Jan 14, 2011

Across The Years 72-hour 2010-2011 - 106.25 miles

In thinking about writing this report, I have come to the conclusion that I have neither mental nor emotional energy to write a coherent or comprehensive report. So a FAQ and some photos will have to do in lieu of that.

First things first - I finally have run 100 miles - and let me tell you, 100 miles is as intimidating now as it ever was. I always knew 100 miles was a long way to run. But damn.. it's a long way to run.

Frequently asked questions about my race:
Did you sleep?
Yes, actually, I probably slept too much. 5-7 hours each night. Even though I planned on trying to do it without any sleep at all, I knew I had plenty of time to get to 100 miles. I slept the first night because the weather was so bad. I slept the second night because I needed to. And I slept the third night because I had finally gotten to 100 miles and didn't care to do too much more.
What was your mileage each day?
Wednesday: 34.49 miles, Thursday: 37.59 miles, Friday: 27.96 miles, Saturday: 6.2 miles. Oddly, Thursday was the day I felt the worst, but it was also the day I got the most miles.
What kind of issues did you deal with?
Back pain, mostly. Also, blisters. Thanks to Andy Lovy's mid-race chiropractic adjustmetns and a little bit of advil, the back pain was kept under control, mostly. Blisters were handled with duct tape.
What about training?
Heh. You don't want to know. However, I will say this: I completed two long runs of over 35 miles each in the two months prior to the race, and I feel like this made a tremendous difference.
How much of it did you run (as opposed to walk)?
I ran more than I thought I would. I went through prolonged periods of doing things like running all the headwinds, walking all the tailwinds. Run a lap/Walk a lap. Run this 400 meters of the loop/Walk this 100 meters. I made sure to run a continuous mile each day. All in all, 40-45% would be my guess.
did the 500-meter course ever become boring?
Never. Not even a little. In fact, it even surprised me how I never became even a little bored with the 500-meter course
What did Alex and Joe do?
Well, the plan was for them to sleep in my parent's RV, which was parked in a campground four miles from the race. This enabled them to visit me in the morning on their way out, check things out, then have the whole day to explore Phoenix. That was the plan. In practice, weather and other factors forced them to spend a lot of time in the RV, and they ended up spending a few hours at the race on the day I hit 100 miles. As a result, they didn't get to spend as much Phoenix time as I hoped.. But nobody seemed to mind.
What about the weather?
Well, it was nice on Friday and Saturday during the day. On Wednesday, it rained pretty much all day. On Thursday it was very very windy. On Wednesday night/Thursday morning, the rain and the wind overlapped and made for the some of the nastiest weather in the locals' memories. Oh, and it was cold. The rainy night was in the upper 30s. By Thursday night, skies were clear and winds were calm for the rest of the race, but it was in the upper 20s at night, and lower 50s during the day. These kinds of temperatures are unreal for Phoenix. I heard people say that the weather was the worst ever for ATY, but honestly, it was still milder than New York would have been.
Ok, how about some photos?

Cracker Barrel Pre-race breakfast

Race Morning in the RV

Arizona Sunrise

Joey hanging in the RV during the race

My base of operations. It was difficult to stay warm here because the zipper on my sleeping bag broke.

Other peoples' bases of operations

Very nice lap-counter with up-to-moment results at every lap

Cruising with Don, a friend of mine kind enough to come run a few laps with me

This is what I look like when I complete my 322nd lap and officially get to 100 miles.

The scoreboard after my 322nd lap showed a lap time of  3:28, which I think might have been my fastest of the whole race.

Post 100-mile photo with Andy Lovy the race doctor / chiropractor who got me through some tough miles

Post-100 mile photo with Patrick, who assisted Andy and helped me tremendously

A quadrupal-bypass burger from heart attack grill is what I rewarded myself with after  100 miles. It wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. Honestly, it was kind of bad. Awful, actually.

Joey helped out at the awards ceremony

My First 100-mile buckle

This is where I bought the belt to go with my buckle

Bib, Buckle, Runner Mail

Beer and a buckle at the post-race awards ceremony

I took a bunch of pictures of the course itself, but that is more general interest and not so much part of a report, so I'll make it a separate post.

UPDATE: The course pictures post is up! Click here to view it.


  1. very enjoyable report. i was looking forward to a full report of the heart attack grill and am quite disappointed at the disappointment it was! but anywho, congrats on your 100 and i look forward to seeing a repeat preformance at umstead

  2. Hi Meredith,

    Yeah the worst part about Heart Attack Grill is that I *wanted* it to be good, so I would have been very forgiving. I will say this - after 100 miles, the free wheelchair ride back to the car was nice. Very nice. (: