PRE-RACE REPORT 10-23-13
This summer hasn't gone very well from a running perspective. Last year I did two captn karls races, rough creek and my usual 45 miler leading up to cactus and they all went perfect. This year I struggled on all my long runs and struggled through rough creek as well. After Rough Creek I got focused and thing turned around. I got in a couple 90 mile weeks and leaned up a tad. since then I've had some really good runs. Nothing as long as I would have liked, but I'll take it. I've had to do some major mental adjustments to make sure I'm prepared for this. Last year I finally met my time goal of 19:20 so I'm a little more relaxed this year. Maybe that's what the problem was, I didn't take training serious enough? This past month my runs on the trail have been very fast but not too long so I know I can at least do loop 1 fast. This year speed isn't my concern its how long my body will hold up. If my body can hold up then I'm optimistic about this weekend. I would like to beat last years time and ideally go closer to 18:30, but being up front is what I'll pay more attention to this year. Steven isn't running the 100 this year but I feel that its going to be the most competitive and even matched field ever at this race. Lorenzo has got to be the one to go after with his back to back 2nd place finishes here. Brandon Ostrander will be out there for his first 100. Will he be more conservative with it being his first 100 or will he be up front? Nathan Leehman is one to watch as well. He's done a shit ton of 100's this year and they've all been solid. Eric Gilbertson will also be up front. I've never been in the same race as him and not finished back to back with him. Im sure i'm missing somebody on the sign up sheet or maybe all those people from mexico are from the tarahumara tribe and will dominate in their sandals. Even though I may crash and burn, I'm still going for it because those who don't take a chance don't get a chance right?
You learn a lot every race. I compare ultra running to golf. There is no such thing as a perfect round or race and it leaves you always wanting more. This year was no different. I feel I am very good with nutrition and I'm able to figure out and fix it but I can't seem to have a perfect 100 nutrition wise. One thing that I can say I am very happy with is the way my legs held up though. I'm more confident then ever that if I can nail a 100 nutrition and pacing wise then I can post a good time.
With my brother's wife being due pretty soon he had to sit this one out from crewing me. In the years past he has always met me at each aid with my gu and bottle ready. It is a huge time saver and helps me out big time. My fiancé, Kelly, stepped up to the plate ready to help me out. We still camped out by the start and did everything the exact same.
|Before sending me off!|
Every year at this race I wake up and throw on a ton of clothes and blast the heater in the truck. This year was far from that. I slept on top of my sleeping bag, woke up and comfortably changed outside. I loved the warm start but knew it was going to be a tougher day because of it. It was nice not having to take off anything all race or put anything on though. Usual pre race routine done and up front ready to go. I said my final good bye to Kelly and chatted with some other runners and we were off. Steven and some other 50 milers or relayers took off and from the start it was pretty much Eric, Nathan, Lorenzo and myself together. We ran the first section solid in just under 42 minutes which was my goal. Last year I was still bundled up with several layers but this year I was drenched in sweat already. The four of us chatted and joked for the next section and it felt good. Just before nachos Lorenzo dropped off and at about the same time Nathan put a little gap on Eric and I. I passed through nachos at the 1:29 mark which was right on schedule but I felt like I was running a 50 milers effort instead of a 100. I knew there was plenty of time to hurt so I backed off a tad on the next section. Eric, Lorenzo, and myself came into equestrian somewhat together and Eric and I left together. We ran together pretty much all the way to the lodge with eric creating a little gap. I finished loop 1 in 4:15 which was about 12 minutes slower then what I wanted but the heat and humidity was a killer. I feel that I was working pretty hard and anything more would have been too much.
|Coming into Boyles - mile 20 @ 3:18|
The entire first loop didn't feel that great but when I left for loop 2 things started to get better. I did the boyles/cairns section faster then the first loop and I was feeling great. Coming into boyles Kelly had my bottle and everything ready just like every other time. I left the 30 mile mark in 3rd and at 5:07. Toward the end of loop 2 is when I start to struggle every year. I was paying extra close attention to it this year. Miles 30-40 felt great just like every other year. When I left mile 40 with Eric still I started to feel the first signs of stomach issues/fatigue. Every 100 I drink too much and I get a little low on salt at this point. So I popped an S cap and kept running. At this point I was able to run perfectly fine but just not quite a fast and not quite as comfortable. At mile 45 I ate the usual and left feeling a tad worse. Halfway back to the lodge I popped a couple more S caps trying to fix my problem. Coming into the lodge it got worse. I didn't have much of an appetite and I was feeling pretty bad. Usually as soon as I take a salt pill I feel better within 15 minutes. Not this time.
