"Hold it . . . something's wrong! Very wrong! That's not mile 85! What's going on? How can this be? That's mile 35! Maybe someone just split the "8" in half . . . must really be mile 85! No . . . I'm at the lap counter and it clearly says I'm at mile 35! I must be sleeping . . . just having a nightmare! Come on Frank . . . wake up! Wake up!"
But I can't wake up . . . because it wasn't a dream.
I'm such a rookie at these ultra runs. Plus, I'm just not very bright. I got a lot of good advice from experienced 100 mile finishers. Lot's of great tips. Plus, one bit of fairly consistent advice . . . start out slowly, very slowly. Slower then you think you should. REALLY SLOW!
At the end of 5 miles I was about 20 minutes AHEAD of my goal pace. By mile 10, I was almost 50 minutes ahead! I knew I was going too fast. But I just didn't force myself to slow down.
I passed the marathon point at about 5:45. Slow, but not slow enough. But at this point I felt great! It was about this time I shifted to walking only as the temperatures started getting up there! Actually, I felt good up until about 33 miles. By mile 35 I knew I was in trouble . . . serious trouble! Not health-wise . . . but I knew 100 miles was likely not going to happen. My walking was no longer a strategy, it was a necessity. At mile 40 I crashed! Bad! I decided to stop and take a 30 minute nap! I wasn't really sleepy, but I was hoping for some sort of miracle. Sleep through some of the heat and recover some.
Actually that may have been my best move of the day. When I woke up and got moving again, I had recovered to some degree! The sun angle was much lower, and the temperatures had just started to moderate some. I returned to a run / walk interval (but way more walking then running!) and even toyed with the thought that maybe I could continue on through the night. But by the end of another 5 mile lap I knew my day would be done at 50. And so it was. The night before talking with Connie, I had acknowledged the next day didn't look good. But anything less then 50 miles would be a failure. So . . . while I don't look at this as a total failure, it was a DNF . . . the first DNF I've ever had.
But this really isn't the story that needs to be told. The real story are the members of the Rocky Mount Endurance Club that that were out there all day long pacing me! In the morning it was great having these great people to run with! I felt great and totally enjoyed the company. This was going to be their normal Saturday long run. But I expected that once the morning passed I would pretty much be going it alone. After all, this was Easter weekend and everyone had family matters going on, company coming, etc.
But folks were there all day long! I soo appreciated all their support and concern!
I'm afraid I may miss someone when I try to mention everyone's name. So sorry if I do!!
Early in the morning I saw Larry McKeel, Ron Fleming, Ralph Willey, Arthur Bennett, Russ Hensley. Then, Charlotte Burnett and Jeff. And then Patti Miller came. Several times saw Eric Pate and Steve Cooper.
Then, Patti's husband Jeff and daughter Kayla and son Brandon came. Kayla had made a sign of support for me!!!! That really touched me!
Kevin Boudreau came out for quite a while, then Ron Fleming and his dog Max returned for amother lap.
Then, Elaine Weisner joined me for my "crash and burn!" (Sorry Elaine, I know you were ready to go a lot further!) After my 30-minute nap, Steve and Tampa Cooper and their son Gabe came by and Steve joined me as did my buddy and Elaine's husband, Brad Weisner. Soon Ron Fleming returned yet again. Then, Amber Poole and Jon Shingleton joined the parade as did Eric Pate plus Jeff returned! (Jeff is just starting his running, but believe you me, he is going to be a really good runner soon!). Scott Wingfield also came by with his truck full of kids! Plus, several others drove by during the day, just to check up on progress.
All these folks were totally there for me and I appreciate it so much. Also, Brian Lankford! Brian was resting, getting ready to join me from midnight until 6 am! Sorry I let you down Brian!
For the last 10 miles, this fun group of folks looked like a gang of teenagers out at night, walking the streets We're luck the police didn't stop us!! It was really like a moving party! Quite funny . . . though I didn't feel like laughing at all! Everything hurt!
So . . . with there be another 100 attempt? Certainly not anytime soon and maybe not ever. This one beat me down pretty hard. Last night I told Connie this was both my first and last 100 attempt. And maybe it was. But . . . . maybe . . . . possibly . . .
Here are some more pictures.