals. A couple of things about the gear that stands out:

The race vest. I probably could’ve run this race with a handheld bottle, as the longest distance between aid stations was, I think, 5ish miles. Some were even less than that. But I like bringing my own nutrition, and for my 100-miler, I imagine at some point I’m going to use my trekking poles, so I want my hands free with hydration easy to get at. So I do use my bladder for plain water that I can consistently sip on. I also use one of the soft-flask bottles for Tailwind, and I refilled that at almost all of the aid stations (who had jugs of Tailwind already made up since they were a race sponsor! Awesome!). Also, using the pack, I have a place to stow all my own smushie pureed foods that I made up. And it’s comfortable. I did have a little bit of chafing on my back, which I’m guessing is just because of the 3-layers of sport bra, tank top and vest rubbing in there somewhere. But it was manageable and I didn’t even notice it until after the race. If I can remember for next time, I’ll reapply a lube of some sort in the trouble spots.

Very comfy race vest!

The almighty footwear. I get so many weird looks, some people tell me straight out I’m crazy, some say I’m badass, some don’t say anything, some I overhear talking about how it’s not good to run in sandals. Whatever, again, just like diet, everyone has a right to their own opinion. Sandals work for me, and I’m going to keep using them until they don’t seem to work any more, if that ever happens. I honestly don’t see the major difference between running in sandals and running in shoes. Neither are perfect, and they both have pros and cons, and it’s up to the individual as to which one weighs in with more pros. So shoes have a little more material and you wear socks. A lot of shoes are zero-drop now and so minimal, that it’s basically a sandal with a thin layer of material formed around it, anyway. I do get chafing from the sandal straps sometimes, but I don’t get blisters like I’d get with shoes. So I feel as though that’s a pretty even trade-off. And during this race, with all the mud and wet, I didn’t get wrinkly feet or trench foot. In fact, I was a little kid again running through mud puddles, aiming for them, and feeling the mud squish between my bare toes. It was great. The chafing does hurt though, I won’t lie, and the biggest downside to it is that it’s inconsistent, so I can’t seem to find one single thing that causes it every time so that I can eliminate it. I’ve tried adjusting them in different ways, and I’ve tried to pay attention to dirt, sweat, mud, wet, dry – all the different possible scenarios, and none of them seem to be consistent. So I have a race-day “foot plan” instead. I had my mom carry the “foot bag” to every aid station in case I needed to address this issue. In that bag I had duct tape, which I can use to tape the actual sandal strap if it feels like it’s being abrasive. I have Leukotape, which sticks pretty good to my skin, so I can apply that to a hot spot if I catch it in time. During this race I started in my Bedrock sandals, but I had my Luna sandals in the foot bag so I could change sandals completely if the Bedrocks were bothering me enough. I had a pair of Injinji toe socks that I could wear to put a layer of something between the sandal and the chafe. I even brought a pair of running shoes in case all things worked against me that day and I just needed a break. Thankfully, the Bedrocks performed great and I didn’t need to even open the foot bag once. I did have a few small chafe spots on my feet from the sandal straps, but I didn’t even notice it while running and they were healed up within a day or two. I did end up with a tender blister underneath the callus on the ball of my right foot. I have pretty thick, crazy calluses, so this happens sometimes – it happened when I wore shoes, too. I think this happens when I neglect my callus and don’t keep them a little trimmed down. I was still able to run, but it just felt a little tender after the race and took about a week to really dry up to where I could shave it down and work on the callus. Ahh, feet. They can be so gross. But I love them so much because they do so much for me. And I love to run in sandals. So I’m going to keep on doing it.

A timing chip designed for shoes with laces – cable ties to the rescue!

Mid-race. Those are truly happy feet!

Weather, terrain and trail conditions:

The weather at the start of the race was cooler (I think it was in the 60’s) and overcast with rolling thunder off in the distance. It was a little humid, so that was challenging, but having the sun hiding behind the clouds really helped with that. There was also a small breeze now and again, and I honestly was loving the weather – it just felt pretty comfortable. About 6 hours into the race the sun came out and it got straight-up hot for a little while, but that was short-lived, too, because then it started to rain. And then there was lightning and loud “CRACK”s shortly after. And then it POURED rain for a little while, which I loved so much it made me cry. That was somewhere just short of 50 miles, I think, too, so I was feeling emotional and tired. But it was a great experience.

