Wednesday: Sunstroke Summer Stampede Race #9, 7 p.m. at Brushy Creek Trail, Cedar Park. See www.summerstampede.com.
Saturday: Toughest 10K In Texas, 8 a.m. at Hancock Park Pavillion, Lampasas. See www. runtex.com.
Saturday: Brown Santa Christmas, 8 a.m. in July 5K at Williamson County Southwest Regional Park in Leander. See www.wilcobrownsanta.com. says Terranova. “My biggest week I ran 140 miles.”
But more importantly, to really get a feel for the rigors of the Sierra Nevadas, Terranova traveled to California, completing three 50-mile races, all with at least 10,000 feet of climbing to simulate Western States: the Lake Sonoma 50 Miler in March, the Leona Divide 50 Miler in April, and the Quicksilver 50 in May, which she won.
Support teams are vital to ultra runners. In the Western States, Terranova had two key supporters.
“Paul had my fuel bottles ready when he saw me at miles 23, 38, 55, 62 and 78,” she says. “He helped to get me out of the aid stations in two to three minutes.”
Donaldson also helped by pacing Terranova throught the last 22 miles of the race.
“You’re allowed a pacer for the last 38 miles of Western States,” says Donaldson. “The whole point is to provide a psychological boost. Things come up: chafing, stomach problems, etc. So the pacer’s job is to be upbeat and to keep things in forward motion, and to be very positive.”
To avoid stomach issues, Terranova, who is a sports nutritionist, ignored the goodies at aid stations, which offered cookies, pizza and sandwiches, instead taking in only liquids for fuel.
“I prefer mixing electrolytes and carbohydrates in my water bottles,” she says. “I make a kind of a custom sports drink. I know exactly how much I need to take in — between 85 and 100 grams per hour.”
A late-race collision almost caused Terranova to miss her goal of breaking 24 hours.
“We were running up the final climb, and I went to pass this guy. He and I collided, and I fell hard at mile 98. There is nothing like the slam of exhausted muscles after 98 miles of running. But I got up, limped for a bit, and hit the road with 1.3 miles to go.”
Hitting the track at the finish line, Terranova exulted in her accomplishment.
“Twenty-three hours and 56 minutes was never so sweet,” she says.