Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2 T-Shirts One Day?

Saturday was my running adventure of the year. Quiet a few firsts......

-1st time doing two races in one day.
-1st 5K.
-1st 50 miler.
-1st Overnight race.
-1st time with a pacer.
-1st time starting a race that has been in progress for 7 hours.
-1st race where time wasn’t the goal, it was the distance.

I really don’t know where to begin so I guess I will start with my first race the Colleen Lantz Memorial Run http://www.run4youth.ca/ . This was a local 5/10K event in Neustadt. It was so much fun running with so many friends, co workers my wife Carrie and my 9 year old son Noah! This was the second year for this event, I didn’t go last year because it fell on the same day as the OUS Dirty Girls Run. This year the two races fell on the same date again, I wanted to do the DG 12 Hour with a 80K goal and the CL 5K ..... what to do ! Simple.... BOTH.

I had my alarm set for 7:00 am but as is usual for race day I was up at 5 am. This allowed me an hour in the Hot Tub with a pot of Coffee which is always a great way to start the day. I wasn’t sure what to expect of my little local race with 300+ participants but it was fantastic, very well organized in a great venue! Carrie was doing the 5K walk and Noah was in the 5K run with me. I asked Noah if he wanted me to stick with him or try to run as fast as I could and he choose to go it alone.

In spite of the crowds the race started on time at 09:50 am. I have been consistently breaking 20 minutes on the treadmill and was going to attempt to do it on the road. Well as it turns out fell far short of my goal. First K was done in 3:56 but then there was a hill and another and then I was out of O2 and didn’t recover. Before I try to do a sub 20 I better make sure it’s a flat course! The 5K was the longest short race I have ever run! I finished in 22:04 13th out of 195 runners, 3rd in my age group 40-49. Noah did extremely well, 29:01 69th out of 195 runners, 2nd in his age group 9 and under. As you were exiting the start/finish area they provided you with a bag of food, Bagel with Jam, Banana, Gator Aid and a few other goodies. We stuck around for the awards, there was a few words spoken by the Chief of Police , Mayor and a tribute to Colleen. I look forward to doing this one again next year!

We left Neustadt a little after 1pm. I was thinking of the Dirty Girls Race and the remaining hour that the 6 hour folks had. I didn’t waste any time at home, packed my cooler and loaded everything in the Durango and then I was off. The drive to Mansfield was a little over an hour but it seemed a whole lot longer. I was feeling really sleepy and had a slight pain in my Hamstrings. This wasn’t a good feeling knowing what I was about to do!

Arrived in Mansfield around 2:30 pm. There were lots of folks recovering from the 6 hour event, almost as much energy and activity that occurs prior to a race start. I made my way to the trailer, Henry was there tabulating the 6 hour results... he directed my to my race kit. Next I went and visited the starter and advised them that I would be entering the 24 hour event shortly. I headed back to the Durango strategically parked right beside the trail. I stopped and talked to some of the 6 hour finishers took my time yakking but I was getting anxious to start!

I started my first lap at 2:44! I was still feeling a bit tired and had a slight head ache. The Hamstrings were still complaining but it seemed like the sort of thing you just run off! The trial was very well defined from the hundreds of laps that folks had accumulated. I had forgotten just how beautiful Mansifeild is and how runnable the trails are. I passed a few runners on the first loop, I was sure to tell them that I just started. I went out a little fast and finished the first 10K in 70 minutes. As I crossed the start/finish there was a fellow sitting there that commented on my fast lap and asked how my legs were after my previous race... I am not sure who he was?

Before I started the second lap I stopped at the Durango for about 6 minutes, toweled off and changed my shirt and I ate a Yogurt and grabbed an ice cold bottle of water. Lap 2 was my "Music Lap”, I rocked to my tunes loving every minute. The legs were OK and the head ache was gone and I was really enjoying the moment. I did this lap a little faster, just a bit over an hour.... oops!

Before I started my third lap I stopped for about 10min! Once again I toweled off and changed my shirt. I had 500 ml of Chocolate Milk as well as a Snickers Bar and Pretzels. The volume of the Milk was a little too much, didn’t cause any issues bit I could feel it sitting in the stomach. I was starting to slow after the first two quick laps, did this one closer to 80 minutes. This was the lap where it really started to rain. It was warm, somewhere around 18C so the rain was welcome. The air was really heavy and it made for some tough breathing. I was also really starting to overheat and was getting slightly dehydrated so I upped the fluid intake!

Before I started my fourth lap it was the same routine, towel off change the shirt and eat. This time it was an Ensure with Pretzels and Water. Grabbed a bottle of GU 2O and was really trying to get the fluids in. Packed a Coked next to a block of ice so it would be really cold! It was really raining hard , it was around 6:30 pm when I headed back out but it was already getting dark in the forest with the cloud cover. I figured I would be done this loop before 8pm so I didn’t grab the lighting gear! I was still slowing down a little but I was still running every thing but the big hills. Caught up with Kinga Miklos on this loop, we chatted a bit and passed each other a few times. She was on her 8th loop and was running at the same pace as me on my 4th! Finished this loop in around 85 minutes, this was the pace I was hoping to hold for the next 40K.

