Thursday, July 24, 2008

2008 Vermont 100 Race Report

Pre Race
Friday night I arrived at the registration and medical check-in with Mark. I weighed in at 168 lbs. and then sat for the blood pressure and heart rate check. As this guy is measuring and noting my accelerated heart rate, he says to me with a concerned look “Are you nervous?” (That would be the first of some memorable quotes of the weekend.) UUmm… shouldn’t I be? Now I was really nervous. Was I the only one who was nervous?

I saw and met Emmy and Frank. That was cool, since I only knew them through blogland up to this point.

We then headed off to carboload at the 1815 House, not far from Bailey’s Mills B&B where we were staying. Heading to dinner and staying at the B&B were 15 of us: Shannon and my kids, Mark, Amy and their kids, Bruce (Mark’s pacer), Aime and their kids, and Keith and Kourtney. Dinner was awesome, except that Ciara got an insect bite of some sort and had a big welt. We’d have to keep an eye on that…

Friday night dinner (Mark, Amy, Shan, Me)

The Race
Mark and I worked up a detailed plan which would have us finish in 22:40. That would give an hour and 20 minutes cushion to hopefully slide in under 24 hours. Things started out great and it was awesome for the race to finally be underway at 4:00 AM. Weee… look at me I’m running 100 miles! Wooo hoooo!! Mark and I had a steady pace going and covered the first 7 mile section in 1:13:52. There were plenty of hills where we conserved by power walking. But as the race went on the power walking wasn’t much of a break as the hills were demanding.

We kept things going and rolled into Pretty House at 7:42 AM, which was 43 minutes ahead of our projected 8:25 arrival. As a result Mark’s crew (Bruce) wasn’t there yet. I saw my crew, Keith and Jana, and they sprayed on some lotion and grabbed me some fluids/gels and endurolytes. Originally Mark and I weren’t going to have a crew. It only developed as a way to give our pacers something to do while they waited for us to get to mile 70. I’m glad we ended up with some crew support because they were a big help. And my crew rocked!!! The first 21.1 miles was pretty smooth and uneventful. However, I was concerned that we were going a little too fast.

We pressed on and continued to get even more ahead of our plan. The last I checked, we were 1 ½ hours ahead of our schedule.

Some VT scenery

Coming into Stage Rd.

Typical aid station

Not too far after Stage Rd. Mark and I split up. I eased back on the pace as Mark was able to maintain. Over the next 17 miles I gave most of the bonus time back and arrived at Camp 10 Bear on schedule, just before 2:00 PM.

Just before Camp 10 Bear I felt a bug on my leg and looked down and it was big, mean looking and had wings. I swatted it, but didn’t quite knock him away. I think I just pissed it off and it retaliated with a hefty sting. Ouch.

At Camp 10 Bear aid station (mile 47) I weighed in and was down 10 lbs. 6% of my body weight!! I was drinking over a bottle an hour (~ 25 oz./hr.) I was peeing regularly. So I felt my hydration was ok. But apparently not. But to my surprise, no one said anything that I couldn’t continue. So I met up with my crew, changed my socks, ate some food and downed some fluids. It was awesome to see my family and friends. It was definitely a boost!

Heading into Camp 10 Bear (Mile 47)

Weight check at Camp 10 Bear. Uh oh. I lost 10 lbs. since the start.

Alex was having fun making faces while his Daddy was dying

The crew took care of me!

I headed out of 10 Bear and had a pretty good pace. I felt like it was a new race. The road was flat and I was moving good. All of the sudden the course took a sharp right straight up a long killer hill. I started up the hill and it felt like somebody ran me over with a truck. I got dizzy and could hardly breathe. My chest felt compressed. Whoa, did things come to a halt quickly! Suddenly I couldn’t manage another step up the hill. I had to sit down on the side of the trail to try and catch my breath. People passed me and asked if I was ok. It was bad enough to be sitting there, but to then have to say “I’m ok” to everyone passing by was annoying. I eventually mustered up enough energy to continue another third of the way up the hill, but then had to rest a second time. After about 15 minutes of catching my breath, I continued on and made it to Pinky’s station at mile 51.

