On Saturday I did the 12hrs day event for Merrill's Mile up in N. Georgia. Its maybe an hour from me and run by the same people who do several races up there and own the hiker hostel we stayed at for my summer running camp last year. Its a one mile paved loop in an army ranger base. There is very little shade, if any on the course, depending on the sun. You can do 6hr, 12hr, 24 or 48
Two years ago I did the 6hr and got 29 miles in. It was rainy and "cool" for early july in GA that year, so that helped me then....
Mr. N drove me up there (he's really getting into going to some of these events with me lately
) and helped me set up a little shady spot, chairs and a cooler with my stuff. People have small umbrellas up, all the way to full on camping sets ups in the center of the course. Its kinda cool. Several running people I've done some things with were there, so I set up near them. The longer I do this, the more awesome it is to know people at all the events you go to, it makes it so much more fun.
We started at 9am, it was already very muggy and in the mid 70s. My goals were to go for the full 12hrs (not quit early) or do 40mi, or do more than 41.6 which is the longest run I've done...50 was a pie in the sky goal if it was cooler/rainy but yeah that was not the case. I felt pretty good right from the start, other ladies I spoke to were doing 2/1 or 3/1 intervals but were there for 24hrs. Some of my other buddies were there for 48 and were just having a good time, walking a lot and maybe some running. I knew if I wanted to get back my confidence I lost last fall and into this spring, I had to do my own thing and not waste too much time socializing (though i do LOVE to socialize). I even put on my headphones after only an hour just to stay focused. I did about 10 miles in the first 2hrs walking both curved ends of each loop right from the start while it was still not scorching hot. Mr. Noel left and got himself some breakfast and came back. He ran 3 with me and then stayed to watch me for one more before heading home until later. I think if he'd brought some gear and beer he would have stayed all day, he was really having a good time
Around 12:30 I had done maybe 15-16, can't remember but I had started to walk longer portions of each loop. I feeling kinda icky and tired and even walked most of 2 loops. Duh. Had some salt tabs and extra food and by 2pm I was feeling decent again. I decided I would speedwalk (for stubby sausage legs this is not very fast but I was trying) most of the first half and then run the second half into the finish each time. Somehow that was the perfect formula for me. As long as I did that, even when we switched directions, I was doing a 13-14min mile even through the heat. I saw LDR off and on and dude is a badass. He is so consistent, its amazing.
Also during this time, you can see everyone on both sides, so my buddies would yell stuff out or say I looked strong and we'd wave or whatever. They are all way more experienced than me, so their support was such a boost over and over, I can't even begin to tell you. And several of them I just met over the past month or so in group runs.
Around 5:30pm, I was still feeling pretty good, and sticking with my walk half, run half. It started to get really dark over the mountains and I thought YES rain!!! And then it got even darker and I thought, holy hell, is my little umbrella going to stay up through this? I wrapped my phone in some shorts and stuffed it in my cooler and piled all of my stuff under some blankets and the chairs in the smallest pile I could make and headed back out for another loop. Sure enough it started to rain, glorious rain! And then it started to REALLY rain. LIKE WALLS OF RAIN. and I got blown back and forth off the path
I turned the corner and could not even see the end of the loop or people, it was crazy! I was thinking we were all dead if it started lightning...but it didn't, as far as I know. Got back to the tent area and everyone's tents were wrecked and people were trying to put their things back up and wring out wet clothes. I helped a few people, best I could and yep my boy scout husband had solidly secured my sportbrella and it was standing proudly in a crowd of wrecked tents
Once people started getting their bearings back, I walked a loop in the rain that had eased up with a lady doing 24hrs and we chatted. Now it was after 6pm and I knew those last 3hrs would go fast and I needed to get moving again. I had started developing a blister on the ball of my foot, which never happens to me, but I guess same exact terrain and elevation (none) and shoes over and over for 9hrs will result in blisters. I had tried to tape it but now my shoes were wet and the tape wouldn't stay. I decided to just gut it out until I was done, and get back to my walk half mi/run half mi. At this point I think I was at about 34-36 loops? Not sure. I knew when I got 25mi in at 6hrs that my pie in the sky goal of 50 was not happening as I couldn't keep that pace for another 6hrs. So then I started thinking just get over 42! And I kept walk/running, even skipping the AS a few times (dumb) bc I was feeling pretty good.
Mr Noel came back with 4 of my kids around 7:45pm and I had just finished loop 44 I think? I was so excited to have already beaten my all time distance. I was feeling somewhat surly though and didn't want to get distracted from getting more done. My oldest dd walked/ran loop 46 with me and I had 28 minutes left, figuring I'd just have to do one more for 47 and that would be AWESOME! My blister was really hurting and I was tired but I was feeling pretty stoked about the whole day. Got back after loop 47 and Dh says: you have 13minutes left, you should do one more.
dammit. I gave him the finger bc I was tired and I knew he was right. I started walking a bit into the next loop and said to another runner lady, I think I have 13min for one more. She said RUN! Run as a fast as you can! And so I did. I ran the entire loop and finished with 3minutes to spare
As I came into the finish Dh was more ecstatic than me
He said later he was thinking "oh hell if she doesn't make it, she is going to be SO PISSED."
So 48miles and I'm happy with that. I have my first 50 at the end of September and this boosts my confidence in a big huge way, I needed that.
I got changed in my car, and out of my shoes. My feet had several blisters and looked like raw meat
The only painful one was the ball of foot blister, dang that hurt. We started driving home and stopped for me to get some food as I really hadn't eaten much since before 5pm. Usually I can wolf down 3 McDs cheeseburgers as thats the only time I eat them and for some reason they taste like heaven after a long long day of running. I barely made it through one and said I don't feel well. I grabbed the bag thinking I was going to throw up. Then everything started going dark and I said: I think I'm going to faint. I rolled down the window thinking that would help. Thats all I remember. Dh said I then said I'm going to die and started moaning really loudly (scared my kids
). He kept driving bc he was on the highway and started patting my leg. He thought I was just moaning bc I felt nauseated but I was completely out and didn't hear him or myself. All I remember is waking up and thinking ooooh I must have taken a nice nap, I really needed that! But it had been 2min of me being unconscious
They all asked me if I remembered moaning so loudly and I said no, and was all, hey this window is open!
It ultimately scared the hell out of all of us, especially thinking if I had been alone and driving
When we got into the house my oldest DS was there and said mom you are white as a ghost...he'd had no idea I had just passed out. I showered and got into bed, shivering and feeling so tired. BUT HAPPY
Thanks for reading. I'm eager to hear how the rest of LDRs day went