Saturday, November 28, 2015

Icarus 6 Day Race Report

    In order to train for the Icarus 6D race I had to realize something. The winner of a 6D race isn’t determined by who’s the fastest runner, it’s determined by who can recover the fastest. In order to emulate recovery in training I broke up my daily training runs into multiple sessions. For example, if I wanted to run 10 miles I’d run 5 miles then take an hour or two break then I’d run another 5 miles. I  also dedicated an hour or two a week to working on my power walk so I could be as efficient as possible during the heat of the day. 
At the start with my friend and mentor - The Jester (disguised as Ed Ettinghausen)

Day 1-
    Originally, my goal for the race was to break the 6D world record for my age division (456 miles) so I had to average at least 76 miles a day. On paper this seemed pretty easy, I’d front load a little bit the first few days but still be able to afford to sleep for a few hours. On the first day, it was hot and I knowingly went out a bit too fast but I felt good and had consistent laps so I went with it. I hit mile 50 at around the 10 hour mark and was feeling good. The race was going well until it rained. First it was only sprinkle but then it was as if the flood gates were opened. My shoes were wet and I felt blisters forming on my pinkie toes. I quickly changed into my Drymax socks but the damage was done; blisters had formed. At one point it was raining so hard that I wondered if I was the only one crazy (stupid) enough to be out on course. Thankfully, I only had to endure 4 more wet miles then I could enjoy sleeping in our warm, dry (emphasis on dry) tent. I managed to survive the last four miles then I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and slept for about 4 hours. 
My Dad helping with my foot care on day 1

