Monday, August 27, 2018

8 Hours of Hell

August 18, 2018
Ann Dever Park, Englewood, FL
10 am to 6 pm

Wendy, Bonnie and me ready to get started.
What gave me the bright idea to run for 8 hours, in the summer, during the hottest part of the day? This was one of the toughest events I've ever done! The heat was just crazy!

Saturday morning, we got to sleep in a little bit, since the start time of the event was at 10 am. I met Bonnie and Sandi at the Denny's parking lot, where we left Bonnie's car, before heading down to Englewood. We got there by 8:30, a little earlier then we had planned. We got our tailgate tent set up, along with all our gear and multiple coolers. My plan was to carry one 20 ounce bottle of Tailwind and one bottle of water in my hydration pack. I had extra tailwind in the cooler, plus, there was some in the giant jug up at the check in pavilion. We took it easy while all the other runners arrived. Sandi was there to be our sherpa. She kept busy getting everything ready, while we sat and kept our feet up. Just before 10 am. we got our pre race photo, then walked over to the pavilion to hear race details before heading out. Justin, the race director, gave some instructions, and then we were off!

There were about 50 runners this morning. 34 in the 8 hour event and 15 in the 4 Hours of Fun. We headed out on the trail, spreading out pretty quickly. Bonnie and I stayed together through the first loop, which was 3.05 miles. As we came into the check in and to our tent, she noticed her Tailwind, in one of her bottles was empty. She had a leak. So, she stopped at the tent and then planned on heading to the bathroom. I decided to keep going. During mile 7, my stomach started to bother me. I REALLY needed to go to the bathroom. Every time I tried to run, I thought I might poop my skirt! So, I walked a lot of that third lap. I got back to the pavilion, checked in, then headed to the bathroom. I came back to the tent to see we had more people hanging out there. Cindi, Cat and Jane had showed up. Everyone helped to get me what I needed, before I headed out for lap 4. I felt better, but was slowing down my run pace. It was blazing hot. I tried to run as much of the shady sections as possible and walked a lot of the full sun sections, including the little hill and bridge. Loop 1, 2 and 3: 33:08, 39:44, 42:36

Our little hill on the course. :)
As the day continued, I kept up my running through the shade and walking through most of the full sun spots. I hit the water/ice station each lap as well as my tailgate tent each lap, to get refills of ice for my neck bandanna and ice for chewing on. My longest miles where those with the check in and stop at the tent. My fastest miles were the ones after the bridge, heading back to the check in. When running, I was moving slowly, but I felt pretty decent. My legs were not feeling stiff or hurting at all. For the most part, I was running by myself. Every once in a while, I would pass by someone or others would run by me. It was a bit lonely, but thankfully, I had my music and I do fine running on my own. Cindi, Jane and Cat had left after a couple of hours, but then Gina showed up just after 1 pm. It was great to have her there to see and help at the end of each loop. Loops 4, 5 and 6: 45:18, 46:25, 50:42

Towards the end of lap 7, I passed by one woman, then another and then a group of 4! One ended up passing me again on the next loop, but when I came in after loop 8, I saw my name up on the top 5 score board! wow! What I find really interesting is how I got faster as the day went on! I mean not super fast, but my average pace was a little better later in the day. Looking at my mile splits, I did better for the last 10-12 miles then I did earlier in the day. It didn't get any cooler or any shadier. I just got into a grove when I was out there running. I was in a zone and when I came in from lap 9, I thought maybe I could get in 11 laps. I had 1:20 to get in 6 miles. Normally, that would be a huge amount of time to run 6 miles, but I knew my average pace wasn't so great. So, heading out on Loop 10, I got Gina to pace me. 2 of those miles with her were my fastest since the start of the run! I really wished I had time to head out for the 11th lap, but when I got in, it was 7:25 pm. There was no way I was going to be able to run 3.05 miles in 35ish minutes. I needed at least 40-45 minutes to have a chance. So, I ran in for the last check in, then headed back out to finish 31 miles and get that 50K distance. :) I had just a few minutes to wait for Bonnie. It was great being able to see her finish her first ultra race. Like me, she headed back out to finish off the 50K distance. We celebrated with mimosas. But only for a short time. A storm was heading in. The clouds I had been hoping for all day, were finally moving in. But also, lightning was heading our way. We finished just in time! Loops 7, 8, 9 and 10: 46:54, 45:28, 43:43, 45:17 and last mile 13:04

The water, Tailwind and ice station located just after mile 1. I stopped at this each time.

Some time around the 7th or 8th loop.
I walked the bridge normally but had to run for the photo.

I finished as one of the top 5 women! Very impressed with those top 3 women who ran 3-6 more miles then me.
Cheers to finishing 8 Hours of Hell!

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