Odds & Ends on yesterday’s Farmdale 33-miler:

Posted on October 15, 2007 by

Odds & Ends  on yesterday’s Farmdale 33-miler:

.         33 mile ultra race was 3-11 mile loops with 3 aid stations +
start/finish aid station.

.         I woke up at 2:45 am to get ready to make the ride (Kelly was
driving) down to the Farmdale race in East Peoria. We arrived a little after
6 am.

.         Ian Stephens introduced us to his friend Bonnie Busch who did
Badwater. She ended up passing Kelly and me in the final loop to finish just
minutes before me. I met Gayle for the first time as well. Btw, Gayle Wagner
was the finisher just after me by a few minutes.

.         Congratulations Gayle on finishing your farthest ultra run ever
[me too]. I’ve always assumed you’ve run farther than that. Also, thanks for
the cinnamon cake. Very thoughtful, I will be eating that for breakfast this
morning with some nice hot coffee.

.         Yes, perfect conditions for a trail run; I agree about the
hardness of the dirt trails; wish they could have been a bit softer; each
loop, the dirt seemed harder on the feet.

.         My favorite part of the course was the single track in the woodsy
area. The bed of pine needles to run on was also quite nice. Reminded me of
Kettle Moraine. The schrolls were interestingly tough with each loop. For
those not familiar the schrolls are these small rolling hills that dip and
go up, then dip, then go up. There was a series of these. Imagine moguls
that skiers ski over, or motorcross bikes ride on at races; I’ve heard them
referred to by one guy as “dipsy doodles”.

.         The course was well marked; however, I managed to “get lost” by
going straight at mile 16 (2nd loop) when I should have turned left (the
sign was just a tad bit too far to the left). I was by myself at this time,
so had no one else to follow. I ended up going straight and making a left to
reach a larger water crossing that I had not seen before. I stood there for
about 30 seconds, then by chance saw a runner on the other side turning into
the woods. I yelled out to myself f*ck! And started running back. I tacked
on another mile’s time to my already to be 33 mile run race results. That
sucked! Oh well, time on my feet, right? I believe this is the same mistake
that Ian and Kelly made at their mile 6.

.         It was surprising and nice, to see Ian and Kelly on the course. I
saw them once during my first loop at about my Mile 5 mark. By this time, 8
milers and 33 milers split up, but met up again after an extra loop.

.         I went out too fast the first loop, but figured I should get some
speedwork in; well, I figured I’d do this only since I was locked into a
group of faster runners on single track. My first loop was 1:50’ish which is
a 10:20’ish pace for the first 11 miles. I reached the start/finish line,
but no Ian or Kelly, so I gather supplies at aid station and moved on.

.         Ditto on the mountain bikers; there were a group of 5 or 6 from
Iowa, who were very courteous, whom I crossed paths with several times over
the course of the race.

.         I saw and heard woodpeckers too out on the course. Had to stop and
get a better view.

.         There was one runner that couldn’t seem to keep upright. He
tripped twice behind me and said that he tripped twice during the 1st loop.
He was all bloodied up. I kicked a root probably 3 times the entire 34 (I
mean 33) miles. Good job Gayle on not tripping and falling.

.         The first aid station of each loop seemed to be pretty far out,
but then there were 3 between the loop’s 5 mile marker and 9 mile marker.

.         Funny you mention about the folks at Mile 5 aid station because on
my 3rd loop. I’m not sure if they said that in front of you as a joke, but
maybe so. I was on my 3rd and final loop and the little girl there made a
comment to me. “We’re going to have to cut you off now”. I’m like huh? What?
And the father said no, she’s just kidding.

.         It wasn’t until about mile 21 that I text message Kelly asking her
if she wanted to pace me; I never meant for her to pace me the entire 11
mile loop; thought maybe to the end of the fire road until we entered the
woods, but no, Kelly paced me volunteeringly for 11 miles without a water
bottle. I shared mine with her along the route. What a trooper.

.         I had chicken noodle soup on-the-go at the start of loop 3. I used
a technique that Tom Riley, the runner I paced at the KM100, told me he used
for hauling his beans around. Take a Gatorade bottle, wrap duck tape around
it for insulation and create a handle for it. It worked well, tasted yummy
and it put some energy back into my system.

.         I taped my feet better than I ever have before, but managed to
still get several blisters on both feet all concentrating near the toes;
however, they didn’t affect my race.

.         No signs of pain related to the stress fracture; my feet do hurt
after running out there for 7:23:11. The most time on my feet at once.
Interesting little tidbit is that all my longer distance races happen to be
a really long on my feet for me; let’s recap: Leadville marathon on stress
fracture @ 7:17; walking Fox Cities Marathon @ 5:49; death march at Chicago
Marathon heat @ 6:04; and now Farmdale 33 miler @ 7:23. We’ll see what the
Chicago Lakefront 50 miler brings in.

.         I’m not disappointed with my time at all; this happened to be my
3rd race and 2nd long run since my healed stress fracture, so my endurance
levels are low, but I still managed to do well considering the
circumstances. I hope to do better at future ultra distances as my endurance
builds up again.

.         I tried Karl King’s S-Caps for the first time during this race. I
didn’t use any of my Clif shot blocks. Those are easier to take. Thanks

.         My lowest point during the race was between Mile 12 and Mile 17. I
was running by myself and was feeling very tired. I then got into a groove
at mile 17-22 at about an 12:20 mpm pace. Thanks Tom Riley for engraining in
me “RFM” (Relentless Forward Motion”). I used continuously throughout the

.         Kelly got some photos of me during my final loop, which I’ll share
once I get them from her after her Mexico vacation she left for early this
morning. What a place to be to relax after back to back 20+ miler weekends.
Fun in the sun!!!

.         Award comprised of a, yes, a “real” nice engraved granite rock.
Nice change in finisher awards.

.         Post race, I had a bag of ice in my cooler that I put over my legs
for several minutes. The next best thing to an ice bath.

.         Post race food included a hot dog, chips, and cheesy potato soup
courtesy of the race director. Yummy!!

.         We left homebound from the race and Kelly realized that she needed
a power nap, so she pulled off in the Mackinaw rest area and napped for
about 30 minutes. I was napping since we left the parking lot. Thanks Kelly
for driving. What  a long day!

.         Revised goals are in order for the Lakefront 50 miler. Even pace
at 12 min/mile.

By the numbers:

Final time: 7:23:11

Real Distance: 34 miles

S-Caps taken: 6

Blisters:  11

Toe nails I’ll lose: 3

These bullet points are areas I’d like to touch on when I actually do write
up a race report, but this will need to do for now.

//Brian Gaines

Bartlett, Illinois


Posted in: Trail Running, USA