Bartram 2013: Follow-up and Recovery

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December 22, 2013 by trailcats

Here is Harley’s wonkish follow-up to Holly’s Bartram 100M race report:

1) Finishing is an accomplishment: 33 finished out of about 60 who started the 100M (some DidNotFinish’d and others finished the 100K and called it a day/night).

2) Old fogeys can run: the winner was 49, and the average age was 42. The youngest finisher was 28 years, and the oldest was 70!

Age not much of a factor

Age not much of a factor

3) Speed? The average lap time of all finishers: 96 minutes (= ~15½ minute miles). Holly averaged just under 82 minutes per lap. The race winner was a stud and averaged under 63-minute laps (10 minute miles for 100 miles!!).

Families that run together...

Families that run together…

4) Energizer Bunny. At lap 6 (after 31 miles), Holly decided to accelerate, and I was able to relax and slow down a tick! Holly kicked butt. Like the other race leaders, she doesn’t break down at the end like the average runner.

I kept up with Holly for 5 laps!

I kept up with Holly for 5 laps!

5) Cry Baby. My last 5 laps were slower than the average at that point…my wet feet and blisters were too painful to go any faster. I even tried a 30 minute pit stop before lap 12 and a generous application of Desitin to try to dry out my feet. Desitin was the Facebook pre-race buzz, but an interweb search reveals BlisterShield to be worth trying next time.

A) Pain…comes and goes. There’s only one thing that hurts the most at a time.
B) People ask ‘What do you think of the whole time?’ Things like the beauty of nature, innovative ideas that would make million$, world peace, and for the last 30 miles simply to keep taking just one more step.
C) Weather: when you’re wet you’re wet.



D) Night running: invest in a brighter flashlight and/or headlamp! I actually stopped at REI a few days before the race and was paralyzed with all the options and just went with my 20-year-old headlamp that has about 3 lumens and 6 hours of battery life.
E) New shoes. I ran 55 miles in a pair of shoes I had never worn before. No worries…since they might be my first pair of running shoes to fit me correctly (thanks Phidippides shoe store for letting me try on 15 pairs of shoes to get it right).

I outsmarted a puddle and ran through burrs instead.

I outsmarted a puddle and ran through burrs instead.

6) Pace yourself! Experienced ultramarathoners’ advice was to start slow. As much as we all try to keep an even pace, the average slowdown each lap was a little over 3% from the previous lap. The top 4 runners (including Holly) all ran the 1st lap at 77-79% of their average pace. The last 15 finishers all ran too fast on the 1st lap: about 68% of their average pace (and exactly what I did). The chart shows how fast each runner ran the first lap compared to how much they slowed down (the lower the % means the more the pace slowed down over the next 94 miles). The bottom-right quadrant is where the race leaders live:

Oh, the glory of a fast 1st lap.

Oh, the glory of a fast 1st lap.

7) Recovery: It’s a week later, and we’re able to walk close to normal. All leg muscles are still tight despite regular stretching. Maybe in another week or so we’ll be feeling good enough to get off the couch and clean the house (or don’t we have GUTS Fat Ass 50k coming up?)!


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Holly & Harley

A couple of trail running lovebirds who have their minds set on going the distance!




runners get there faster

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