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100 miles

Last week I set out to run 100 miles in a single week for the first time. Before I reflect on the overall week, here is a brief recap of each day:

Monday – 13.1 miles

  • We kicked off our 100 mile week with a hot, middle-of-the-day, half marathon in the Verdugo mountains. Overall a solid run with pretty steady pacing.

Tuesday – 15 miles

  • Unwisely, I began Tuesday morning with a 50 mile bike ride. After a mid-afternoon nap, I met up with Marc and Katelin and we set out for 15 miles inside of the Santa Monica Mountains. By mile 14 I realized that I had not eaten nearly enough calories to sustain my efforts, and got a bit light headed. I quickly downed two Splits and was feeling back to normal.

Wednesday – 10 miles

  • Another hot day, so we decided on another early evening run. This turned out to be a poor choice as Fryman Canyon was PACKED! My legs felt a bit tired on the uphills, but overall the run was fine.

Thursday – 10 miles

  • THIS SUCKED! We started in the early afternoon and the sun tore me to pieces. Between the sun beating down on me and my lunch not sitting well, I was not having a good time on Thursday. I had to change up the route slightly and skip the last hill.

Friday – 23ish miles

  • Honestly the first 17 miles were awesome. Originally we had two separate 10 mile routes planned, but the first one wound up being 12 miles. That was fine though. The second loop was a 10.9 mile disaster. We cruised through the first 5 miles with the sun beating down on us. I remember saying “just about a 10k left, and we CRUSH 10ks.” Next up was Marc almost stepping on a rattlesnake which lead to me being anxious and stressed out for the next mile or so whenever I heard noises in the rocks and bushes. We came to the start of our final 5 mile climb only to discover that most of the trail had been washed out and was blocked by fallen trees that we had to climb over or scramble under. Those final 5ish miles took us over 2 hours!

Saturday – 20 miles

  • Saturday was a dick. We kicked things off with a 7 mile out and back that I was excited about. I love a tough climb that I then get to turn around and bomb back down. I don’t however, love running uphill, surrounded by pesky gnats, and getting bitten by a horsefly on my collarbone. Mildly annoyed, I reminded myself it’s a part of trail running and I’d soon be flying back down the hill with a big smile on my face! I reached the bottom and a few minutes later Marc popped out of the trail as well. Then Emily came trotting out of the tree line and the look on her face wasn’t a good one. She ate shit on the descent and in the process scraped her hand and knee. Oh and she scratched her phone screen, which she just had replaced. I bet she was so happy that I convinced her to wake up at 5am with me to go for an adventure. As I sat there helping Em pull thorns and gravel out of her skin, Marc let me know that his ankle wasn’t feeling good and he was going to call it instead of run the second loop we had planned. I drove back to LA and ran 13 miles around the Hollywood Reservoir.

Sunday – 8.7 miles

  • An anti-climatic final Trash Trucks loop in Griffith.

There it is, my 100 mile week.

Overall reflection:

Back in April, I was supposed to race Badwater Salton Sea 81 miler. When that was cancelled, Marc suggested I run the distance over the course of the week the race was scheduled for. I took the bait for that idea and told Marc he’d have to do the same if AC100 was cancelled. Flash forward to this past week and sure enough AC100 was cancelled.

I haven’t been running much, so on day 1 I told Marc he could count on me for 30-50 miles. I was only kidding myself, because everyone else knew that if I started this, I’d want to finish it.

Each day presented some new challenges, and I started discovering that I was stronger than I gave myself credit for. Each run left me feeling more of a sense of accomplishment, and more grateful for the ability to pursue this goal.

All that remained going into Sunday’s run was 8.6 miles, and I was feeling great! I met up with Dax, Miguel, and Katelin and we set out for the final few miles. As my watch beeped at the 8th mile Katelin said I looked better than I did back in April at the end of my 80+ mile week. For the next three quarters of a mile my legs felt rejuvenated. Stride for stride my cadence was light and bouncy.

And then, I was done. The overall accomplishment was satisfying, but reminded me that I had more in the tank. I like to remind people that they are stronger than they think. That if they ignore the voice in their head that tells them to stop, they will achieve much more than they ever imagined. I feel like I made 100 miles seem like a mountain of a task, and when I finished, it reminded me that every mountain can be climbed.

Final note – Yes, I ran with a few different friends this week. We ran with buffs and with space between us.

Run happy, friends!

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