Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Three sides of the Susitna 100

 The good.

The bad.

The ugly.

Yet another dynamic experience at the Susitna 100. I finished in 35:42, which was under my best-case scenario goal of 36 hours. I had one of the most incredible walks of my life during the 12-mile leg between the Alexander Lake turnaround and the Yentna River, marching under the aurora borealis with my headlamp off and watching columns of light ripple across the sky. I used snowshoes for 91 of the 100 miles. I ate most of the 5,000 calories of junk food that I brought and still experienced a harsh, energy-sapping bonk on the Dismal Swamp at mile 80. I was so paranoid about frostbite that I think I gave myself heat blisters from my vapor barrier sock system. I'll write a race report when I have more mental capabilities. Right now I mainly fluctuate between thinking about food and sleep, and feeling a combination of horror and fascination about exactly what Beat is going to attempt next week in the Iditarod 350. My feet hurt just thinking about it. Actually, my feet just hurt.

But I'm happy I did it. I love my annual slog-fest. More to come. 

32 comments:

  1. Hello! So glad to see this post, even your ankles. I was hoping this was the longer recap - in fact when I saw you in my Reader I went and grabbed a handful of gummi bears, just to be in the right mood for a good read :-) I'm looking forward to the full story. In the meantime glad you are well and resting.

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  2. Anonymous3:21 AM

    Congratulations! The first shot is amazing. I've heard it helps to elevate your feet above your heart when you can- might just be folk wisdom, though.

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  3. Chris H.3:41 AM

    Looking at the last photo makes MY feet hurt! Congrats on finishing. Can not wait to read the tale!

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  4. ..another amazing journey...the northern lights picture is incredible..

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  5. These are some ugly legs, honey...:) Saw your results and messages yesterday, yay to you and Danni too! We love suffering, and some of us enjoy it above and beyond. Beautiful first shot, indeed.

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  6. Oh my gosh! Awesome! Horrible! Wishing you quick healing and the very best of luck to Beat next week!

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  7. Compression socks. Ibuprofen. Feet elevated, lot's of H2O.

    Congrats! (I think)

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  8. So glad all is well. I'm looking forward to reading all about it !

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  9. Wow. Looking forward to hearing about this journey

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  10. Holy smokes, those are amazing pics! Congrats, Jill, and take care of those feetsies!

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  11. Congrats Jill. It was great following your progress. I am totally jealous of that first shot and even Dismal Swamp looks better than most of what I saw at Arrowhead. However, those legs! OMFG!!! Nice ;-)

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  12. Jill, congratulations on your great time. Being lit by the glorious Aurora Borealis must have made the race an exceptional experience, even the swollen feet. I always enjoy your posts and am looking forward to the full recap.

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  13. Congratulations! Awesome time! Great pictures!

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  14. As always - you rock!! Another amazing accomplishment! I like the picture of the dismal swamp sign - that is my Grandpa's handwriting- he does the signs out there! I always look forward to your pictures from the Su 100 - its really cool to see your pictures and your story of the land I grew up on!

    -alaskaamie
    (my new blog is Foster Mom Amie)

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  15. First, congratulations. You amaze and inspire me!

    Second, WHAT is going on with your feet??? I don't understand - please explain? Because if I understand what's going on there then maybe that visual won't haunt my nightmares forever. Seriously, what the???

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  16. Mindy9:54 AM

    Yay - you made it! Yikes - your feet/legs look painful! Wishing you a speedy recovery. As always looking forward to reading your reports of the race.

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  17. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Congrats!! I hope your feet/legs heal quickly. Looking forward to the full race report :)

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  18. So glad to not have to see another pic of frostbitten toes. I'll take pics of blisters anytime over those. Now get 'em up.

    First shot is terrific, but you know that.

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  19. Durango Joe12:16 PM

    Wow! Just wow to both pictures.

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  20. Mental note to self...."Don't do what Jill just did!"

    You truly do amaze me young lady! I wish I had half of your motivation and tolerance for discomfort.

    Awesome aurora photo, but I won't comment on the foot photo.

    Life is Good:)

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  21. Yeah, that first photo...wow! Most people live a life time and don't see something like that.

    Congrats on another Susitna finish.

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  22. Congratulations Jill......well done

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  23. Corrine in Fairbanks8:07 PM

    Congrats but those feet do look ugly and painful! The auroras were fantastic last weekend.
    Hope you recover quickly. See you soon in Fairbanks.

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  24. Wow, those first two pictures are beautiful, especially the very first!, and that last one is awful. What a fantastic experience, and congratulations on such a good finish!

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  25. Congrats on another Susitna finish. Can't wait to read the race recap.

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  26. Those are some swollen feet! (legs and face too?)

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  27. Gongratulations!!

    PS Why I’m always afraid of photo’s of your feet?

    Get Well Soon.

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  28. Chuck5:09 AM

    Jill, Congratulations! I look forward to hearing about your vapor barrier system. I had foot frostbite issues the two times I did the Iditarod 350 and need to find a solution, and my legs were swollen like yours. I have ordered socks similar to yours and want to know how yours worked. When you blog, give all the details - temps., sweat, blisters!

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  29. Helen1:14 PM

    Congratulations Jill. How awesome to have the Northern Lights dancing for you! The Dismal swamp doesn't look as terrifying as my memories of it from your book. Do hope recovery is well on the way!

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  30. Anonymous9:42 PM

    You've taken the phrase no pain no gain too literally! Congrats

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  31. Wow! Ugh! Yikes! Congratulations on the finish.

    The aurora pic is amazing. Always wanted to see that but never lived far enough north.

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  32. so cool! great job!

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