Race Schedule

2018 Races…TBD!

Friday, July 31, 2009

My Achey Breaky...Butt

I had a great 4-mile run yesterday morning along the lakefront, felt good during it for the most part, but could definitely tell my legs are still in recovery mode. I ran three miles in Iowa on Sunday, so yesterday was my second run since Vermont, and today I ran another 4 miles in the morning, same route as yesterday. But today, ah yes, today was a BEAR!

I felt energized and wonderful after my run yesterday, good stretch, good foam roll session, did a weight workout during my lunch break with some squat sets, slept like a baby. Then I decided to push my luck and do it again. To be fair, I feel mentally stellar, like yesterday. It's just my body that's rebelling against me. Specifically, my left hip and glute. It does not feel good. It bothered me during the run, but only in a shake-out-the-stiffness kind of way, like the beginning of many runs. After rolling my left ankle in a dip I didn't give notice to, it became top of mind. By the time we reached where we turn left, by Navy Pier, it hurt to lift my leg up, but I could still do it. It felt very much like I needed to pop my hip, but couldn't. Uncomfortable. Geof said I was frowning the entire time. It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't great. I stretched and foam rolled, concentrating on the piriformis and gluteus medius, and it's better, but I can still feel it as I walk around the office. It's a little off.

Ah, the joys of ultrarunning. Oh well, I guess I need to pay Dr. Dave another visit for an adjustment, darn :) I know he'll look at me after I explain my ailment and say, "Um, Paige, you just ran ONE HUUUUUUNNNDRED MIIIII-LES. Of course it doesn't feel right, you big doofus." That's a typical response (with the number of miles changing depending on the race I just did).

I know, I'm still in recovery, and it has barely been two weeks since Vermont, but I miss my running :( It's amazing how the body can rally for something like a 100 mile run, but throws up the white flag when it comes to short little recovery runs. Ah, the mysteries of the human body. It's looking like I'll be mostly crewing tomorrow at Sunburn Six in the Stix, cheering on my fellow CHUGs. I simply cannot wait to see everyone; I feel like it's been eons (even though it's barely been a month)!

Onward with the recovery. I heart run.

Crash, out.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Deep Thoughts

As I sat on the train out to my mom's house last night, and in between cat naps, I pondered Vermont. Everything I experienced, everything I did, everything I did not do...everything. I should probably put this in some sort of race log or something, but right now I feel like sharing with you what I took away from the whole experience, now that it's been over a week since finishing.

A first 100 is "kind of a big deal" so I want to remember what exactly I did so that I can learn from mistakes and from good decisions.


I think I really nailed this somehow, and I didn't even go in with a "plan" per se, but just went by what I was craving the day before the race... :)

-One S!Cap every 45 minutes for the first 70 miles, then pulled back slightly and one per hour the remaining time.

-Carried one bottle of plain water, and one bottle of Perpetuem per hour the entire race. After Bill's (~mile 88) I wasn't as disciplined, but the swelling in my hands did go down so I'm thinking I did something right. At mile 70, I was up a total of 6 pounds (yowza!) so I was asked to ease off the liquids a bit. Puffy hands, and I could tell my feet were swollen, but they weren't as noticeable as my hands were.

-Two Clif Shot Bloks or 1 gel per hour the entire day. By mile 88 the taste of either of these was even less desirable than lima beans (and I hate lima beans!), but I still choked them down on schedule and never had any true nausea. I did get short bouts of it towards the end, but I think that was mostly due to the fact that I was tired of everything and just wanted a big ol' hamburger!

-At every crew accessible aid station, I had a chocolate Ensure. And throughout the race, I had about 3-4 Starbuck's Doubleshot drinks. When I was hanging low on the energy scale, Geof was always ready with one of these and boy did they not only wake me up, but they gave me a serious boost of happy energy! I felt good about 15 minutes after drinking a Doubleshot, yum!

