Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Jim shares his WS 100 race report!

Hi kids!
This was Jims first 100 miler!
Jim way to go on a very hot, hard day.
 What a great run! I feel so good about it. Even though it was my first 100, and being Western States, and it was hot, and they had the lowest completion rate in 10 years (55%?), I just had a smooth run. 26:50 and felt like I could have run 20 more (but oh so glad I didn't have to :) ). 
Dreams of running under 24 were basically left at the starting gate due to both the expected high temps and snow at the higher elevations. I tried to push it a little during the first few hours to take advantage of the cooler temps. The course was gorgeous, as we ran in and out of snow. I tried to follow our game plan heart rates and not look at the clock. The high noon climb into Robinson Flat (29.7) was the hardest of the day. Direct sun, and a 1300' climb up to around 7000' was a real bear. I had a planned shoe change at Robinson, that was well timed as my feet were looking like they had be wet for 6 hours - not pretty. From miles 38 to 43, and I found myself feeling very lethargic and walking too much. So I took a 10 minute nap at Last Chance - just what I needed! It was 4 pm, and I was surprised to find out I was right on the 30 hr. pace (I hadn't been checking the signs), but I felt great and started running more. From here to the end of the run I continually made up time against the 30 hour pace - I actually only lost 50 minutes against the 24 hr. pace over the last 57 miles. (A couple of other Last Chance notes: they had popsicles!, and 100 yds. down the trail I realized I had left my hat in the ice water bucket and had to retrieve it. OOPs!) 
Our hydration and fueling plan worked well. I was 2 pounds heavier than my "base weight" at the first couple of Medical Checks, got to 6 pounds over at one point (Med staff got a little concerned but I was peeing, eating, and generally feeling fine), and held steady at 4-5 pounds over for the rest of the run. 
The canyons were in the shade by the time I got there. I didn't match my speed of my training run, but I made steady progress and didn't have to stop once. Coming into Michigan Bluff I was smiling and taking pictures of the great welcoming committee. Tom, my pacer, met me there and said I looked better than 90% of the other runners he saw. I picked him up for real at Foresthill - also saw my wife and child, 29 minutes (way too long) - and I lead us down the California Street portion of the trail. I'm not sure if anyone passed us here, we passed quite a few, and we made it down to the river (16 miles) 10 mins. faster than the 24 hr. pace. I was worrying that I was going too fast, but it felt good, and of course it's fun to run downhill. The river had to be crossed by a raft (way too much water to hold back this year), so even though we may have waited a minute or two, our shoes were dry so we didn't have to change them on the other side. The volunteers were great here and throughout the race. 
Tom did a great job pacing me. While I thought I'd probably want to set the pace and lead most of the way, I actually liked Tom in front. Where I might start walking on a small hill, he wouldn't, and I found myself keeping up with him. There were a couple of slight hills that asked him to walk, but in general it worked real well with him pushing the minimum pace and I would go faster when so inclined. Over the last 6 hours, we only lost 16 minutes to the 24 hr. pace - and I didn't feel like we were pushing it! 
The top highlight came at the end when soon after entering the track I heard my son's voice crying "Daddy" as he came running across the field. He joined Tom and I for the final 200 yds. and the 3 of us crossed the finish line together. It just doesn't get much better than that! A dream fulfilled. 
I know I've said it before, but it's worth repeating - thank you for your commitment and caring about my cause. So many things you had me do worked. Thank you! 
Happy Feet!
Lisa Smith-Batchen

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