Monday, October 14, 2013

Boulder 100 (Race Recap)

Boulder, CO
October 12-13
Ultra Marathon #9
Second 100 Mile Attempt
Weather - Partly cloudy, chilly overnight, sunny

I have been doing crazy things for a while. I wasn't going to register for this event at all, then I got an email about the 100K being 50% off with one of those Active specials. Well, it worked out to only being like a dollar a mile, so that seemed like a great deal. But then... I got 100 mile fever. I was doing the math and figured if I felt I was in shape to complete 100K in the 15 hour time limit, I could SURELY do the extra 38 miles in 15 hours... So I emailed the race director who told me that it would be no problem to upgrade to the 100 mile. I set aside the money and waited... if the weather was going to be good and I had people willing to pace, I would upgrade to the Boulder 100. 10 days out and the weather looked good - no chance of rain or snow and low 60's for high. PERFECT running weather. I locked in my pacers and the Boulder 100 was a go.

Race Day

Thanks to the late start of 9:00, I didn't need to get up very early. I had gone to bed around 11 the night before and had my alarm set for 6:20. I had asked my dad to pick up the kids at 7. I already had my gear packed and ready to go but wanted to allow for time to stop and get breakfast. I had coffee and a piece of pizza at home.  On the drive up to Boulder I stopped and got a German Chocolate donut. Delicious, although it was actually too much food (what), so I only ate half. The drive took a bit longer than expected because of (shocking) construction on the highway. I made it to the start over an hour before the race started, which gave me time to upgrade and pick up my bib. I sat in the car running the heater until 20 minutes before the start.

The race was supposed to be Halloween themed. The race director was dressed as Heisenberg (Breaking Bad, for the 1% of you that don't watch), but other than that, I was the only one that got in the spirit.

Final race instructions
I used the bathroom, and then it was time to line up for the start:

What. Was. I. Thinking. This was crazy. There were not a lot of us, maybe 50 people total? I never looked at the numbers, but there were the 100 milers, 24 hour runners and 100K runners all starting at the same time. We took off a few minutes late.

And then began The Longest Day of My Life.

The plan all along was to start slow, maintain a fairly steady pace and run as much as I could to bank as much extra time to allow for finishing.

The short section (to make up distance) was the first out and back I would do. The turn around was close, only about 2/3 of a mile in. That quickly broke up the pack as the 100K'ers had to turn around at a different place and the 24 hour runners had to do full out and backs every time.

After getting back to base camp the first time, I saw Dan (my night pacer) was already there... he planned on hanging out all day I guess. I put in my headphone and settled in for The Longest Day Ever. I was running a decent, steady pace. Made easier by a fairly flat and non-technical course. I took all my pictures early on, before I would start hating seeing the same things a jillion times. Pretty with the leaves changing!!

I ran the first 13.1 on par with my normal half marathon pace, around 2:34 I think. Obviously, with an out and back course, I kept seeing the same people. Over and over and over and over and over and over, and hey, over again. But I didn't mind. The turn around was 3.3 miles out, and I absolutely LOVED that aid station. They kept rotating out food. Between the staples of chips and pretzels and m&m's, etc, they also had banana bread, brownies, coffee cake, pizza, ramen, TONS of food. I ate well on this course.

I kept running, jamming my music. A nice change, it has been months since I ran with music. It really kept me motivated.  I don't remember when (how many miles in or time), but I saw Laura (not my sister, a girl from run club) out on the course. She got a few pictures of me (at various times), and was awesome at grabbing food/beverages for me (and other runners). This was my favorite picture she got:

During the race, I set PR's in the 50K (20 min), 60K (2ish hours) AND 50M (over 25 minutes) distances. That left me in GREAT spirits for the first part of the race. I set out for my last alone lap just after 6 (when the 6 hour fun run started).

I was able to have a pacer at 7, and I was pleasantly surprised when I showed up at base camp and saw L there with Hannah! YAY!! I used the bathroom and changed into my warmer clothes, taking the longest break of the night - probably 15 minutes between changing clothes and visiting and eating. I checked at the timing booth and thought I had already done all 50 miles and was PSYCHED that only 10.5 hours in and I only had 50 miles to go.

Dan and I set out, it already being pretty dark. I was already NOT in the mood to run much. I had turned off my music and we either talked (I can't even remember about what) or just walked in silence most of the time. I know Dan was aching to run, but I was already tired and already had enough time banked that I really did not NEED to run, so I didn't... I ran a minute here and there, but pretty much, I was done running for the race.