-Aid station food: I only ate watermelon slices, boiled potatoes with salt, a cup of ginger ale and ramen noodles at any given aid station, but never all at once. It was very rare (once, maybe twice) that I grabbed anything else. I wasn't craving anything at the stations, other than the watermelon, and I was never so hungry that I needed anything other than what I was carrying already...but if there was a hamburger at Bill's I would have devoured it! Plus, I didn't want to eff up my "plan" :)

-I know I ate some random small items from the car whenever I saw Geof, but I cannot recall what it was...trail mix perhaps? He had mixed up M&Ms, raisins and peanuts in a bag and I know I had a handful at some point. Maybe an Oreo? Not sure :)

-Due to my awesome intake of liquids I was peeing like the dickens! I'm not sure if it's bad or not, but about 60 miles in I needed to answer nature's call close to every 20 minutes.


I washed my feet with soap and water twice (maybe even three times) when I saw Geof, and put on clean socks 5 or 6 times. I also brushed my teeth twice. Seriously, brushing my teeth made me feel like a new woman each time. Changing socks was pure heaven, and even more so when my feet were fresh and clean!

Changed my shoes, from my Cascadia trail shoes to my Glycerin 7 road shoes, at mile 47. My feet were feeling bruised from all the pavement-like pounding on the gravel roads, and the shoe swap made a huge difference.

Speaking of...


I started out in Drymax Trail Lite socks (love those), but after 21 miles, I needed a change, and to pop some blisters. What?! Geof lubed up my feet generously with Body Glide every time I saw him, and I changed my socks each time to another pair of Drymax (either Trail or Run Lite's after my first pair), until mile 70 when I decided to just eff it and put on a pair of hyper thin Nike Dry Fit socks under a pair of Smartwool. No additional blisters after that. Hmmm. The blisters I already had from the day stuck around, and at Bill's a medic looked at them and said they were just calluses. Um, no, sorry, that's liquid in there! Ain't no callus! They wouldn't do anything with them, so I replaced my socks and was happy again when they were numbed once more a bit down the trail. At the finish line medical tent, the head doc lanced my blisters and put iodine on them. He said from now on to wear only socks made of the stuff that Drymax is made of (starts with a P, but can't think of it now) and to never put sticky stuff on blisters (ie tape of any kind, moleskin, etc.), which sounds completely ridiculous to me, but hey, he's the doc, not me.


Geof is MacGyver. He had everything, and then some. Things of note to remember for my next hundred:

-Towel: for cleaning feet, for sitting on, for wiping off mud, vaseline, gu, drying hands after washing, etc. It's a very versatile little tool :)

-Soap: for cleaning feet and hands and making you feel fresh as a daisy.

-Clippers: for nails the night before the race when you suddenly realize you forgot to clip the tootsies down.

-Body Glide: a big ol' thing of this stuff might get you all the way through the race. I was glutenous with this stuff!

-Toothbrush/toothpaste: for removing the sweater-like feeling on your teeth from hours upon hours of ingesting Perpetuem and Shot Bloks. Gross.

-Small cooler with ice: for the Doubleshots and Ensure...nothing beats cold drinks during a hot race!

-Jugs of water: for cleaning feet, hands, filling bottles ahead of time, rinsing your legs off after a bathroom misfire trail side :)

-Wet wipes: the kind that are like moist toilet paper...whoa, made me feel like a million bucks more than once!! Good for your face, your tush, and any area that's feeling ripe :)

-Vaseline: to help fend of "fire in the hole". Note to self: apply before it becomes an issue :) You can also use Body Glide for this, but I wasn't too keen on using that on the rest of my body if it had been 'other places'.

-Ziplock bags: to separate everything so stuff is easy to find...I had a blister bag, a batteries and headlamps bag, a Blok and Gu bag, etc. Helps keep things kind of organized.

-Drop bag-like bags: for just in case you decide last minute to put together a drop bag. At Vermont, with a crew/pacer combo, this was very easy to do midway through the race as Geof was able to stop off at 10 Bear and Bills on his way to the shuttle bus (to begin pacing duties) and drop off drop bags for us so that we weren't SOL once he began pacing. Worked out great!


