Sunday, December 22, 2013

Best Race of the Year

This post begins my end-of-year reflections. Part of these, like today, will be a "best of series" to go along with my summer rants. If you are going to complain and rant, you should praise and compliment too. Today I start with an easy "best of the year" post--my best race of 2013.

My best race performance of this year was at the Umstead 100-Mile Endurance Run. I finally broke the magic 24-hour 100-mile trail race standard! It was awesome to finish in 23 hours and 56 minutes. 100 trail miles in one day. Sweet. For those of you who run ultras, particularly 100 milers, you know what this means. It's THE mark of excellence. I'm both proud and humbled by this achievement. I won't do a race report, that is available here (with photos and even a podcast), but I do want to quickly repeat WHY this went so well. I trained smartly (especially the long runs), added Pepcid AC to my race-day plan to prevent stomach issues, and had two great pacers (thanks Andrew and Sandra!). Plus, the Hoka shoes gave me extra cushioning that carried me through the low points after 70+ miles. Your whole body aches after 75 miles, but with good pacers and shoes, you can fight through that last marathon and accomplish something special.

Now that I achieved this personal record and long-time goal, I may not run another 100 miler. These are tough races mentally and physically. Plus, they take lots of time and money to complete. I do have an idea to finish my 100th ultra/marathon with a bang...maybe I still have one more 100 miler in me...we'll see at the end of 2014!

Hope you had at least ONE GREAT RACE this year. And I hope you have many more in the new year. Run strong.

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