Day 2-
    After sleeping I got up and wondered to my self, “what am I doing with my life? I can barely move and now I’m going to go running again.” After my parents put my shoes on and after I had gotten going I realized I made a terrible mistake- I didn’t sleep with my legs propped up. I had this horrible tightness in my right leg and according to my Mom I had adopted a limp. I slowly walked 3 or so loops (25 minute miles) and eventually after an hour or two I loosened up. Thankfully, the rest of the day went relatively well. I mainly ate white cheddar popcorn, cup of noodle and beef jerky. Throughout the course of the first 34 hours of the race I had managed to entertain myself with just my iPod and race strategy. This got old, fast. I decided that if I wanted to maintain my sanity I’d have to talk to someone other than my parents. I ended up catching up with my friends Ed and Joel and after talking about records for a few minutes I remembered something, the 48 hour world record (for my age group) was only 135 miles and I was almost at 120. This gave me my second wind and something other than pace to think about. I made it to about 130 then I talked myself into taking a 2 hour nap (with my feet up). I was tired but I couldn’t fall asleep, I laid there in pain and listened to the planes from the nearby airport fly by. Eventually my Mom woke me up, I ate an amazing grilled cheese sandwich, downed some chocolate milk, and went back out. I finished the last 5 miles then continued on for another 18 then I decided to sleep for another 2 hours. Thankfully, I hit the cot and passed out.
 Day 3- I woke up and felt somewhat energized. I still had around 4 days of running left but I had just set the 48 hour age group world record  so everything was going well. My running high lasted until about 56 hours into the race. It was hot, my arches were hurting and I was running on only 4 hours of sleep a day. I was going through a major low and the only thing that I could think about was sleep, so I slept. I slept on a wooden picnic table with my feet propped up until my Mom woke me up with KFC and a McDonalds milkshake. The food definitely helped but I still felt like I had been running for 2 and a half days. I had been setting ridiculous goals for myself throughout the entire race and it had finally caught up with me. I felt I’d be letting people down if I didn’t do what I set out to do. I felt as if my parents and the people that had been supporting me would be disappointed in me if I didn’t perform the way I’d like to. After eating again and having some sense talked into me I realized that no one will care if I adjust my goals, and if they do they aren’t people that I want to be around. I decided that I’d at least get 315 for the American 6D record and if I felt good after that I’d do a few “victory laps”. I walked for the rest of the day until the sun went down then I ran a few miles. I was still a bit disappointed that 457 wasn’t going to happen but like my friend Tony told me, “Running 6D races is like making a stew and every new experience is like a new ingredient for your stew. At first your stew won’t taste great because it’ll only consist of water and salt but as you learn and grow more and a few more ingredients are added to your stew it’ll starting tasting better and better.” Basically, your first 6D may not be great, but as you learn more, they’ll only get better and better.
When I felt down, my mom would read me messages and show me videos from friends and family. It really helped!
Day 4- I woke up at the start of day 4 and felt fine physically, but mentally I was sluggish. Not only did my Dad have to fly out to California for my Great Grandpa’s funeral but my running high had worn off. I would think to myself, “I’ll easily get to 315, why not take a break and walk a few miles later?” It seems like I’d do a few loops then sit down for a while. The best way I can describe it as a running depression. I felt great physically but mentally I was wondering why I was still “running around this God forsaken loop”. I eventually put my big boy pants on, walked a few laps with a few 6D runners and got over it. A pattern that I noticed throughout the course of the last three days is that if I walked during the heat of the day I’d be able to run for a few hours when the sun went down.
Day 5-
    At the start of day 5 I was finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was dim, but there was hope. Something that I had noticed during the race is since I had only slept 4 hours a day early on I needed much more sleep later on in the race. I overslept a couple times because my Mom couldn’t get me to wake up. Day five was very similar to day 4, I walked during the day and ran/slept at night. I found that beef stroganoff and meatballs from the aid station kept me going when I was going through rough patches. I felt really good on night 5 until about midnight when the sleep deprivation kicked in. It was like a switch flipped, one moment I felt great then I could barely keep my eyes open. I ended up going to sleep with only a measly 6 miles left for the record.
Day 6-
    I woke on the last day feeling great, THERE ARE ONLY 24 HOURS LEFT! After this I wouldn’t have to wake up and worry about how many miles I had to do before I could go back to sleep. I walked the last 6 miles (which seemed to take forever), and finally, I hit 315! New American 6D record! I still had quite a lot of time left in the race so I took a break while it was hot and went back out. On my first lap since I took a break I ran about .1 miles out from the aid station when I heard a noise from one of the nearby trees *CRASSHHH* confused, I quickly turned around to see a monkey (yes, there are monkeys living in the park) sprinting across the path. Part of me was ecstatic while the other part of me was jealous of the 12 hour runners that had just started and got to see the monkey. The pinkie toe issues that I had developed on day 1 were still bothering me so my Mom decided to switch me into a pair of my Dad’s Altras might be beneficial. I noticed immediate results. I think because my Hokas are narrow they were rubbing on my pinky toes so switching to Altras (which are much wider) quickly resolved this problem. It’s hard to describe the last 12 hours of a 6D race. If you think mile 95 of a 100 mile race is thrilling then you should run a 6D. I felt like every cell in my body was buzzing, 5 1/2 days of anticipation all leading up to this moment. I was so close, but still so far. It had rained all week but the worst of it came during the last night. It rained fat, cold, heavy raindrops all night. It seems like whenever I put my rain jacket on it stopped raining but the moment I took it off it started again. At this point there were about 9 hours left in the race and it appeared like I was pretty safe at 4th male so I decided to take a nap. I woke up to looking at the results and seeing that the former 5th place had passed me and was doing 4-6 minute laps (each lap is 1 kilometer, 4 minute lap = about a 6 minute mile)!! I was almost cussing in my head, how was he running 6 minute miles 138 hours into the race. I was running at about the same pace as #6 but he was only a lap behind me. I was just praying that 4th and 6th would either slow down or fall asleep. After a while, I looked at the results and noticed that both 4th and 6th had either stopped or went to sleep. Here was my chance to retake 4th and gain some distance on 6th. I eventually passed 4th and built an insurmountable lead on 6th, it appeared that they were both still asleep. It was still raining and my feet felt like water balloons, but I didn’t care, I wasn’t taking my shoes off until I hit the 144 hour mark. I walked my last few laps with my good friend Ed Ettinghausen (who happened to be leading the race) and eventually hit 360 miles. I reached the timing tent then realized that I only had about 50 seconds left in the race. I quickly grabbed a flag (to mark my distance) then sprinted as fast as I could before I was told to stop. I managed to reach 361.7 miles, 4th male and 5th overall. 
The flag that marked the end of my race.

