Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I just became an ULTRA-MARATHONER!!

This year I had decided to jump out of the road racing series and try my "feet"at Ultra Trail Racing.  I have ambitiously signed up for a handful of Ultra and began my training. Then before I knew what hit me.... it was March 27!  How did that come up so quickly? The nerves really started to kick in as soon as I had my race packet in my hand. I had signed up to run a 12 hour timed race?  Was I really ready for this?

The race I was signed up for was the Pickled Feet Runs.  You could choose your time that you wanted to run; 48, 24, 12 or 6 hours.  I chose the 12 hour option from 6 PM Friday to 6 AM on Saturday.  My goal was to get 40 miles in.  And as race day approached I began to wonder what I was getting myself in to!

I spent TWO DAYS packing my gear and supplies.  I fretted over what foods to bring, clothes, socks, everything!  Would it rain, be hot or cold?  I knew I would need to have everything with me that I could possibly ever need!  Here it is a work in progress.

I couldn't sleep the night before the race.  It was like it was Christmas Eve and I was 6 years old hoping for the new Pink Party Pony Castle!  I maybe got 4 hours of actual sleep if even that!  I woke up and went all out with a HUGE breakfast for champions!

This was the LAST thing I ended up eating.  I got so nervous around lunch time that my stomach warned my "what ever you eat, I am sending back!"  So I sipped on water and G2 and watched the minutes slowly tick away. I was getting so nervous!

Time to go!!!

The whole family piled in to the car and we headed out to Eagle Island State Park. Race start in 2 hours.

The Course Map (You can do the loop either direction)

Race Bib Attachment #808
Me and my sweetheart before the race
Last minute advice from my sons (they are actually asking me what is for dinner)

My 10 year old is more excited than I am!  This one is for you Cory!!
Here is the lake I would be running around all night.  Hope I don't take a wrong turn followed by an unexpected swim!


Not sure if they are proud of me or worried about me or concerned about dinner!

 As we lined up at the start I found Marcie Bettys.  She is so inspiring!  She was running the 24 hour option.  AMAZING! I loved seeing her, she got me pumped up to run!

6:00 PM on the dot and we started.  I was taking the first steps towards my first Ultra!  My goal was 40 miles.  I had calculated a dozen times exactly what I would need to do in order to achieve that.  I however had no idea what running for 12 hours would require of me both physically and mentally.

Like I ALWAYS do in EVERY race I run in..... I went out too fast!  I'd like to blame it on my speedy son who ran with me at the start, but I am adult and no one can force me to do anything!  No I took off too fast because that is what I do. But I still had a GREAT TIME DOING IT!!

 I ended up running the first 7.5 miles non-stop at a 9:30 pace.  Turns out that is probably too fast for a silly girl running her first ultra marathon.  Whoops.  I started to ease up on the pace and take some walk breaks.  I didn't want to fall short of the 40 mile goal I had set.

The weather was PERFECT!  Up until my time start it had been pouring rain.  But for my entire 12 hours it did not rain and was a comfortable temperature.  I met a few new runners and got to run with some I already new, it was such an awesome atmosphere.

To summarize my run (otherwise this post would be too long)......

I had a cot and tent set up in case I needed a break.  My husband and 10 year old (who returned after dinner) slept on it from 11:00 PM until my finish.... so NO I did not take any rest there.

I never changed my shoes or socks, received no blisters, and suffered from only one toe nail causality.

I got very nauseous at midnight (6 hours in).  That's when they introduced me to my new BFF - chicken broth!

Favorite sign on the course read: "You paid to do this!"  Gave me a chuckle every time I passed it!

One of my favorite parts of the run was passing the timing tent and hearing Rich or Andy say "Hi Jodi.  You are at Mile ____"

My sister and the Bossy Bandit showed up at 2:00 AM to volunteer and support me.  This was a critical time!  I was tired and worn down.  They gave me the jolt to get me back into it!

Discovering how delicious cold bacon is after 10 hours of running!

Running in the dark, tired, I took a wrong turn, got lost for a bit... It added a mile to my course total!

As I hit 40 miles I couldn't believe it! I still had time left!  I finally stopped and sat down and rested.  My legs, knees, ankles, arms, back, EVERYTHING was hurting.  Yes, I was tired but I felt so proud of myself.  I had pushed my body to a limit I didn't know it had.  My legs were cramping and really starting to hurt.  Michele and Kris started to rub my calves for me.  Kris announced, "Well this is something I NEVER thought I would do!"  We laughed and just took a second to enjoy the moment.  One more bathroom break and I was headed out to keep going.  They jokingly said that they would go with me in case I couldn't get up off of the toilet seat.  I am pleased to report that I managed on my own.  As I was leaving the bathroom, a runner was washing her hands.  She was there for the race that would start at 6 AM when mine ended.  She was clean, fresh, alert and looked ready to run.  I walked past the sink and she gave me the "not washing your hands" look.  I announced to her and all who could hear me, "I have been running for nearly 11 hours straight.  I do not care about hygiene right now and I will not be washing my hands!"

Time to finish.  I pushed myself, my sweet 10 year old ran with me, my husband, my sister, and Kris were cheering for me as I finished.  I wept as they hugged and congratulated me.  45.21 miles (their lap count gave me 44.2 but remember I got lost and I am counting all my miles!!).

And so now I enter the group of Ultra-Runners.  I type this as I obey the recommended "rest" time so my tired body can recover.  Next up: Weiser River 50K solo run.  31 miles? Should be a piece of cake.... or should I say BACON!


  1. Awesome race report, and congrats on your first ultra! I wish there were more timed races in my area, I wonder if that would be better for my first ultra.

  2. Awesome accomplishment, proud of you friend, I didn't get to talk to you when you finished but I was there and excited for you. I know everyone at my work has heard how amazing you are as you have one very proud husband who has told everyone there at least once how amazing you are.

  3. Awesome! Congratulations! That is a HUGE first ultra! Way to go!

  4. Congratulations!! WOW!!! I'm in awe!

  5. Achieving your goals is always a great pleasure. I used to be a runner and fitness fan for a long time, and recently I've stumbled upon a very interesting blog with plenty of useful info for athletes (http://bit.ly/Qh9G8S). I've read there about the pre-workout and post-workout nutrition, as well as the ways to keep yourself energized and increase your physical capacities. I am following their advices and experiencing impressive progress in my trainings!