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Across The Years - 72 Hour

December 29, 2015

Oh my.

Still kind of numb.  When you finally reach a goal you have wanted for three years all I can do is smile.  I wanted to do 200 miles in 72 hours for three years.  171 miles the first year attempt, 182 the second year and finally 204.7 this year.  It felt so good to reach 200 with time to spare that I took a nap and did some bonus mileage.

The details include running more the first and second day with 96 miles for day one and 57 for day two.  This gave me a new personal best for 48 hours, 153 miles.  Why 153...well of course because 153 is divisible by three.  We do silly things as runners when sleep deprived.  And then Susan Hui of course said that I could no longer only go for 200 because it isn't divisible by three and that I would have to go for 201.  So then Tony says 204 is also divisible by three and so that is how I got to 204.

The reason I got to 200+ in three days is because you have to haul on day one.  I knew I needed to be in the 90s to have a chance. So I ran a lot.  But the real key to a three day is staying focused and intense on day two.  Sue and Reed helped keep me keep going on day two.  We would do five miles and then have a treat.  Now a treat wasn't always just food, it could also mean going to the nice bathroom or sitting for a few minutes.  During the second night I was entertained by several runners and walkers and tried to always go with someone that was going at a good pace.  Sue Scholl was very helpful as we walked and jogged to keep warm.  We would talk a lot and that would distract us from what we were doing.  Family, work, politics, running, food, you name it anything was game for a topic to distract.  When I was alone I also had to use my mantra.  I would tell myself I was strong and well prepared and that I can do this.  There were some dark moments but the mantra brought me out of those.

On day three, on any day, when the sun rises, wow you feel great and just smile....you made it through the cold night.  Knowing I was getting a PB for two days and had less than 50 to go (only 47 to 200) I was thrilled.  I can do this.  I walked and talked with lots of different people, catching up with Karen Bonnett and her challenging year of injury and recovery.  She is a wise woman.  I listened to Billy Crystal's life story and laughed a lot.  I listened to some of my daughters peppy music.  I was moving well but was getting hot so had to take it easy as to not overheat.

I am not very good at sleeping at these events so I did not take any breaks the first day.  I took two 90 minute breaks the second day.  I may have slept during one of them, difficult to tell but I did get my feet up.  I took a twenty minute power nap before midnight on New Years and then I got a two hour rest after reaching 200.  So about 5-6 hours of rest during 72 hours.  

After New Years I walked with many different people who were leaving for the night or finishing up their race.  After each one left I would tag along with another person.  This kept me steady through the night.  Sue and Reed helped right after midnight and then Susie Ro and Pat and Susan Hui and then Jeannie and a new gal Pam and then back to Susan Hui.  They wouldn't leave me alone... which by this point was okay as I was going to get that 200.  Susan Hui was a talkative gal and she wanted to go with me on my 200 mile lap.  This was great as we were celebrating the lap.  I was telling her about my mantra, strong, prepared and focused and she was bragging to people we passed that this was my 200th mile.  One guy says that is great on day four of six days.  Well Susan corrects him and says that I am in the three day race.  He then says, "well aren't you a rascal."  So now we add that to my mantra.  I am strong, well prepared, and a focused rascal.

I fueled myself well with eating regular food and avoiding gels and junk food.  I used an electrolyte drink and when tired and wobbly a couple of caffeine pills.  The only issue I had was a few little blisters on pinky toes and big toes.  I had them taped and kept going.  Somehow I hurt my right rib or muscle or something.  Maybe I walked too much or too fast or I slept on the seat belt in the back seat of the car or I laughed too hard.  I don't know but my side is sore.  Now my feet hurt an awful lot.  One of the reasons I don't like taking rest breaks is that when you get back on your feet it takes 10 minutes to warm them up again (or get them numb) and those first ten minutes hurt like hell.  So I imagine my feet will hurt for a few more days because 204.7 miles is the farthest I have gone on them, rascal that I am.

Oh by the way, I won the 72 hour race.  31 people, beat the boys as well as the girls.  I think other people who were very capable of winning had bad races.  I'll take it, rascal and all.

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