Beginners and Beyond


My first 100-miler RR (Ridiculously long but with lots of pics) (Read 217 times)

    Wow, seriously, just awesome!

    Mostly harmless

      The idea of running 100 miles is beyond me. All I can say is congratulations on such an awe inspiring accomplishment.


      The only thing I have issue with is your description of your RR as "ridiculously long". I could have happily read more. Thanks for writing such an incredible report and best of luck on your next race.

      "It doesn’t matter how often you do it or how much you accomplish, in general, not running is a lot easier than running." - Meb Keflezighi


        Big congrats Katrina.  
        I started reading by skimming through it, jumping over sections, looking at pictures, but your writing is so good that eventually, after reading longer and longer pieces I went back and read the whole thing. same as Jason's (RJR) RRs, I always read what you write. It's honest, pure encouraging. This old runner, who is just now entering the world of ultras is learning a lot from you.

        Thank you.

        Slow and steady never wins anything.

        100K or Bust

          Big congrats Katrina.  
          I started reading by skimming through it, jumping over sections, looking at pictures, but your writing is so good that eventually, after reading longer and longer pieces I went back and read the whole thing. same as Jason's (RJR) RRs, I always read what you write. It's honest, pure encouraging. This old runner, who is just now entering the world of ultras is learning a lot from you.

          Thank you.


          You and me both.


          Katrina, thanks again for taking the time to share your experience in detail.

          2017 Goals: for races not to be exercises in futility

            """"A seed was planted…""""


            -    Looking at the belt buckle + reading your story has planted a seed in me.   Well, I had a few seeds planted already, but your story adds all the more.  Great story!   :-)

            The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞


            Wickedly Average

              Katrina, I've finally taken the time to read the race report. I said it before and I'll say it again - Fantastic Job!!!


              Your writeup is exceptional - i really feel as if I was there, and you convey what you were experiencing and feeling during the race very well. I will no doubt read it again.


              In some ways, you've provided some inspiration. I've only been running about 20 months, and I have resigned to the notion that the half marathon is my version of the ultra. But on reading this, maybe not.


              Thanks for taking the time to put this together - it is appreciated.

              Tom (formerly known as PhotogTom)

              5K - 25:16, 10K - 55:31,  15K - 1:20:55,   HM - 1:54:54


                Aww, thanks everyone!  Sorry for the delay in responding, the last week or so has been pretty hectic. Now, for individual responses:


                Mr Namtor, the “getting ready” point was largely mental, not entirely, obviously, but I definitely had to *know* I could do it before I committed to it.  As a testament to the power of the mind, which I neglected to mention in my report… I had a friend who signed up (who was actually my friend Karla’s other pacer at Badwater) and told me before the race that he wanted to finish but that he should be okay with 80 miles.  “Coincidentally,” at exactly 80 miles, he could no longer move forward and dropped out.


                Jason, I thought about you quite a bit out there.  I just kept remembering how lucky I was to be there and have the opportunity to run the race.


                Luke, thanks.  The longer a race is, the more that can go wrong.  That’s one of the biggest things I’ve picked up in the last few years.


                Karen, I run primarily on roads and was sort of intimidated by trails after a 50k on rugged trails a few months ago, but I was pleasantly surprised at how runnable these trails were.  I think it helped that I’d built it up so much in my mind because it made it easier when I actually experienced them.


                Bjackjr, sorry you’re having issues with the pics.  If you’re still interested (and happen to read this), the pics, as well as my entire race report are also on my (newly created) blog:


                Coastal, thank you!


                Van, that’s what I kept telling myself.  Logically, if I kept putting one foot in front of the other (in the right direction), I knew I eventually had to finish, as long as I could stay ahead of the time cutoffs.


                Julie, thank you!  It was definitely a life-changing experience.


                AmiK, thank you!


                Dave, thanks, lol.  I write long race reports typically anyway, but I did feel a *little* more justified in the length of this one.  The race was long, and the journey to the starting line was pretty long too!


                Kristin, glad I could provide entertainment for you. Smile


                MJ5, it’s funny you mention that because I read a bunch of previous reports from the race prior to running it, and one guy mentioned it was depressing to get to mile 10 and still have 90 left.  I distinctly remember thinking about this at the 10-mile point and just laughing.  90 miles seemed utterly ridiculous.  But lucky for me, all I had to do was “get to the next aid station,” not “run 90 more miles.” Wink


                Lily, thank you Smile


                Awood runner, for the record, even *I* don’t like to DRIVE 100 miles, haha.


