Saturday, October 11 – I woke up at 2:48am (on my own), my alarm was set for 2:55am. Fast forward – My parents picked me up at 5:30am and we headed to FLCC in Canandaigua. I had decided that morning that I would start in my Nike Flyknits, and pack my Brooks PureDrifts in a drop back. But last-minute I decided I would do the opposite.
We started at 7:30am – I started with my friend Matt and we were pretty much together till I stopped for the bathroom somewhere after mile 9. I was running without a watch, which may or may not have been a terrible idea. It’s fine when your running in circles, but when your in the middle of nowhere I at least wanted to know what time it was. I had planned on being at the pacer pickup by 1:30 (mile 35) – but things were getting rough, and a lot sooner than I had expected. I had side stitches, and the thought of food was starting to make me sick… so I started using endurolytes.
I guess I should mention what I had used as fuel so far – I had a chocolate Cliff gel around mile 5 (I think), then half of a cliff bar around mile 14, then tried to eat the other half, but only got a few bites out of it. The rest of the day I wen’t off of water, pretzel sticks and coke or ginger ale from aid stations, saltine crackers. I successfully ate 1 donut hole, I would attempt to eat one again at mile 35 but spit it out. Also endurolytes – kept me alive.
Miles 20 – 35 felt like they took a ridiculously long time. At one point I asked a runner what time it was / what mile. – They said 11:22am and mile 23. Ugh. I knew I still had a couple hours till I would get to my pacer – and if I was feeling good I could easily get there before 1:30pm. But I knew I would be late. I started to focus on getting to mile 32 – I wanted to change my shoes!
Brooks PureDrifts…. I love them, I ran my first Ultra in them… but they were killing me in this. I felt like I could feel the texture of the pavement through the bottoms.
I got to the aid station at Mile 32 ish – and sat down with my drop bag. I pulled the PureDrifts off – thank god, no cramps in the process. And it felt like I wasted 5 minutes trying to tie my Nikes…. my fingers are useless after 30 miles and in gloves. I drank some coke at the aid station then took off. These next 3 miles were a bit of a turning point. Thank you Nike FlyKnit’s for being squishy – and also it was only 3 miles till I would see Kyle.
I started to get really sharp pain on my right knee – the side where it’s probably the IT band. I ran through it for a while, but at one point the pain was stabbing. So I stopped and pressed really hard and rubbed it for a second. Then started again, and it felt better. I picked up the pace when I started to hear cheering at the aid station – it was mile 35! I came over the hill and saw Kyle at the bottom, and I was about to lose it. I knew if I got all emotional I wouldn’t be able to stop… so I tried to suck it up. I ran past him to the porta potty – then drank a ginger ale… then failed at eating a donut hole.
Things were pretty good once I had Kyle – he had music playing from his phone… it was nice. I eventually had more side stitch episodes, then trouble breathing. I would start feeling good, we’d pick up the pace… then I would start freaking out because I couldn’t breath. Very frustrating. Deep breaths hurt, and made me feel sick… same thing happened during Mind the Ducks, but not as bad.
The last 15 miles with Kyle felt like they flew by. He did an awesome job pacing, however I had to tell him to stop talking about food twice. Also he’d be talking to me, or saying something that sounded like a question… and all I could manage at points were sounds. I would have wasted so much time without him.
We were strong the last mile. I fought the urge to have a panick attack, tried to keep breathing. Picked up the pace as we turned onto Marvin Sands to the finish. As we got to the finish, I didn’t see anyone… or hear anyone. Kinda bummed that none of our friends were around (I would later learn they were all there cheering – I was apparently just blind and def).
I walked around the parking lot for a minute after finishing with Kyle. Trying to get breathing under control, and not get all emotional. Stood around for a bit – and successfully stayed alive.
So I finished in 9 hours and 24 minutes. I was secretly hoping I would do better, but was happy with being under 10 hours. I know I could easily chop that time down. I wasted time changing my shoes, bathrooms were necessary, and a TON of time was eaten by side stitches and then panick attacks. In the moment it all feels necessary though, and nothing you can really do.
Overall though it was amazing. There were times I’d be running and taking in the scenery. You can’t run a race like this without looking around – that’d be a waste. It was the best run I’ve ever had with Kyle, I couldn’t have done nearly as well without knowing he would be waiting for me – then getting me through the last 15. My friend Matt went sub 9 hours – like a crazy person! But he was on a mission to propose to his girlfriend at the finish line 🙂
If you run – do this race – CanLake50