The aid stations were AMAZING. I had chicken broth with potatoes, ramen, even coffee!! Everyone was so friendly. I still was seeing the same people out on the course, and never felt alone. I didn't really hallucinate overnight, but it was chilly and I was starting to get squirrely and ragey being in the dark for so long. The closer it got to "morning," the angrier I got. WHY was it still dark? WHY was it so cold? WHY was the sun not going to come up until after 7??? I was starting to get MAD.

Hope was supposed to meet me at 6:30 and planned to do a few laps with me. Dan got me back to base camp right around 6:30, and that lap is when the race changed for me. All night, I had been confused about how many miles I had run and what was left. My watch had died about 78 miles in, so I was relying on the timekeepers to tell me what was left. By the time I headed out with Hope, I thought I only had two laps to go (about a half marathon). Turns out I had three :(

That loop was called the rage loop. I was nearly in hysterics. I yelled at the timekeeper and almost broke down in tears. I had for HOURS prepared myself for what I thought I had left. To add another 6.57 miles in was practically adding in another marathon. I LOST IT.

I spent the entire lap complaining about how this should be my second to last loop, why was I doing this, I wasn't going to finish, etc. Hope was GREAT about keeping me in good spirits. SHE IS A GREAT FRIEND!!!

FINALLY, the sun came up, and it really changed my attitude. I was back to my normal ray-of-sunshine self.

Sun up, about 16.5 miles to go
I warned Hope that I had ZERO plans of running even one more step, and like the great friend she is, she said she was sticking with me to the finish. L was off work and planned on joining us for the last two laps.

They really helped get me through the race. The second to last lap, I was no longer allowed to complain about the "extra" lap I had to do. Hope got to re-listen to all the stories I had told her on the previous lap.

I don't know why, but I've always found these signs along the reservoir HILARIOUS. Hope took this picture of me around mile 90:

At this point, I knew I was going to finish, it was just a matter of it being THE LONGEST WALK EVER, and how much longer we were going to be out there. Heading back into base camp for my last check in and I made SURE to verify with the timekeeper that I was going out for the last time.

We passed time during the last loop by talking. A lot. My favorite games were coming up with adjectives A-Z for how awesome I was, my mental condition and my physical condition. The 50K had started at 7 am and there were people blazing past me as I was plugging along at a 20-22 min pace. With about 2 miles to go, I passed the only other 100 miler on the course. Chatted for a minute with him and his crew, then just kept moving. I was feeling lucid and alert, and Hope and L kept telling me that if I hadn't been telling them how bad I hurt, they would have had no idea.

The last mile of the race were occupied by a couple that walked with us almost to the finish, asking me about the race, what I planned on having for dinner to celebrate, etc. 

The Best.

And then, coming around the corner, I saw my dad. And A. A ran towards me and grabbed my hand and walked up with me to the finisher chute.

Where I did, in fact, run the last 10 or so feet to my first 100 mile finish. I didn't cry then, but just typing those words, I'll admit, I teared up.

100 miles. 29:04

Miles 1-13 - 11:36, 11:37, 12:31, 12:13, 12:23, 11:09, 10:52, 12:16, 11:08, 10:58, 11:31, 14:00, 11:06 (half marathonish - 2:33:20) My last half marathon was 2:45:21
Miles 14-26 - 12:15, 13:12, 11:04, 12:05, 13:09, 11:42, 11:53, 14:00, 12:25, 13:03, 12:54, 14:24, 12:33 (marathonish - 5:17:59) My last marathon was 5:17:31
Miles 27-31 - 12:05, 18:32, 12:32, 12:56, 14:05 (50Kish - 6:28:09) My 50K PR is 6:47:21
Miles 32-37 - 13:35, 12:53, 12:48, 17:51, 13:01, 13:39 (60Kish - 7:51:56) 60K PR is 9:58
Miles 38-50 - 15:25, 13:11, 13:41, 26:06, 14:33, 15:06, 16:03, 15:35, 15:12, 14:52, 20:53, 16:34, 16:51 (50Mish - 11:25:58) 50 Mile PR is 11:52:30.
Miles 51-62 - 18:41, 16:43, 16:40, 27:31, 17:29, 16:50, 17:31, 20:00, 17:23, 16:58, 20:40, 17:16 (100Kish 15:09:40
Miles 63-78 - 17:13, 21:37, 17:37, 17:33, 18:43, 21:01, 18:13, 19:11, 24:31, 18:37, 17:46, 25:38, 18:46, 18:53, 20:15, 24:31

And then... the watch died. According to my watch, I maintained 15:46 pace for first 78 miles (which took 20.5 hours). So yes, the last 22 took 8.5 hours. NUTS.


