Race Review-2021/2022 Across the Years 100-Miler
Happy Old 2021 and New 2022!
This was my first time doing this race and first time doing a 1 mile-ish loop over and over for the whole 100 miles. (We did switch directions every 6 hours though) I didn't know if my body and mind could handle that but to my surprise, I really liked it. Not just because I couldn't get lost but I think because I was able to "get lost in my head" and not be over stimulated by new scenery. It helped me to get in a groove. Plus, I was rarely alone with fellow runners getting their fruit loops in too! I think one thing that helped me mentally with this race is that I never looked at my watch to see what mile I was on, nor did I look at the monitors by the start/finish to see what mile I was at. The first time I actually saw my watch was at mile 71 when I was laying on a cot in the heated tent early Saturday morning.
This was my 6th attempt at the 100 and I won't lie, I was hungry for a finish with happy feet. My last 100 attempt was in June, and I stopped at the 100k because my feet had hematomas and blisters on them, and each step felt like I was walking on fire. I guess this was preparing me for a Tony Robbins seminar, right?! Since I had easy access to my truck in the parking lot, I had at least 10 different models and sizes of shoes to choose from alongside, my go tos Desitin and Trail Toes. I had 6 pairs of socks to change in to too. I ended up changing my shoes, socks, and re-lubing Desitin and Trail Toes 5 times throughout my 25 hours of racing. I don't know why my feet get so warm. I had the thinnest pairs of socks I could find since my June 100 Miler DNFY. Riddle me this though, after midnight it started to rain and I was so cold that I walked in my waterproof, heavy-duty Antarctica jacket (I bought the one that the crew wears) but my feet were sweating...I don't know if I need to get shots of water pills in my feet so they can dry out or what?!
Throughout the race, I "ran" into lots of peeps and also made some new peeps. I had a few surprises too throughout the day and night. My friend Rachel surprised me on Friday with my first Starbucks of the day, donuts and her motivating energy! You da best girl!
But she was not the last of the surprises...my mom, sister Angie, sister Dawn and sister-in-law, Kim also came out to see me. I think this was around dinner time...again I wasn't looking at my watch as that would have made the miles go by even slower. I think that the last time they were all at one of my races together was my 2003 Wisconsin Ironman! So, this line up was a huge boost to my heart!
Butttt, there was one more surprise and I am crying as I write this. It was just after midnight, and I had recorded the attached video when my sister Angie called me. I was chatting with her about all the fireworks I saw and how awesome this moment was...I then asked how they were celebrating. We kept talking back and forth and then BOOOMMMMMM, I literally ran into my sneaky sisters, Dawn, Angie, and Kim. They weren't at home toasty and warm they were right there at the start/finish line!!!!! This is going into my top 5 precious moments of my life!
Even though I didn't finish, I still love everything about this race I loved everything about this race and here are just some of the reasons why:
1-I ended 2021 doing what I love....running!
2-I kicked off 2022 doing what I love.....running!
3-The one mile-ish course is filled with other people who are also passionate about running and doing things outside of their comfort zone. How can you not get inspired by that, right?! They say you are the 5 people you spend the most time with and 1 of those people hands down would be a collective. It would be my fellow racers that are alongside me in the corrals and on the course. That is where I get the other "runners high" from. No one tells us to do this, let alone spend our money and discretionary free time on races but it's truly one of my happy places.
4-Since the course was one loop, I could not get lost! Hallelujah! Navigation in ultras is its own separate beast to me. I never got the orienteering badge in girls scouts, and I have tried at the Zion and NYC 100 races to use the .gpx file on my Coros and I still got lost!
5-The people I met and the friends I got to catch up with! I was so excited to see lots of the #TenJunkMiles family out there (Sean, Stan, Diane, Erik, Will, Fappy!)
6-Easy access to my truck/aid station right off of the course.
7-The Food tent that the volunteers kept spoiling us with goodies. Can you say blueberry pancakes, smoothies, pizza, salted potatoes, egg sandwiches, more pizza?! These were just my favorites.
8-A heated tent that I took full advantage of around 5 am on Saturday. This was the first time I stopped. It was the best nap ever! I was doing about a 20-minute mile and knew that a little control-alt-delete of the body and mind would be just as good for the soul as a donut would be at that point in the race.
9-Music at start/finish...you never know what genre would be playing when you crossed but it was always a treat.
10- The celebration at midnight for all of the runners, volunteers and staff and even the 3 hours leading up to midnight as there were fireworks lighting up the sky all around us.
11-A real bathroom and plenty of porta potties. Not to mention the porta-potties even had air fresheners and little lights in them. It's the little things I tell ya that make me happy : )
The only thing I would change about my race if I could, was to have Happy Feet the whole time and to bring a camper....there was definitely a lot of camper envy going on when I passed camper row each time....especially when it was raining out.
All in all, though, as Arnold would say, "I'll be back!" Who wants to join me...you have other options besides the 100-miler. There is a marathon, 6-hour, 12-hour, 24 hour, 48, hour, 72 hour, 6 day, 10 day, 10 marathons in 10 days and Last Man Standing. BTW, isn't the shirt sweet?! I don't normally where my races shirts outside of race weekend but this one is so soft and fun colors!
Lastly, I want to give a huge shout out to the team at Aravaipa and all of the volunteers....I would not have had this priceless experience without all of you!