I had four pair of shoes, but only used two. I liked knowing I had other options though. I had more than enough clothing to clothe a third world country, and used maybe 10% of it, but I was also glad to have options here, too. I changed my shirt once, wore a versatile jacket for wind/rain protection that has removable sleeves so once the sun was up I took the sleeves off and wore it as a vest most of the day, one pair of Moebens (the eco sleeves) that were great for the night running portions when I didn't feel like putting the sleeves back on the jacket, a bandanna for cleaning my glasses if I smudged them, my Nathan vest to carry camera, Bloks, Caps, Perpetuem packs, discarded clothing items, etc. I faithfully wore my chili pepper shorts the entire race, but I really thought I had put a pair of shorts in my Bills drop bag, so that's why I stuck with the same shorts all race. They were just fine, but a clean pair would have felt good at mile 88 :) I had on my Headsweats hat the entire race, too. It's a great hat and it doesn't let sweat pool on your forehead. Very comfortable.


My favorite part :) While I sat in the medical tent, Geof brought me a PB, honey and banana sandwich to munch on. Delish! I ate a hotdog at lunch and some kind of vegetable pasta salad, drank water, and about a gallon of Powerade! On the drive back to Burlington, I munched on our trail mix, took my vitamins (I made sure I kept up on these throughout the weekend), drank 20 ounces of Succeed Clip 2 (per Karl King's instruction), and then continued with the water. That night, I devoured a Whopper (yummmmm!) and fries, then thought I'd explode, but not before taking the first packet of Succeed Recovery vitamins. I followed this up for three more nights. You take one packet each night for 4 total nights after a very hard effort (ie any ultra event, really). I should also note that a half hour before the race began, I took the Succeed Pre-Race vitamins. As I had very little muscle soreness in the wake of this, I'm going to sing Succeed's praises and continue with the Pre-Race/Recovery packs in the future.


Don't try to run 21 trail miles in the hills of Vermont without first checking to make sure you have packed enough Perpetuem and S!Caps for the distance. How did I forget to do this? I don't know, but thankfully Dave S. and Sean A. were generous enough to give me some salt caps to cover me for the time being. Thank you, thank you!!!

Don't assume there will be water at every aid station...when you're in the back of the pack :) The first three stations didn't have any water. That sucked.

Be proactive about feet. Fix them before their a problem, or as soon as you notice any pains. Makes a big difference!

Eat throughout. I can't imagine what my stomach would have been like if I hadn't done this.

Drink often.

Have a crew who will understand what you're saying even when you sound like you just celebrated your 21st birthday...in Cancun...and fell asleep with a bottle of tequila. Geof totally got it and if I couldn't form a coherent verbal sentence, he had suggestions at the ready and each time he was right :) He was also a maniac with the Body Glide on my feet!

Always have extra batteries on you. You just never know.

Memorize song lyrics ahead of time if you're not allowed to wear an mp3 player. This will come in handy in the lonely hours when you are bored out of your mind, and will keep you from going nuts repeating the same line over and over again because you don't know the rest of the lyrics...or prevent you from singing Christmas carols in July.

Keep your spirits up! Being and feeling happy during this kind of an event is tough, but it makes a huge difference in the outcome. Who wants to slog through a hundred miles in a crappy mood? That's about as desirable as doing it injured. Have things along to cheer you up, bring a crew/pacer that you know...the lift you get from anticipating and then seeing a familiar face along the way is incredible...tell jokes, talk to other people...you never know who you'll meet, or what you'll learn from others...and make sure to laugh at yourself when you find yourself getting down on things, or you trip and fall, make a wrong turn, or what have you. Just laugh it off! You paid to do this, so have fun with it!

Well I think that about does it. I consider myself pretty darn lucky! I feel great, don't have any real complaints other than some bruise-like pain on the tops of my feet, in the aftermath. My knees and shins never really bothered me (my main concerns going into the race). I had some pretty decent soreness in my quads, but everything else was nonexistent within two days, and I was walking normal by Wednesday. I was able to climb the stairs to the 2nd floor of the bed & breakfast the night after finishing without much trouble, though it must have looked pretty funny :) And, aside from the tough 3-mile run I had on Saturday, I feel pretty ready to get back at it...slowly, but surely. Not bad for a first hundo!

