Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bethel Hill Midnight Boogie 50 miler June 7 and 8 2014

This was the 4th running of "The Boogie" for me.  I ran the 50 miler 3 years ago (my first 50), an unofficial marathon 2 years ago when I got bit by the dog, and again last year when I ran the marathon.  

This is one of my most favorite events.  Love the people, MTC and the ruralness of the event.  These days I enjoy the smaller events with smaller entry fees and familiar faces.  

Kayla, Steve and I left about noon for Ellerbee.  First stop?  Golden Corral.  I didn't feel very good about the choice but no one wanted to go to Ihop so to the all you can eat buffet it was....  I ate a lot of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese.  

We got to Bethel Hill just after Paul Heckert pulled up.  We were the second people there - had our choice of where to park!  

black snake under the stone
I took a little walk through the graveyard.  Last year Drew found a snake under one of the cement slabs and I wondered if it was still in there.  I peered in there and sure enough, it was.  I stood on the slab and carefully pointed my camera lens in the hole to get a picture.  It was a huge black snake.  I was happy he stayed in there....

People started showing up so we visited, talked and chilled out for a while.  Then started getting ready. 

20 years of boogie - given to Doug
We all gathered near the start for the pre-race briefing where Doug explained how the race was passed on to Brandon and RacENC bacause of new regulations.  It was a process and thankfully it went through so we could run the 20th annual race!

The start was about as informal as it gets.  We were all standing in the road talking and Doug yelled GO!  lol!  We were off!  

The first lap is always fun.  The sun is out and people are happy and full of energy.  I ran with many people this lap and we shared stories and passed the time.

Steve, Me and Jenn - photo complements of Kevin Spradlin
Kevin Spradlin was out there taking MANY MANY pictures of us on the course.  He wrote up several articles about this race and they can be found here and here.  Thanks to him for the pics and the write ups!!  He does a lot of reporting of stories for MTC.  Glad to have him around for these events!

I stopped at the aid station every time to fill up my handheld cause I was emptying it after every 3-4 miles.  The well water here was never an issue for me.  I was drinking a LOT!  It was warm, I was sweating, and I did not want to dehydrate.  

I got back to the aid station and Kayla gave me a bandana that had been in a cooler that was filled with these little beads that absorb water.  It was nice to have!  It was much better than an ice filled bandana as it didn't drip all over and it kept cool.  

The sun started going down heading into lap 2.  I didn't take a light but Steve did.  I prefer to run without one.  It was a good night to run without one - the moon was out and was quite bright for at least a while. 

Nathan, Steve and I on lap one - too much fun!!
Coming back up Bethel Hill on lap 2 all you could see were headlamps.  It is not nearly as fun as the first lap when you can actually see who is on the other side.  One of the runners heading down the hill crossed over the center line on the road and was heading right for us - I wasn't sure who it was or what was wrong with them - I thought whoever it was, was delusional - o wait, my bad - that was me who was already half out of it! ha!  It was Nathan having some fun - LOL!  He was a lot of fun to run with.  We were within minutes of him and Paul much of the evening and into the morning. 

Much of the humor this evening brought to you by "Sweet Brown" HA!!  Steve kept quoting it and had me laughing - you can see the clip here. "Ain't nobody got time for that!" lol!

Lap 3 and 4 is when more interesting things started happening besides "crazy runners" coming after me....

There were some really strange noises coming from the field right before the "dog house" where I got bit 2 years ago.  I had never heard a sound like that before.  I stopped, asked Steve, "what was that?"  He didn't seem too concerned but I was.  I saw 2 somethings in the field that were white...  Was it a wild boar? Someone saw one on their way to the race...  Mama hog and her baby hoglets?  Then I heard the sound again and started to freak out some...  I jumped back on the other side of the yellow line and Steve started laughing at me.  I also heard laughter coming from the field and heard "did someone fall out over there?"  Turns out it was some teenagers playing with air horns in the field in the middle of the night.  Yeah....  so being sleep deprived and tired can take a toll on ones senses (if said person had any sense to begin with - lol)!  Yeah, no baby hoglets, just a delusional runner.  ha! 

Back around to the dog pen and up the hill towards the aid station I saw a shooting star.  I was hoping I was not seeing things, but I heard several reports of other runners seeing one as well, so I'm sure at least that part of the run was real - lol!  

Taking off on lap one - Picture from Kevin Spradlin
I grabbed a flashlight at mile 36 just to have, cause the moon went down and it was really dark out there. We both took a brief break and got a massage from Denise.  My hamstrings were so tight and the massage helped a lot :)

A little while later after the moon went down and it was really dark, a car was coming down the road in our direction.  I said "here comes a drunk driver" and jumped off into the grass.  (yes, to me all drivers are considered drunk that time of night) I turned on my flashlight that I grabbed to use only when a car came and saw a snake!!!  AGH!!  It was big - prolly 4-5 ft long and stretched out.  I screamed to Steve "snake or drunk driver?!?"  Steve jumped back onto the road and said "I'll take the drunk driver"  -  I jumped back a few feet in the grass away from the snake but did not chose the road - LOL!!  Wow, we laughed for a long while after that one!! The next mile brought to you by adrenaline.  Ha!

There was a place along the route down by the bridge at the bottom of the hill that was *exceptionally creepy* at night.  I had to run by it alone twice because of either pit stops or I was walking or he was running.  (miles 38 and 48) It was very dark with all the trees over the road and there was something in the woods moving around - I could hear it - eek!!  I picked up the pace both times to catch up to him even though something deep inside wanted to scream out "WAIT FOR ME!"   