As I’m writing this blog (about 5 days post Icarus) I’d like to say that I am almost 100% recovered. I haven’t been experiencing any soreness when walking around and if you look at my feet you can’t even tell that I ran 361 miles. The funniest part about this adventure is the fact that my socks still smell like the A&D ointment that my parents put on my feet (even after being washed). I plan on going for a run tomorrow. 
Thank you very much for all the support. A special thank you to the race directors - Andrei and Claire Nana. I will never forget or stop appreciating your support and the opportunity you provided me at Icarus.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Getting Back to it - An Update

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Podium Finish and buckle #6!

The BLU Relentless 100 was definitely a challenge. The course was originally suppose to be a 5 mile trail loop but thanks to some crazy horse ladies removing the course markings, it was changed to a 2.5 mile loop that included 2 miles that were flat and partially sandy and .5 miles of steep rock climbing. At first I was really disappointed when I found out that the course was changing, but it isn’t safe to do a trail race when the are people removing the markings. I mean it would be good training for my future Barkley attempt this wasn’t the weekend to get lost.

Excited to get started
When the race started I was really excited to climb some rocks and see how much it was going to suck at night. Right before I got to the rocks I was having a blast, I got to see most of my California friends and I got to run over this really cool suspension bridge that bounces you up (lets see how long I like that dang bridge). When I started climbing the rocks it was like a dream come true, I could climb rocks as fast as I wanted without having to wait for my sister or parents.
Before I knew it I was at mile 20 and was already hating the bridge and rocks. My adrenaline rush made me go waaaayyyy too fast on the rocks, while jumping from rock to rock I messed up my knee. I was forced to walk until my friend Nicole generously gave me some tylenol. Thankfully after walking for a little bit longer my knee felt good as new. Everything went well until about mile 30 when my friend Emilio suddenly stopped running and suddenly hurled his cookies all over the place. Watching him lay down on the ground and just look awful and made me feel bad. 
As my mileage went up my hatred for the bridge and rocks did too. Since the bridge bounced you up you had put your leg down more which resulted in you having to stretch your leg more which hurts when you are sore. Since it was getting dark and the RD didn’t want me on the rocks by myself my friend Tanya started pacing me. It was nice to have Tanya around because she was upbeat, positive, and made sure I was safe while climbing the rocks. Tanya paced me for about 15 miles and then got tired and went to sleep, so Nicole’s friend Cameron paced me.
Things went well until about mile 75 when it started to get cold and I realized that my fingers were covered in cuts (from the rocks). Thankfully 3 jackets and a pair of gloves solved my problems. Cameron paced me a total of 10 miles and then Tanya came back out with me. When Tanya came back out I had good news, I was 3rd male and 4th overall! At the time I was at mile 80 and I had 1 lap on Sarkis (4th male). Sadly though I wasn’t eating enough so I thought that 2 Boosts (bad idea) and a hot dog would fix that. It turns out 2 Boosts at once is a bad idea. I quickly became nauseous.
At mile 90 Tanya decided she was done so while she was waiting I checked on Sarkis, it turns out he had passed me and was 20 +/- minutes ahead of me! Thankfully my friend and winner of the 50k Patrick Sweeney was willing to push me for the last 10 miles. Patrick was great because he was a lot faster then me so he could push me harder than I could push myself. Knowing that I was no longer 3rd male gave me an adrenaline rush, so I started doing 9-12 minute miles so I could get 3rd place back.

At about mile 92 it started to rain, the rain felt really good but it made it even harder to climb the slick rocks. While I was going up the hill I saw Sarkis going down, he was moving about half as fast as I was and didn’t look good. Now that I knew where he was I started to push harder. I really wanted 3rd place! Right after I hit mile 95 Patrick and I sprinted past him! We kept running until we couldn’t see him and then speed walked most of the lap. When I hit the last lap I was extremely excited, I only had around 35 minutes left and I had gotten 3rd male back! It was so cool to know that after that lap I could be done! Just to make sure Sarkis wouldn’t catch up Patrick pushed me to run as much as I could. When I could see the finish I took off! It was so cool to get my trophy, BLU Relentless buckle, and the jester 200 buckle!

Top 5 Relentless Finishers:
Jesse Sjoberg- 23:12:59.70
Joshua Holmes- 23:49:22.03
Michelle Patuto- 24:58:50.34
Colby Wentlandt- 25:21:25.87
Sarkis Defterderian- 25:53:56.61

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Sub-23 hour 100 at 13? I Hit the Jackpot!

