Monday, September 20, 2010

North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run Race Report

How much is there really to say about a race that goes around in a .9 mile loop for 24 hours? Well as it turns out - LOTS. It was a day filled with so much raw emotion. The race was well organized, and while I didn't stop at the aid station too many times it was well stocked. (I crammed our car full of everything I could possibly imagine!) The volunteers were the greatest, and many of them my good friends which was a bonus! Even though I didn't make it to the aid station all that often they did call out to me as I was running by, just making sure I was ok. They knew what was up (more on that later). Chaney Events, well they were amazing as always (official results are already posted on My family and friends were absolutely incredible - I mean, who in the world would want to come watch someone run in circles? Turns out lots of people showed up. Some I knew were coming and some friends shocked me by coming out; I had no idea they were coming and it really lifted my spirits!

First things first

Thanks to all those who donated to Impossible2Possible! I met my fundraising goal of $500. The Amazon expedition is coming up fast and I'm sure they can use that money! It takes alot to run an organization such as I2P! The education resources that are provided to schools that follow along are all free to schools/teachers and tons of kids will be benefiting from this. THANK YOU!

Setting up/the race start
We had good luck as we happened to set our tent up near Shelley and James Viggiano! This time it was Shelley's turn to run, and James turn to crew. I'm glad to run with Shelley and she did great! James was a busy guy as well, and very helpful. He made it clear that he'd help in any way he could. They are really an amazing couple and both very inspiring! Soon after we got everything set up there was a quick meeting. I have to say I really didn't pay attention to the meeting - I was just kind of numb, thinking about what was about to take place. This was really about to begin. All this training I've done, all the work, waking up at 2 a.m., starting long runs at 3 a.m. - it was all for this. 24 hours and it will all be over. I was trying to absorb it all and it was too much!

Finally - the start! I don't think there were too many people in a hurry, except the top dawgs maybe - and I don't know if that was the case even then! We had plenty of time to run and meet our goal! The first person I chatted with at the beginning was Frederick Davis - a running legend and simply put: One great guy. His top goal was the same as mine. Neither of us had the outcome we desired, but in the end we were both happy with what we achieved. More on Fred later!

Right from the get go I was feeling nauseated. Still running, but feeling nauseated. That was horrible, I was just ticked.

Mistake #1 - I used an energy drink that I had not used during training for NC. Yes I've used it for other training/races but I haven't used it for NC training. Needless to say I'll never use it again. It's been a few months since I've used it last. I didn't really need it, I know this - I KNEW this. So why did I take it? I figured it wouldn't hurt. Well it did. All I could think of was Ray saying -"Don't ruin your race because of food L!" Dang. I have to say it didn't really slow me down much, I can deal with being nauseated. But I really wanted to puke. Seriously, I thought it would be the best thing ever. But nada. Relief came later, then a much bigger problem.

Mistake #2 - Or I should say, a much more uncomfortable problem. My old friend UTI. (Or so I was thinking.) It happened the same as before. Feeling the need to pee every second, and nothing. It bothered me more when I ran, so I walked as fast as I could. Every time I thought maybe I should just suck it up I started running. Every time I did the problem just seemed to get worse however. I cannot describe how uncomfortable it is. I can deal with pain. No problemo. But this is so different. I wasn't worried like I was when this happened before. Wasn't scared either. Just pissed. Of all days. SERIOUSLY! At one point I went to the bathroom - and yeppers. Blood in my urine. FANTASTIC. I came out of the bathroom and my husband was waiting for me. I was frustrated and burst into tears. Joe Jurzyck was there too, and all I could do was just cry like a big sissy. I started back up again and that was that. I wasn't about to stop - no way. I hoped for big mileage but that was pretty much out of the question now. I was stopping every loop to try and go to the bathroom. At night I avoided the port a potties because quite a few of them had been, um - "blown up" if you know what I mean. Just stuck with the public bathroom. I wasted a huge amount of time using the bathroom and now it was just about lasting the whole 24 hours and getting at least 100 miles. That was my bare minimum goal for this race. (Max goal was far greater)

Eventually my husband informed the medical staff what was going on. At first they had me downing cranberry juice. Then they had me take cranberry pills, which I had already been taking since my first UTI episode. None of that worked. I thought there was a doctor in the medical area, but apparently he was running the race - so a man on the medical staff tried to help me out (I'm not sure what all the qualifications are.) I spent a good deal of time on the table as he said sometimes nerves are pinched around that area. He tried as best he could but nothing worked. Finally he said there's nothing he could do for me, and I went on my unmerry way. Swell. I ran the rest of the 24 hours feeling this way. One day later I may have found a simple solution thanks to Shelley V though. While I was reading her blog she had the exact same issue. She actually talked to the doctor who was running the race and headed the medical team. Chronic cystitis is what he told her, and per Shelley's blog: "basically, i was dehydrated, my bladder was empty and the empty bladder walls were rubbing against one another, causing irritation and bleeding". WOW!!!!! So this would not be UTI? Even though I had this UTI just a couple weeks ago this is something I'm going to have to look into - this has GOT to be it. I mean, what are the chances that this happened to both of us? Here's this knowledgeable ultra runner doctor - he HAS to know his stuff. I'm so relieved for Shelley's blog and FINALLY a solution to my problems. A simple solution. I THOUGHT I was drinking enough but I guess that just wasn't the case. I wish I was smart and did what she did, ask the doc but I did not. I'm just thankful that I know now. Lessons learned. There are always lessons learned. I'm such a newbie!

Making new friends, loving the old friends, and my wonderful family:

Ray Zahab
I continue to get a great deal of knowledge from Ray, and am constantly grateful! Such a busy guy (seriously, I can't possibly complain about being busy after knowing how busy he is) he's always there to help and is so encouraging. A wee bit bummed about my mileage he had very encouraging words for me - I'm lucky to have his help. He's GREAT friend and coach!

Jaameelah Mujaahid
I ran with an amazing woman for a good portion of the run. Jaameelah came all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the NC24. This was her first. What's amazing about her is not only the fact that she was out there doing the run, but she was doing so and has SIX kids. AND she has a job. HOW THE HECK! She's amazing! Turns out she starts her runs early in the a.m. like I do, because hey - that's just what needs to happen if we want to do these things. Running is her me time. What a fantastic, inspiring mother. I'm sure her kids are incredibly proud of her!

Frederick Davis, III
I latched onto Fred and I would not let him go! I'm not sure when it was exactly, but at some point we started running together for great lengths of time. We had both ditched our top goals but were still hell bent on making our bare minimum. His being 90, mine 100. We talked SO much, I'm sure the other runners had to be irritated late at night when they were hurting. I'm sorry y'all, but it was great. We were talking, laughing, telling each other our history - family, jobs, etc. Talking about running - all of that! Sometimes though, we ran in silence. We ran just trying to put one foot in front of the other, not needing to say anything. Just knowing. In the end, we crossed the finish line together. Once we crossed Fred said, "Lets make it to the next marking before times up!" We gave the last little bit of energy we had trying to make it to that line, and made it! It wasn't pretty looking, I'm sure - but we were laughing, running (or maybe limping) and feeling so glad it was all over! Jameelah was right behind us, and it was the best ending I could've imagined, the three of us finishing like that. VICTORY!

Debra Horn
Debra is amazing! She has encouraged me and supported me through my training, giving me advice here and there. And what an incredible runner. A SMART runner. She knows her stuff. She was also very encouraging throughout the race, and her crew was no different. Thanks Debra for all your help! Not only a great runner, but a great person!

Leo Lightner
Leo is 82 years old, and was incredibly inspiring. He broke the record for his age group in terms of 12 hour runs. I'm not positive of the exact stats right now, but even without the stats it's completely awe inspiring that he was out there. Leo seemed to be loving every single minute of his run, and you couldn't help but smile when you came across him. WAY TO GO LEO!

Crystal Basich
What can I say about Crystal? I've only known one other person like her my whole life. Doris Johnson. Now I know none of you have no clue who I'm even talking about - but this is Crystal. A great friend. After her morning run she came down to the race and helped my husband crew. The WHOLE time. She stayed all night, all the way through to the end of her race. She's an experienced ultra runner who knows her stuff. I'm really lucky she came, because it's pretty easy to cop an attitude with my husband and not listen to him. My run would've been more disastrous than it was had she not been there. She gave me ginger when my stomach was upset (yeppers, it helped!), made me drink water, eat - everything. Good friends are hard to come by, and she's a great one.


My sis came to the run for a few hours Saturday, and my mom and dad came to witness the last few hours of my run on Sunday. I don't think they knew quite what they were getting into as they've never seen the ending of anything over a 50k before. I'm pretty sure it freaked them out just a little! My dad asked me if I got that out of my system. Ha no - I'm just getting started!

My husband and son were there crewing the entire time. My husband cared me, held me and put up with my b.s. and stubborn ways. He went to the race coming straight off third shift without a complaint, and only slept for a little while during the race. He went on less sleep than I did. How many husbands or wives would do that for their spouse? I'm incredibly lucky. And what's more, is my husband said that being involved completely changed him. He can't describe it, but it did. Somehow, some way, it changed him. He's even considering running the NC24 hr himself next year! I'm excited to repay the "favor" at his first marathon in October and his first Ultra in November. My husband was so exhausted he slept all day when we got home, woke up at 8:00 to eat some dinner and went back to bed and stayed there at 8:30! He deserved that rest!

My son was a trooper and was very encouraging. His constant "Great job mom" and his hugs when I was feeling down were the best thing to me. At one point he hugged me, I did not want to let him go! I did still make him study during the race. Tee hee!!!

I'm incredibly grateful to have wonderful support as far as my family goes and I'll never forget this. Ever.

