On Saturday, I ran the South Mountain 100k. It was a tough course, with three loops of two out-and-backs. Lisa and I arrived 10 minutes late, but quickly started off on the course - perhaps too quickly! We attacked the hills early on, running fast, trying to catch up with the others. 51 runners started the race, and only 11 finished - and I was pleased to be one of the 11 runners!
The first loop we were so focused on catching up that I didn't notice the difficulty of the first loop. There were rocks, roots, and plenty of hills. When we finished the first loop, we fueled up at our drop bags and headed back out. The second loop was much more runnable; there was an especially pretty meadow section that reminded us of The Sound of Music (and thanks to Lisa, I got it in my head every time we ran through the meadow). At the second out-and-back's aid station, we chatted with volunteers about the VT100 miler, VT50, and I enjoyed some delicious iced oatmeal cookies.
The first loop of 20.whatever miles was tough, but I felt strong. The second loop was difficult, but we remained in good spirits. Especially good was ice-cold watermelon at the second aid station! I def need to keep that in mind for the VT100 - it was a lovely treat. Otherwise, I ate strawberry banana gu, pretzels, some sports jelly beans.
I was in some pain miles 40-50, but pushed through it. Lisa was an amazing hiker (on the uphills we walked, she was tough to keep up with) and I struggled behind her. I felt my asthma struggle a bit (perhaps this was a precursor to the intensely scary, almost emergency-room-visit-requiring asthma attack i had today), but my albuterol kept things in line.
The last ten miles were great. I had borrowed Brennen's headlamp, which we didn't use until the very, very end (maybe the last 1/2 mile or so), and as the sun went down, we struggled on the trails. I felt great and pushed as best as I could, though I was looking forward to taking off my sneakers - I had a painful blister on my ankle I really wanted to free from the constraints of my shoe. Watermelon 5 miles from the finish really perked me up (ahhhh!) and Lisa and I ran in strong to the finish.
It was great to do an entire 100k with someone else; Lisa and I chatted, she offered lots of tips and advice from her experience in the VT100 last year. We kept each other motivated, and at a fast pace.
I woke up sore and in pain, but now, I'm almost 100%. Actually, I'm going to go pop that blister now...