I left for my third loop just shy of 9 hours and feeling pretty bad. I was really struggling mentally also. I wasn't getting any better and I wasn't wanting to do another 45 miles like this. Exact same thought process as last year. I started really thinking about what the problem could be. I have a simple routine and its the same routine as every other race and 100. I finally realized that I wasn't drinking enough and that made me happy to figure something out. I decided that I was going to ask Kelly to throw on her shoes and pace me from mile 55 back to 65. That would at least force me to do another 10 miles and also to try and get myself together. While she was putting on her shoes I took those couple of minutes to re group and drink water. I drank 3 hand helds (60 oz) at the aid station and left with two more in my hands. We left on the run and I started to tell her what I was thinking. We were talking and having a good time and before I knew it, I was feeling great again. We ran that five mile stretch pretty solid and came into nachos feeling great. I must have been way behind on fluids because I downed 100 oz that section and had no need to pee or anything. I got back on my normal routine and was ready to rock n roll. I felt good the rest of loop 3 and was back in game mentally. I came into the lodge at 14:26 and still feeling great.
At this point it was just now getting dark and I left with my headlamp on. I was about 40 minutes behind last year but I didn't care. Miles 75-90 I felt great. I hammered the hills and ran 100% of it except the steep climbs up each main hill. I caught Eric after sky island and we ran together until base of mt Fuji. I was at an all time high and moving good. I hiked up the steepest grade of the course and ran the rest of the 3 sisters up and down. I was now in 2nd and I didn't know if Nathan was still moving good or if he was struggling. I knew if I didn't push as hard as I could then I would regret it. I ran the whole climb up to the saddle before descending back into equestrian. I did my usual and left ready to tackle ice cream hill again. Everything was going great but after that brutal 1.3 miles stretch up and down ice cream hill I was feeling it. I went too hard trying to catch Nathan and I was done. I left nachos feeling pretty bad but able to keep running the runnable stuff. Your definition of runnable changes every loop. My mouth got really dry after leaving the aid station and I only had one bottle of roctane stuff. It is very high in sodium so if your mouth is dry, then it doesn't quench your thirst. I was beyond thirsty but couldn't drink it because it was too salty. Since I was so dry I couldn't eat anything either. This whole section was just a downward spiral. My run became slower and also the runnable stuff because a struggle just to run period. I've never been this thirsty. I came into 95 and I chugged 3 handhelds of water. With my drop in calories and the time of night I started shaking really bad from the cold water and my body temp dropping. I almost threw up and had to stand there for a couple of minutes. I took 2 gu's and left with a 3rd one. As I was leaving Kelly told me that Eric was coming in. I told her I was in bad shape and I was doing what I could. The 2 gu's that I took at the aid station were starting to kick in and I started walking faster to try and loosen up. I kept walking faster and faster and I was soon able to run. I figured if I was running that he would have trouble catching me. I ran the first 2 miles of the final section pretty solid and to my surprise I heard foot steps right behind me. He was surprised to see me and I saw that he was moving really fast so I didn't think I would have been able to keep up. I gave it all I had, but it wasn't enough. There was no way in hell I was going to let another person catch me so I kept running til the base of lucky peak. It wasn't the fastest run but It was all I had. As I got to the top, I saw Kelly there waiting for me. She was a bit worried about me because of the way I left mile 95, and I told her I wanted to run it in with her. We got down lucky peak and picked our way through the final 1/2 mile of rocky terrain. Once we turned the corner to get on the gravel road, we were on the final mile and ready to be done. I came in 3rd once again, and finished in 20:38. There wasn't really anybody at the lodge besides some runners in bad shape so we just sat there for a little bit and ate and drank some before heading back to the tent. After tossing and turning and little 20 minute bursts of sleep I was ready for the sun to come up and get the hec out of there. We were up around 7 and loaded up the car to hit the road.
With the heat and my dehydration I had more stomach issues then ever this race, but my legs held up great. I was able to move pretty good through the technical stuff even at night on loop 4. This gives me confidence that if I can nail it nutritionally that I can run the whole thing hard next year. I really can't thank Kelly enough. She crewed all 20 hours and did a perfect job. She has no idea how much she helped me time wise and mentally. I would also like to thank Joe, Henry, Joyce and all the other volunteers. Cactus Rose is my favorite race and love it. Cant wait to get that 500 mile jacket next year!