The Jackpot 100 was a blast, I saw a lot of friends and got a huge PR! The course is a most flat 2.38 mile loop that features crushed gravel and concrete. My original goal was to average 15 minute miles, as you read on you will see that I did much better! The race weather was perfect, it was warmer then Colorado and there was cloud cover! I had my friend Terry crewing me and her husband Louie pacing me.

At the start with my Mom and our friend Rob
When the race started I was extremely excited, there were so many familiar faces! I wanted to go really fast but my Garmin helped me realize that I needed to slow down. As the race got started, I adjusted my strategy was to maintain 12 minute miles as long as possible and then slow down to 15-18 minute miles during the harder miles. My strategy worked well until around mile 27 when I hit a wall, I didn’t have any energy! A fellow runner (who I didn’t know) solved this by giving me a GU. I later found out that his name is Tony and that he has ran Badwater 5 times! He helped me a lot.

Photo Courtesy SweetM Images
When I was getting close to 50 miles I realized something... I was going to get a huge 50 mile PR! I also found out that Louie was ready to pace me at 50, my morale skyrocketed. I ended finishing the first 50 in around 10 hours 15 minutes that was a hour and a half PR! Between Louie starting to pace me and a PR I was feeling really good. It was great to have him with me. Louie held my flashlight, reminded me what I wanted when we came into the aid station, talked to me, and was overall positive.

When I hit the 100k mark I realized something again... I was only 12 hours 30 minutes into the race, that meant I beat my 100k PR by 2, hours, 17 minutes! Tanner, the race director’s son also decided to run a lap with me. It was nice to run with Tanner. We talked about school, his last 5k, and future races. Before I knew it I was in the dark miles... It was late at night I was tired and kind of said forget running I’m walking a lap! But when I hit the aid station I discovered an amazing combination -  pumpkin pie and cheesecake worked wonders. I stopped thinking about walking an entire lap and pushed myself to run/walk.

Something I realized at ATY was that you can run when you are tired. You can run when you think you can't. I focused on that at Jackpot and even when it hurt, I was able to run and maintain my goal pace.

I decided that I would run 100 steps and then walk 100 steps. My strategy worked well, I could do 15-16 minute miles at mile 80. When things got hard I tried to calculate how long I had left and say something like “only 6 hours until bed time!” I also did things like mix song lyrics and see what happened, playing games in my head kept me distracted from what hurt. Before I knew the sun came up and I was feeling brand new, all I could think about was that buckle and a sub-24 hour finish.

On my second to last lap I was extremely excited, the buckle was so close yet so far. The last 4 miles of a 100 is like winning the lottery but then getting in an accident and having to wait to cash in the win. When I finally go to the last part of my last loop adrenaline kicked in and I ran hard into the finish!! My final finish time was 22:29:21!! I GOT A 7 HOUR PR!!!! I was overjoyed!

Special thanks to:
    Terry and Diane for crewing me
    Louie for pacing me
    My Mom for the bringing me out
    And all of my friends and family!!! thanks for all the support!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Across The Years 2013-2014

Across The Years was a blast, I got a huge distance PR and had a great time! In the race you can sign up to run for 1, 2, 3, or 6 DAYS! The ATY course is a flat 1.05 mile loop around the White Sox/Dodgers training facility. The aid station is huge. They basically bring a kitchen to the course and put tents over it. The best part about the course is there are spots to put tents, cars, and RVs.
My Dad and I at the start

At the start I was excited, I signed up for the 3 day so it was going to be my longest race to date. Since it was a flat 1 mile loop my parents let me run by myself, so I decided to see what I could do. Unlike my Dad I didn't start off fast, I was pretty proud of myself for being able to pace myself. I later found out that my Dad had the fastest the first loop! This was the first race that I had ever listened to music, boy did I enjoy it! I just kind of cruised along listening to a mixture of classic rock and Christian music, things felt good and the miles went by fast.
Feeling great early in the race - photo from Aravaipa Running

