Lessons Learned from Volunteering at Aid Station 9 at Midstate Massive 100 Mile Run

Everything I read the year I trained for the Leadville 100 Run in 2019 said to volunteer at a 100 mile race. I did not add that to my training plan. Advice also included running at night, hill repeats, intervals and practicing throwing up while running. I didn’t do any of these things. 

Now that I’m training, again, for Leadville in 2022, this time, I will do all these things, so first things first – I signed up to volunteer at the worst aid station – 11pm to 5am. This meant, most likely no sleep for a day which I knew was going to be problematic at some point and definitely screw up long training days needed as I train for Ironman Florida in 3 weeks. 

My BFF Jeff said yes to joining me since I didn’t know what to expect. I knew there would be an EMT there but really it’s all I knew. 

We arrived at 11pm and then runners started coming in at 11:30pm. 

What I learned at the Midstate Massive Ultra:

  • Have a plan for dropping at remote aid stations – it’s up to you to get a ride home, not the race organizers.
  • Know the course and download the maps. The app for this race had a speaker stating they were arriving at aid station 9, how many miles and their pace, plus it stated their approximate finishing time. WOW. Annoying but cool. Many people ran extra miles because they missed turns or were following others. This course has a way of doing that, though.
  • Get lean. The runners who were arriving first were lean. Weight matters.
  • The runners were so thankful we were there. Be Thankful.
  • Stop, take break and think about what you need at aid stations. 
  • Be thoughtful about who you choose as a pacer. This person must know your gear and what you like when you are completely out of it. I saw great teams out there. Pacers knew what to do and what their runner liked. They got their bottles and bladders out quickly and efficiently. I saw a couple who were running the 100 mile race together and they complimented each other perfectly. I saw one woman runner who was running her first 100 and her pacer/husband/boyfriend said all the right things while she was doubting finishing. I knew she would finish. I told her – You Will Finish This. Find your person

I’m sure there are more lessons but these were the ones that come to mind after sleeping for 12 hours. 

I can’t wait for my 100 mile race and training properly for it. Bring on the 2am runs.

Woman seeking pacer for Leadville 100 August 20, 2022. Must be motivational, but not too motivational. Must be used to running at 10,000 feet and higher. Contact blog writer.

Training Update, Ironman Mountain Biking and more

Training Stats:
– Average Resting Heart Rate: 44
– Training Status: Productive
– Total Vert last week: 6,844
– Total Hours last week: 13:53
– Plan for this week: 13 hours: Swim, Bike, Run, Weights, Hike

I’m excited for this week: I have my mountain bike AND my tri bike back from respective shops so I’m ready to ride. The rain will hopefully not hamper this week and I can ride and run trails. 

Bear Brook was so muddy and wet last week and I only did one run on the Concord trails. This week I’m hoping to do more trails and more mountain biking. While I’m 15 weeks out from Ironman Florida (my Mont Tremblant roll over race) I am still planning a few other races beforehand which means mountain biking and trail running and big hikes in the White Mountains. 

Biking this loop was the hardest mountain bike ride in a while. My new goal: get to know this loop and make it easy.

On Saturday I got to ride the Timberman bike course with Kristin, my high school friend. We met up last year while racing the Capital Wells triathlon in Sunapee. Saturday started out a cool 60 with sun. It was fun to catch up and ride the awesome roads around Laconia before heading into work. 

Saturday was a perfect day at Gunstock. Temps in the 70s and gorgeous blue sky. What a day. 

Sunday was a spin class at my new gym (interval work), long run in Concord and an open water swim with Sonja.

Long Pond Swim in Northwood with Sonja. We are in open water swim training mode.

Sonja and I signed up for the AquaBike Course at Capital Wells Sunapee in September. I’ve never done a swim/bike race but do love swimming in Lake Sunapee.

I also found the woman who we saw on Isolation who was doing the Direttissima. Stefanie Bishop and I started following her on Instagram. She is writing up a race report and asked followers for questions. I asked her how she trained for it. Her short answer for now: 

Just what I needed to know.

More time in the gym and time on feet. 

I am an Ultrarunner with a Biking Problem

I really needed this run today. 20 miles in the book: mainly trail, some vert and ending on flat for a few miles. I needed it to get my legs used to running when I don’t want to. It really was more mental – and I got it done. 

I opted to run today instead of bike because it was so windy and cold.

I started the run around the quarry with some beautiful views. I headed toward the West End Trails knowing that I would get some serious miles and vert.

I have been falling at least once on every trail run this season due to the little stumps that miss my eye. As I laid on the ground I looked back at this little bugger and snarled. “I hate you,” I said to it. And then took a picture of it.

My fall was not too hard this time but come. on.

Tomorrow is going to be less windy so I’ll get my 50+ mile bike ride in. My plan is to ride to Sunapee State Park and back. I’m sure my legs will be dead tomorrow morning but I need to see 50 on my watch. Ironman is on the horizon.

I also have race calendar changes:

I added Blood Root in Vermont 50K and a Pemi Loop. I did the Blood Root in 2019 so I know what I’m getting myself into: mud, black flies and running up mountains. It’s going to hurt. But knowing I’m doing this race in 15 days motivated me to complete the 20 miles today. I needed to see 20 miles on my Garmin. I’m going to do a Pemi Loop midweek; most likely solo. It’s going to be interesting but this race calendar is keeping me motivated.

Last week: 10.5 training hours

This week: 10 training hours (so far, but the goal is 15)

A few changes to the 2021 Race Calendar

I added the Mid State Massive knowing that I’m never going to get into the Vermont 100 since I’m 108 on the waiting list. A few nights ago after a great training day, I registered for the Midstate Massive. I’ve been reading blogs and watching YouTube videos about the race. My plan is to volunteer at the Vermont 100 and see what the 100 mile race is all about and learn everything I can. My plan prior to Leadville included volunteering at an ultra and it just didn’t happen. This time – IT MUST.

Here is my list of all the things I need to do to finish a 100 miler that I didn’t do while training for Leadville:

  1. Run at night
  2. Hill repeats
  3. Speed work
  4. Strength training
  5. Walk a lot
  6. Volunteer at a 100 mile race

Why do I need to finish a 100 mile race? 

I want to know what it’s like to cross a 100 mile finish line. I want to understand what my body has to do in order to run 100 miles. I need to finish what I started. I want the buckle.

Back to the present: today is a long bike ride and run. However before that a short mountain bike ride on the Concord trails.

78 days to Ironman Coeur d’Alene.