Palms 100

62 mi  The thought of how hot is was supposed to be didn’t phase me, I know Florida is this way, and I was confident the heat wasn’t going to get me. I did the packet pickup Friday night with Suzanne, a quick in-and-out of the meeting then a dinner at a Zuccharelli’s restaurant in Ft Lauderdale. Walter was my ride down early Saturday morning to the 6am start for the 100k runners. I used the 7-11 bathroom, and had a belt with carbo-pro plus a carry bottle with drink mixture, I think they were using HEED. I started slow and incorporated walking a short bit whenever I wanted to sip liquid or just make a change to my stride. Walter went to a nearby LA Fitness for a workout and caught up with me maybe 1.5 hrs into the race, the sun was now up and I was near the 8 mile mark. I felt small beads of sweat starting on the back of my neck and in my hair. My feet which had given my some plantar stretching issues were fine, I was hoping that would still be the case in another 10 hours. I went to all rest stops, drank, refilled the carry bottle and mostly didn’t eat much. I felt the nutrition would come from the carbo-pro, which was partially accurate. As I’d learn later on, I really should have been chewing food along with the liquid calories.  Walter met me at each stop. I spoke with other runners that said this year wasn’t as warm as last year, so times would be faster. I was a teeny bit ahead of my scheduled pace, one that would purposely have me get to halfway in 6 hours. My plan was to run a negative split all the way home to finish under 12 hours. It got warmer, I spoke with a few more runners, and at mile 17 I was caught by the drawbridge just after hitting the rest stop at somebody’s house. I saw Michelle Matys, last year’s female winner, leaving the house aid station as I was arriving. It was the #2 bib that clued me in to that! Once over the bridge I was in an area with little road shoulder and few sidewalks. I tried to hide in the shade from the sun as much as I could, I could feel the tanning starting to warm the right side of my arms. The lululemon shirt I wore had no SPF rating, it was supposed to just keep the sweat off my arms and back and in the air to dissipate. And make me easy to spot in light bright blue!  I worked towards getting further north, Deerfield Beach, the long, open and exposed to the sun portions of A1A that go through Boca, then up into Delray Beach where they had nice rest areas and people at the beach to look at. Boston’s is back from their renovation, so they were crowded with traffic and pedestrians. By the time I got there, it was close to the beginning of lunchtime, but still I had to go through Boynton Beach. Once at the halfway point I met up with Walter and Suzanne. They had new things for me, but all I wanted to change was one sock on the left foot, something was tight in there so I used a thinner sock just on that side to accomodate that issue. Now I had Suzanne following me down A1A meeting me at the rest stops, Walter left for home. Soon Carolyn and Ed, then Teresa also joined in the caravan, meeting me as I headed south. I was running with a Canadian guy back and forth, he has Vibram toes shoes on and carried an open metal water bottle as all of his gear. we exchanged places til we got to the house water stop where I decided I had to finish ahead of him,. he looked so unprepared to go fast – I didn’t wanna see myself with him and make that correlation…  I found that around mile 38-40 I was bloated, meaning I felt I needed to do a giant burp. I guess all drinking with no foodstuff was leaving my stomach in tangles. One guy at an aid station called it “gator gut.” Ed and Carolyn arranged to get bread, I started eating things at the rest stops, but no relief in the 40s (miles)  I then felt as if I was so fat, I didn’t want to drink.  This was a problem, I knew I couldn’t make it another 20 miles with no liquids, so I kept forcing myself to eat. My following group took pictures, sent txt messages to others, it was neat to have these friends support me in this way, when I saw other runners that just visited the aid stations, spoke to nobody, and kept heading down the road.  With 10 miles left, I was now on familiar territory – the A1A run course heading back home. I passed a few people, got passed by some of the relay runners, and kept plugging towards home. The last two stops had me very tired, but my stomach was feeling better, so I ran better.  I used my music from the 52 mile point in hopes it would give me good motivation to move quicker than walking. I thought that occasional 5 mile gap between stops was long, one may have even been 7 miles.  Once at the last stop, I knew it was just the beachfront 5k to home base. I ran in my lane, kept an eye on the markers I knew from A1A marathon, like Sunrise Blvd and the condos and hotels. A guy with a green mohawk came up on me and passed, I decided to pace off him for the final 1.5 miles. He picked up the pace but I stayed close, then he dropped into a more comfortable stride. Once within a mile he sped up again. He had friends in civilian clothes running with him and filming him on a phone. We ran strong together for the last mile, but I didn’t want to leap into a sprint at the very end. I knew I was tired and glad my stomach was righting itself, the pace I had coming into the final stretch was great. The other runner made a dash for the line when the street became very crowded with Spring Break people and buses. I kept a good pace but never gave chase in the final 300meters. I finished in 12 hours and 49 minutes. I went straight into the ocean to cool off, something I thought about since running back through Delray, Deerfield and the other communities that had me within eyeshot of the surf. Suzanne thankfully did the driving on the way home, only after I spent a few minutes on the massage table helping the kinks and mini cramps out of my legs. The masseuse said because I stopped and got off my feet, the muscles and toes began to spasm, quite normal. Normal to other 100k runners maybe, I was a first timer glad to be done and still healthy!

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