Before I even looked up I had 20 miles done! To celebrate I drank a cup of Mt. Dew and Coke :). The best part about ATY is that every 4 hours you change directions so you get to see everyone. Things continued to go well until I was about 10 hours into the race and reality kicked in... Woah I still have 62 hours to go! That was a huge mistake, I was treating it like it was a 100 and in a 100 I don't really sleep. So my mind automatically assumed that I was going to stay up for another 62 hours! The mental part is so huge in these long races.
Phota credit - Aravaipa Running

At around mile 50 heaven on plastic plate came! Our friend Deb went to Cracker Barrel and brought us Sunday fried chicken!!! The chicken was delicious and it definitely made things better. The chicken worked its magic until about mile 65 when I found several blisters on my feet and things started to hurt. I have never had blisters, so I was surprised. I stopped in the medical tent to have them taped and then went to sleep for about 4 hours in our friends' RV. When I woke up I was confused and pretty tired, my dad  kind of prodded me out of the RV and I started going again! I found my Mom and we stayed together for a while.

After 24 hours were over I had 70-75ish miles and was feeling decent. It was so cool to see new faces start, it brought my morale up. I didn't really feel like running so I power walked with friends. At around mile 86 I was walking with my friend Mark Hellenthal who had done over 100 miles on an injured leg! I only had 14 miles until I hit 100 but I was hurting, a lot... I decided to take a brake at mile 87 because my heel hurt, when I took my shoe off I had spots all over my heel, so my parents decided to put my foot in the ice chest. The ice chest was bitter sweet, it made my heel numb but also hurt. The funny part was I was crying/laughing at how much it hurt and suddenly my nose started gushing blood! I am sure it was pretty funny to watch!

After getting blood and ice everywhere, I decided it was time to get going again, but before I knew it was dark again. I kind of hobbled along until mile 99 when a big group of people walked my 100th mile with me. It was nice to have so many people around me, they kept my mind off the pain. When I saw the start/finish I kind of did an excited shuffle and finally got 100 miles!! I was extremely tired and grumpy so I decided to sleep.

When I woke up I was stiff and didn't think I could get out of the RV, much less do a couple more laps, but I really wanted to. I told myself that I would at least walk my Mom's last lap. To prepare for the walk I would walk a couple of steps and just stand there. I mostly sat around all day. It was fun to watch people go by and have friends stop to chat with me. When my Mom came for her last lap I got up and walked! It was funny to look at my lap time and see that mile 101 took 20 hours!! After my Mom hit 100 she decided to keep walking so I followed her, it felt really good to be moving again. I was wearing my Dad's flip flops because my feet were still swollen.

Before I knew it I was at mile 110 my Dad had his 100 done and they were going to our friends' house to eat dinner and sleep. Mom tried to get me to leave too, but I wanted to keep going.

Since I wanted to keep going I walked with our friend Kristen who had 100+ miles as well. I walked with Kristen for about 5 miles when she decided to take a break. Since I was feeling good I laced my running shoes and started to run again!! I was doing about 15 minute miles when I caught up to my friend Ed the Jester. Ed was 3rd place in the 6 day and has over 300 miles done!! Ed kept me motivated, we kept up the pace for around 15 miles when he needed to take a break. I decided to keep going, I managed to run another 5 miles when the blisters caught up to me and I started walking again.

I walked about 3 miles when one of the best pacers ever decided to walk with me! My friend Fat Boy AKA Ryan kept me company by talking about hikes, recent races, and movies. Before I knew it I had 144 miles done and 1 hour 30 minutes left in the race, I decided to stop and lay down in the warming tent. Minus a lady hogging the heater the warming tent was nice, I went through cycles of falling asleep and waking up right before I started to fall out of my chair. After a while I decided to find my parents, I borrowed a friends phone and called them.

