Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wakefield 24hr Ultra Marathon

July 27,28th 2012 I attended the 16th Annual 24 Hour Around the Lake race in Wakefield MA. After completing the 12hr kiddy event last yr and covering an awful 42.08 miles, I decided to attempt the full 24hr. I also decided to raise money for the NICU at Childrens Hospital I didnt know what I was in for this year I trained hard, much harder than last yr. I was running 40-50 miles a week and hit a few in the 60s and even a 72m week. I had completed a few 6hr runs plus 3-30s, 5-20s and a 50 mile training run. I was ready, last year I struggled early on and after 18 miles was walking not sure if it was it running thru the night or only running a long run of 10m after getting injured at the Boston Marathon. This year I started runs at 4am, at 6pm after working a full day, and even did heat runs, and this year the heat has been awful. In the final 9 weeks leading up to the race I was alternating 20s and 30s every other weekend and then 1 month before the race I started running at 4am and covered 51.6m in under 12hr. The last 3 weeks were left for a taper. Im not sure if I like the 3 weeks, seems kinda long but I think it worked. I was sore tired, bitchy and had weird pain all around my body and legs. I was nervous the day before the race that I had peaked to early during my 12hr training run. Race Day: Got up early to go to a few appointments and then tried to rest, yeah that never happens. Went down the Wakefield for 4:15 pm to get my number and to set up my new home for the next 24hr. I set up next to Rob Mcdonald who was also a 24hr virgin. I took my time during the set up, drank fluids and tried to relax as much as possible got race clothes ready. I met up with Sean Devan who was running the marathon. Around 5:30 Rob showed up and we set him up. Heres a few more shots of Base Camp.
At 7pm the race was off we started off by running an add on loop of .8m to help us get an official marathon split. On this lap we didnt go over the timing mat it was added to 1st loop. Each loop after this was a 5k (3.17m) I took it nice and relaxed from the gun started back of pack to let the relay, marathoners and 12hr runners get out of way and to not try to hang with them. I got myself into a groove of running 10min then walking for 5min. I had my garmin set to beep at these times so I didnt even have to think about it, the plan was to drink and eat during the 5min walk.
I also planned on running 50-60m during the 1st 12hrs. I hit the 26.2m (8laps) in 5:58 and was on track to hit 50m but then I started getting really tired as the night went on. I fell asleep 2xs on a bench. It was around 5:30am and I was tired. I fell asleep running, next thing I know I go off the sidewalk and almost end up in the lake. Thank God I tripped on the curb. I layed on a bench for 5min after that to close my eyes and fell asleep. I decided to take my time getting in to the timing shoot and not injure myself or another runner. I decided to take a 45min nap in the car so I took off my shoes, put legs up on dash, layed back and set alarm for 6:30 and I was out cold as soon as I closed my eyes. When alarm went off I was good to go, I was a new runner again. I changed my garmin, put on fresh shoes and I was off. When I saw the clock hit 12hrs I realized I was only at 35.74m which way off my goal. I ran 2 laps solo and then was joined by my wife Crystal. She was able to run with me because her cousin was watching the boys. Crystal who hasn't really ran since running the Boston Marathon in the mid 90s this yr was a trooper the whole time finishing lap after lap with me. When she joined me I told her I wanted to try to hit 22 laps or 70.63m. So we took it one lap at a time. She ended up running 22m with me which was a lot for her with her training but she kept smiling, kept me going and made sure I ate and drank. What I didnt know right away was that I was ahead of the new goal of 70m. She put me in a place that once my final Pacer Gail Martin joined in at 3pm I was thinking that 24 laps 76.97m was within reach.
Gail was a great pacer she was tough, made me push thru the pain and keep my eyes on the prize. Even though this was her 1st time pacing she acted like a seasoned veteran. I never went without, she grabbed my food and drink, asked me what I wanted and we went 1 lap at a time. The plan was for her to run 4 laps with me, but what Gail had in mind was for me to shave enough time off per lap so that I could go out for another lap and shoot for a 25th lap 80.14m. When we came in with 2 laps to go there was 2hr 15min left and I said lets go get that extra lap we got this.
It started to rain with just over 2 laps to go and then it got colder and windy. My legs started to hurt really bad, Gail helped me find a new gear and a new level of self will. I needed something during the last lap but it wasnt food or water. It was something with meaning when I came into the hotel parking lot I saw what I needed. They planned on getting there late afternoon but with the rain I wasnt sure. It was my cousin and her daughther Ali.
Ali was the reason why I did this for Childrens Hospital. She was born 15 weeks early and only weighed 1 pound 7oz. She's over 1yr old now and doing great. She's our family miracle and a fighter. Back to the race... final lap... lap 25! This is when it all hit me hard. I was just walking at this point. I was happy, I was crying and I was yelling from all the excitement. Gail said we need to do 22min miles to get this done. So we were off and I was on a mission. She also asked me what I was thinking and the tears started. I was so proud of all I had done, where I was and that I was still able to run after 75m. I was on such a mission to get this done that I was walking the miles in 18min. Yes, I know it was slow but after 23hrs it was moving. Mile 3 I could smell the finish line and off I went I started to run again. Pouring rain and puddles I loved it. I grabbed a sign my wife had made and I carried it in.
It was about 50yrds from the finish when I saw that all my family was there to support me and see me finish. I never felt so loved by them or proud of what I had done. It made all the pain go away. I got my medal, hugs and kisses and then went to the aid station to refuel. They asked what I needed and I said an Ice Cold Beer. They actually had one in a cooler. It was the best beer I had ever tasted! Well earned.
Race Recap: Ran more miles 2nd 12hrs than 1st Hit goal of 80miles Was able to run farther and longer than ever before Got 80.14m 23:48:02 and 17/78 overall, 3/16 in age Wore my 1160s for 1st 6hr, 1170s 2nd 6hr, then Reebok Real Flex for final 40+ miles. Next Up Stone Cat 50m in Nov.

No comments:

Post a Comment