1) What made you want to run 100 miles?
It really came about rather quickly. That is, it wasn’t a long standing goal. My wife ran a 50 mile trail race which convinced me to do one as well. Her goal was to do a 100 mile race but she got injured. So I just picked up the torch.
2) What were your biggest challenges leading up to the race?
The long, arduous training schedule was difficult with my job responsibilities. Additionally, I got the flu a month before the race which limited some training.
3) Were you feeling confident going into the event?
Strangely, even with missing some training, I felt confident. My legs felt strong. I knew I had put in the effort for 10 months.
4) Did you have any emotional or mental struggles during the 100 miles that stand out?
I call the miles between 14-20 the “dead zone” during a marathon. Generally, the 1/2 marathoners split off and the crowd thins out. It’s mentally challenging to get through this. In this race, the “dead zone” for me was mile 60-75 (I just wanted to get to the last loop). Also, my left iliopsoas locked up at mile 70 and I had to essentially walk the last 30 miles.
5) Did you make any mistakes that others can learn from?
My light was an issue as there was mist/fog. I had not tried the light in those situations and it was a little hard to see. Otherwise, my coach and I had a race plan and I followed it.
6) What kind of support did you have during the race and how did that help?
My wife was at the start/finish with food and snacks. A 100 mile race is a long time to subsist solely on “sweet” nutrition. Also, I had a friend pace me from 50-75 miles and my wife paced me the last 25. Having pacers is critical in my view.
7) Describe your low point in the 100 miles...
My left iliopsoas locked up about mile 70. At this point, I knew that running was going to be limited. The thought of walking 30 miles was a mental hurdle that I had to overcome.
8) Did you ever think you wouldn't finish?
9) What did you gain from this experience?
A sense of accomplishment. It confirms the notion that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve your goals. You also develop a healthy respect for this degree of athletic endeavor.
10) What would you tell a rookie?
Once you decide to tackle a 100 miler, find a coach or a training plan and stick to it. It’s a long journey and there will be some bumps during training. Stay focused, stay injury free, and run the race—>GO GET THAT BUCKLE!!