Up next: the CHUGs first fat ass event is this Saturday, Sunburn Six in the Stix (six hour run) and I'm going to try and ek out a few miles, but otherwise will stick to 'crewing' for everyone :)

Crash, out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Paid For 30 Hours, And I Got My Money's Worth!

"The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running." ~Author unknown


I went, I saw, I conquered. Where does one start with this kind of a race report? This was pretty huge for me, and there was a lot that happened that I don't want to leave out here, but I'm going to do my best to share as much as I can without putting you to sleep too much with all the text :) For starters, here was the dominant view of the weekend (at this point, it was sunrise on Saturday morning, as Geof drove to meet me at mile 21):
This was my first attempt, and subsequent finish, at the 100 mile distance and it was everything I hoped it would be, nothing I feared it could be, and had all the makings of an experience I will never forget. Geof volunteered to crew and pace me and we flew out of O'Hare early Thursday morning and landed in Burlington, Vermont that afternoon, picked up our car, and went right to the bed and breakfast we would stay at that night, and again on Sunday night after the race.

After dropping our stuff in our room, we went for a stroll up Main Street to Church Street (the big strip in downtown Burlington) to grab some food, and ended up at Boloco Burrito, yum!
After food, some more strolling, and more pictures, we stopped off at the Ski Rack, across the street from the B&B, to grab some race stuff for me and splurge on the Patagonia shirts they had on sale which we were both looking to stock up on for winter running, perfecto! A flash thunderstorm hit and we dashed across the street to clean up and head to dinner at the Vermont Pub & Brewery before hitting the hay.

Friday, we got up when we woke up (no alarm!) and were out the door by 10:30. We had a little more than a 2 hour drive down to Windsor, VT, where race HQ were. I would have to submit to a little health check and then attend a runner-crew pre-race meeting, so we needed to be there before 3:45.
The "R" and "E" in RICE :)
Damon Lease weighing me

Geof got my first ever "jumper photo"...last time I can get air like that for a few weeks!
I think the tent goes up first, then you lay in it dear :)

Now it was time to put up the tent, organize the car so everything would be in order and ready for race day. I finally got to meet Serena Wilcox while we pitched the tent; she recognized my pearls and introduced herself. She would later take 3rd woman in her first 100-miler, rock on Serena! Talk about a chick with great energy and enthusiasm! Tent city:

Next up we had the pre-race meeting, and then dinner, which was awesome! We found Jeremy, Vermont Mike, Jeff L., Jamie, Stephen and Kelly, chatted for a bit, then headed into the meeting.Jeremy and I sharing deep thoughts...

By the time dinner wrapped up and we headed back to the tent, I was spent! Pam walked up as we strolled to the tent and we chatted a little, it was so great to finally meet you, Pam!!! Once we were settled in the tent, it began to rain, and rain, and rain, and rain...you get the idea. Oh well, at least I sleep well when I can hear the pitter patter of the rain :) I slept on and off, but was very comfortable (thanks to the sleeping pad Jim O'Brien lent me! Thanks, Jim!!) and felt pretty good rolling out of the tent around 2:30 a.m. At the car, I suited up, finishing up with the most important part of my running outfit:
The pearls!!

In the pee pee line right before the start...boy did I need to go!