Northeast Running Club & many other friendsSo I knew a long list of people were coming out to cheer me on for a bit, but some came that I did not expect as well! I'm so grateful for everyone that came out, and wish I could've run better for them. All the support I got from my NERC friends and all my other friends that came out is the greatest thing ever. I saw Andy, Mark, Daniel, Mark G. Ron, Joe, Bill & Bill, Jim Chaney, Glenn (Mark/Daniel/Joe/Mark G/Ron R. volunteered - Jim C. and the two Bills' were working)Eric, Sarah, Rachel, Sandi, Shaun, Tanya, Charlie, Nick, Edie, Mike, Kevin, Beth, Guy and his wife, Jeanette and her boys, Emily (she gave me an awesome gift!). There was also a guy in a blue shirt who was yelling my name from afar, I'm not sure who it was because I couldn't see his face, but thanks!

My god - if I forgot anyone I'm so so sorry. There was just so much happening, and so many people - but please know I appreciate each and every one of you coming out and supporting me. Your friendship means a great deal to me, and you really touched me by showing up at NC! I mean, who the heck wants to see someone run in circles? How boring is that to see! But you were there, and I appreciate every minute of it. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

The run. Minus the issues:
For some reason, at one point during the run I loved them. I couldn't get enough of them, and I do not eat oranges EVER! Maybe it was the fact that I WAS dehydrated? But they tasted SO good. The first time I ran by, I grabbed only one. The next two times I ran by, HANDFULS! Then everything changed, and I got sick of them. Who knows!

Well Edgewater appears to be the kite flying destination! There were many people flying kites during the race. At one point it could've been nasty, but a thoughtful runner turned around to let me know someone crashed their kite, and the string laid stretched out over the sidewalk we were running on. The kite flyer was not concerned about the fact that a runner could trip with potentially nasty results.

At one point I thought that one of the kites was a skydiver. I suppose I wasn't quite with it! I did have skydiving on my mind though, as it was the one year anniversary of one of my skydiving instructors death. Danger Dan will not be forgotten. We miss you Dan...

Running with cell phones?
I saw quite a few runners running and talking on their cell phones! I was floored by this! After awhile I noticed that some of them were using them to relay messages to their crew. At times I admit I wished I would've had mine on me too, but if I do this again I still won't use one.

I didn't use my music all that much, and when I did it really didn't help. At one point my husband gave me my mp3 to lighten my mood. I was thankful for his help, but as I was running, my music was so loud I felt bad as I passed other runners. What if they were talking to me and I couldn't hear them? I hope I didn't pass anyone who tried to talk to me and I gave them no response, if so I'm really sorry. After a few laps, I took one of my headphones out, left one in so I could hear. Problem solved!

I was glad when nightfall came. I've gotten used to running early in the morning, in the dark and it's quite peaceful. Even though I was having issues I loved running in the dark. The midges were not a problem and the temperature was comfortable. The moon was beautiful, the city lights were beautiful, as well as the lights from the boats on the lake.

The aftermath:
Of course I'm sore and my feet are swollen. That being said it's not as bad as I thought it would be. My son lovingly told me he thought my feet looked like they were going to explode, but really they aren't that bad. I feel like I felt after Mohican, and I was fine 2 days later. I'm going to take a couple days of and then start some easy running. ON TRAIL!!! Running and training for NC really made me realize how much I LOVE trail running. I'm pumped to get back on the trails, I was actually quite jumpy today wanting to just get back out there! I miss them! Other than resting the day was spent with my husband, celebrating at PF Chang's in Beachwood.

Neither of us had been there, but were completely excited to go. Maria Walton, girlfriend of Caballo Blanco (Micah True) had sent us many coupons for free meals and appetizers at Chang's awhile back for our anniversary. We couldn't use them at the time since I was on a special diet, but made it a point to get there the day after the race was over! Not only did she give us the coupons, but knowing that we were going there today she did something even more amazing. She called ahead to the Chang's Beachwood owner letting the know we were on our way. After our meal the owner came up to us, and the ENTIRE meal was on the house - drinks included. I am constantly floored by Maria's generosity. The meal was wonderful, and we'll definitely be back! Gracias, La Mariposa!


  1. great effort laurie! so sorry that i didn't know about your problem during the race, maybe i could have helped. the only reason i wasn't too concerned was that it happened during a training run a while back, i looked in to it, figured out what it was and it is no big deal. it is ideal to always have a "little something" in your bladder to prevent that irritation. the combo of being dehydrated and then peeing out whatever tiny bit was in there whenever you could hurt matters quite a bit. phew, thank god it's over. on to some shorter adventures! recover well!

  2. Congrats! I am very impressed! I think you may have been refering to me (but I was wearing a green shirt). We got a picture of you, shown here if you scroll down towards the end of the most recent post:

  3. No worries Shelley! I'm so glad for your blog, something I can look into, and it must've been just coincidence a few weeks ago with UTI. Thank you so much!

    Dominic hey that was you! AWESOME!! I look at the pic, and thank you so much for coming out! I appreciate it!