                Damaris, thanks.  I felt sort of bad for the people staying up late to track me, though, as I was moving SO slow.  Someone could literally get a full night’s sleep during my last lap.  In the past, they had timing mats at multiple aid stations, so it was a *little* more climactic.  My next 100-miler, in 3.5 weeks, has live results (2-mile loop) AND video at the timing mat.  As for how I’m feeling, NOW I’m totally fine.  I ran 32 miles in the last 3 days with no issues.  I felt 95% recovered about 3 days post race.  By the following Saturday, I ran 5 miles and I actually felt really well rested.  I’m lucky that I recover from races quickly.


                Bruce, it’s weird, but ultras are pretty much the ONLY place (in my life) I feel comfortable and like I belong.  On a regular basis, I do everything by myself (or with my husband); less than once a month, I’ll go out others (but only a select couple).  Social situations are just not enjoyable for me, in general.  But ultras are different for some reason.  I’ve come away with at LEAST one new friend from every ultra I’ve done.  It’s a very neat little community that I am so grateful to be a part of.


                Dtothe2nd, the ultra community is full of examples where perceived physical limitations are just destroyed.  It’s really incredible.


                Brad, thanks!  And I can respect the fact you wouldn’t want to do one. Wink


                Tracilynn, Thank you!


                PineGroveDave, Thanks! Smile


                Tomas, thank you!  Please feel free to pass this on to your sister.  Also, here are links to 2 race reports to 50-milers I did in the last year: and   In answer to your buckle question, buckles are typically reserved for 100-mile races.  There are a few 100-milers that don’t have buckles and a few shorter ultras (like 50-milers) that do have them, but those are both exceptions.  This was my 15th(?) ultra, but my first 100-miler and buckle Smile


                So_Im_a_Runner, thanks.  It was a pretty surreal experience.  As for venturing out without a coach, the first few days were the worst because Ian had become such an important part of my running life (and running is such a large part of my life as a whole).  However, being on my own has some of its own benefits.  The running I’ve done since my 100-miler has been great, and I like that I don’t have a strict plan to follow.  Also, I have some friends who are experienced ultrarunners who provide me guidance and answer my questions.  Besides, I am going to get through my next 100-miler then take a break from ultras, so my vision is pretty short-term and manageable.  Like I said before, I knew from the very beginning that having a coach was temporary.  Through that process, I learned I am capable of more than I thought, and even without a coach now, I still know that and remind myself of it.


                Waterwench, thank you!


                ASUnk00, my race was anything but well-paced.  But it was an adventure nonetheless, and I learned a LOT that I can apply to my next 100-miler and other future races. Smile


                Outoftheblue, thank you.  That photo is one I absolutely love and will definitely cherish.  I’m grateful I figured out who took It so I could personally thank him!


                Nakedbabytoes, thank you.  That race was definitely one of the most difficult voluntary things I’ve ever done.  I knew I could have quit and justified it to most people.  But I didn’t go there to quit, so there’s no way I would let that happen within my power.  I knew I wasn’t going to leave the course unless I was forced due to a missed cutoff.


                Paulski, thanks!


                Philliefan33, thank you!


                AprilRunner, thanks.  I love how little actions, positive (or negative) can have such a large impact.  I look back at my journey in running, and there were multiple points where the different response (or no response) a single person could have easily changed my trajectory.  I try to keep this in mind throughout my life, in and out of running.


                Shirtfan, isn’t it amazing how big some little things can be?  Like I just mentioned above, I can think og multiple specific instances where I could have been persuade (without much effort, or even intentionally) that ultras, or running in general, were not meant for me.  I try to remember this and let it guide how I treat other people.  A sarcastic misconstrued comment a person at the exact wrong time could really negatively impact them.  Likewise, maybe a little word or gesture can help someone out.


                Adam_McAllen, training for an ultra, particularly a “longer” one (i.e. not a 50k) is different from training for a marathon or shorter distance in the respect that your training runs aren’t nearly as long, relative to the race distance.  And people approach ultra training drastically different: some run 150+ miles a week, others run less than 20 a week, and others just do races.  With that being said, I’ll tell you about my long runs.  Three weeks prior to the race, I did a marathon as a training run.  Two months prior to the race, I did a 50-miler as a training run.  I did a handful of other 20+ mile runs too.  The marathons and 50-miler I did in training were done as training runs, not as races (even though they were races), meaning I didn’t do them at an all-out effort.  It was just mentally and logistically easier for me to do them in a race setting.  My highest weekly mileage was in the low 80s, but that was only a few times.  I’m not a fast runner and I have a full-time job, so time was always an issue.  One thing that I incorporated a lot more for my earlier 50-miler last year, that I would have liked to do for this race, but simply couldn’t due to time, was to spend more time practicing walking.  You use your muscles differently if you run or walk, and it behooves you to practice walking at a brisk pace, as you will likely spend a good chunk of time in an ultra walking, so you might as well be used to it.  Also, practice running/hiking/power walking on a terrain similar to what you will be racing on; this will help significantly!


