I had a chance to catch up with Tracey McQuair from Penticton to ask her a few questions about her 100k in March. One of the things I love about the pace blog is sharing stories from our athletes. Together we learn, motivate and celebrate! Tough day out there for Tracey but nothing that is going to hold her back from setting new goals and making new experiences.
1. Was this your first 100k and how many other ultras have you run before this one?
Yes this was my first 100k on trail. I've run 81 miles at the Badwater Salton Sea Race, however, it only had 19 k of trail, the rest was road. I've run 2 other 50k's on trail and 3 other road double marathons in Ultramans.
2. How did you prepare for such a long race and what would you say were 1-2 key things you did during training that helped the most?
This was a huge change for me primarily focusing on just running. I had a good friend commit to getting me out for all of my back to back weekend runs which I think was super helpful on those early mornings before work on Saturdays! The key thing I think were the back to back long runs on the weekend. That second run was tough knowing what you had run the day before.
3. How did your race experience go?
I felt awesome at the start, especially for not sleeping more than an hour the night before. It was lightly raining and a lot of uphill to start which I thought was a good way to warm up - however, I soon got too warm (likely due to stomach stomach/gut issues that would soon come to haunt me) to a point where I was sweating profusely and couldn't cool off even though we were getting some snow flakes…uh-oh…well, my watch says it's time to eat…gel time...well then we hit some technical flat and gnarly drop off sections with a speedy descent - I was feeling pretty great again! Gel in hand…Rene would be so proud that I'm eating on schedule and I'm smiling on the descent…I keep sweating….I take of as many layers as legally allowed…my stomach cramps…I feed the forest fairies my gel…gas-x - yes, this always makes me feel better…okay this is okay…now every attempt at running creates an intense cramp in my gut…keep calm…salt pills, yah, salt pills….drink, yes drink coke….more nutrition is returned to forest gnomes who are at this time taunting me….arrrrgh….just make it to the turn around your pacer will make you happy….the forest closes in and the body says no more and 50 k is not something I want to walk…my day was done. I was gutted, literally and physically. However, getting into the car - I knew that I had made the right decision. Having had a chest cold and having made some poor decisions the day before, my legs were ready however, one can only go so far on water and salt pills alone. Thank goodness for flying to vegas to go hiking the next day!! :)
4. If you could change anything about it, what would it be?
I had a day before meal plan/sleep plan…and I didn't follow it. I'm bad at working to other people's timelines to make life easier. I need to remember, it's okay to be a little "selfish" the day before and stick to your schedule. What works for one, may not work for another. So I would have stuck to my eating schedule the 2 days prior (time and actual foods), better sleep schedule and I would have gotten up more than once to run at 4am to practice what my body would feel like on possibly poor sleep.
5. What’s next on your race calendar?
50 miler at Sun Mountain…I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't nervous about it now...