>Racing>Rocken's Viaduct 100 mile Ultra report (early apologies for it being long and probably not written that well)
When I signed up for this thing it was on a high afterfinishing the 50 miler version of the 100. Sometime early this year my goals for the year changed. I decided thatI really wanted to work on BQing and that training and doing an ultra would nothelp me achieve that goal. So I pushed back any thoughts of any ultra’s to theback of my head. It wasn’t long before my goal marathon that I realized I hadALSO signed up for a 100k at the end of May. I don’t think I really expected tobe in any shape to run it after going for my BQ at Run for the Red, however notonly did I BQ but I did it much more easily than I thought I would. Anyway Iwent out to do the 100k and pulled out not long after running 50k of it (fewextra miles due to getting lost). Much harder course then I had expected and Ireally was worried about getting hurt later in the race as I started gettingtired. At that event I did talk about Viaduct with CarlA (RD of Viaduct). The words I exchanged with him about the 100miler (have no clue what I said) were the last words I really exchanged withanyone about doing it (may have talked with Willa but it wasn’t about doing thewhole thing) Anyway for some reason I didn’t realize that Viaduct was coming upso soon. Friday a week before the race I get an email announcing that the Viaduct100 was a week out. My first thought was OMG NO WAY! My second thought was crapI better call Ken and see how he feels about me going out and at least try forthe 50. Yes at that point I was hoping to get to 50 miles. Anyway Tuesdaymorning I wake up and realize that I had caught Ken’s cold. CRAP! I can still do this. If I take it easy, rest and take meds atbedtime I’ll be better before Saturday. By Thursday I had also decided that Iwas going to pack for 100 and plan on trying to do the 100 miles, though Ithink dh had it in his head that I would be stopping at 50 if I managed to getthat far.<o:p>
Ok skip ahead to night before race. I headed up north to Amanda’s(willamona) since she was going to be running the first loop with me and it’skind of a tradition that when I come up that way that’s where I stay. We hungout, went to running store and made sure to have a good carbload of Chinese foodfrom the restaurant underneath her apartment. We both managed to get to bed by10 pm and I actually managed to fall asleep pretty easily however I woke uparound 1:30 and layed awake until probably after the time Ken was supposed tocall me to wake up. However he slept in and didn’t call us until 4:15 CRAP!Well we were dressed and out the door by 4:45, so getting there by 5:30 was outthe window. We stopped at a convenientstore, grabbed soda’s and some doughnuts met up with Matt (Amanda’s friend) whowas coming out as well to help support Amanda and I throughout our run. Anywayswe managed to get to the start with not much time to spare but enough time forme to loose my ipod, use the restroom and actually start with the runners thisyear (we were late last year)<o:p>
The first 25 miles with Amanda went great. We played leapfrom with a guy named Randy pretty much the whole time. Talked to a fewrunners. Saw “superman” (Keith Shaw with a white cape on instead of his normalpink tutu) We saw the lead runners somewhere around 11 miles or so. I think wesaw the lead woman probably close to a mile from the turn around. The way backto the 25 mile went pretty much as the first half. Kept playing leap from withRandy. Willa running strong (she’s gonnarock Steamtown in October) about 2 miles or so from the end we ran into anotherrunner named Steve. A veteran at Ultra’s (last ultra was Badwater this year)turns out he had groin issue’s. We talked for a few. He mentioned that hethought that he’d just “breeze” through this course since it was a much “easier”course than what he’s done before. Well he was out at mile 25. Just shows younever know what’s in store until race day.Willa did a great job on the bridge on the way in. The fact that she’sso afraid of heights and despite that and knowing about the bridge (after lastyear) I’m just so amazed that she was willing to do this again. Talk about someone who inspires me! <o:p>
After trying but failing to make a phone call and eatingsome food and having some soda I headed off on my own. I had no idea what wasin store for me whether I would finish the 50 or what. Not long into the runRandy catches up to me and we start talking. Turns out that Willa and I hadbeen a sort of “carrot” for him. It wasn’t long before it was decided that wewere going to run together. My pace at that point was much too fast (not thatit felt like it) so my hopes was that running with him would help slow me down.At that point he was doing a 11 minute run 2 minute walk (something like that)I can’t remember what mile it was when we eventually caught up to the leadwoman. Now I never expected to catch the lead woman let alone pass her, howeverthat’s what we ended up doing. We did a lot of talking about patience and howthat would help in the end though at some point I think he forgot about that.It was a very warm day however it wasn’t all that humid so it was bearable. NowKen didn’t come this year so instead Matt( Amanda’s