Vulture circling overhead noticing that I'm wounded prey

I sat in a chair and had hit rock bottom. Man did I feel like crap!! A volunteer working at the station came up to me and said “You should drop.” (That’s the second memorable quote.) I guess I didn’t look to good. But I was pissed that he said that. How about a little encouragement? The guy then continued, “I can give you lots of advantages to dropping now.” I didn’t have enough energy to communicate with him, and it’s probably good that I didn’t. I rationalized that I just needed to sit for a few minutes to gather myself. His words annoyed me and even though I thought he may be right, I wasn’t going to drop there at his station. I’ll do it at the next one if I need to…
I continued on, but wasn’t moving too well. I fueled up at Birmingham’s (mile 54) and a downpour occurred. Sweet! It felt great! It cooled me down and allowed me to pick it up and make it to Tracerbrook.
The Tracerbrook aid station (mile 57) provided me with another boost, because Keith was there and he once again provided some much needed encouragement. Also, I saw Anthony and introduced myself. He also had some positive words. Talking with Keith and Anthony really helped to get me out of my funk. So I moved on and convinced myself that all I needed to do was focus on doing another half marathon and get back to Camp 10 Bear. And then I’d have Keith to pace me in the final 30 miles. That endeavor ended up being a little more challenging than I anticipated.
The long climb up Prospect Hill and then to Margaritaville and then to mile 65 was brutal. It really wore me down. I had to really focus on staying positive and moving forward. Along that stretch I heard memorable quote #3 of the race. A frustrated runner slammed his fist down and exclaimed “My f#*cking balls are going to chafe off!!” I felt bad but it was too funny.
After mile 65 I had a lift in energy because I was excited to see my family and friends soon as I passed by Baileys Mills B&B which was a mile before Camp 10 Bear. That’s where we stayed for the weekend and my family was going to be there as I approached 10 Bear for the 2nd time. Unfortunately I ran a little faster than I could handle and on stretch of downhill rugged jeep road I caught my foot on a rock and did my famous superman through the air crash and burn. Luckily I landed in some soft dirt but it knocked the wind from my sails a bit.
I made it to the B&B (only about ½ hour later than planned) only to find my family not there. I looked down the driveway to the B&B and everyone was at the house. I waved at them and they all came running down the driveway. Everyone except Shannon and my kids. What?? I was told they had to take Ciara to the ER for her bite, as it had gotten much worse. Oh man!!! I was ensured that she was ok and they were coming back with her antibiotic. Ok, that’s a little better. As I continued on to 10 Bear, Shannon was driving towards me to the B&B. Cool! She stops and rolls down the window and while crying says “This has been an awful day!!!” (That would be memorable quote #4) If it’s any consolation mine hasn’t been much better! She proceeds to tell me Ciara won’t take her antibiotic and asks me to help. So she rolls down the back window and I tried to feed Ciara her meds. I can only imagine what Ciara was thinking with sweaty, dirty, half dead Daddy coming through the window with a syringe of medicine!! Needless to say she wouldn’t take it from me either. Even in the middle of a 100 mile race, parenting doesn’t stop!!
I finally made it to Camp 10 Bear around 8:15 PM and met up with Keith. I was tired but at that point knew I could finish. Only 30 miles through the night to go! I sucked wind on the climb out of Camp 10 Bear. I struggled with catching my breath and was starting to feel nauseous. I told Keith I would have to trudge a bit until I felt better. Pretty soon though I was able to alternate in some bursts. I was also contending with frequent burning sensations to pee. And my pee was brownish. Not exactly pleasant. But I remembered Steve telling me he had that happen to him in his last 100 so I figured I could deal.
When I made it to West Winds station I was happy to see and talk with Jeff L, who I met last year at the VT 100 while pacing. We talked about the unfortunate cancellation of Western States which deprived him of his first 100 mile shot. He provided some encouragement and off Keith and I went.
At mile 83 I saw Anthony again who was now pacing his buddy Wayne who was passed out by a fire. It looked comfortable idea... but I continued on. The visibility was tough in some sections with the fog. It rendered the headlamps useless much of the time. On the rough trail sections through the woods it was cautious and very slow going.
After hitting Seargant’s station at mile 97.7 I had a surge of energy to just get the race done. I passed a few guys in the final miles. With a mile to go I was determined to finish strong. I covered it in 10 minutes and raised my hands and smiled as I crossed the finish line. 100 miles. 25 hours 19 minutes later. Done. It felt good. It was worth it.
It was long. It was difficult. I almost died. I can’t wait to do it again…

Me crossing the finish

Me and my pacer Keith

Showing off the boring plaque

(There were 266 competitors. 158 people made it to the finish line. I finished in 78th place. Check here for complete Results)

A huge thanks to Keith M. for pacing!! It was like he was a pro! Thanks also to Keith V. for shuttling us back and foe B&B to the start/finish!

Mark amazingly finished right on plan in 22:34. Incredible! Congrats!! And our friend Steve kicked some major butt and finished in 7th place with a blazing, mind boggling time of 18:29! Congrats to you Steve!! Your goal is to train me to get that time next year! Got it?

With Mark and Steve

P.S. Check out some awesome pics Frank took on the course.


AnthonyP said...

Many, many, many congratulations on finishing your first 100-miler. It was really great to finally meet you in person. Now you should have the 100-mile itch, so, go check out the Grand Tetons 100 and Javelina Jundred 100 and join me there in August and November !

Marcy said...

Oh my gawd! CONGRATS!!! ;D ;D Dude that's awesome, sounds like one heck of a trip (but then again what race that involves 100 miles isn't? LOL)! OMG those captions are too funny!

Bob Gentile said...

Awesome Re-Cap Scott... you did great bro and way to fight through the bonk battles... it is pretty wild huh, too feel so chitty then to come back!! yeah I am loving it too and plan to have many more bonk battles in my future--haha

and fk that volunteer telling you to drop--what BS! Glad you got that pissed off thoughts, thats the ultra running way :-)


Nitmos said...

That is awesome. Congratulations. I bet you finished first amongst those who had to attempt to administer medicines to a child mid race.

Curious. What percentage of the race would you say you ran versus walked? I wonder how that broke down.

Jonathan said...

Just wandered in here from Lauren's blog - CONGRATULATIONS!

Great post too.

jahowie said...

Wow!! What an experience!! Congratulations on finishing. I hope that your daughter is OK.

Jenn said...

Congratulations! I'm in awe.