FINALLY, there are official results up.... WOO HOO!!

I made sure to ask when I finished. 17 people started the 100 mile race. 7 people finished. I was the only female finisher, so of course, by fault, I got first female. WHO CARES!!???

I got to sit down, FINALLY, and tired the compression boot/sleeves that were amazing.

After only spending about 20 minutes at base camp after finishing, I had to drive home. FYI, driving a stick for a half hour after being on my feet for that long was ROUGH.

L had stopped on her way home and picked up Chili's for dinner - guacamole sliders! I showered, and then headed upstairs to eat. After eating, all I wanted to do was lie down and get under the electric blanket with a movie. Next thing I know, it's 11:00 at night (I somehow lost almost 6 hours?!). I went upstairs, and watched The Walking Dead.

100 mile recover in #magic pants and compression socks
One day later... I actually can walk. I can go up and down the stairs. I'm sore, but not any worse than I have been before.

  • You know what's far? 100 miles.
  • You know what's hard? 100 miles.
  • You know what I just ran? 100 FRICKIN' MILES. OK, well "run" might be a bit overstating things, but I sure was on my feet for that long.
  • I have NO blisters, NO chafing and ALL my toenails.
  • I have not taken any pain medication.
  • I fueled well, taking probably 10-12 gels over the course of the run, eating ALL the things - yes, I had pizza, cake, brownies, bread, ramen, broth, electrolyte capsules, etc.
  • I could NOT have done this without my friends. ESPECIALLY Dan - who was with me for about 35 miles during the night. Especially around mile 80 (?) it would have been SO easy for me to just stop. Having someone there to remind me how crazy I was being helped.
  • Having friends/family with me at the finish to celebrate was AMAZING. 
  • For the most part, I was in great spirits.
  • I probably will not do this again (runnesia already??)
  • INKnBURN was great to wear. I wore shirt and skirt and arms sleeves the first day, all of the clothes at night, and still kept on long sleeves during the next day.
  • I wore the New Balance Leadville (1210's) the entire race, never changing my shoes or socks. My toes felt weird, but they were "mostly comfortable."
I may or may not revise this post as I remember things, but I wanted to get something up while I still remembered things.


  1. Intrigued with the shoes. Toes felt "weird"?

    I had a suspicion, and this has confirmed, that I was not interested ever ever ever in doing 100 miles. (24hour race on the table still, though...)

  2. whoever this Dan is, is a GREAT friend. 35 miles with you is amazing. Glad you finished. I'm still learning about these extreme long distance races, but i thought when you did a 100 mile race you get a belt buckle (in addition to your medal??)

  3. Awesome, congratulations!! :)

  4. You are awesome. For real. Congratulations!!!

  5. Congrats!!! What a great accomplishment!

  6. I'm speechless. What an amazing race report. Great pictures and a great summary of the misery and glory of 100 miles.

    I'm so impressed. Huge, huge congrats!!!

  7. This was just way super awesome to read and it almost makes me want to attempt something like this. You are truly the bomb!!!

  8. You are such a BAD ASS!!!! Great Recap. Congratulations :)

  9. This is so freaking awesome. I might go so far as to say epic, because it is, but wouldn't want to be a cliche. I was constantly bugging poor Lesley for updates all day long. I'm so proud for you, you are so tough and amazing! I want to be just like you when I grow up!

  10. This is so freaking awesome. I might go so far as to say epic, because it is, but wouldn't want to be a cliche. I was constantly bugging poor Lesley for updates all day long. I'm so proud for you, you are so tough and amazing! I want to be just like you when I grow up!

  11. I can't believe you watched The Walking Dead post race. That made me laugh.

    So very proud of you, B! What you did was huge, and crazy.

  12. Congratulations! You are always such an inspiration. Hooray for being a 100 mile finisher!

  13. WOW WOW WOW< what a HUGE accomplishment. Congrats!!! Being the only female finisher makes you even more bad ass!!!

  14. DUDE!!! CONGRATS!!! AMAZING!! seriously. I can't imagine. Really proud of you. Love your outfit. Love that everyone came out to support you.

  15. Hi! This is Kyla from Gemini Adventures. I loved your race recap and I was wondering if you'd mind if I included it in our monthly newsletter? I could link back to your blog (which I also love!).



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