Having left MI (Hallucination 100) with a bad taste in my mouth, I was yearning for another race. Having no idea what I wanted to run but all I did know was I wanted to test my mental side of things. Even though I DNF'd because of stomach issues, I still think I might have still completed it if I would have stuck with it. After doing some searching on ultra calendars, I decided on the Heart and Health 12 hr run. YEP! I would be running around a freaking 1.4 mile loop on a bike path at Voice of America Park. Why you might ask? Well for one who in the their right mind would wanna run for 12 hrs on a loop course. And I knew it would be easy for me to quit cause you would be close to the start/finish line the whole time. But I knew I couldnt quit. To be extra cautious, I made sure of that by having my parents drive me up there and then have Jessica pick me up at the end. This way if I wanted to quit I would have no where to go, so I might as well keep on chugging along! I had only one goal going into this race, JUST FINISH! (although I knew I wanted to get around 70 miles)
I got up there pretty early to sign up. I figured I wouldnt see anyone up there I knew but actually came across David Riddle (coming off a DNF at UROC, he was just running 6hrs) and the Dave Corfman (did the mid west grand slam this year) to my surprise. After a quick breakfast snack and a bathroom stop, we headed to the start line. After a few prerace announcements about Riddle, Corfman and a guy named Vincent O'Sullivan ('84 olympian and eventual winner of this race) we were off. Corfman, Riddle and I ran together the first lap, then Corfman dropped back into his own pace. I decided to run with Riddle for the first hour and then drop back, which I did. I didnt plan to run that fast (7:15) that early but I felt like I wanted to hurt at the end. I know that sounds ridicolous but I know if I wanna run 100 milers I would have to endure pain, and that was what I was out to do! I also focused on nutrition since I believe the premature exit at Hallucination was partly due to my race day eating habits. So I made sure I was taking enough water and plenty of calories. Started as usual with mostly gu's until I couldnt handle the taste anymore. Toyed around with potatoes and chicken broth as well. Both seeming to sit well in my stomach, so those are both possible race day food for me.
As far as the run it self, it went pretty well I thought. I had a small lil meltdown around hour 5, just felt like I was hittin a wall and couldn't go any longer. Just thinking about continuing on for another 7 hrs was enough to make me come to a stand still. I just stood there for a bit and told myself "if your dumb, you gotta be tough!" Cause I was dumb enough to sign up for the race, I damn well be tough enough to finish it! I also knew I planned on using my ipod at about hour 6 as well, so that was a little uplifting too. Around this point the race director Chris Kist came out to run a few laps with me so that helped alot as well. During that part he told me that Jen Sprague (friend of mine) was coming up to do the 6 hour race, so I would have some company out there. So hour 6 came around and I changed my shoes again (also did that at 3 hr and 9 hr) and grabbed my ipod. Jen said she was gonna do a few laps then come and get me. She ran with me for about an hour around the 7 hr mark. Derrick Butler came up and said hi to us, so that was nice of him to go out of his way to do that. Also decided to run a bit with Corfman and a lady he was helping who was having some stomach issues. I ran/walked with them for 2 laps, just to mix it up a little. Legs were def feeling fatigued at this point. Hit mile 70 around the 11 hour mark, so decided I was going to take a mini break to stretch since I havent all day. About 10 min into my stretch break, Corfman came around and told me to keep moving cause he was gaining on me. So that was just enough to get me going again. Did another 2 laps at a very gingerly pace cause my feet and legs were destroyed. I ended up stopping around 11:55 cause I didnt want to have to walk back when it hit 12 hrs. I ended up with just shy of 74. Vincent ran 78 miles, good enough for the win.
Overall this was a very successful race for me! I did what I set out to do and that was to hurt! Got back my confidence in running long and being able to keep my food down. Having to DNF def put a me in my place a few weeks ago but now Im feeling good about running again. Hoping to recover a bit and run the Stone Steps (Dave Corfman is the race director) at the end of the month!