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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as some of you already know my name is Eddie and I am married to Merigayle. I've been going with Meredith to her ultra events for a couple years now so I guess it was just a matter of time before I caught the bug. During one of our weekend runs at French Creek State Park, in PA, Meri just all of a sudden said to me, "so how would you feel about going to Texas the first weekend in Feb for a race called Rocky Raccoon?" Without really even thinking about it I said "is there a 50 mile option?" Meri said yes it is a 50 and 100 miler. I told her that's great, I will do the 50. She was a little surprised at that seeing how I had only been running for about 2 months at that point. My answer was I'll try it and if I drop, I drop, there is a 30 hour time limit so if I wanted to just walk the whole thing I could probably finish. So the decision was made and I now had about 3.5 months to get ready for my first 50 miler.<br><br>
Jan 5th Meri and myself went down to Dover Delaware and met up with, Durt, Turtle, Roots, SGH, Divaleh, and a bunch of other runners for a fat ass 50k Slug event. Awesome people! The race was ten 3 mile loops. I ended up finishing that in 7:14. I was very happy with that.<br><br>
Feb 1st. Meri, myself and our friend Keith Straw,also known to many as the guy who wears the pink tutu, landed in Texas.We met Anthony P and his friend Ira at a mexican restaurant for lunch and then went to the race brief and picked up our race packets. The 5 of us then went to Chili's for dinner and called it a kinda early night and headed back to our hotel. Oh yeah, I don't know if Anthony will admit it but there was an incident at Chili's. I must have been more tired than I thought because somehow in the crowd at Chili's while we were talking to other runners that we bumped into at the entrance I sub-consciosly thought that Meri was in front of me and I kinda had my arm around Anthony's waist.I did not even realize it until we got outside and I said to him,"Dude did I just have my hand around your waist?" his reply was,"yeah but I didn't want to say anything." We all had a big laugh and headed back to our rooms.<br><br>
Feb 2nd. We wake up at 4:30 get ready and head out to Huntsville State Park. 6AM came and Meredith was off on her 100 miler. I had to wait until 7 for the 50 to start. I hung out, gathered my thoughts, made sure I had everything I needed for my first loop, ate 2 Lara Bars, drank some water and 7AM came. I went to the back of the pack heard someone say GO and the pack started to move. I just walked for probably the first 300 yards or so until the pack thinned out and I started to run. I now felt I was off on my journey.<br><br>
The first couple off miles I was in a small group of 6 runners. It felt really good. We all were running the same pace and I was gonna just stay with this group for as long as I could. Around mile 2.5 my Garmin was driving me crazy because I had it set for slow/fast pace alerts. I had to stop and change the settings on the Garmin and I lost that group of runners.<br><br>
I made it through the first 3 aid stations, DamRd, FarSide and DamRd again. That was about 10 miles in and I felt really good, but around mile 12 I started to feel real crappy. From mile 12 to mile 16.6 back at the main lodge and the end of the loop I was convinced that I had picked up some sort of bug from a screaming, coughing child on the plane. I finished the first loop and stayed at the lodge way too long. I think it was about 20 minutes. I went back out and felt just awful. From the lodge to the DamRd aid station I was my own worst enemy. I could not stop thinking thoughts like, just finish this loop and drop. I made it to the DamRd aid station and was now just over 21 miles in. I headed out for the out and back to the FarSide. This is the section of the race that I had run into my wife on the first loop and was hoping to see her again on this loop. About a mile into the out and back I started to feel really good again. I found out later after talking to several other runners about how awful I felt from miles 12-21 that this is very common in distance running. Now I know to expect this in the future and not to defeat myself when it happens.I saw Meri again about halfway through the out and back and by this time I felt good again so she had no idea that I was actually thinking about dropping.<br><br>
OK, I finished the 2nd loop, about 33.5 miles, and I spent minimal time at the lodge this time. I think about 5 minutes. I loaded up on fuel and water and headed back out. I made it out to the FarSide aid station, about 10 miles into the 16 mile loop and it was still light out. Halfway back to the DamRd station night had settled in and it was now fully dark out. I didn't bring a head lamp I only had a hand held which after running in the dark for my first time I decided is all I need for a 50. I would probably use both for a 100 though.<br><br>
I reached DamRd, had some PB&J and coke, by the way this is what I had at every aid station on the last loop and I think it really worked for me for the last leg of a race, but I would not have consumed all that refined sugar at any earlier stage of the race in fear of having a sugar crash. Between DamRd and the last aid station I kept hearing rustling in the woods about 20-30 feet out and could not stop thinking, "man that sounds kinda large." Every time I heard this noise I would shine my light into the woods but could not see anything. Finally I heard it again. This time it was about 10 feet away. I quickly shined my light to the source of the noise and an Armadillo came out right in front of me, crossed the path and went on his way on the other side of the path. Now I felt much better knowing that it's not a cougar, but i also saw the largest possum in my entire life-- it was about as large as a dog!<br><br>
About a half mile after the Armadillo sighting I was walking fast, about 14 minute miles pace. I came across two runners who were walking and I passed them while walking much faster. I don't think they liked being passed so late in the race. They must have also been doing the 50. The 2 of them kept doing short bursts of running, getting right behind me and then walking and falling back again.This happened about 6 time and it was starting to annoy me. After the last time they did this I had been speed walking for about a 2 miles and felt like I had some run left in me. I took off at about a 10.5 min mile pace according to my Garmin and ran until I reached the last aid station. I was now 2.9 miles from the finish and never seen those 2 runners again. I once again consumed PB&J and coke at the aid station and went on my way. I was on a runners high now because I knew I was gonna finish and I also knew I was gonna finish in less that 14 hours which was my goal but I did not tell anyone that in fear of jinxing myself. I was able to run about another 3/4 of a mile and then started to walk again. Every time I walked I made sure I kept the pace on the Garmin below 15 minute miles. I walked at this pace until the lodge came into sight. As soon as the lodge came into sight I started to run again. I ended up coming in at 13:32. I was very happy with that. I stayed on my feet for about 20 minutes, had some coffee, got into my sleeping bag and just rested until Meredith finished.<br><br>
Rocky Raccoon is an awesome event. Very well run, the trails were extremely well marked and the volunteers were the best. I will be back next year for the 100!<br><img alt="banana.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/banana.gif">
 