At 4:00 a.m., we were off!!! I handed Geof my 1/4 eaten bagel and kissed him goodbye, "see you in 21 miles!" And into the dark we headed. I've never run in the dark, except for some well lit running along the lakefront path at night, so this was very new to me...and totally exciting! I was in the very back of the pack, right where I wanted to be, and I caught up to Pam and Susan, whom I would spent some of the thirties and most of the forties running with. What great company they were! After the first uphill, I moved ahead a little bit and found myself alone for a short stretch. Eventually I caught up with Seth and Donny. I stuck with these guys into the early daylight hours and really enjoyed their company. I had 'met' Seth at Pineland Farms this year, and we soon realized this and caught up on stuff, talked to Donny about his races, laughed, and encouraged each other. A great pair of dudes! Somewhere before mile 15, Taftsville, I got separated from them, and I ran past a guy on an uphill who looked up and said, "Paige? Pepper shorts?" I stopped and turned and said it was me, and he introduced himself as Dave Souza, and that he was a fan of my blog, sweet! I felt like a celebrity this weekend, as this happened more than a dozen times throughout the race. Dave looked great, and he was a lifesaver when he gave me a couple of S!Caps when I realized I had forgotten to put mine in my vest (and forgot to grab extra Perpetuem! Woops!). Thank you so much Dave!

At Taftsville, Seth and I met up again and then he left me in the dust as he left the AS faster than me. We wouldn't run together again until it was dark once more, hopefully I was as much a help to him mentally as he was to me. It makes a big difference having someone else there when it's dark and cold.

Speaking of which, I knew I was really going to appreciate having Geof there with me, but I had no idea how MUCH a difference it was going to make for me. He changed the game for me and I will always remember that :) Knowing he was going to be at certain aid stations put new life into my legs each time, and I was able to run it in at times when I thought I didn't have anything left. Looking forward to seeing him smile and reassure me that everything was going well made a world of difference. I now know what Jeremy was feeling when he said that Becca got him through the Maine Marathon last fall, qualifying for Boston...I thought he was just being cheesy, but now I totally get it :) I spent a lot of time at the handler aid stations, changing socks every time, tending to some blister issues a couple of times, drinking a Starbucks Doubleshot followed by an Ensure, filling up my bottles (one with water, one with Perpetuem), grabbing more Clif Shot Bloks and gels, changing my shirt once, swapping out my handheld for my headlamp, grabbing batteries, jacket, Moebens, changing my shoes once (from my Cascadias to my Glycerin road shoes), etc. But I think that the time I spent at these stations was much needed; I'm not sure I would have fared so well if I hadn't taken the time I did each time, so I don't regret it at all. I brushed my teeth twice (mile 47-Camp 10 Bear, and mile 88-Bill's), and was really glad I changed into my road shoes at mile 47...the gravel sections were dominating and were much like running on pavement, so the extra cushion was much appreciated! I also am really glad I bought the Eddie Bauer jacket I had along...it's water resistant, wind proof, lots of pockets, reflective, and had removable sleeves so it could be just a vest (which is how I wore it most of the time). It was the second best piece of clothing I wore all day, aside from my Atayne shirts of course!
Tammy, just before Pretty House...someone who takes more pictures than Geof and I combined, and what a fantastic chick!! Her energy and spirit (as Geof would say) were unmatched and I really enjoyed running with her. Congrats on your finish, Tammy, you looked beautiful in all your pink glory!

At Tracer Brook (~mile 57) we decided that Geof would not meet me at Margaritaville (mile 62) so that he could get back to base camp and catch the shuttle bus back to Camp 10 Bear (mile 70) to begin pacing me when I arrived. Thus, I needed to go ahead and get ready for the night, and we through some extra items in two last minute drop bags (one for Camp 10 Bear, and one for Bills) that he would drop off on his way back to base camp. These bags were lifesavers! Though I probably should have swapped the 10 Bear bag for the Bills bag, a little poor planning on my part, but nothing major...I just forgot fresh shorts and an Ensure in the Bills bag. I grabbed my flashlight, figuring it wouldn't be that dark when I got back to 10 Bear (which it was!), my kickass EB jacket, Moebens and the rest of the Perpetuem, Bloks and Bandaids for my feet. Off I went!
Leaving Tracer Brook

I'm not gonna lie, I was sad I wasn't going to see Geof at Margaritaville, but it turned out to be fine; it would have been a waste of time for both, and he'd have risked being late to 10 Bear if he met me at Margaritaville. I ran in, grabbed some ginger ale, a cup of ramen noodles, used the potty and was out pretty darn quickly. A quick note: I never spent more than two minutes (if that) at any of the aid stations that Geof wasn't at, which was the vast majority of the 29 aid stations. This saved me lots of time, and sanity :) I refilled my bottles each time, ate watermelon, and used the bathroom if there was one. That's it. I also stuck very tightly to the food I was carrying...Perpetuem in one bottle, water in the other, 2 Clif Shot Bloks or 1 Gu per hour, 1 S!Cap every 45 minutes...and only had watermelon, soup and ginger ale at the stations. I wasn't craving much of anything I didn' t already have on me. Plus, Geof had us pretty well stocked at the major stations with the Starbucks Doubleshot and Ensure.

