"Its not what you look at, its what you see" Thoreau

"Its not what you look at, its what you see" Thoreau

Thursday, October 8, 2009

NorthCoast 24 hour

So, it is now Thursday - finally getting my act together to write my race report. As the legs are feeling back to normal again and feeling the desire to run, so is the brain and the desire to think!

24 hour races are all about discipline, patience, and the ability for the mind to be able to overcome the body's desire to be protected. And...I experienced them all.

What did I expect? I expected to be bored, to be fustrated, to race the clock...but after my first attempt...I learned, thankfully. What I didn't expect is for the tummy to get so messed up and to still be able to run after many bouts of throwing up! And now I learned that!

I can honestly say that my true passion is to be on the trails, to experience the true beauty of the woods, the peace, the lonliness...which all does not occur in 24 hour races. But I enjoyed how wonderful everyone was. Great to have finally met Debra Horn, see Kim Martin again, Connie Gardner, Anna Piskorska, as well as Phil McCarthy, Dave James, John Geesler Scott Jurek....such a wonderful group - as well as the many others who were looping and looping.

Below is my race report sent to my ultragroup which gives a bit more detail to the race. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this...it is all still settling in.

OK...forward motion...race is over, onto the next adventure!

RACE REPORT:_______________________________________________I apologize for the couple day delay...it has taken some time for me to settle in my thoughts from the event!First of all, in all of these races...it would be very hard to do well without wonderful suppport. Support in equipment, encouragement, mentally, and the faith the others have in you to succeed. Having others believe in you is HUGE. Knowing that these wonderful men - awesome crew, Mack Duett, Patrick Riccardi, Louis Scott, Adam Peruta, My Coach Scott Weber, as well as team runners, Matthew Chaffin, Todd Baum, Ryan O'Dell - ALL MADE THE DAY! I am so thankful for each and everyone of you!!! Having such an awesome set up made a huge difference. Everyone thought we were the main aid station! What wonderful treatment us UM runners had!

Ok - to the race report....I knew I was not going to make the same mistake twice. I unfortunately and fortunately have had some difficult races which thankfully helped me learn lessons to prepare me for this race. 1. Make sure to get a good amount of sleep. 2. Make sure to eat your own food, especially for me having celiacs. 3. Fueling and hydrating properly. 4. Bring the proper clothes for various conditions which may occur. Thankfully, I was smart in all of those departments. I arrived on Thursday and SLEPT. Friday, most of the day I SLEPT. Then I layed out my plan Friday afternoon, spoke with Coach Weber in detail with our game plan and felt confident that my goals were achievable and in order. Had dinner by myself and slept until Saturday Morning. Saturday - I was ready. NO nerves, prepared and ready to go. Since this was my first true 24 hour race, it was still a big mystery of what to expect. I knew my competition, not sure if they knew me...but I knew who I was going to be around most of the time. It is such a small world that coming to these races you start to see the same faces from other races. It all starts to blend in!The horn went off...and my coach said "Jill, walk." I'm thinking what? But I listened. "How are you doing? Want a drink? Feeling relaxed?"... I wanted to run! "Just walk to the end of the tents here (about 200 meters)". Looking back, that was such an incredible awesome move, really through my competition off. So, when it was time to run, I ran! Then, when it was time to walk...I walked. Every single lap, I walked. Every single lap I drank regimently. I knew my coach did not want to see me under a certain time, and he drilled those numbers in my head - When I was arriving at the tent and could see I was ahead of the game, I would sllllowww down! I started out the race feeling super super relaxed - which not knowing then but knowing now...was smart running. I had saved my energy and let it build up.Now, I pretty much enjoyed everyone in the race. In these 24 hour loops you get to know everyones name, where they are from, maybe what there goal is, etc etc.

As night came, my mind started playing tricks on me...hallucinating a bit! I would see faces on the back of peoples heads thinking they were running towards me and I was standing still, then the clouds were walls...etc etc. I had to keep shaking out of that. Not sure if I was dreaming and running, but it sure felt like it!Can't even say enough how thankful I was to have the UM guys taking care of me later on. Legs were getting a bit tight due to the flat asphalt running...and oh, maybe the many miles! So they took the "stick" and massaged my legs. They were just AWESOME in all ways - always ready when I came to the tent, which was every .9 miles! It actually kept me entertained to see who was next to hand me my drink! I really felt so special for the wonderful treatment! TOdd was awesome, I enjoyed seeing him every lap and was always cheering me on - he just kept going and going. I don't think I saw him stop once. Ryan, same thing. And always happy - never seemed down! Matt, he was a tough guy too! We all had a chance to hang out on the course at one point or another - especially at the very end when I was truly struggling. Ryan was sharing his race techniques with me for example "See that man in the red jacket...lets get him! Now, the man in the blue hat..get him!" I think he was in his "wolf" mode and we were after the kill! SO thanks to Ryan I was able to complete a couple of more laps. First female, fifth overall...that is a nice feeling!All in all, it was a wonderful experience. At what made it wonderful was our UM group and my coach. Like I mentioned at the beginning, it makes it very difficult to do these events and succeed if you do not have wonderful support. I hope to hear a race report from one of the crew...it is interesting to hear what happened on the other side. I want to say THANK YOU and apologize if I ever had an "attitude" with any of them. It does get very emotional at times and unfortunately the crew may take the brunt of it which I know is part of the game.OK....now, onto the next one!

It is all a learning process in this game, I am still learning

THANK YOU DRYMAX SOCKS FOR TAKING CARE OF MY FEET....I don't think I would have done so well without them..they have taken care of so many of us!!!


  1. AMAZING is all I can say!! And, you know you can even do better!! I look forward to being on the team with you and taking the gold medal. I know we can do it!!

    And good luck at the World 50K. It will be a fantastic experience.