THV Adult Programs & Services Director Stephanie Suszek is marathon runner turned triathlete turned ultra runner. Combining a love of challenging athletic endeavors and history, she will attempt to run her first-ever 100-mile trail race at Chain O’Lakes State Park in Indiana on April 30, 2016 to raise funds for the Troy Historic Village. To learn more and/or donate, click below.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to do a practice 50 mile run at Chain O’Lakes State Park in Indiana on the actual race course. Here’s how it went in pictures:
Pre-run breakfast of almond milk-soaked steel cut oats followed immediately by pre-run nosebleed. Thank you, Dad, for capturing this special moment.
Ready to hit the trail with Mom. Note obvious family resemblance.
Photo from mile 8 or 13 or 24 or 39. Pick one, they all look the same. Ultrarunning is a really great spectator sport. You get to spend 5-10 minutes with your favorite runner, then wait a couple hours to see her/him for another five minutes, so that you can help feed and water them, then change their disgusting shoes. Rinse and repeat for 30 hours!
Running with Dad—this was a great surprise and so much fun! Once a cross-country runner, Dad really hasn’t been able to run since a ski accident nearly 14 years ago, so it was really special to hit the trail with him for a few miles.
My new friend, Howard, “only” running 9 miles after a recent surgery, volunteers at the Indiana Trail 100 each year. He tells me that the runners he saw at midnight last year were covered in mud and exhausted by the time they reached his aid station. “It was like the Walking Dead! No one wanted to leave the tent and go back out on the trail.” Remembering suddenly that I am going to do this race in one month, he hastens to add: “But you’ll enjoy it, you’ll have a really good time!”
After slogging through extra muddy terrain all morning and afternoon, on feet that now look like brain coral and smell like death, it is time for a shoe change! Changing into new shoes, I kept reminding everyone that I had less than ten miles to go, so it was okay that I hadn’t really broken these in yet. I definitely had more than ten miles left, but Mom and Dad wisely kept that to themselves.
My personal SAG wagon, with boxes for food, gear and first aid supplies. Mom and Dad met me at each aid station with everything ready to go.
Mom ran the last 2.75 miles with me, bringing her total for the day up to 16.67 miles—more than she’s ever run at once! And I can now check 50 miles off of my to-do list, more than I have ever run at once.
By the numbers:
12.5 Hours it took me to cover 50 miles.
6:40 Fastest pace recorded by GPS watch in minutes and seconds. Possibly on a very steep downhill.
23:40 Slowest pace recorded by GPS watch, captured as my uphill “power hiking” gradually deteriorated into more of a pseudo-drunken “power staggering”.
5,000 Calories burned (estimate) over 50 miles.
1,800 Calories ingested over 50 miles—will need to take in more during the race!
Overall, this was a really great way to spend the weekend and I am looking forward to “the real thing” next month. Thank you to everyone who has supported my efforts—between the website and in-person donations, we’ve raised nearly $700 for the Troy Historical Society. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit https://www.youcaring.com/troy-historic-village-467855 or stop by the Village during regular hours (Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm).