This episode is a Blackbeard Revenge’s 100 mile race recap in audio journal format. Enjoy!
Why did I decide to run a virtual Blackbeard’s Revenge 100 mile?
1: it’s still on my bucket list
I’ve wanted do do a 100 mile ultramarathon since 2010. Timing was never right (see also: infertility, 2 pregnancies) and I wasn’t a mature enough runner to do this a decade ago.
Still, I’ve never stopped thinking about it. A 100 mile race was always that “something” I’d do someday.
2: it’s 2020
The running joke right now is 2020 is the worst year ever.
It hasn’t been great for us, either. Coronavirus made me a homeschooler (something I’m not great at).
Our summer beach trip was cancelled. Some of my closest friendships have been harmed as a result of differing opinions on quarantine. I needed something good.
3: the unique opportunity
A virtual option means I got to choose my route, which gave me a lot of advantage as a SAHM of 4 who feels a lot of Mom guilt from taking time away to do running related efforts.
Virtual means no travel, no babysitter to hire so grandparents have extra hands, lower safety concerns, no unfamiliarity with the route.
In fact, I got special permission to split between two the treadmill and my neighborhood, since my favorite local greenway is a park that closes at dusk.
Fuel, extra clothes, and aid were set up in our garage as if it were the actual course and I never touched my bedroom the entire race!
Why? I didn’t need the temptation off my comfy bed or the air conditioning. Know thyself- I’d have found a reason to quit!
I essentially picked the hottest day of the summer so far to do Blackbeard’s Revenge 100 miler. I saw the weather beforehand, so it wasn’t a surprise but I will say 90 degrees looks a lot cooler on your iPhone two days before.
Miles one through 10, 10 through 20, and 20 through 30 were loops in my neighborhood.
Every 10 miles, I stopped to care for my feet, change into new socks and shoes, and change shorts. I never did change my sports bra, but the shorts were so heavy with sweat it was necessary every couple of hours!
At mile 30, my friend and ZYIA teammate Stacey came to join me for a handful of miles. We had originally planned to do about five together but it was oppressively hot and I called the outdoor segment at mile 34 at just shy of 7 hours, right on pace.
Even in the garage, it was really hot but I had an industrial fan pointed toward me and a huge supply of ice cubes to put under my hat, in my sports bra, and soak washcloths in to wrap around my neck.
I did a few hose soaks, too but I have to say ice cubes in your hat is absolutely the best hot weather running hack there is!
From the treadmill, I kept the same pattern I had outdoors. I stopped every 10 miles to fuel, care for my feet, change shorts, and write my mileage on the chalkboard.
Writing on the chalkboard was actually a real mental lift I didn’t expect!
We live on a golf course, so as much as I despise the hills I really appreciate the mix of a hilly terrain in between flat treadmill efforts!
I had mental lifts right when I needed them. Christian, age 6, ran a full outdoor mile with me.
My friend Jackie stopped by to run 4 miles with me in the neighborhood, too.
As much as I enjoyed the miles together, the mental anchor of knowing Jackie would be here was just as uplifting throughout the day.
“Jackie at 7pm, Jackie at 7 pm” was a mantra and her company delivered!
I did miles 70-75 outdoors and then came in when it got dark outside. The humidity is much less aggressive at night & it felt really good to be outside. Even with all the hills!
This wasn’t a super public social media thing because, quite honestly, I didn’t need that kind of pressure!
Only a few people in my inner circle knew I was doing this.
I needed the check ins more than I thought I did and they were amazing, keeping tabs on me all day long. It is not lost on me that I did this on a random Monday and everybody was really busy!
They checked on me ALL day, including a text and check in at 1am!
One of my pals reminded me to remember my WHY and another said “finish better than you started”. Both gave me the additional boosts I needed to keep going in real pain cave moments.
Here’s where I threw up and threw up some more. I will spare you the details.
19 hours of healthy digestion, though. I’m proud of this!
By this point, I was reduced to a walk. Every time I tried to run, I felt like I had to throw up again. Walking, albeit at a conservative pace, allowed me to move forward.
Could I have sat down, let my stomach settle, and started running again?
I don’t think so.
Every time I sat down, it was really hard to get moving again so I was satisfied to do a slow grind.
My Husband ran with me from miles 97-99. I’d love to tell you it was because he wanted to be a part of it but I honestly think he didn’t want me passing out somewhere in the neighborhood by myself.
By this point, I was back outside because I couldn’t cool down indoors. I’m pretty sure I was dangerously close to heat exhaustion (but that’s hindsight).
I didn’t feel euphoria in the final miles of my 100 mile race- never expected to, though!
It was so far beyond what I’d ever done (my farthest to this point was 65 miles at Nutcracker 12 hour), I knew I would need all the physical and mental reserves I could get.
And that’s why we do stuff like this, right? To challenge ourselves and to show what the body can do with God given fortitude.
Had I felt good in the final miles, it would have been a let down.
I felt like crap. And that’s good.
I finished in a painful, yet invigorating 24 hours, 58 minutes. Next to having triplets, a 100 mile race is the craziest thing I’ve ever done!
Have you done a 100 miler? Planning one? I’d love to hear about it!