"My legs are usually burning, sore and tired (from competing)," she said.
But rarely are they injured. The most serious ailment to strike Lager was an inflamed IT band, the thick, ribbon of fibrous tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh and knee.
The worst pain struck during last year's Wickham Park, forcing Lager to withdraw at 72.5 miles. She returned home, consulted doctors Michael Potter and Evie Burnet for a gait analysis and overhauled her running form.
One month later, Lager completed a 100-miler near Hoffman, N.C., with no IT band pain.
But 100 miles are child's play compared to next weekend's 200-mile attempt. Actually, the event's official name is the Wickham Park Marathon and 50, 100, and 200 Mile Fun Runs.
Fun runs? Someone's idea of comedy?
Lager and Nelsen insist the camaraderie among runners makes the events fun, at least for the first 50 miles. Afterward, not so much.
"I'm looking for a limit," Lager said.
Two-hundred miles are beyond most everyone's limit.
Since Wickham Park added the format nine years ago, 302 runners have entered. Two have gone the distance, including Lager's boyfriend, Joe Ninke of Sebastian, Fla.
Can Lager join him?
"Given perfect conditions and everything going absolutely right, it's possible," Nelsen said.
"I'm afraid to announce to the world I'm going to do 200," Lager said. "I'm doing 100 for sure, but I'm going to pack (enough) to stay the whole time."
David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime
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