Monday, January 17, 2011

Weymouth Woods 100K Race Report

This race is a 4.47 mile loop all within the Weymouth Woods Preserve in southern North Carolina. The South had just (two days before) gotten snow dumped upon them. When we arrived and drove around on Friday, I saw lots of snow and ice still on the ground. I decided to screw my shoes-good call!

This is a nice, very well organized run. Starting with the first loop, there was plenty of food-and hot food available. Over the course of the day, I had grilled cheese sandwich, quesadilla, chicken noodle soup, potato soup, and pizza-along with regular AS ultra food.
In addition to the main AS, at mile 2.5 there was also another AS, starting out as just water and Gatorade.

As the day wore on, and the temperatures dropped, Jimmie and Doug assembled a tent, provided snacks and hot coffee and hot chocolate.
The terrain is fairly easy here-although if you have run loop courses before, you know lots of multiple loops can be very weary. The first 2.5 miles is fairly technical in that it is very rooty. The back half of the course is more sand and easy. Of course, with the frozen conditions, the sand was not an issue. In fact, there ended up behind just a few muddy parts on this trail.

I set myself up some aggressive goals for this race. I wanted to see if I could get a little bit speedier. My first goal was to run a sub 11 hour (read 10:58) 50 mile split. This meant, according to this Cool Running Calculator, each loop:
4.47 miles 1:04:13
8.94 miles 2:08:25
13.41 miles 3:12:38
17.88 miles 4:16:51
22.35 miles 5:21:03
26.82 miles 6:25:16
31.29 miles 7:29:29
35.76 miles 8:33:42
40.23 miles 9:37:54
44.7 miles 10:42:07
49.17 miles 11:46:20
50 miles 11:58:15

(In fact, I think the other splits I calculated was 11.30 50 miler.) Well, it boiled down to running the loop in less than one hour.
Since the race splits aren't posted yet, I don't know quite where the wheels fell off. I do know I ran the first three loops in under 1 hour. I was, however, having to stop for a "bio break" on every loop. I was eating more at this race, which was planned, to get enough calories in per hour-but my body seemed to working quite well at digesting and eliminating! And I do remember this happening at Rocky Raccoon and Umstead-maybe that's why I started eating less, so I would have to not stop for bathroom breaks as often!
I was running well. The Garmin (which, being brand new, I did not get the mile splits feature set) told me I was running 11.XX miles. And I felt good running at this. I believe I did push the pace early.
I hit my 50K split at 7 hours 15 minutes-not bad at all, considering I wasn't racing a 50K. But then I was thinking a 14 hour finish probably was not going to happen.
I had lost my little split paper! So now I was relying on the Garmin to hold out til 50 miles.

I know I started to slow down after the 50K. I was still eating ok-starting to not eat as much. I was trying to get as much mileage in before dark. I had some potato soup that didn't agree with me. That started the beginning of the "try and get food" in portion of the ultra. On the next loop, I had two bites of a piece of pizza-nope, that was enough of that.

As the evening wore on, I slowed enough that I didn't make my sub 12 hour 50 mile split. Garmin said it was 12 hours 47 minutes. And I still had three more loops to go!
My husband surprised me by turning up at the race and staying until the end, so that was a pleasant surprise. I even turned him into my crew! He handed off his Zune, since the cold weather had drained my two MP3 players over the course of the afternoon. I drank some cranberry juice and took a few PB crackers with me on Loop 12. Loop 12 was just a place holder. I concentrated on not wanting to despise the loop course.
In fact, running this 100K was a good experience in dealing with a long distance ultra again. I haven't run long since the Ring in September, and all I remember from that was sleep deprivation, rocks, and success. Here I was, not pleased with myself for not hitting my 50 mile goal. I was tired, my right adductor muscle hurt, I was hungry but nauseated, I wanted to sleep,-----PRETTY TYPICAL ULTRA EXPERIENCE!!!!!! Yes, ultras aren't all fun-in fact, most of the longer distance ones are just like this!!!!!!
I just started breaking down the loop into little sections, easy to do when you know it so well. I got to the 1/2 way AS, now onto the finish. Then Loop 13. Good, only one to go. Loop 13 I concentrated on drinking some sugar pop and getting 3 whole PB crackers in. I know my nutrition plan has gone to shit, but I've got less than 8 miles to go.
I grab more sugar pop and start the last loop. I note the race clock is 15.30. I tell my husband I will be back in less than 2 hours. Now I'm trying to walk with a purpose, and run the sections that I can.
I tell Doug and Jimmie good bye and start down the trail which is very runnable here. I come across another runner with no light on. No,he's got a light, but enjoying the moonlight. He joins me and we get through the last two miles chatting-that made the time go quickly for me. I barrel through the last .4 mile uphill to the finish-last loop in 1 hour 15 minutes, for a finish in 16 hours 45 minutes!

Two days later, I'm still a bit disappointed in my race.True, I did finish-but I planned on finishing all along. Not finishing was not an option.
I was glad I hit a good low during the race-made me remember ultras are not all fun and games.
Perpeteum Solids-I tried the Perpeteum Solids for a loop. The serving size is 3 tabs for 100 calories. So nine of these for 300 calories. That is alot of chewing. I didn't even get 9 tabs in on a loop. I don't believe I will be using these in long events or even re-buying.
Merino Wool Buff-I did not bring a winter hat, just a baseball cap and my Bondi bands. But the temperature dropped into the thirties and maybe more in the evening. I was glad I had my Wool Buff, which I ended up pulling up from my neck, over my head. It also helped over my mouth, because the cold air was getting to me, with my exercised induced asthma.

Still, it was 100K and 16 hours of time on my feet. I'm kind of still waiting to see the results and my splits to see where things started to change. I'm still going to work on nutrition too!


  1. that is absolutely the most awesome thing that I have seen!

    That's 1/2 a day of running!!!!

  2. Good job! Loving the pictures. It looks so beautiful there!

  3. I think you did great! Consider it another chance to practice running long and get used to working through those lows. Success!!

  4. You did a great job Kim. I don't think you realize just how that course really was. It doesn't seem that hilly but over 14 loops it is quite the elevation gain. I'm very impressed with what you did there. You're tough!


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