Thursday, May 23, 2019

Week in Review (May 14 - May 20)

Tuesday (20,869 steps) - Milk Market run club! Ben brought A down and it was a really fun night! Anne organized a scavenger hunt and we all won prizes. Apparently, the only picture I took was of dinner - the mac and cheese was phenomenal!
Well, in reality, Tony found most of the prizes, but he did share. Home around 8 and then packed, re-watched Game of Thrones.
Wednesday (12,778 steps) - Core class before work again. Nothing else. I met Ben at 4 Noses for a "Friday" beer, then we picked up Torchy's. In bed early.
Thursday (10,259 steps) - UP CRAZY EARLY BECAUSE WE ARE STUPID PEOPLE THAT BOOKED A 5:35 AM FLIGHT. No issues with parking or boarding, I managed to get two seats together in like the 6th row. Flight was uneventful. We picked up the rental car (why Ben booked a giant pick up is beyond me). We had plans to check out a brewery near Atlanta before heading to our AirBnb that was near Blairsville. There were not many options, as most of the breweries didn't open until 4 (reminiscent of Texas). We did find a GIANT brewery - Scofflaw, and the beer was good. Onward on a drive north. It was super pretty!

We had another hour or so drive until we started to get closer to Blue Ridge. We stopped at Grumpy Old Men Brewing.
They didn't have food there, so we drove closer to where we were staying and had a delicious burger at Copeland's. (As recommended by the folks at the brewery). Quick stop at Walmart for some last minute food/drinks before finding our AirBnb. I don't know what I was expecting, but wow, the place I booked was pretty amazing!
Amazing wrap-around patio!
Friday (15,412 steps) - The race didn't start until noon, so we got to sleep in! Probably was still up by 8:30 or 9. Relaxing breakfast and coffee before making sure we had everything and headed into the park - a whole half hour before the start! (While I like to get to races an hour early, Ben is fine with mere minutes - super stressful!) We met up with Stephen and a few other runners before walking to the start line. Race started right on time!

I headed out for a short "run" up to Vogel overlook. It was so hot and humid - I could not believe that those crazy people were going to be running 100 miles in this!!






There was no crew access until about mile 20, so after my run I got some food, took a shower and a short nap before heading to the first of many of the aid stations I would be at.
Spicy chicken sausage & gouda cheddar grits! So good!
Probably my favorite aid stations sign
Initially, I had been unsure if I was going to make it to the final aid station at the turnaround. Decided I would take a nap before going out there. I remember clicking the pin and being surprised it was only 16 minutes, so imagine my surprise when I got up in the middle of the night to head over and it was over 45 minutes! (Darn country roads!) I managed to get there with a few minutes to spare.
They were lucky to have an indoor aid station for this one! Running water, even!
Saturday (14,137 steps) - My birthday!!
After sending Ben on his way, I headed back to the house and got a few more hours of sleep. Up early to chase him around at more aid stations. My first mistake of the day was assuming the next crew accessible aid station was the last one I'd been able to do on outbound. I was wrong. And then for whatever reason google sent me on a 50 minute drive to get to the right one, around mile 70. Still super hot, and Ben was still in a pretty good mood, especially considering he had already been up for 24 hours.

The photographer for the race managed to get this adorable shot of me sending him off (awww)
On my way to the next aid station I stopped at a little general store/restaurant and got some lunch.
View from lunch! (Don't be fooled, clouds didn't cool anything down)
Still trying to figure out the logistics for how  I was possibly going to be able to pace Ben at our agreed-upon 80 mile mark since I couldn't leave the truck anywhere. Met up with him at the next aid station and expressed that I would try my best to be there to pace but the logistics were not in my favor, and at the very least I would be there as crew.