Camp 10 Bear came at the perfect time. I had run with Seth and Karsten for a couple of hours, and they helped get me through the initial dark hours. Seth was behind me a ways, and Karsten in front as a lot of it was downhill and Karsten kicked ass on the downs! Just knowing they were there made me feel safer :) At 10 Bear, Damon weighed me again...
I was no up a total of 6 pounds from my pre-race weight, so Damon asked me to back of the liquids a bit. My hands were puffy and my feet felt puffy in my shoes. My gaiters were pinching the extensors on my shins so I knew my ankles were swelling a bit, too. Geof was all set to go, and after I changed my socks again, and futzed with my blisters once more, we were off! I was in a pretty good spot, and considerably better than how I felt during miles 40-47 (the lowest of lows during the race for me). I wasn't particularly tired, but my legs were sore and I was shuffling more than running by now.
I had periods where I felt I would burst into tears, but I held it back. I had short bouts of nausea, but nothing major. I think the ginger ale at each aid station helped hold this back a lot, and I also kept forcing myself to keep eating and drinking on schedule so that I never fell back on this. It was tough! Just before getting into Bills at mile 88, Geof gave me a Vanilla Bean Gu that I was squirting under my tongue and chasing with water so that I wouldn't have to taste it. I wanted to throw it up, but I knew I'd feel better with it in my stomach...and I did :) Finally the sun was coming up and while I didn't have the huge emotional lift that everyone talks about when the sun rises in these races, I did feel a sense of relief...and happy that I could take off my headlamp that was starting to sit uncomfortably on my head no matter how many times I adjusted it!
The miles and the hours were beginning to wear on me by mile 90. I hadn't really considered quitting at any point, just seriously considered sitting down and taking a nap, or bursting into tears, or screaming. After a few "F*ck this hill," a "f*ck you Weinberg" (under my breath, for good measure, though I absolutley adore Andy and his race that introduced me to gnarly hills!), "I'll punch this hill in the face," and a couple of childish foot stomps, I felt better. And, at mile 92, as requested by fellow CHUG, Torey Jones, I "struck a Paige" for the camera :) I garnered a few giggles and woops from the AS volunteers for this one :)
We caught up to these people somewhere after mile 92 and kept with them more or less until the end. These last 8 miles were painful, slow, and incredibly emotionally challenging. The tears came out a couple of times, but were silent and quick. But by 95, I couldn't cover it anymore and they just poured. I was now officially mentally stripped bare...I'd come so far, let go of any remaining insecurities, peed publically, talked about every taboo topic under sun with complete strangers, learned first hand what "fire in the hole" meant, ran until I could numb the pain in my feet from the blisters, mis-fired and peed on my own damn leg more than once, swore off running a few times, then amended it and just swore off trail running, then decided that was silly and I actually was enjoying every second it all...and I was bawling. Geof grabbed my arm to stop me and he wrapped me in the safest and most secure feeling hug. It was exactly what I needed at that very moment. I'm not sure how long we stood there like that, me crying and he just listening, but it felt like a beautiful eternity. When we let go, I felt reenergized, I wanted to just get it done and I didn't care how much it hurt anymore. I didn't care how many people passed me, or how far back in the pack I was, none of that mattered, as it was officially just me and the trail. And I was about to b*tchslap that trail!!
Chris Martin appeared from thin air and told me I had a half mile to go, and I suddenly had new life in my legs and I was no longer doing the 'ultra shuffle', I was now RUNNING! I was going to finish! Geof ran ahead with just a few hundred yards to go so that he could get a picture of me crossing the finish line. I ran down the hill, and back up the other side to the line (hoping that I wouln't fall!), and was welcomed to a very loud cheering section, shouting my name and congratulating me. I could NOT have been happier.