friend) as well as Amanda hadset up camp where Ken was last year (Matt manned it earlier while Amanda and Iran which I forgot to mention) I have to say seing a smiling friendly facebetween aid stations (other than our fellow runners) was VERY NICE!!! BetweenMatt and Amanda we were well taken care of between stops. I have to say for a “fat ass” (not that I’vedone any others) race it’s got GREAT support! Knowing the welcome we’d get aswe approached each aid station really helped pull me through. Each and every aid stop as soon as I got therefirst thing I heard is what do need or what can I do for you. Anyways gottakeep moving otherwise my reports going to be 5 pages lol. We finished thesecond loop and I had PR’d at the “50”mile by 22 minutes. NOT exactly the way it was supposed to happen. If you’reout to run your very first 100 miler there should be no pr’s BUT for the 100!Oh well I was still feeling good. Someone told me (I think Randy) that peoplewho had Verizon had service at the start. BINGO! I had brought a second phonewhich happened to have Verizon service so I was able to call Ken and let himknow how things were going and that AT&T sucked (no service) and that I wascontinuing on. He was full of support and wished me luck making sure I promisedto call him after I got back. After eating and drinking some Randy and I wereoff for our 3rd loop. (MTA:Forgot to mention that we caught up to a fellow RA”R named Dan. A sub 3marathoner who was running in memory of a little girl who had died of cancer. Unfortunately his legs were done though hisspirit and everything else wasn’t. <o:p>
Lots of good conversation was had. It was nice as we saw thelead runners on their way back. We found out one was from Israel (don’t thinkhe lives there now) one from Italy. The eventual winner (Byron Lane) we dubbedsmiley since he was always all smiles whenever we saw him. Now everything afterthe last turnaround was new territory for me. The only thing that changed from thefirst two laps (other than pace) was the ache’s that both Randy and I werehaving in our knees (his left and my right) oh and I was having little bouts ofnausea due to the nasal drainage (stupid me didn’t take any meds until muchlater. It was a little rough but we were both in great spirits and were pushingforward. When we hit where the trestlesused to be where Amanda was she asked usto ask Carl to have someone pick her up. MAD PROPS to her for being out therethat late with food in bear country! Randy and I had some soda chatted a bitthen off we went. My garmin died alittle before hitting the aid station. Finally14:45 after starting we hit the 62.5 mile aid station. Again great volunteers.Not sure how long we were there but long enough to eat, drink, talk and use therestroom (something I’d been doing A LOT of throughout the race) When we leftit was finally starting to get dark so night lights were turned on and off wewent. Now I’ve ran in the dark but nothing like this. I think we were morewalking fast at this point. With all the rocks (Randy had already tripped twicedue to not lifting his feet up very high (just like me lol) when he runs) Asquick as it cooled down from the sun going down it started to get humid. Notexactly the weather I wanted but better than the rain predicted. Course thatwas to come soon enough. Not sure howlong into this section it was before my head started pounding and I startedfeeling really sick. I couldn’t wait to get back to the start and take someSudafed (what I should have taken earlier) and some Tylenol. One thing Randyhad told me, when it comes to 100 milers it comes and goes. Well it sure wasgoing for me. After a bit my stomach started feeling better and next thing yaknow Randy would be feeling ill. I think we kept trading off between the nauseaand knee pain. About 2 miles before hitting the starting line the nausea reallyset in and it wasn’t going nowhere. Randy gave me a tums in hopes that it wouldhelp right away as it had his. No such luck. Those last couple miles reallyreally sucked. Randy would ask how I am and I’d tell him not good and that Ididn’t think I’d be going any further after we got to the start/finish. Hisreply is your going to finish you just need to get there get your Sudafed sitfor a few. In my mind I was like NO WAY! At that point I really felt that itwould be dangerous for me to continue after the aid station and was alreadyprepared and ready to deal with not finishing. Yes I was still the lead female howeverI was ok with the terms of losing that. I mean I would be leaving after 75freaken miles! That was enough of an accomplishment for me. When we hit thebridge coming into the star/finish things were really sucking. I couldn’t walkstraight. Felt like I wasn’t in control of my body and was feeling so sick.Somewhere on the bridge I slipped a bit and almost went over the edge. Thatfreaked Randy out who rushed to my side and helped me finish crossing. As weweaved into the starting line (camera’s going off for the first time OH GREATwas my thought) I was quickly offered a seat and lots of assistance. I owe aHUGE THANKS for the volunteers as well as Dan (the RA guy that got in 50) fortheir help. One of the woman volunteers (an experienced ultra runner) startedasking questions. I was offered