I began my 100 mile journey in by boarding a bus at 3:00am to transport the runners up to the start line in Cleveland.  I was ready for this after 7 straight months of training.  The course was absolutely beautiful.  The course took you through some of Ohio’s most scenic parks including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Summit County Metro Parks, Towpath Trail, Buckeye Trail, Hike and Bike Trail and The Bridal Valley Trail. The course consisted of 75% trail and 25% street routes.

To complete this grueling course was an amazing experience. Looking back now is as emotional as the day I crossed the finish line. The experience was by far my greatest challenge to date and definitely tested my limits both physically and emotionally. My support crew was amazing! They were also tested by having to be awake for 30 plus hours and available at each support stop, being prepared to supply the necessary foods, drinks and clothes.  I want to say all of this was possible because of all their support.

I walked/crawled away with blisters on both feet but other than that, I feel great!

Recap of training:  I began my training on January 17, 2011, following a 28 week training scheduleMost training days were Tuesday, Weds, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday
Monday and Friday were rest days.
Tuesday & Thursday light days
Weds semi long
Sat & Sun longer miles back to back

Total days running: 110

Miles accumulated: (estimated) 1192.60

Hours: estimated 300 plus depending on weather/route/street/trail

Week 9Shamrock 15 K race
Week 12Fools Run 50K
Week 15Forget the PR Mohican 50K
Week 23 – Night Run 20 miler
Week 26 – Night Run 44 miler

Julie at 100 Mile Run 2

In between training, time was taken off due to bitter cold and of course taking time to relax with family and friends.

You need to build miles safely. Three weeks hard and one week of
recovery. Races in between are for time on your feet . You should be
feeling stronger and recover quicker during that 4th week. As always,
pay attention and listen to your body.

I truly feel anyone can complete any challenge, you need to train
safely and rest when your body tells you.  Eat properly and exercise both mind and body and, as always, have fun!

In good health,

Julie O’Connell

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