What in the world is Biffledinked? I wondered the same thing, so I looked it up – it is “a state of confusion, usually drug or alcohol induced, that has the effect of rendering the person oblivious to their loss of control. Also it is a state experienced by runners when exhaustion blocks normal channels and allows the runner to continue on beyond normal limits.”
I have always wanted to run an Ultra (50K or 31 miles), but have never put in the time to train. Back in January I found the Biffledinked Race on Facebook. This is a 50K in a unique way – Run a 5K on the hour, every hour for 10 hours. I thought to myself – now this would be a good way to see if my body can even go 30 miles, it normally takes me 30 minutes to run a 5K so I could rest for 30 minutes after each loop. The race was sold out but I emailed them to ask if I could be added to the waiting list, and on January 22nd I was given a spot and the race was not until the end of April so I had plenty of time to train – except I did not really prepare myself.
The week leading up to the race I had a lot of anxiety about if I could still do it – but I just told myself, worse case scenario – I can walk it. Plus, I had told so many people that I was doing it I could not flake out, I had to hold myself accountable. A sweet friend of mine, Maribeth, who has been living in Washington for the last few years, recently moved to DC and she wanted to come visit so we could catch up. I told her that I had this race, but would love for her to come and she could do her own thing if she did not want to spend 10 hours watching me run. She insisted on coming and going with me to the race! I went and bought a small tent to set up so she would not have to sit in the sun all day.
Day of Race
The race was not going to start until 8am but I wanted to get there early to set up our little camp. We arrived at 6:30 and got everything set up. I had an ice chest full of water, propel, trail mix and pretzels. It was a beautiful, clear day and the temperature was in the mid 60’s when the race started.
Loops 1 and 2
I ran the first loop really easy and pretty fast, my pace was 9:55 so I had more than 30 minutes to rest before the next loop. The second loop I decided to use my interval app and run 2 minutes on, walk 1 minute. I still managed to keep a 10:13 pace. Between loops I drank approximately 4 to 6 oz of water and ate a handful of trail mix.
Maribeth decided to run this loop with me, it went so fast b/c we talked to whole time, average pace was 10:59.
Loops 4 and 5
It started getting really hot – I think the temperature reached 83. My wonderful husband, Jerry showed up – I was so excited to see him!!! He brought a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and surprised me by staying the rest of the day! Maribeth ran Loop 4 with me as well! Just as I was about to reach the finish line after Loop 5, my dear friend Willie Jordan showed up beside me out of the blue and ran the rest of the way in with me – he was there to run Loop 6 with me! After Loop 4, I started drinking some propel in addition to my 4 to 6 oz of water and after Loop 4 I ate 1/2 a donut! I was still feeling really good! I averaged a 10:53 and 10:56 pace for these two loops – still using my interval app.
Right before I was about to take off for Loop 6, my good friend Melissa, her husband Kit, and her dad all showed up to cheer me on! This loop went really fast as well b/c Willie and I talked to whole time, catching up on the last few months that we had not seen each other! I ran an 11:17 pace for Loop 6. Also, I knew I had a lot of fans waiting for me at the finish line – I was so excited that they all showed up to support me!
Maribeth ran Loops 7, 8 and 9 with me. I was starting to feel the pain on this loop. My inner thighs were getting sore, I was feeling a little dehydrated, and lightheaded. I knew I needed to up my caloric intake and drink more water/propel after this loop. My pace was gradually getting slower – 11:50 for Loop 7. After I finished I had some pretzels, another 1/2 donut and drank a lot of water/propel. I was only 2 loops away – I knew I could finish at this point.
Loops 8 and 9
I decided to change my interval to a one minute run, one minute walk this time – It was much better on my body, however my pace suffered – Loop 8’s pace went down to 12:49 and Loop 9’s pace was 12:46.
Loop 10 – Last Loop
I decided not to eat anything after Loop 9 – I was so excited to finish that I thought I’d be okay! I laid down for a few minutes, stretched and drank some water. As I took off for the last time I could barely run for one minute, I did approximately 3 to 4 intervals and then ended up walking the rest – finished with a 16:14 pace. I cannot explain how I felt – I was shaking, my stomach was turning, I was really weak! I knew my body was telling me to slow down so that is what I did – the only thing that mattered to me was finishing!
And that is exactly what I did – I finished!!! I ran/walked 32 miles total! Now I know that I can do it and I know what I need to do to better prepare myself!
I have signed up for a race that will prepare me to cross this threshold – the BUTS Annual Bearly Ultra in Birmingham, AL in December. An Ultra is 31 miles, this race is called “Bearly” Ultra b/c it is 27 miles. I will definitely be spending the next 7 months preparing myself to finish this race successfully!