all kinds of food none sounded good at all EXCEPT for a smallpart of me saying hmmmmmmm I think I can eat that McDonalds Quarterpounder withcheese that was offered. Now let me tell you I HATE McDonalds and stay awayfrom that place. I never would have expected to be eating a Quarterpounder withcheese let alone a cold one. Well let me tell you by the 2nd or 3rdbite I was like OK I’m GOING ON!! THAT is how fast things changed. I’m stillamazed at that. I mean I was DONE! How can 2-3 bites change that so fast? So Icalled Ken, told him how I was when I got there but that I was feeling muchbetter and was going to charge on. I found out after the fact that he wasn’tall that surprised that I went to 75 but he was VERY surprised that I continuedon despite feeling like I was done when I first got to the aid station. Justshows you how it comes and goes. Oh I also found out that the other the woman thatlead the first loop had dropped out at the 62.5 aid station. So at that point I knew if I could finishthat I had the top woman in the bag.<o:p>
So Randy and I continued on. And let me tell you this 12.5(actually longer) was the LONGEST HARDEST time that I’ve ever had running. Yesit was cool that all the minerals in a lot of the rocks glowed in the dark andthe grass with the water from the rain looked more like crystal plants but Iswear each mile felt like 20 miles. Both Randy and I found ourselves fallingasleep, weaving into the weeds on the side of the path (no one ever told methat not only do you start weaving like a drunk person, hallucinate but thatyou can move forward while “sleeping” ) I tell you if Randy wasn’t with me Idon’t know what I would have done. I may have wondered up/down a wrong path or ended up in the bushes formuch longer than I was already or had a really bad fall and ended up lying somewhereinjured. There were a lot of depressing moments during this part. By this timeRandy’s knee had done him in as far as any kind of running or fast walking wasconcerned (not that you could run that fast safely at that point) He’d ask mewhat was next I’d tell him. When I thought we were close by I’d tell him onlyto find out that we weren’t anywhere near where I thought we were. Every mileseemed to quadruple etc etc. A little earlier in the run (can’t think ofwhen) we had seen the 3 guys together. 2 racers and 1 pacer. Randy and I saidsomething to them. Randy was wondering when someone was going to make theirmove. Anyways turns out Smiley (ByronLane) had made his move. We saw him go buy with no one in sight. At one pointwe thought the other guy had dropped out since it seemed like forever and wehadn’t seen him. Anyways despite that itseemed like it was 50 miles we FINALLY got to the 87.5 mile aid station. Davidwas there (One of the 2 RD”S ) I asked him if he had any kind of knee bracesince Randy’s knee was getting pretty bad. I then proceeded to say that Ithought Randy was planning on dropping out and that if he did that they couldtake me back to the start as well. David’s reply was way to put the pressure onlol. The thing was I running in the dark SUCKED! I couldn’t imagine running thelast part and having it feel like 50 miles all by myself. At that point I hadno problem being satisfied with getting that far. Anyway after getting myselfsome pasta and other stuff. Randy got his knee taken care of and had gottenstuff to eat. He hadn’t said he was backing out so I said ok dude we gotta getgoing and that’s what we did. By that time the sun was coming up. Even thoughwe were exhausted and tired our we managed to quicken our pace. Not far after heading out Randy asked me if Iwas serious when I said that if he stopped that I was going to as well. I’mlike hell yes I was serious. Well it turns out he had decided before we hit the87.5 mile aid station that he was going to drop out. About 1 mile or so in itstarted to rain pretty heavily (well not super but more than a sprinkle orlight rain) It was still warm enough we didn’t put our jackets on until werethe trestles used to be. Not a whole lot of coverage so time for coats. Eventhough I was exhausted I still found that I could run some. When the trailwould clear of the bigger rocks I’d run as much as I could (not super fast butnot that slow either) and thankfullyRandy’s knee was feeling better than it had and would slowly catch up.About a .5 from where the water coolerswere (around 6 miles in) we ran into David. He had decided to go out for a 4mile run or so but it had started raining pretty heavily so he decided to cometo the water coolers to see if we were that far to make sure we were alright orif we needed anything. Turns out he had to run another half mile or so beforefinding us. Talk about AWESOME!! Wewalked together and chatted a bit before David (who had no jacket on) had torun back due to getting to cold. Anyway at this point I knew we were going tofinish. Randy mentioned that if we pushed a bit we would do just as I predictedearlier when I was doing the math (yes believe it or not I was doing a littlemath at like 3 am in the morning)and get in under 28 hours. At this point I was feeling good. I don’tthink I could have ran the whole way back however I could have ran more than Idid. Even though Randy urged me to get going something about coming in withouthim in tow seemed wrong. After we crossed the bridge right before the finish Idid start to run when he told me to go. So I managed to run into the finishwith a big grin on my face! It was then I was greeted by Amanda with tears inher eyes telling me how proud of me she was and that I was the first woman tohave finished the 100 in the race history which meant I set a CR. WOW. So notonly did I set PR (for both 50 and 100 well the 100 would have been no matterwhat) but I won (well at least for females) and set a CR. Carl, David saidcongrats. Got handed the silver railroad spike as well as a cold McDonalds Quarter Pounder with cheese lol.<o:p>
