Friday, October 21, 2011

Top of Michigan 100K

62 miles is an awfully long way.

To be fair, so is 26.2. Or 10.  Sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my brain around five miles, and that's usually how long it takes for my leg muscles to feel warmed up. I think I still count miles one-two-three-many.

The start of the race was a bit confused for me. I got there and checked in. I went back to the car to stay warm, make some last minute decisions on what to wear, and then my brother David said: "where is everyone?" a few minutes of searching, and then I saw headlamps bouncing down the path. I started at the back and stayed there, happily enough.

I remember hitting mile 26 and thinking "I feel pretty fresh! I feel like I could start to run a marathon now!" and then I considered that I had another marathon to go. And then I had ten miles to tack on after ward. I don't think I was discouraged, but perhaps a bit daunted. I dealt with it by thinking about it as little as possible.

I hit mile 28 and someone at the aid station told me it was the half way point. I didn't like the discrepancy between course personnel and garmin, but I've learned to take Garmin with a grain of salt. Sometimes that can be a mistake, like the quarter inch layer of salt I inadvertently dipped onto a boiled potato before I put it into my mouth at the aid station. My stomach wasn't happy with me for a few miles afterward. Oops.

I remember the wind and the rain. They shut down the Mackinaw bridge for the day because of it- too many visions of a Yugo plunging off of it, I guess. I know I was pushed off the trail a couple of times, but mostly because I was in my own world and reacted too slowly to compensate. It rained pretty much the whole time, and through the wind let up occasionally, I remember it being in my face a lot more than it was at my back.

Of course, that's the way it usually goes.  Memory is like that.

I have to give killer Kudos to my brother David and my Sister-in-Law Deb. They were kind enough to trail me for the entire day, meeting me at the aid stations and giving me such wonderful gifts like chicken soup and encouragement. A few minutes before the race started, it finally dawned on me just how cold, windy and rainy it would be. David offered me his jacket. I wore it the entire time, and it very well might have kept me from a DNF.

I hit mile 26 in almost exactly five hours, and was pretty pleased. I hit mile 50 at 10:02, and thought I was being pretty consistent. I remember thinking that 12 miles is no big deal; I've run 12 in my sleep. I didn't consider 12 a long run.

It was an awfully long run. Three hours to go 12 miles, only made bearable by David coming to meet me around mile 58 and run/walk me in.

I finished, went to the post race party, had a long island iced tea, and pretty much slept all the way back to Gaylord. As the Tigers ended their season, I took a long, hot shower (but still managed to get the cold water spray down of my legs in) and blissfully crashed on a couch for ten or twelve hours. Best sleep I've had in months.

A week later, and I haven't gone for a run yet. My body still feel quite drained, even though I've eaten quite a bit. I've managed to pick up a cold that's been going around. However, I see people out running, and I feel a little jealous. I'm sure I'll be out there soon enough...


Dave Kramp said...

Quote of the day: "The last 10 miles were harder than the first 30...and the 20 in the middle sucked, too." You rock, bro.

mizunogirl said...

Freaking Awesome. great report, someday I want to writing something similar for Comrades

Melanie said...

I aspire to become one of you..."ultra runners" day soon. Congrats Fritz!!