I was sleeping when my Mom and Dad told me the race was about over and it was time to get up.  My Dad made me stand up and we hobbled to the showers. The warm water felt so good on my aching legs. After the shower I felt like a million bucks. I fell asleep during the awards ceremony so I don't remember very much of it but I ended up with 144 miles!! That was an official 44 mile distance PR for me! ATY last year was my first PR. This year it was my first 3 day event. I hope we can come back every year. It is a great experience with a lot of fun friends and amazing runners.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Javelina Jundred

Javelina was not only a 2 hour PR but it was fun! The Javelina course consists of six 15+ mile loops and one 9 mile loop at the end. After you finished a loop you would turn around and go the other direction washing machine style. It was fun because you see everyone else on the course. There were a few hills but they weren’t very challenging during the first couple of laps. The hard part of the race was the heat and the rocks. The cool thing about Javelina is that since the race happens a few days before halloween, lots of people dress up in unique costumes.
There were about 400 runners, so we were kind of forced to walk the first mile. I didn’t mind since my Mom and I knew a couple people that were running the race. Seeing them was fun. After about 2 miles our friend Rob caught up with us and he was wearing a pirate suit! Running with Rob was funny because every few minutes some one would yell “Arrrr!”. The first lap was fast and very fun.
We started to slow down a lot during the second loop because it got hot and painful. The heat started to make me lose motivation and things sucked, but I just thought to myself “We didn’t fly all the way from Colorado to drop down!”.  One thing that made the heat a little bit better was to put ice and some cold water into my buff and have the cold water slowly run down my neck. The really nice thing about the loops was that the last half of the loop was always down hill.

 The third loop was pretty exciting because I was getting into the big number and the sun was starting to go down so heat-wise everything was getting better. What is really cool about the higher miles is that if feels like people stop doubting you and you morale goes up a lot when you go through an aid station. When my Mom and I hit the down hills we were making great time. We walked most of the uphills. At about mile 43 a bunch of family and friends called my Mom and gave us some motivation.

 Mile 45-60 is a little bit of a blur but I remember it being very dark and our headlamps were starting to dim a lot. It was weird because we just put in new batteries. Since our lights weren’t doing well my Mom and I were constantly stubbing our toes and making weird noises out of pain. If you haven’t kicked a rock at mile 60 when its dark then you are lucky. It makes you lose motivation, it hurts, and it stops your motion for a second, which is the worst part. When we finally hit the aid station we both sat down. We found out I had a pacer that was willing to go out with me for a loop. Because I was taken care of and she was in pain,  my Mom called it quits at 100k. I felt pretty bad for her because she had to take care of me and herself which makes running even harder. Luckily there was someone to pace me and help keep me awake through the dark hours.
The person that paced me was suppose to run the 100 but he got hit by a car two days before the race. (his name is Eric by the way). The nice thing about Eric was that his headlamp lit up the whole trail so I could see everything within a mile. Eric also had a few stories to talk about so I didn’t think about the pain I was in or being tired as much. This loop was nice because I didn’t know Eric before Javelina, so I could talk to him about a lot of things. I ended up getting to mile 75 in about 22 hours so I met the first cut off with around 2 hours to spare.
Since Eric was hit by a car he wasn’t feeling too good,  my Mom managed to enlist another pacer. His name was Jeff. Jeff was like 10 feet tall so when he walked I had to jog to keep up with him. It sucked at the time, but now I am glad that his legs are so long. Jeff had a lot of interesting things to talk about as well. For example, he owns a Christmas tree farm and teaches 5th grade. But the best part about Jeff was that he had bacon. When I would start to fall behind he would grab a piece of bacon and I would have to catch him to get it. Since our walking was super fast because of Jeff’s long legs we got to mile 91 in 27 hours. That meant that I had 3 hours to 9 miles.
Jeff didn’t let me sit down at the start/finish. I grabbed some food from my Mom and left. At the time sitting sounded amazing but if I sat down I might not have made it. So the last 9 miles were the same course as the other loops but about 6 miles in you cut down to this 3 mile down hill section that takes you to the finish.The 6 miles to the down hill was a struggle. It was hot, rocky, and uphill. It just seemed to go on and on, and since I am colorblind, from a distance I can’t tell the difference between the trail and normal dirt.

When we finally hit the last 3 miles we took off, which when you are at mile 97 “taking off” is a slow painful jog. When we finally hit the one mile marker I almost cried I was so happy, we had 27 minutes for the last mile! I didn’t even bother to go fast for the last mile I just slowly walked until well, I could see the finish of course! When I saw everyone I started another slow jog and made it!!!! I was quickly handed the buckle and youngest finisher award, someone took a few pictures and I finally got to sit down. It was awesome to finish and get a 2 hour PR but what really made me feel good was that  there was a more than 50% drop rate and I actually finished!!
Buckle and youngest finisher trophy presented by RD Jamil Coury

This is Teagan. She is 8 and ran the 100k!