Never in my wildest dreams did I EVER think I would run 100miles! As challenging as it was I wouldn’tchange a thing! Lots of memories were made as well as friendships! I owe A LOT toRandy who I hope to be able to thank again later. Carl, Dave and all thevolunteers did an AWESOME job!!! Lots of wonderful runners toed the line. Somefinished some didn’t but LOTS of great running was had! I am no longer a 100mile “virgin” <o:p>
There’s a lot that should have been added however betweenlack of brain power, finger power and just that this things too damn long as itis. If you managed to read this novel Thank you! Crap if you read any of itThank you!! I still can’t believe I DIDIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<o:p>
MTA: NO IDEA how those smilies got in there *sigh*
Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson
Amanda and I at the start
Coming into the last stretch
Dorky me sticking my tongue out as I'm about to cross the finish line.
You'll ruin your knees!
Very nice, Pam... traded your 100 mile virgin status for a course record and then some! Freakin' awesome!
""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)
Awesome job Rocken.
Ultra reports never fail to inspire me. The longer the better. This one even has pictures
Since not many do the 100 milers without a pacer or someone else to run with (from the few I know) Just have to ask why Willa chose to run the first loop and not one of the later ones?
That was awesome! What a great report for a great, courageous, victorious effort! I read every word and it just dripped with grit and determination. You are unbelievable! I kept rooting for you as the laps went by and hoped you had not dropped out. What an excellent story with a terrific result, and what a great role model you are. Hero of the month.
"I'm not a professional. Professionals operate on a much higher, more sophisticated level of ignorance than I do."
-plagiarized from a '70's Chemistry text.
Very nice, Pam... traded your 100 mile virgin status for a course record and then some! Freakin' awesome! Lynn B
Thank you Lynn!! BTW I was all ready to send you the postage for the Ultra running magazine you sent me last year
Awesome job Rocken. Ultra reports never fail to inspire me. The longer the better. This one even has pictures Since not many do the 100 milers without a pacer or someone else to run with (from the few I know) Just have to ask why Willa chose to run the first loop and not one of the later ones?
First off I asked her last minute. Second off she can't drive at night let alone run at night. Main reason though was I was afraid I'd go out too fast so I was hoping that since she trains at a much slower pace than I do that she would help slow me down. We didn't go as slow as I had planned and that's ok cause we both had a great time.
That was awesome! What a great report for a great, courageous, victorious effort! I read every word and it just dripped with grit and determination. You are unbelievable! I kept rooting for you as the laps went by and hoped you had not dropped out. What an excellent story with a terrific result, and what a great role model you are. Hero of the month. Good going.
Thanks Matt!! I see your not too far from me. Do you ever do any of the Pretzel City sports race's or Ron Horn's events?
Holy mackerel, Pam. Just freaking amazing. Loved your report---It totally captures the way you must have been feeling, hallucinations and all.
Again, amazing. Congratulations!
50,000 Miles Later
Hawt and sexy
I just ran the first lap to keep her from going on her usual 8-9mm pace. I am not a good night runner and I have a marathon coming up in Oct that I would like to PR in. and she wouldn't help me get through the first bridge again...
Rocken looked like she was in absolute heaven after 2 bites of that burger.
She has a pair of shoes that will never be white again; and I am betting parts of her feet are still black as I have that problem. Coal pack sticks around.
The course is absolutely beautiful.
It amazes me what us crazy people will eat cold on the trail, but that pasta on the turnaround was awesome.
I am still so damn proud of you girl!
I'm touching your pants.
Mitch & Pete's Mom
Wow, I'm blown away.
Now we all know who to go to for Ultra-related questions.
Hail to The Victors!
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown) • Go With The Flow • Thyroid Support Group
In it for the long run..
"It's not who wins the workout..."
so. freaking. amazing.
Congrats Pam! You give me hope for my 50k.
~Sara It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great. ~ Jimmy Dugan