                Sunfastrose, thank you!


                Cherie, thanks!


                Hog4life, thank you!


                Scotty, thanks. I miss seeing you at races!  I want to run with you again sometime. Smile


                Misty, thank you for your kind words!


                Heidi, you’re so sweet! Thanks for all of your encouragement, and all of the exclamation points over the last few months. Wink


                Susan, thank you!


                Shari, thank you for your kind words.  I do try to treat people well, in a manner that I would want to be (and have been) treated.  The running community, and in particular the ultra community, kindness is so second nature to me.  My pacer, Alma, posted a beautiful message to me on Facebook after the race, and I was surprised at some of the things she pointed out (like the fact I encouraged every single runner on the trails) because it didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.  I don’t say that as a testament to my own kindness, but instead to the people who have surrounded me the last several years.  I feel like I am largely a product of my environment, so if I have felt nothing but love, encouragement, and kindness from a group of individuals, I don’t think twice about behaving in the same manner toward other people.  I am constantly in awe of how generous people are.  For example (a little off topic), last week, on a friend’s Facebook wall, I got into a conversation with a guy I didn’t know (but knew who he was because he’s a bad@$$ ultrarunner I have the utmost respect for) who is also friends with the owner of the Facebook wall.  I told him about my next 100-miler.  He said he lived near there and that I could stay at his house. What?! When I questioned him about it later (inviting a stranger he’s exchanged just a few sentences with at that point in time), he simply told me of all of the strangers who had let him stay with them over the years before races and said he still had a lot of paying it forward to do until he broke even.  When I surround myself with good people, whether they’re runners or not, it motivates me to want to be a better person myself.


                Fuzzy, thank you!


                Greg, I’ll see if you’re still saying that in a couple years… And for the record, I didn’t do it in *a* day… it was a day and change. Wink  Thanks for your positive attitude and encouragement!


                Marymary, thank you.  There have been times in my life where I have been surrounded by people NOT supportive of me in any way, so I am grateful I found running/ultrarunning because I feel like it is a place I really belong. Smile


                Irishguy, thank you!


                ImNotScott, thank you!  The idea of running even 5 miles used to be beyond me… it’s s slippery slope!  When I write an even longer report next time, I’ll see if you still feel that way. Wink  Actually, I don’t think the next one will be quite as long.  Then again, so many times (this admittedly wasn’t one of them), I think I’m going to write a “short” one and it’s still ridiculously long. *shrugs* Wink


                Goo, I take that as a huge compliment coming from you.  Thank you for your kind words.

                George, I’m so happy to have served as a bit of an “enabler” to your running pursuits, specifically within ultras.  I look forward to following your progress at NC24 from afar and reading your report afterwards. Smile


                K L Duke, glad to hear that.  Looking at your upcoming races this year, it appears quite a few seeds have been planted over time.  I love 24-hour races.  NC24 is incredible; the race director is new this year, but I hope you have a similar experience that I had the last 2 years there.  It’s one of my favorite races.  I’ve also done Peanut Island… sort of.  A bit over 2 years ago, I was deployed, and the race director let me be an official entrant in the 12-hour race, even though I was the only runner at my location.  It really didn’t seem like a race at all.  It was based on Garmin time, I was alone, and my “aid station” was a cardboard box by a building with water, Gatorade, gels, Cheez Its, and Oreos. But the race director still included me in results, posted my report on his web site, and mentioned me in the article he submitted to Ultrarunning magazine.  That race is on my to-do list of one these years because I want to do the *real* version of the race.  I hope you have fun this year; your racing schedule looks really exciting!


                Tom, thank you for reading my report.  The neat thing about running is that there is always something beyond whatever someone perceives as their “max.”  I can honestly say I thought I would only do one marathon and be done with running.  Then, even once I did a couple 50ks, I never thought I’d so a 50-miler.  It took quite a while longer, relatively, before I actually entertained the idea of doing a 100-miler.  I was always intrigued by them, but I couldn’t envision myself actually doing one.  It’s a bit of a slippery slope. Wink