Monday, April 4, 2011

Bust . . .

Ok . . . I failed again!  But I felt better about it then I did at my first 100 mile attempt!  My time sucked, but somehow I feel better about things!

The Positives:
  • Chose the best race ever!  I've run a ton of races . . .  no other race even comes close to this one!  They think of everything!  Every single possible detail . . . it's perfect! And every volunteer must have to go through a week of training.  Everyone single volunteer's focus is to 1) help you succeed and 2) to make YOUR experience the best possible one!  As a runner you may THINK you've experience the best race possible . . . but until you've tried the Umstead 100, you'll never know how good it can really be!
  • No real problems physically!  Okay, I hurt all over!  Every part of my body . . . except my right ear!  But no problem was disabling.  And mentally I kept my facilities the whole time.  I saw so many folks totally 'out of it' . . . not me!
  • Perfect weekend for a 100 mile run.  Cool but not really cold . . . okay . . . maybe it got a little cold Sunday morning, but overall we could not have dreamed of better conditions.
The Negatives:

  • My training was obviously lacking.
  • My mental focus sucked.
I started the race truly believing I had a real chance to finish this race and earn an Umstead 100 buckle. But I was so wrong.  I had no chance.

Running 100 miles is hard!  It's one SUPER hard thing to do!  My hat is off to everyone who has achieved this awesome milestone!  Yesterday, I had three friend that got added to the list of successful finishers: 1) Sharon Scott, 2)  Charles West, and 3) Daniel Lieb.  Several others tried hard and almost made it . . . but not quite:  Jim Wie, Amy Schimmel, Jeff Sackaroff, Lauren Wilkins.  (Oh God . . . who am I forgetting . . . getting old is hell!!)

Sharon . . . That;s how fast she was movin'!!
I just finished looking at pictures of Sharon's experience thanks to great pictures her husband Ricky took.  Got to admit that as I was looking at all the pictures, tears started . . . and continued!! I cried like a baby!. . . if I couldn't do I am sooooo happy Sharon did!  Somehow I feel a special connection to Sharon!

Sharon looking happy as always!!

I was at about 45 miles as Charles lapped me!  Just before the Biker about took me out!
And Charles West.  Charles was on the waiting list but only told a few of us.  He killed it out there.  Plus, he got to hear me 'let loose' on a frickin' biker that almost ran me over!  After all I yelled at him I'm so glad that dude didn't stop, come back, and whip my ass!

Not to mention Daniel Lieb.  Of all the first-timers, I was most confident about Daniel's success . . . and successful he was!  He is a freak of nature!  Somehow I didn't get a picture of Daniel.  But I got this one of one of Daniel's pacers . . . Bobby Cordell!  Talk about adding spirit!

Jim Wei, Amy Schimmel, Lauren Wilkins and Jeff Sackaroff all have the mental toughness it takes.  They didn't fail because of their lack of focus.  Each failed in their goal due to physical issues that became insurmountable obstacles.  Each will ultimately do this.  (I can't help but 'tear up' again when I think about each of these folks . . . and their toughness . . . and their ultimate disappointment at Umstead!  They soooo inspire me!)

But Saturday and Sunday I sure had a ton of support!

Will Jorgenson, Tammy and Rick Grey
Tammy and Rick Grey . . . amazingly neat people!  Rick had huge digestion issues after 50 miles . . . but every time we saw each other he had noting but support for me!  Tammy . . . every trip around she wanted to help.  These are two special people.  No wonder each is an ultra legend!  And the 'Ultra Master and Guru' for so many!

Jim Plant . . . who had a bad cold and had to stop.  But Jimbo is one of the most inspiring folks I know.  He's done a ton of 100s and he'll do many more.  Just not Umstead in 2011!  Sorry Jimbo!  But your Awesomeness will show through in two weeks!!

My pacers:  Eric Pate, Scott Wingfield . . . plus James Stephenson and Cam Kelly waiting to be called.  Eric made me finish Lap 5.  Scott drove to Raleigh and ran to meet Eric and I even though he knew my Lap 6 wasn't going to happen! James and Cam were both so hoping to be there and help me home.  Thanks everyone!