There was a pretty cool storm that rolled through, and the lightning was striking all around while we were exposed in a meadow, so that was a little scary – but exhilarating, too.

The run was mostly on the Ice Age Trail, so the terrain was typical for the IAT. For the 100k it’s an out-and-back, so you run 31 miles one direction, turn around and run the same 31 miles back in the opposite direction. Now I mentioned earlier that I mostly train in the Northern Unit of Kettle Moraine, and this was the Southern Unit, and while I feel the Southern Unit was a little easier, it still had the steep ups and downs – just not quite as many and as often. So there were more long, extended runnable sections compared to the North Unit. It was fun. I usually struggle in the meadows (I think because they’re so exposed to sun and heat) but it was rainy or cloudy when I went through the meadows (there were a lot of long meadow-y stretches) so I actually enjoyed them quite a bit. On the way out (the first 31 miles) there were a few stretches of some pretty major deep mud holes that you couldn’t avoid or run around – I just plodded through them all (sandals!) and had no trouble. On the way back (second 31 miles), with rain and mini thunderstorms rolling through, those mud holes got wetter and deeper, and there were standing puddles all over the trail right after the rain poured for a little bit. So it was very, very muddy and very, very fun.

People! Running with other people!

The Ice Age Trail is really beautiful, too. This race was mostly single track through the beautiful Wisconsin forest, the trees were all bright green and full of leaves, the wild phlox flowers were INSANE in a few sections. My fellow KM100 runners know EXACTLY where I’m talking about! It was like running through a fantasy land because those dang flowers were glowing fluorescent purple on both sides of a narrow, winding single-track trail through the green forest. It was just super-pretty. There were a few climbs with some views, and as I’ve mentioned, wide-open meadows (which were really interesting when the lightning started!).

Beautiful trail, forest, and check out all that wild phlox!

Crew and other fun tidbits:

My crew was my husband, Adam, and my mom and dad (Patty and Keith). They were great, as usual. Since the race had Tailwind, they didn’t have to mix that up for me, so that was nice. But they were there at all the places we’d planned on meeting up, cheering me into the aid station with smiles, cowbells, hugs and any support I needed. They had a chair, a cooler with cold drinks and cold coffees if I wanted or needed them, and they had my pre-made smooshie pureed foods ready for me to grab, and a bunch of other things in case I needed them – like wet wipes and sport sheild (for chafing), and my “foot bag.” I didn’t really end up needing a whole lot, as everything kind of went to plan. It was just a really good day, and I feel really lucky. But their smiling faces, hugs and cheers were so morale-boosting, that it’s really the only thing (in addition to the energy of running with so many other awesome like-minded racers), that I can chalk up to having such a good race and being able to run so much faster than I thought, more consistent than I thought, and stronger than I thought. So, yeah. I love my crew, the volunteers and the other racers. I can go out and run 63 miles by myself if I really want to, but there’s a reason we all sign up for these races. People. Thank you to my crew for being awesome, supporting me in such a crazy, kind of sometimes stupid adventure, and loving me so much that you’ll still smile in the pouring rain patiently waiting for me to come by for 3 minutes to use you, hug you and leave. I love you.

These people. My favorite. My crew. I love them.

My mom took this picture of my dad waiting at the side of the trail for me to come in. It just gets me. Sweetest ever.

