VT100k 2014 Race Report Part I

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Wow.
I ran. I walked. I was mad. I walked some more. My feet hurt. It was really, really late. Somehow, I finished.
Okay, thanks for reading.

What’s up with that?
I’m fighting writing about my 1st 100k cause I’m still dumbstruck. That was one roller coaster ride of feelings. But, two+ weeks seemed long enough to procrastinate. This was twice as far as I’d ever run. Well, run is probably the wrong word. I’ll back up a bit.

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All day Thursday, I was a jittery mess. It was the last day of work before my run-cation. Most of our race stuff was ready to go. Just some last minute items to tidy up. I hadn’t slept a full night in two weeks. By that night, though, I finally slept straight through. Friday, I was up at dawn, packing frozen smoothies and h20 bottles in our drop bags. I ticked off both mine and hubby’s items for the race into the truck.
What about my gaiters? Nah. Skip those. Every time I where them, it rains.
Driving to West Windsor, I practiced savoring every moment. For six long months, I’d been counting down the days. Now, here we were. Unbelievably, I hadn’t combusted before the big day. Maybe I could slow down time to make this last.
We arrived to Silver Hill early in the day. New friends, Krista and Guy and their family, were arriving too. Guy has run the full VT100 five times! Krista has won the 100 mile horse and rider race! Ben was there, too. Fast Ben, from Twin State 50 running his 1st hundred. I met Amy Rusiecki, the new RD. Oh, man. The day was already off to a great start.
Tent City was on the rise, little slashes of reds and blues against our lush summer greens.
Beyond the registration tent sits the old finish line.

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The arch picture I took last year. For this year’s event, It was moved into the woods (unhappy neighbors). I wish I’d gotten a night time image of it. It’s lit up and glorious to cross under. Unfortunately, I could care less about snapping pictures at 3ish Sunday morning. The new finish is just beyond this path.
Our wonderful friend Dr. Rick is the new medical direct for the event. I think he was as excited to be there as we were. As modest as I am, I dragged him around, introducing MY friend to anyone who would listen. Thanks, friends for bearing with my excitement level. Thanks, Dr. Rick for humoring my enthusiasm.
We weighed in. I could have hugged the medical staff for not flagging me as a ‘pretend runner’.
Hubby and I met up with his crew and pacer, Tony and Jeremy. My race folks, we’d catch up with later. The four of us talked ultrarunning. We talked race strategy. I was in heaven. I was with my people.
At the pre race meeting, I cheered and clapped like the newbie I am. I noticed folks fiddling with their phones and reading the newspaper, bored. Really? I was enraptured with everything said. I guess I’m so green it hurts. So be it. I hope I never tire of the gift of the pre race meeting. Seriously. We’re all on vacation. And in paradise. And about to eat an enormous meal with reckless abandon. Calories be damned. What’s so important on a damn phone right now?
At dinner, I ate. And ate. And ate some more. And then I waddled to the truck, thoroughly exhausted from spinning my wheels. My eyes where unfocused from exhaustion. Hubby guided me to bed. I hoped and prayed for some new strength tomorrow. Cause I sure had little to nothing left in the tank now.
Later, at our hosts, Deb and Terry’s house, we tried to unwind and rest. Resting the night before an ultra feels like an exercise in comedy.

you sleeping yet?
no, you?
no.
Pause.
you sleeping?
no. You?
And so on.

I prayed harder and more earnestly than I’ve ever prayed. God, I know I ask for a lot. Can I ask for more? Can you grant me some sleep? Please? And renewed strength. I want to run this race well. Can you stay with me?

Maybe a few hours of sleep, and it was time. It was really time.

Part II soon.

Thanks for running with me,
Astrid

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