Family, friends, pain, food, water, and gross body fluids……that is a brief summary of Ultra marathons!
Let me break down yesterdays 12 Hours of Boulder race in the above order:
Props to my wife and kiddos. I saw a racer fighting with his spouse in the middle of the run yesterday, and then I saw that same racer drop about 30 minutes later. This quickly reminded me of my hot wife, she was soooo supportive. She was at every checkpoint banging on pots and pans and getting me food, liquid, changing shoes, etc… Her support was just as important as the training I had completed before the race.
With about 37 minutes left to go I realized I had 3.6 miles to get to the finish line. If I wanted my last 7.15 mile lap to count, and if I wanted to place in the top 3, I had to get to the finish by 9pm. My stud of a brother, Ben, was on a bike riding along me for the last 7.15 miles. He pulled me through those last few miles. After running 54 miles the thought of pounding out 3.6 miles at a 9 min/mile pace seemed daunting. Ben kept on me and wouldn’t let me slide back. Shayna met up with us with about.4 miles to go. She and Ben ran me into the finish… I completed the 57 miles at 8hr 58min. Quickly, I ran to the head table yelling my number and heard the sweet words, ” Congrats you placed 3rd.”
The reality is I would not have pulled through without the support my family. My kiddos were excited (and very tired). I still haven’t had a chance to see the medal as my 3 yr old won’t let go of it!
Wooo hooo Todd completed his first 100 miler and placed 2nd. He has taught me so much about ultra running and life in general. A true friend and mentor. His family was incredibly supportive, and they were very helpful with my kiddos! One of the greatest families around!
Huge props to Colton. Colton ran his first race ever last Saturday, which happened to be a 50 miler. He heard we were running yesterday and wanted to jump in… he completed 35 miles before calling it a day. What a stud… two ultra marathons in 7 days!
Running a marathon is very challenging and exciting. However, I am not a huge fan of the racers attitudes. Some racers are friendly, but mostly uptight and can’t stop looking at their wrist to monitor time. If you are struggling to continue on during a marathon and you stop alongside the trail you will most likely be ignored or told to scoot over. Ultramarathons bring a whole different crowd. Everyone is friendly and actually prefers to chat… what else are you going to do for several hours? I was able to chat with Ryan (100 miler) from Colorado Springs, Dale from Erie, Marty from Seattle, Haywood from Compton (CA), and several others. Conversations ranging from racing tips to raising kiddos.
At about mile 43 I hit a mental wall. Every possible negative thought flooded my mind, my thoughts paralyzed me and I had to take a few minutes to regroup. I stopped on the side of the trail and talked myself down and began focusing on other things. As I was squatting down looking at the dirt path every runner passing by asked what I needed and if they could help. I picked up a rock and started to scribble in the dirt… ended up writing something in the dirt, collected myself and kept moving forward!
Mile 21 I began to feel some pain in my left knee. It did not feel structural, so my first thought was a shoe problem. Sure enough, I changed my shoes at the aid station, took some pain relievers and the pain quickly went away… for the most part. At this point I could have fallen into the pain and stopped, but I reminded myself I had already ran 21 miles and it is typical to feel some amount of pain when running long distance!!! The secret = adjust what needs adjusting!
The last 40 minutes of the race was painful. What pulled me through? It was simple… I kept repeating to myself, ” You don’t have a race until February” and “I have all night to rest and only a few minutes to push it.” I didn’t even throw up so it wasn’t that bad!
Pain is pain. I am a true believer that if it is not structural then it should not stop me. Adjust, adjust, adjust!
FOOD, WATER, GROSS BODY FLUID
While burning a total of 10,000 calories in one race I have to focus on fuel! The idea is to not wait until you feel the bonk. Eating and drinking must be continuous and be done before the need of fuel is felt. So, my goal during the race was to eat around 2,800-3,000 calorie and drink 4 liters of water and 2 liters of electrolyte drink. I also managed to get in several ounces of Mt. Dew along the way! Other than a little nausea and fatigue, I did not feel a physical bonk during the race.
Gross body fluids… yeah, I mean what can one say. I was running for 12 consecutive hours, chaffing was actually the worst. I was not aware of severity of the chaffing until I went to sit in the bath immediately after coming home from the race. That HURT and the blood was not so pleasant!
Overall, this was an incredible experience. I am ready to push it next season. My races will be capped at four, keeping balance! However, they will be intense and pushing some limits! I will soon be posting my race plan for 2012. I do know the first two…. 1.Trudge (Wyoming)- 22 miler. 2.Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 (Utah) – 100 miler
Schedule to come!!!!!