Who dat?  runing at night - Wm Keene
I have run parts of the course alone before, in years past and its not something that I enjoy doing.  It is dark and lonely and the "voices in your head" can really get to you with the exhaustion and lack of sleep.  

"You’ll never know who you will meet @ The Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie" Wm Keene. Seriously, you have no idea who you are passing in the middle of the night, either shadows with no lights or something like this  - Photo complements of Wm Keene  --------> 

We headed out on lap 5 and my stomach was not handling that last protein drink too well.  We turned the corner onto the road that leads to the dog pen and my mouth started watering like it was "the end" - I just kept spitting and the nausea passed.  ugh.  :/  

Finally we got to the last time we would pass the dog pen aid station.  I grabbed a few more chips and twizzlers like I had done every lap before.  There was this sweet lab dog there that was one of the aid station workers pet.  She came up to me and the owner said "aww, go give her some sugar" the dog walked up to me and I bent down and pet her.  She started licking the air but didn't quite lick my face - she wasn't so sure about that idea...  she backed away and started gagging.  I laughed and apologized to the doggie for being so stinky - then she retched - omg I felt bad!  I was that stinky that I caused a dog to puke :/  Poor doggie....  It was amusing though....  we all laughed about that as we walked up the hill. 

That last bit from the dog pen to the church was tough.  I was struggling through exhaustion and pain in my hip flexors and the annoyance of a few blisters that were on both feet.  Steve kept asking if I was alright and I said yeah...  just one of those things that happens to me with long races where I go through some hard stuff, just trying to push on - mind is telling me to go when my body wants me to quit.  In some ways this 50 miler is *similar* to a 100 with the sleep deprivation.  So I was going through my dark valley just before the sun came up as I often do in a 24 hour or 100 mile event. 

We got to the aid station and they filled my water and we were off for that last out and back!!  We took off down the hill and I was raring to go - 4 miles left and I was ready to be done!!  Steve said hey I can't keep this pace going so I backed off and we ran together.  Wasn't going to leave my wingman after 46 miles :) 

We made it to the arrow at the out and back and started the last 2 miles back.  I was so ready to pick up the pace and be done!  Part way up the hill I started singing "here comes the sun" and Steve started singing "do do do do"  I continued "here comes the sun" "and I say, its alright....."  yes, the sun was *just beginning* to come up and was starting to color the horizion with a promising glow. :D  best part of an overnight race if you ask me, is when the sun comes up!!!!

Then I started singing "I'm on top of the world HEY!" cause I was almost to the top of that blessed Bethel Hill.  Yes, I realize I was *probably* delirious at this point and yes that is how it goes in a long race like this... 

I started laughing when we turned that corner and saw the church.  Best.  Part.  Of.  The.  Night!!  Nothing like seeing that church on the last lap.  :D  We passed into the finish shoot together with a time of 11:27:45 - tied for 32nd overall of 50 finishers.  117 people started the race - 34 people finished the 30 mile option.  

Huge PR for Steve - he cut nearly 2 1/2 hours off his time from last year.  It was 45 minutes slower than the last time I ran it but I was still pleased with my finish and that we were able to run together the whole time. 

Overview: Loop 1 - 1:57.  Loop 2 - 4:04.  Loop 3 - 6:22.  Loop 4 - 9:03 and that included a massage break.  Loop 5 finish - 11:27. 

Looking at the stats, had we stopped at 30 (6:22) we would have been tied for 8th and I would have been first female. 

I rinsed my feet off at the hose to *try* to wash of *some* of the stink though I knew it was a lost cause.  

It was a long drive back.  Steve started out the drive but made it only a few miles before we switched and I drove.  We made it to Cary before I couldn't drive any longer and he drove the rest of the way.  

That.  Jeep.  Smelled.  :/  I felt bad for Kayla who had to endure the stench for the ride.  Not sure if she was sleeping or passed out from the runner odor - lol!

Got home, showered and crashed for about an hour.  Tried to chill the rest of the day - I was not worth much with 50 miles and no sleep.  I looked at pics from the race online and watched tv most of the day.  Took another hour nap later in the day then slept well that night. 

Aside from eating at an all you can eat buffet beforehand - I stuck with what I knew worked for me during the run.  I had several Special K protien drinks and lots of boogie well water, chips and twizzlers.  I had one gu when I forgot to drink one after loop 3 and that seemed to tide me over til I got back to the Jeep.  I took S-caps about every half hour to an hour.  One thing I noticed is I was sweating the entire night, even after the sun went down and even as my pace slowed.  It was a warm evening, and humid night.  I had planned on changing clothes but it wasn't worth wasting time since I would sweat through the dry stuff within a mile anyway.  I brought extra socks and shoes but never changed them.  I ended up with a couple blisters but nothing too severe.  When I took off my compression socks and shoes I had a heat rash on my feet and legs, but it didn't last very long thankfully!  It was gone within a few hours.  

A while back I noticed that Doug "the boogieman" wore 2 socks when he ran.  I used to do that when I was a hiker, but when I ran I never thought to do it.  The past few races I have done the 2 layer sock thing and it has really cut back on how many and the severity of the blisters.  It worked well for this race. 

This race I didn't listen to any music.  I typically will have my tunes on me and start playing them at some point later in the race, but this time I didn't use music.  It worked fine.
2011, 2013 and 2014

I was walking fine Monday - only some soreness in my hip flexors, but nothing like the 2 week recovery that I had from PL 50K++.  Thankful for the health and strength to run a race like this, even with low weekly training miles. 

Thanks Doug and RacENC for doing the foot work on getting all the permits so we could have this race again.  

I will be back again next year :)

*cheers* from my new finishers mug