The volunteers and aid stations were incredible, too. They are always smiling and chipper and cheering us through, always asking what we need, directing us towards whatever we ask for… they’re all great. Hearing the cheers and ruckus going on through the woods at those aid station always propels you that last half mile or so before getting there. That is a small charm of race-day, too. A small charm, but a huge reason it’s so fun. In fact, speaking of aid stations, at Emma Carlin (mile 15.5 on the way out and 47.5 on the way back), was an aid station run by the Ten Junk Miles crew. Ten Junk Miles is a running podcast that I started listening to a long time ago. In fact, I remember before I really knew what ultrarunning was really all about, they said something in an early episode about how they walk up the hills during the long ultraruns. That was an epiphany for me. I always thought you ran the entire thing, like a road marathon, and I didn’t think I’d ever have the ability to do that. Until this podcast. I remember parking at the truck stop in Brooklyn, IA and running down the road to a side dirt road that had these huge, roller-coaster hills. I walked up those hills, and ran down the other side, and I was so happy and excited and remember thinking, “I can do ultra runs!!!” I never stopped listening. They actually created the podcast as a way for those runners who don’t have anyone to run with, to have someone to run with. So you listen to the gang shows where they sit around in Scott’s basement drinking beer and Jameson and talk about all the random stuff they’d talk about if they were out on a long run together – some of it is about running, some of it is not. But it’s so fun. So I always felt a little strange because I felt like I knew so much about all the hosts because I took them on so many runs with me (being a truck driver and not on any kind of regular schedule, I’m almost always running by myself), but they knew nothing about me. So they were all my bestest friends, and they didn’t even know it. But during the Kettle Moraine 100k I got to meet Scott, Holly and Adam!! On the way through I just stole some of their energy and vibe and ran on. But the way back? I was still feeling amazing, so I did a shot of Fireball with Holly. Then I did a second shot of Fireball with Adam. And Scott doesn’t drink or I’d have maybe done a third. But probably good that I didn’t! Haha! And no lie… a couple miles after that aid station, my feet didn’t hurt at all. They were starting to hurt quite a bit after the 31-mile turnaround. It was nothing I couldn’t handle, but I sure noticed when it disappeared for a few miles! Fireball for the win! It was truly so cool to meet the Ten Junk Miles crew!

Click here and check out the Ten Junk Miles Podcast. They also have a race coming up in August that you should check out!

Recovery:

Recovery went great. Somewhere around mile 55 I started to lose my appetite a little bit. I need to figure that out for my 100-miler because it’s going to be crucial for me to take in calories at that point. But I think it’s going to be okay, because even though I pushed on to mile 63 and the finish, I still got down a couple of my pureed foods without too much trouble, and TUMS worked when my tummy felt a little queasy, although it didn’t seem to cure the problem, just hold it off. But after I crossed the finish line, I used the bathroom, sat around, walked around, tried to eat some chili and chicken soup, a banana… and thinking back, I think after 30 minutes rest and recuperation, if I had been running the 100 miles, I think I would’ve been okay appetite-wise. I felt like I was already getting it back. So it’s just something I need to remember during my 100. Just rest up a little bit, poop, eat, and then keep going.

The morning after. All smiles after a 3-mile walk with my mom.

My legs felt kind of sore for a few days after the race, but it was totally fine. I had no trouble getting up and down from the toilet (which was an issue after the Frozen Otter in January!), and I even went for a 3-mile walk with my mom the next morning. And then a 4-mile run on Monday. And 3 miles on Tuesday… and I continued to run. So recovery was amazing. Less than a full week after the race I felt 100% back to normal. Unreal. So, I guess I’m going to carry over most of the things I did leading up to this race to my 100-miler in October. Because it worked. And hopefully it does again.

Next up?

The goal I made was what I’m calling my 50-50-100-100. I want to run a 100-miler after I turn 40 years old (July 16, 2019). To get there, I decided to sign up for and run a 50k, a 50-mile, 100k (this one!) and then a 100-miler. One left! The biggie! It’ll be the farthest I’ve ever run (so far the Frozen Otter at 64 miles is the farthest I’ve gone in one go). Anyway, that 100-miler will happen on October 18-19, 2019 in Dubuque, IA at a race called Mines of Spain. Here we go, let’s do this!! Training has already begun!

YouTube video I put together from race day:


Tonight I love running in the rain. It can be easy to just not go run because it’s raining out, but I’m always SO glad I did. It feels amazing. Especially during a race, as it turns out!

My favorite photo from the day – the looks on those spectators’ faces as I rinsed mud off my feet in a mud puddle!