You proved victorious.
Prompt for December 9:
Victory Laps | What was your biggest accomplishment of 2013?
I had decided to set a goal for 2013. That was to run a sub thirty hour finish at Massanutten 100 Mile Trail Run. A coach was hired, training commenced. I assembled a crew and pacers.
Race plan was drawn up, splits were analyzed and given to the crew who would meet me at various points around the course. I felt good and pretty confident that I could meet this goal.
From my race report:
"The first section of the run was rather uneventful. In no time we were up the road section and onto Short Mountain. First miles through Edinburg Gap were uneventful, running with others, getting in small conga lines.
After exchanging bottles with Wayne Mongold at Edinburg, the climb up Waonaze Peak tends to start stringing out runners. On the downhill to Woodstock I stopped for a second bathroom break. Then, shortly after the Woodstock AS, my third stop bathroom stop.
I had nine bathroom stops in the first 50K. Anytime I started to break into a jog, the peristaltic motion was having me jump off into the bushes again. Climbing was okay. But this was not good.
I get to Elizabeth Furnace one hour off my predicted splits. My crew is looking a bit anxious, and I tell them what happened. "You know that nutrition plan? Well, it's time to modify that." I cut my maltodextrin down in t he bottle, get some solid cookies from my crew, and go off to the AS to check in and see if there is any Imodium available. There is. Thank heaven.
I start nibbling on my cookie and just start walking out of EF. It's a climb anyways, and I have a problem to solve. Now is not the time to worry about ruining my chances for a sub 30 goal. My goal for the time is to get my stomach under control, and get some calories back into me. I have yet another bathroom stop. That is the last one, I tell myself. Let the medicine have a chance to work. Walk up to the top. It's not like you would be running this section anyways. I have a very small brief whiny moment and then I put it behind me. Don't even think about times right now. The focus of the moment is to eat these cookies and wash them down with little sips of water.
The overcast weather is helpful It is humid, but really not very hot. I get to the Shawl Gap Trail intersection and catch some other runners-Benny, Jim, and Bryan. This really helped my spirits rise. We are running downhill, and my medicine is working, no bathroom stops. I'm cautiously optimistic.
My crew is relieved to see me at Shawl Gap. We cut the maltodextrin again, and I stick with my plan here to run this 5K road section without my waist pack, and just one hand held. I also pick up my music through here. I get more solid food from the crew.
I ran most of the road. I am starting to feel VERY good through here. The music helps.
I get into Veach Gap AS, and pick up my double waist pack with bottles ready. I modify the malto in these bottles also. I grab a little bit of food. I know I am behind on calories, but I am also a bit wary on eating too much. I want to keep the momentum going. I leave Veach Gap Aid Station with three water bottles, as I have the "9 big Massanutten miles" to go.
It is a good climb up out of Veach. But it's not that bad. Because it's overcast. A person normally just bakes on the climb. I know the drill on this climb. Don't look up, don't look too far in advance, because you don't want to know how far you still have to go!
Aaron Schwartzbard is a welcome sight on the climb up to the ridge line, hanging out and taking photos. I get up the ridge, back to the beloved MMT orange trail. The climb wasn't so bad. This was the best weather I've ever climbed out of Veach, still overcast.
I had forgotten about the long downhill run down Indian Grave Ridge Trail.. It's runnable. Really runnable. And I feel fantastic. I run the whole way down, passing lots of folks, (10 actually) who remark on my enthusiasm. I told them I had rallied, and indeed I had."
I did not make my race goal of a sub 30 hour MMT finish. I finished in 30.37. But I was so proud of myself for this race.
I had a really crappy (sorry, couldn't help it!!!) first 30 miles of the race; but I held it together mentally and emotionally and did not let that take me out of the race. I retained composure. When the Plan didn't work, I reworked the plan. I held it together, and had a very satisfactory MMT finish.