I did it.
My first 100 mile endurance run, 29:23:41. And, not a single fall :)
Photo courtesy of Steve Pero

I can't even begin to describe what this whole experience has meant to me, from start to finish, including the weeks leading up to the VT100, when I suddenly switched from the 100k to the 100M...Joe Judd, Patty Duffy, Mike Hall - you all are on my shit list for convincing me this was a good idea...and being TOTALLY RIGHT! Thank you for knowing that I am a sucker for things like 'fate', 'dares', smack talk, and doing things others don't think possible. A huge thank you to Julia Hutchinson for answering all my questions via e-mail...I asked A LOT of questions and she was always helpful and got back to me quicly. Thank you to Damon Lease for offering up his entire day to help me out; in the end we didn't work together as Geof was able to do it all, but I truly appreciate your willingness to help out a newbie ultrarunner that you'd never even met. Your enthusiasm for the sport is infectious, thank you Damon, and thank you for telling me to back off on the liquids when you did, I was a balloon! Thank you to Jeremy for just being Jeremy. Thank you to everyone along the course who was encouraging and made me feel like a million bucks: Cherrie from New York, Charles from Brooklyn, Pam Dolan, Susan, Dave Souza, Seth and Fran, Karsten, Steve Pero, Tammy, Anna and Rob, some other older rockin' dudes I never got the names of who made me laugh a lot, Walt from NC, all the volunteers and medical staff who helped me in more ways than one, Jamie Anderson for sharing that gorgeous smile of his at dinner and at the finish line, Stephen and Kelly Wells for their well wishes and words of encouragement, Serena Wilcox for her intense energy that she carried with her all weekend (rock on!), Jeff L. for holding seats for Geof and I at breakfast, the dude who lanced my blisters at the finish line medical tent, to all my CHUGs who sent messages and wonderful kind words to me the entire weekend via Geof, to everyone who encouraged and supported me in this insane adventure, to Larry and Andrea Dunmore, Brenda, Grandma Dunmore, Kyle King and all the rest of the Iowa Kings and Dunmores that were sending kind words my way through Geof all weekend, too. Congratulations to everyone, especially all the other first-timers, and to Mike for finishing up his first hundred in a blazing time of 22:25! What a rockstar :)

But most of all I want to say thank you to Geof for being there when I needed it most, and when I didn't know I needed it. He put up with my whining, my crying spell, my cursing of the hills, my stink, my gross feet, my lack of shame as the miles wore on. He took care of me better than I can recall ever being taken care of...he was a constant smile, endless support, optimistic ("You're gonna rock this course!") voice, a great pair of legs to stare at for 30 miles, my rock, my cheerleader when I had nothing positive left to say or think for myself, my nutritionist, my doctor, my fashion consultant :), my suitcase holder, my Burger King, and my #1. I'm the luckiest gal in the world! I couldn't have done it without you, G!
And now the recovery begins. I'm already checking out races for my next 100 :) The experience of a lifetime and the start of a new chapter.

Geof took a ton of pictures, and I got a few on the course, so check out my Picasa for the rest of the goods: http://picasaweb.google.com/susanpaige1/Vermont100#

Crash, out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Made Vermont My Biotch



Wow, that was TOUGH! "I paid for 30 hours, and I got my money's worth!"

Race report to follow shortly...hopefully :)

Thank you everyone for all the support and words of encouragement, I love you guys and gals!

Crash, out.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vermont, Ready or Not, Here I Come!

Holy smokes it's here! Holy moly it's 5:04 a.m.! Good gracious I'm running a hundred miles on Saturday! I'm goin' to Vermont!