I drove by the 80 mile aid station and it WAS PACKED. Very little, if any, parking and the local police were there towing people that were over the white line. Initially I had planned on stopping to see if anyone I recognized might be willing to follow me to the start so I could leave the truck and head back over there, but I wasn't able to stop. Next plan was to see if there was anyone at the finish line that might be able to help. Turns out, that was a negative. Ugh, MORE driving back to the aid station (for anyone keeping track, every trek to an aid station was 30-45 minutes, so I was in the truck A LOT). I was very careful to park over the white line. Maybe too far.
And where are tow trucks when you need one?!
Ugh. A problem for AFTER I was done crewing. Ben came in, still looking great - I told him about no pacing at this point and that I was not optimistic about the next one at 85 either. After trying for a LONG TIME to get the truck out, one of the volunteers came to my rescue! Thank you so much to Perry and random lady for the tow rope and assistance in pulling out the truck! WOOT!
My new plan was after helping him at 85 was to drive to the finish line and start the course until I met up with him. Quick stop by the house to grab some  last minute stuff, parked and on the trail just before 10 pm.
Yes, I'm aware I look crazy, haha
Initially I thought maybe it would be close and we would meet up just after midnight. After I had been out about an hour, he texted to say he wasn't even at the 90 mile mark yet and that I should wait to head out. Uh, I'm already 3.5 miles up.
Sunday (33,713 steps) - It was a beautiful night, but oh lord, so humid. It was nice being out in just a tee and skirt. At night! I had decided to test out my new Kogalla system, although I still haven't figured out a "permanent" way to mount the lights, I just kind of put them under the chest straps of my pack.

As I was heading up I got one of two things from runners. 1). Am I going the right way?? and 2). Are you ok? Actually, a third thing - WOW THAT IS THE BRIGHTEST LIGHT EVER.

I was having a nice time, mostly hiking, I was not in a big rush.

I finally got to the Fire Pit aid station and figured he would have to be somewhat close. I decided for now that I would sit by the fire and wait until I found out how far away he was.
Initially he said he was just a few miles, so I figured a half hour or 45 minutes maybe. Hours went by. Turns out he either got lost (or more likely, super tired and just THOUGHT he was lost). By the time he arrived he was not super happy. He refused to take any food and we immediately headed out back to the finish. I was surprised with how well he was moving on the climbs. The steep descents, however, were another story. It was very slow going for a few hours. My gps was way off and he was clearly frustrated that I couldn't be more accurate about where we were and how much further we still had to go.
FINALLY we got to the unmanned water station, which I knew was about 3.5 miles to the finish. From there things were a little better. And imagine my surprise when we finally got to the campground / paved part of the course (less than a mile to go) and Ben wanted to run. Crazy running a mile at a 10 minute pace after 45 (yes you read that right) hours. This course was NUTS.
I tried to pull off to let Ben run through alone, but he wanted to hold hands, haha
Basically the biggest buckle ever. I compared it to mine, and it's the size of Javelina PLUS Rocky
We grabbed some food at the finish line before heading back to the house. All of a sudden the lack of sleep crept up on me and I decided I needed a short nap before I'd be able to do anything else (I hadn't been up quite as long as Ben, but was definitely over 24 hours, with only 3-4 in the 24 hours prior). Our one hour nap ended up being nearly 6! Good news was that we both felt refreshed and we headed to a brewery for some dinner.

And then... axe throwing!! I certainly wasn't great at it, but it was fun trying it.



We managed to get back to the house with enough time to figure out we weren't going to be able to use Ben's hotspot to watch Game of Thrones on his iPad, so we ended up watching on my phone. Ugh. I wasn't super impressed with the finale, but I am impressed that in the middle of nowhere that we were able to watch at all. Of course being in EST, it was on very late and we probably didn't get to sleep until close to midnight.
Monday (8,335 steps) - Woke up before the alarm went off at 8:30. Spent the morning cleaning up the cabin before heading out. Ben had never been to North Carolina, and it was close, so we decided we'd head that way for lunch. Of course the place we picked was "temporarily closed" - grrr, so we had to drive another 20 minutes to Murphy's. Had some delicious fried green tomatoes and a Philly cheese steak before starting the long drive to Atlanta.

Made a few stops along the way - including a detour to Sweetwater that landed us smack dab in the middle of Atlanta rush hour for over an hour.
I'm still terrible at corn hole

We had a quick dinner - the special was a double burger & beer for $10. $10!!! Then airport. TSA was down to just one gate open, which meant it took forever to get through security. We got seats together, and I was hoping to sleep. However, it was a very turbulent flight and the woman next to me had her light on the whole time. Landed on time. Then we proceeded to sit on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for a gate. Only one train was operating so that took forever. By the time we picked up our bag it was already 1:45. In the morning. And did I mention that we left 90 degree weather and arrived to a freak snow storm? That mean scraping off five inches of snow while standing in a few inches of slush. Surprised I didn't get frostbite. After 2:30 before we got home. Longest travel day EVER.

Stats:
  • 115,503 steps
  • 26 miles run
  • 1 trip to the gym

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