Stopped at the Darango again for a quick Yougurt and Water as well as a few pretzels. Toweled off and once again changed my shirt. I was beginning to appreciate the fresh feeling of the quick change but the effect didn’t last long as it was still raining quiet heavily. Before I headed out on loop 5 I dawned my lighting system. There was still a fair bit of light when I headed out around 8:20 pm. I was really pumped about it getting dark. I was also hoping that the dark would help me to slow my pace a bit and it did. Several times on the 5th loop I found that my heart rate was a little high so I walked for a bit to get it to drop. Breathing was a bit heavy and my chest was a little tight. It was a combination of going too hard and the heavy air ... I think! Time for this loop about the same as the last , 83 minute. The consistent time for loop 4 and 5 was very encouraging.

Before heading out on the 6th loop I took a long break, close to 30 minutes. Of course I toweled off and changed my shirt. This time I cracked an Ice Cold Can of Coke and downed a Snickers Bar as well as Pretzels. The Coke tasted SO incredibly good ... amazing! This was also the first time that I sat , my back was very sore. Fortunately it only hurt when I stopped. I called my Wife Carrie , filled her in on my intention to go the 100K and she was concerned and talked me in to sticking with my original plan 80K! I also checked with the starter just to make sure they got all my laps only to find that they has missed one.. OOPS. It wasn’t a problem getting it corrected. Started the 6th loop at 10:05 pm. I was still feeling really good. I was also starting to wonder when I would see Gary, my pacer. We tentatively planned on him joining me around midnight so I figured this would be my last lap on my own. Did the 6th loop in 85 minutes, again very consistent. I was still running everything except the hills.

I meet Gary at the start finish before heading out on the 7th loop. I asked him to give me a few minutes while I toweled off and changed my shirt and had a bite. The Yogurt seemed to be working pretty good so I downed another! I took another 3o minutes to eat, change and yak. Gary was encouraging me to get moving! Started the 7th loop at midnight. I wasn’t sure what to expect having pacer but it didn’t take long and I was really really happy that I had one. It was so nice to have someone to chat with. I didn’t realize how much I was staring to focus on the aches and pains. I followed Gary and let him set the pace, this worked very well. On a coupe of occasions I asked him to walk for a bit so I could recover my heart rate again... Shortly after the 5 K aide station we paused for a moment and turned out lights off ... it was so cool total black, couldn’t see your hand in from of your face but when you looked up there was a bit of light peaking through the leaves. We did this loop in 90 minutes, a great pace!

The 8th and final loop was by far the toughest. I am sure it was all mental because I knew that I didn’t have to go back out so everything took on a new dimension. It was almost like I gave into the idea that this was hard and I was getting tired. I really believe that if I had of planned on going out again this loop would have been totally different. Gary said that I was getting a bit "Loopy" and I would have to agree. I was confused at the Durango and forgot to Towel off and change my shirt. I ate another Snickers Bar and washed it down with Gator Aide. I had a real craving for Sweet things; I was surprised because in the 50K events that used Gels I loose the desire to eat sweet around 30K. This final loop was kind of magical and also a bit of a blur, some details escape me and others are etched in my mind! We headed out around 1:40 am, I wanted to walk more and Gary had to get me moving! We came across some of the most interesting folks on the last loop. Gary was telling me about the Canadian Death Race. As he was describing the run a fellow who was pacing a Woman we had just passed spoke up and said that he was one of the 71 finishers!!!! What are the odds of that at 2am in the middle of the forest? Gary and I were amazed at the fact that he finished the race! I am not sure what the question was but the fellow said that it was really tough but the thing that kept him going was "seeing the sun rise as you crest the top of a mountain " .... it gave me the shivers! Caught up with Theresa McGrath last years Trophy Series winner, followed her and her pacer for a couple of Ks! Finished the last loop around 3:30 and in 105 minutes, not bad but definitely slowing allot.

I feel like I could of could have done a couple of more loops but I had already decided 80K was good enough. I look forward to returning next year for yet another new distance ... 100K!

I didn’t stick around too long after finishing. I popped 3 Advil jumped in my car and was home at 5:00am. A quick shower and bed, slept until 1pm. When I got up I had a massive hunger on that prompted my favorite Bacon and Eggs. I had absolutely no muscle pain anywhere, no aches to speak of. My feet were perfect, not a single blister. I did however suffer from bouts of an overwhelming tired feeling but that was gone by Monday. Did a little 10K Tuesday Eve before I went in at Midnight. I am good to go again, no LSD on the books until I finish my mids , Monday or Tuesday.

Garmin Data for 5K...

Garmin Data for 80K...

The 80K data is not complete , Garmin started acting funny when the Battery was getting low but it does pretty much pain the picture of my run.

I almost forgot.... the results! There was no time goal , it was all about just doing 80K. The results made me laugh , I started the race 6hours and 44 minutes late and ended it 4hours 30minutes early. Breaks and all I covered the 80K in 12 hours and 45 minutes. Officially my finish time was 19hours 33minutes and I finished 26 out of 28 runners, 17Th out of 19 Males and 10Th of 10 runners in may age group 45 and over!