Yowza, that's all I can come up with! In the last few days leading up to this most hugest of life events I've managed to do a lot of stuff to keep my mind off the impending task (and my feet off the ground), and have learned how to transfer anxiety. Neat little trick, huh? So the week of my very first hundred mile race, I'm stressing out about...next month? What?! I guess I'm not all that too anxiety-ridden about this little run I'm about to do. Or maybe I am and it's going to hit me like two tons of bricks on Friday night, just like it did the night before my first 50-miler. Oy, I do NOT want to repeat that evening of sleeplessness and nightmares!

On the other hand, knowing that I'm not alone has certainly eases my worries, considerably! I'll have Geof by my side, with his ceaseless smile at each crew-accessible aid station, lots of kickass Maine's Trail Monsters along the course (miss you guys!), Mike will be tackling his very first hundred as well and as long as he doesn't gun it (which he probably will!) I'll see him along the course as well, which means I'll also see one of my favorite Mainers, Jeremy (and maybe Becca?)! Lots of fun people, and encouragement along the way. Seriously, the only thing that could possibly add to it would be my CHUGs!

I still can't believe that it's only been 9 months since I first tiptoed into this great sport...9 months! If you had told me back in October, after finishing the Stone Steps 50k, that I would even entertain the idea of running a hundred miles I would have told you to go f*&k yourself. In those exact words. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's what I said when Mike asked me if I'd run 50 miles at that point. Ha, my how things change in such short time!

Well, it's time to grab a cab and we're off to the airport!! May Vermont treat me well, and may Geof not die of boredom waiting for my slow butt to get along the course :)

Go forth and run!

Crash, out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Is There Lamaze for Pre-Race Jitters?

I actually got a brief respite at work due to some creative maneuvering of responsibilities...aka procrastination...and thought I'd check up on the ol' blog. A whole week since my last post! Now that just doesn't happen very often these days :) Some brief thoughts...

Basically, I've been running short the last couple of weeks, since my last Palos run with the CHUGs, and kind of de facto tapering without really thinking of it as that. Vermont 100 is knocking on my door and I'm ignoring it right now. Holy moly, I'm nervous! This is a lot like how I felt the day/night before my first 50-miler, at McNaughton Park, but it's coming on a full two weeks in advance. The list of things I need to do and organize and pack and reserve and clean and fix and...yea, it goes on and on and my head is about to start spinning a la Poltergeist! I feel like I'm not getting a ton of positive reinforcement now that it's upon me and that a lot of people are being kind of negative about the race...c'mon people, sugarcoat it for me will ya, and add some extra sugar while you're at it! Geof being the exception of course, he's my cheerleader :)

Yea, running a hundred miles is hard, it hurts, and I'll have more than my fair share of ups and downs (and not just on the hills!), but I'm really looking forward to it and I plan on having an amazing time, not to mention I plan on finishing before the clock reads 30 hours :-) So I'm taking all the positive vibes you want to send my way, I won't discriminate optimism!

I'm kind of liking my relaxed approach the last couple weeks, it's certainly lent itself to feeling a lot better. My legs and knees and all that fun stuff have been pretty happy. The deep tissue massage I got last week has made a world of difference as well. WOW! I'm scheduled for another one this coming Monday as a last bit of relaxation before chaos ensues. Also going for another ART treatment.

It's only July, but it's already been a BIG year for me...and I totally called it on New Years Eve. My best friend got married this past weekend and I can't help but feel like it's a sort of harbinger of further change, and in a really good way. It was like watching the last 14 years of my life, and our friendship, flash before me as she stood there and vowed to share the rest of her life with her new husband. It was really cool to see that and to actually appreciate it.

My goodness, am I...growing up?! Gotta love this life :)

You also gotta love cowboys, giddyup!

Crash, out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Chicago Trash Runners are Famous!

So, as I touched on in my post just prior to this one, last Saturday was the second running of the Chicago Trash Runners. We had a nice gal, Beth, join us from Newcity Chicago Magazine to check out our little group and see what it was all about. Then, she wrote about it! Check out the link, has a picture in it, too. We've officially made it into the big leagues of trash running (yes, there is such a thing... :))


Trust me, this is gonna catch on like wildfire. All it takes is one...

Crash, out.

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