A 100 Mile Run. Say What?

100 mile race, Brandi Bolli Humphrey, Fitness, Lifestyle, runner -

Running 100 miles. WOW. It really is far, and not easy.

The Idaho Mountain Trail Ultra Festival (IMTUF) went well, it was super hard with many ups and downs, and it was a huge learning experience for me.

Brandi at Snowslide Trailhead mile 61
Brandi at Snowslide Trailhead mile 61

I got off to a great start. I led the women’s pack from the beginning until mile 45, and I felt great despite the fact that it was only 8 degrees out. I was climbing with great speed and my legs wanted to tear down the mountains!  At the mile 58 aid station, my hip flexors started to lock up, my plantar fascitis pain kicked in, and I was COLD.  My husband (also a co-race director) rubbed out my hips, put warmer clothes on me, and gave me two Aleves. I picked up my second pacer, and off we went to the next long climb of the course.

I made it to mile 75 and made the decision with my pacer to drop out. I had a bit of hyponatremia (too much water and not enough food). I became dizzy, sat down, and tried to get more food in, but it was too late at that point as I could not stop shivering–and I was wearing three puffy jackets, a long sleeve shirt, a T-shirt, gloves, a hat, two hoods, and fleece tights.  I think I burned too much energy in the first half considering it was 8 degrees until mile 20ish.

Despite the difficulties, I have no regrets. I learned a lot about running 100 miles (the IMTUF course was 102 miles), forcing food for proper fueling, and starting slow to then catch up with the other runners at the end.  Out of 33 runners who started the race, 14 finished.  This thing was no gimme–everyone who ran 100 mile races all over the country said this was the hardest one they had ever done.  I’ll chalk it up to a great learning experience and put my ego in check. This was my first DNF (did not finish) out of all my races, so I get to feel the mental and physical experience that comes with that.

So, will I do it again? ABSOLUTELY, without hesitation. The fire is burning inside to train my a** off and win this thing next year.  The trails are not going anywhere, and they continue to call my name. Once the snow hits, I’ll be nordic skiing and secretly training for the IMTUF100 in 2013!

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