Thank you so much to my pacers, Eric and Jeff. The buckle wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t volunteered. If you ever need a pacer, I would love to return the favor!
Jeff and I at the finish. So happy to have met him

Monday, September 9, 2013

Silverton 1000 48 Hour

Silverton 48 hour

Silverton was a blast! The course is a not so easy 1 mile loop that features 250 feet of climbing, oh and it's 9300 feet above sea level! Going into the race I thought "oh 250 feet isn't to bad, that's just a little hill." But when the race started I changed my mind...
With my sister Mimi at the start
beautiful course!

Cameron and I. I was about 55 miles in here
When the race started I ran, well that was until I got to the hill. I ran probably 10 steps and was already winded, I thought to myself "this sucks..." When my Dad and I finally made up all the hills we took off. Closing in on the start/finish I decided that the trick was to not run any part of the incline.

As the sun went down and I did more miles the thought of 100 miles seemed impossible. The hill was just so intimidating, and it felt like it was taking me longer to finish the mile then it actually was. My mind played a trick on me and for some reason I didn't feel like I could keep going for another day. My Dad and I were just trying to stay up and get more miles in. Finally at about mile 41 we took a little break and my dad called it a night and asked our friend Mark (who happened to be the race director) to help me find someone to run with.

It was nice to run with Mark and distract myself by asking him questions about the race. After a couple miles Mark got busy and I started running with one of his friends named Willy. Willy was in the 6 day and had about 150 miles done already. It was cool to run with someone I didn't know and hear his story. At mile 50 I took about a hour nap because I couldn't keep my eyes open. When I woke up I ran with my friend Rachel who was in the 48 hour and was at about the same mile as me. Rachel and I ran until the sun came out and my parents came back.

Seeing my parents and having the sun slowly come up again felt great. I just felt encouraged again. After I did a couple of miles with my Dad our friend Ed also came out. Ed had already done 100 miles and was trying to get 150 for the 72 hour male record. Mile 60 -70 went by fast because I was talking to family and friends a lot since the 24 hour runners had just started.

At about mile 70 Brandon Plate started running with us. Brandon is a kid ultra runner as well he was in the 72 hour and was at the same mile as I was. Talking to a fellow kid runner was pretty cool because there aren't very many of us. At mile 75 it got hard for me. I was hot and tired and lost motivation with every step. As we came into the aid station my Mom and friend Deb quickly changed that, they loaded me up with Mt. Dew and pasta which quickly changed my attitude!

Since my dad had gone to sleep I gained 15 miles on him. My dad wanted to catch up with me so he sped up and I stayed with Ed. Right after my dad left Brandon's brother Cameron started running with us too. After the top of the hill we always took a break and I had a certain stump that I always sat on. So as we get to the top Cameron takes my seat! Ed's reaction to that was to lift up his skirt and let a juicy fart come out all over Cameron! After that Ed and Cameron started having a farting contest, which was a funny but really disgusting if you smelled it!
75 miles done

At about mile 95 I heard Mark yelling "Attention runners there is a bear on the mountain! Do not approach the bear, I repeat do not approach the bear!" I decided to keep going and that I could take on a bear if it was in the way of my buckle!

At mile 98 I was running in a pack but was slowly getting ahead of them as my adrenaline kicked in. At mile 99 ran out of the aid station and very slowly jogged up the hill. It hurt to run, but I was being fueling with anticipation. When I had conquered the up hill I sprinted the down hills, I couldn't wait for the buckle. Closing in on the last .1 I sprinted as fast as I could, my Mom expected me to finish with the pack so when she saw a single light she was caught off guard.

I finished!!! I couldn't believe it but I finished! My last mile took 20 minutes which is pretty good with that monster hill. After 100 miles I sat down had some soup and decided to go out for one last mile and make it a distance PR. I did the last mile the group of friends that I had been running with and took it slow. I am very proud to have finished 101 miles and coming in second place male, third place overall. Silverton was so fun and brutally difficult from the first step! I will wear my buckle with pride and can't wait to come back next year!
My second 100 mile buckle. Yes, I would have fought a bear for it!

My friends and the RDs, Sharill and Mark

My Dad thought I deserved a lift!