Beast of Burden 100 - August 20, 2011- Lockport, NY
After finishing the Philadelphia 100 in April 2011 and placing second female, I signed up for the August 2011 Beast of Burden100 mile ultra in Lockport, NY along the Erie Canal. Unlike other ultras, this one started at 10 am. The skies were blue and there was not a cloud but it was hot and humid. The forecast called for rain and thunderstorms in the evening and overnight.
At the end of the first 12.5 mile stretch I chugged an ice cold Pepsi, ate a banana and a piece of bread smeared with peanut butter. I was feeling extra tired and sluggish. As I began the second 12.5 mile stretch, I was having second thoughts and talking to myself. “Why am I feeling so sluggish? Why am I so drained? Am I going to be able to do this?" Though my body and mind were skeptical, my time at the end of 25 miles was 5:12:59. It was simply the heat and the hot beating sun along the Erie Canal not too far from Niagara Falls that was draining me.
By mile 50, which I reached in 11:49:50 in total darkness and my headlamp, I felt really good. Sebastian paced me on his bike the next 12.5 miles.Then Jon paced me. At about mile 64, we were sprinkled with rain drops, startled with loud thunder claps and lightening, and then soaked with pelting rain in a span of about 4 miles. Jon, who is Jewish, yelled out, “Jesus is blessing you with holy water.” I laughed and felt renewed. It was the spiritual renewal I needed to keep going strong. The rain, thunder, and lightning stopped at about mile 75, which I completed in 19:15:56.
I changed my wet running clothes and treated my toes to a fresh application of Desitin and fresh socks. By mile 82, I was feeling delirious. Jon and Sebastian were at mile 82 cheering me on. But I was feeling dejected. I was losing cognitive functioning. I kept looking at my watch. I kept saying, "I'm running out of time, I'm never going to make it! What's the point!"
"Momma, you have 18 miles to go and 9 hrs," said Jon. "No, I don't," I cried as I paced back and forth. “Keep going mom. You’re not stopping. You have plenty of time. Keep going. We’ll meet you at the last turnaround in about 6 miles. You’re fine,” Sebastian insisted as he hugged me and gave me a kiss on my cheek, as did Jon.
“Really? I have that much time?” I cried, "I have 9 hours left?"
“Go!” they commanded. “OK,” I said as I picked up my feet and was mentally re-energized to know I had 9 hours left, more than enough time to finish 18 more miles before the 30 hour time limit. I remembered that I can't count, add, or subtract miles and minutes when I’m sleep-deprived.
At about mile 81.5 I thought I wasn’t going to make it. At mile 87.5, Jon paced me on the bike. At 93.5 I had run 24:59:24. I was soaked. It took me 2 hours plus to complete 6.5 miles. Buckets from heaven poured with 4 miles left. I finished in 27:13:07. I came in 16/28 overall and 6/9 in women. I got my first 100 mile ultra silver belt buckle. It looks nice on a leather belt.