Day353 rambling

I am itching for a 100 miler, since I have been receiving emails/Facebook feed from Umstead about this Sat by noon eastern, the deadline for people who deferred to register.

I have kind of heard of Umstead before when I was searching for a 100 miler to attempt. Apparently, this race is built for first timer ultra (100 miler), in that it is a 4-loop course. The course has a 30 hr limit. There are ton of guides available in how to do this.

I went to the website and found the previous RD wrote a detailed guide how to attempt the Umstead. I was so moved by it – in gratitude. I came across the guide before a year ago and what I read didn’t make much sense then. There were a deep aprehension. This time I reread it after two failed attempts at trying a 100 miler (GSER). The light in me lighted up. Oh, that what you mean by lomg runs, oh, that what you mean about not wearing new shoes, oh, that what you mean about eating during the running. All the points I learned in the hard way in Atlanta.

The guide is so good I want to reread it again. He briefly alluded to why new people like me failed at ultras, 1. topograghy (yes!), 2. food (yes, yes), 3. heat (yes, yes, and yes). All three were my primary reasons of failing the first attempt. That day was too hot, and I was not eating enough (just one tuna sandwich for whole 25 hrs day), and I was getting lost left and right and lost so much time. I was a noob of a noob! The second attempt was just bizzare — also a noobish mistake.

Any way Umstead says they will take away all three problems – It is a loop course so, every 25 miles, you are back at the starting point. It eases on the logistic management (food/drink). It is held in April, relative cool weather in NC, near Releigh. Meal, also part of the logistics for it is easier to manage.

The guide mentions about arriving a day or two early. So runners can check the course but warn, don’t walk the whole course! The RD is very kind in leading it through step by step of how to do this race for newbies! Like how can you fail if someone is guiding you at every step?

I am sucker for it. I am ready to bite hook and sinker. When can I register?

Other race are the C&O Canal 100, I think this one is easy too (also kind of a loop – out and back), and Devil Dog, probably not as easy, but is in my alley, so could be doable. Devil Dog though is too close and we still have the covid problem in our area.

that’s all. I can’t wait to train for my first 100 mile run. I think I should get it done this time.


C&O Canal Towpath Marathon

Day 175 Race Report

If yesterday was a fluke, today was not. I again started the race late. All I got to blame is myself. I got to race of what I thought was an hour early and took my time eating my breakfast. I had a lot of fried rice. Somehow, as other people gathered up, I was staying confidently at my car. I saw other cars were still pulling in and thought I had plenty of time. Somehow, I took today starting time to be the same as yesterday. However, in fact the marathon started half an hour before the half.

By the time I walked up to the starting line, only the half marathon runners were still there. I don’t know why I did not check the race website for the start time beforehand. I made another rookie mistake.

The race director kindly informed me the race has started and I should start running. He told me the course and which direction to go.

Luckily, being half an hour behind was not as bad as yesterday of being an hour and half behind. I tried to catch up to the runners. I know they were about three miles out. The course was out and back four times and so I saw them usually running in the opposite direction but I never caught up to them. The closest I got was within two miles.

I was not able to catch up to any runners but I did catch up to those who walked. Officially I finished at 6 hours but unofficially my garmin time was 5:34 about the same as yesterday.

The weather was hot. I did not lube up myself today because I woke up late but surprisingly I did not get chaffed. Halfway through I felt a bister was developing on my left foot but I readjusted how I planted my foot and in the end no bister. I did not know you could do that.

If you think how could someone can run two marathons within two days, the answer is simple, you run very slowly. I tried to run fast but I was unable to do it. My time was 45 minutes slower than usual.

Was it hard for me? A marathon is a marathon. It seemed when I was running, the course seemed unending. Eventually, it did end. It was hard in that sense. However it was not extremely hard. I am at a point now in my training, where doing 20+ miles for a long run and the next day going out and do it again is typically what the plan calls for. I am supposed to be doing that much miles during the weekend.

I ended up using the races for my long runs.