The week of the San Diego 100 Endurance Run was one of the best, if not the best, of my life and I have so much to say that I decided I need to write my race report in sections. I want to remember as many details as possible so that I can use what I learned for future races, allow others to learn from my mistakes and successes, and relive the epic adventure for years to come. This installment is just the days leading up to the race, how I prepared,
The days leading up to the race became like a party as my friend Ryan, the one who did HURT 100 in January as his first and suckered me into attempting my first this year, flew in from Hawaii and our team took advantage of what might be our last race together for many months. Tuesday I picked him up from the airport and we met up with Billy for a short 7 mile trail run. It was my chance to test out briefly my headlamp, flashlight, and shoes (Inov8 Roclite 315’s) as the run took us through sunset and for a little bit of evening. We took it very easy and, despite my slowly running the first mile uphill, I seriously doubted being able to do longer, more technical climbs over 100 miles. I did remark to Billy that maybe I was underestimating my climbing ability, a statement that I would consider during the wee hours of the race.
Wednesday I hit Target for last minute things and started packing…getting stuff organized was a priority because I needed to feel in control of something! I also used Ryan’s goal times to create a pacing plan for us and so that our crew would know when to expect us. Ryan had the smart idea of aiming for 5 hours for the first 20 miles, between 5:15 and 5:45 for the second 20, and 6:30 for both night segments, with the remaining time for the last 20 miles; I tweaked it slightly to make sure we would make cutoffs. Missing cutoffs was my major concern, especially since there was a tough one overnight (1.5 hours for a 7.1 mile stretch…huh?!) Thursday we met up with Danica for some chow at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Long Beach; since getting fatter before the race was a must, I gobbled up some fried chicken and a waffle….ah, the advantages of running for hours- eating whatever I want with no regrets!
Race weekend officially began Friday morning after Ryan, Alan (boyfriend and crew), and I slept in knowing that it would be our last real night to rest. Ryan and I began our final packing preparations, including comparing our pacing plan/aid station spreadsheet with what we might need to determine how many drop bags to pack. We decided on having 2, one for each of the aid stations where crew did not have access. We only included essentials- bandages, tape, scissors, wet ones wipes, alcohol wipes, Gu…we would revisit the drop bags after the runner meeting and add long sleeve shirts to the one for mile 36 in case temperatures dropped early in the day.
And this is only part of the stuff I would pack for my main crew bag!
Before driving down to San Diego, we hit Denny’s for some carb-loading and I attempted to eat as much as possible with mostly carbs and little protein. No way I could finish it all, but I gave it my best!
Ryan and I went to the runner meeting and I kept fighting back tears of joy and utter disbelief. The meeting got me pumped up and hearing the race director, Scott Mills, thank everyone for their help, made me so appreciative of how many people gave of their time and energy. Scott gave the advice of thinking of the race in terms of aid station to aid station (as in, the next AS is 7 miles away…I can run 7 miles) instead of how many miles to the finish line. I took that in and decided that would be my mini-strategy. We were warned that it might get very cold and we made sure we (and our crew) prepared for that. I left the meeting anxious to finalize drop bags, go over crew/pacing instructions, eat, and attempt to sleep.
Ryan and I near the start/finish
That evening we ran through crew instructions with Alan and Rob (friend who was coming down to crew from Sat afternoon until Sunday) and crew/pacing instructions with Billy and Lori. I kept emphasizing the need to hit cutoffs and, knowing Ryan is a much stronger runner, we reminded them that if I started to lag behind that Ryan would go ahead of me. Billy had asked me to come up with a solid nutrition plan and I decided I would rely on Clif ShotBloks and Shots, Gu, pb&j sandwiches, aid station food; since every 20 miles Ryan was using a drink with protein to aid in recovery, I decided to try Lite Muscle Milk every 20 miles. I knew nutrition would be key to my making it and that I had to be diligent about consuming enough calories every hour, something I’m notoriously bad at doing. We loaded up on pasta at restaurant in Alpine and I was so stuffed I wondered if I’d fit into my shorts!!!
With the game plan set, I attempted to get some rest before the 4:15am alarm…yeah, that didn’t happen very well!
Next post will be a race recap…it was a long race so I can guarantee a long report:)