MTC . . . tons of MTCer out there . . . running . . . and supporting.  I'll miss many!!  But Tom Herbst, Frank MacGuire, Fred Dumar, Susan Dumar (special 'atta' girl' to Susan!!!! Super supporter and volunteer!) and Marie Lewis come to mind.    Add to that Ben Dillion . . . probably the one person most supportive of all!  And the 'EVERYWHERE" volunteer all weekend long!  MTC is the BEST!

Final Thoughts

Everyone person I talk to is amazed at even trying to run 100 miles.  Some folks (especially runners) even think they may understand what it might take to actually run 100 miles (I'm one of those . . . but trust me . . . we don't!)  Running 100 miles is no frickin' joke.  You have to have a mental toughness only a few in this world actually have.  The pain . . . the preparation and training, the boredom of the middle miles. . . the focus to push through the unbelievable pain to get to the finish!  Everyone who has ever completed a 100 mile run totally deserves the admiration you've earned!  I just so wish I had it in me.

And maybe I will.  But most likely I won't.  But that's okay.  Maybe I'll develop the mental toughness it takes and the physical condition.  Maybe not.  But at least I've tried.  I'll try again!


  1. Frank - thanks for the shout out. I am absolutely convinced you have a 100 in you. As always, it was a joy to see you out there - folks like you is why I keep doing this craziness. See you in a couple of weeks, where we both can hopefully shroud ourselves in awesomeness!

  2. Frank, You did amazing! I'm so proud of you. It was great to meet you and your blog post just about had me in tears. You are an inspiration and I hope to see you again soon. Recover well. :-)

  3. Frank, You did the 2011 100K. Next year is the 2012 100 miler. You are one tough runner!!!

  4. Excellent report, Frank. Reading reports like this has convinced me to be a volunteer at next year's race. I may never run a 100 miler, but it would be great to help others attempt to achieve that incredible goal.

  5. You are an amazing man. Someone I will always look up to. And not just because I'm short. Because you are of character and strength.

  6. Frank, you did great! It was so nice to see you on the back of Turkey Creek. You were so happy and cheerful. And you get points for avoiding a bike going 20mph around a curve towards you! That still kills me!! And by far you scored the best picture from Shannon! Congrats again!

  7. 100 miles is a long way and you came pretty close. Reaching 100k is an enormous obstacle and I for one am so proud of what you did out there. You are a true inspiration to me and to so many others. I always looked forward to seeing you as we would meet. In fact, I hollered out the name "Frank" several times when I thought it was you and then it would be someone else who was wearing a hat similar to yours. You are a special man and you did a spectacular job at a truly special race. As you said, there is nothing lacking at Umstead. No detail left undone. I for one have no suggestions for the race and all of the volunteers, but I do have a big Thank You for them. It is truly a very special race and I thank you for being a part of my race this year.

  8. But we know that you actually didn't quit Frank, because it seems you are still on one long, continuos endurance run. Can't count how many marathons and ultras you have done the last few years. You'll probably be doing another marathon this weekend.

    Hopefully we wil see again soon!

  9. I love how Shannon put it.... 100k! And that is nothing to sneeze at. It's more than most (like myself) will probably ever attempt!

    Learn from this experience, note things that went right and wrong, and apply it to next time. You will get a 100 Miler, I'm confident of that! YOU ROCK!

  10. I am one that truly admires you for even trying to run 100 miles. I've known you a long time and I know your determination and "want to" attitude will help you to succeed in accomplishing this goal one day. Keep it up!! You are truly awesome!!

  11. Hey Frank!

    I've seen you at so many races and runs, I made a note to myself that I had to physically meet you. I saw you at Umstead. While you were sitting in the lodge ~3am, I even asked you how you were doing.... stupid question I know! You're a true inspiration Frank, and I feel confident that this obstacle which has so blocked your path, will one day be overcome.

  12. Frank--I have been dying to see you since Tobacco Road--not sure you have heard my story but a true angel carried me through the last 15.2 miles (well, I did not meet him until mile 11)and within the first half of a mile I said to myself....this guy really is Frank Lilley. He was a WONDERFUL soul that ran with me...without an agenda for himself....just there to help me meet my goal...a complete something that you would do for anybody!!! You have inspired so many!!! Including me.... not to 100 miles....but in other ways!!! Thanks for all of your blog posts and amazing stories/reports!!! YOu are tough as nails!!


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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.