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You did really awesome. You totally surpassed any expectations that i had for your race. I am so proud of you <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> It was great to read your race report, since i was busy running my own race at the time.
 

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Wow Eddie, pretty impressive for someone who just started running. How long from when you first started till this race? Loved the report, and glad you didn't run into anything really scary in the woods.<br><br>
Only downside of this is Meri's gonna have to get a new crew!
 

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It was great to meet you. You were awesome out there. Congrats on such a big accomplishment.<br><br>
By the way.....I believe you grabbed my hiney !
 

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Wow! Great job, eddie! I am so impressed at you being able to pull off a 50 miler so early in your running career.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It was a little over 4 months from the time that I started running to the 50.<br>
By the way I wasn't a very good crew person.<img alt="uhoh2.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/uhoh2.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WOW! I must have been even more tired than I thought.<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Nice work, Eddie! You are far ballsier than I - very impressive! Maybe I do have a 50 miler in me sooner than I thought...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks! The next definate is gonna be the Tetons but I'd like to do another 50 before then. If you guys do a slug run in June I'm there!
 

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Good Job Eddie!!! You rocked it!
 

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Wow! Congrats on the first 50! And you're looking for more. You, my friend, are an animal! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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That is an awesome report...<br><br>
I am doing my first ultra this year.. (not a 50M) but either way it is nice to read others first report.
 

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Wow, you just started running a few months ago? That's incredible. Good for you. How fun that you and Meri are running races together now. Great job.
 

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Holy Moly! I can't even imagine 50 miles! And you just started running, that is phenomenal! Great report, great run, way to go!
 

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Congrats Eddie - that's amazing!<br><br>
The good news is Meri's husband is now a hardcore ultra junkie, the bad news is she lost her crew...
 

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Wow, Eddie, you are a fast learner! Do you think your mtn. biking experience helped you with ultrarunning? I know you have an amazing mentor, but 4 months to a 50M finish is just outstanding.<br><br>
It sounds like you ran smartly, but learned some good lessons, too. Especially about feeling lousy for a while and dealing with it, and mentally staying tough.<br><br>
When is your first 100 miler? <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Congratulations, and hope we get to run together again!
 
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