October 29, 2013

Run 260 miles solo? Meet a woman who did.

This week I'm planning a long weekend in Pinhoti. Why? To help my buddy pace his way from mile 85 to the finish of the Pinhoti 100. That's 100 miles of running. All at once. Craziness not required, but expected.

Whenever I talk to my chiropractor (shout out to Dr. Charles, the best chiro on the planet), he always guffaws at how crazy my running is, and then I tell him that I feel totally in check because so many people in my trail running circle are out running 100 milers for breakfast. How can 50Ks feel significant compared to that?

So how do you make 100 miles look insignificant? Run 260 miles. Life is all about managing expectations. If you expect to run 5 miles, mile 3 feels tough. If you expect to run 260 miles ... well, I don't know how that even works.

Now let me introduce you to the lady from my home state who ran 260 miles in one stretch and lived to tell the tale.

Q. Tell us a little about yourself. 
A. My name is Kelly Brackin, and I live in Phenix City Al and work as a dental hygienist full time. I've been married to my husband for 13 years and have a 10-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. (yo momma: coincidence, I've also been married 13 years and have a 10 year old)

Q. How and when did you get started with running?
A. I started running nine years ago to lose weight for my sister-in-law's wedding and got addicted quickly! I run 5-7 days a week with a tempo run, long run, speed work/hill workout alternating with the other days being easy runs.

Q. What do you consider you biggest running accomplishment?
A. Run Across GA for the House of Heroes this past May 22-26, 2013. I was the first female ever to finish the 260-mile run across the state of Georgia. (yo momma: so freaking awesome)


Q. What prompted you to tackle that type of race? 
A. I had run that race the last two years on a relay team and wanted to take on the challenge of doing it individually, so I started training six months prior to the race.

Q. How did you make time for training?
A. I woke up around 3 a.m. every morning before work to get in 15 miles and woke up at 2 a.m. on Saturdays to get in 35 miles, then ran 6 miles on Sundays before church and 14-20 after church. (yo momma: holy no sleep)

Q. For people training for multi-day races, what are the top three pieces of advice you would give them? 
A. Lots of miles on your feet, learning to eat while running (like every hour I had a peanut butter sandwich), and running on little sleep.

Q. When you were on course, what motivated you to keep going through dark moments? 
A. Knowing I had to finish (if not for my kids' sake, for everyone else's that was counting on me) and fulfill that accomplishment I had set before me. 


Q. Tell us about something (positive or negative) that surprised you along the way with that race?
A. My race was a five-day race, and on the third day I wanted to give up. I hit a wall and called a good friend crying, and he had to be mean to me, which is what I needed, and told me to get out there and finish! 


Q. If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently? 
A. I learned day to day how I needed to run to finish, and I would not have run the second day all day through the heat. On days 3-5, I started resting during 1-3 p.m.


Q. How did you maintain your energy and keep your body from breaking down over the multiple days of pounding it took during that event?
A. I stayed hydrated, ate every hour, which kept my calories replenished, and took Celebrex twice a day! :) I had ice placed on my knees every hour for five minutes at my hourly breaks and used iced bandannas during the heat of the day from 3-8 p.m.


Q. Would you ever attempt that distance or type of race again? 
A. Yes, definitely, because it's for a great non-profit cause! And I love the race director and trained with him the entire six months! 


Q. What's you next running goal?
A. Well, I just finished pacing the Air Force Marathon on September 21st and will be pacing the Soldier Marathon on November 9th.

Q. What's your favorite running song? 
A. I don't listen to music, I talk the entire time!!!! I never run alone! 


Q. Where is your favorite place to run?
A. Any street! I'll run anywhere as long as it's not trails! I hate trails! (yo momma: it's not too late to convert her to trail running love)

I just can't believe how gutsy and amazing this lady is. From the idea of running 260 miles to having two children and a full time job while training to completing this run in May in the South. For those of you who don't live here, let me just tell you that it is already freaking hot in May!

So instead of this:


I want to see this: