As a coach it’s great to watch someone unpack a 100 mile event for the first time. My client and good friend Lisa Decker did just that this weekend at Rio Del Lago 100. I shared pics throughout her day on my FB page and had moments when I felt relieved that I wasn’t the one running the event.
Despite fighting a chest cold all week I had committed to supporting her and it was worth enduring cold temperatures in the evening and a runny nose/cough throughout the day to support her through the toughest miles of her journey. We had some good times between miles 51 to 83. Needless to say I am glad my Garmin fritzed out before midnight. The 10 hours of pacing Lisa just flew by with laughs along the way.
I know for many, 100 miles is painful. BUT you really do need to look at what I call the golden nuggets of your journey. 100 miles isn’t supposed to feel good. If they did, more people would run them. But for those of us who are out there running these races year after year, it’s a total blast (sounds sadistic but true), and I’m sure many of you have some great stories that you will reflect on for the rest of your lives.
GU Time- Bree: Take your GU. Lisa : I’m going to throw up if I take a GU. Bree: you need calories, take it! Lisa : We could ruin our friendship over this. Bree: It’s okay, you will at least finish your race and then we can makeup later. (She takes the gel, starts gagging and dry heaving ) Bree: Forget it! Lisa: I told you so.
Fuel Plan- Bree: Okay, we know what you are going to get at the next aid station, right? Liquids and some solids. Lisa: Right! Bree: You need calories. Lisa: Right! (Arrive at AS with crew) Lisa: Dan I need my warm clothing. (Digging through clothes) Bree: Lisa you need calories Lisa: Right!
Extra Distance- Lisa: Oh shit, stop! Bree: Why? Lisa: You have to go back. I forgot my glove at No Hands (I shine my light at her and see she’s waving her naked hand at me) Bree: Come back with me Lisa: No, you go back and get it. You can run Bree: Okay, but just so you know, I say leave it. Lisa: My hands will freeze Bree: Okay, I’ll run back. Lisa: Okay, I’m going to keep going and you catch me.
100 Miles- Lisa: Why do you enjoy running 100 mile races this isn’t fun! Bree: They aren’t for everyone. But for me, it’s an event that tests one’s endurance and the ability to press on during the low points. Lisa: When do you hit your low points? Bree: Usually at mile 65 Lisa: I hit mine at 37 and I’m hitting a low point now.
On Course- Bree: Hmmm…I don’t see a reflective marker Lisa: I think this is right. Bree: Do you remember running this way? Lisa: I don’t remember my brain is fried. I think I am hallucinating Bree: You don’t remember running this paved road? Lisa: Oh my gosh, you missed it! I just saw the most amazing shooting star.
Moments like these are what make the 100 mile experience unique to any event. If you are ever given the opportunity to pace/ crew , take it! It’s an opportunity to see what it’s like to be on the other side.
Congratulations again Lisa Decker!
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