Jess Mullen's prep for Badwater: 100 mile run in Florida

Jess reports on her run in Florida:

I recently flew to Florida for some heat training and sunshine.  The heat training came in the form of a 100 mile road ultramarathon.  The race started by mile marker 101 in Key Largo, followed US-1 (the Overseas Highway) and finished by mile marker 0 in Key West.  We ran on paved bike paths, sidewalks and the left shoulder of the road.  I picked this race because I knew it would be hot (and humid), on the road and for the most part, unsupported.  Good training for Badwater.  And that is exactly what it turned out to be.  Many lessons were (painfully) learned during this race.  The scenery was a mix of beauty and doldrums.  Running across the bridges was enjoyable for the most part and a little scary at times (when the shoulder wasn’t very wide).  I didn’t drink enough water in the early hours of the race which set me up to be dehydrated the remainder of the race.  I have not trained drinking massive amounts of fluids so my body was unable to process fluids fast enough to be hydrated, let alone rehydrated.  As such, I struggled with nausea, dizziness, cramping and ultimately a bit of heat illness due to the lack of hydration.  I did manage to finish the race, which is good.  I did not enjoy it at the time but now find it to have been an invaluable learning experience for the upcoming Badwater race in 7 weeks.

The 3 photos: 1)      Before race, lubing up my feet – which worked well!  Only 1 small blister 2)      At mile 20, before everything fell apart! 3)      At awards, with my 3rd woman finisher plaque and with Race Director, Bob