|Marshall with Kate preparing gels in ziplocks|
4am rolled around and I prepared all that was needed: bottles of water, backpack with gels and salts, pre-race restroom activity (good sign), and clothing for the 6am night start. The shot (not really) went off and everyone was on their way to their 101.4 mile journey:
|Feeling good after first loop and stuffing a gel down throat. I eventually ate 40 of them!|
|Still feeling good after second loop: 31 miles|
Lap 2: Leaving the way I came (washing machine loop course) there were runners coming to and from all still excited in the early part of the race. I approached the loop in relatively the same way but now with water in hand. The next 15.4 was uneventful except the beautiful sunrise over the desert mountains. The temperatures were absolutely perfect. It's typically quite warm and dry for this time of year but everyone was lucky enough to get cooler temps. I arrived at the 31 mile mark in another good time of ~5hrs 8 min
|Heading out on Loop 3|
Lap 3: While Marshall gave me a full bottle of water, gels and salts, Jimmy asked me what my goal time was. And after I bumbled 22hrs (which I was pulling out of my ass because I really didn't have a goal time) he proceeded to gently tell me to "Slow the fuck down." Off I went and this time I was feeling a little discomfort in my legs but nothing bothersome. I started to hit my first low point seven miles into the loop and lasted all the way to the Jeadquarters. I understood that these moments happen and it certainly wasn't the first time I experienced them but when you feel that way it's very difficult to convince yourself that you're going to get out of it. You just have to trust that it will. I have never listened to music during a race believing that one is missing the natural sounds of the surrounding and I even questioned why people would use it in a past blog post. However, at that moment I was willing to do anything to get out of this mental funk. Grabbing more gels and salts I demanded for my ipod. 8hrs 4 min, 47 miles
|Off with Marshall on the fourth loop: Miles 62-77|
Lap 6: We started off but I was still in a rut and we continued the run-hike strategy, mainly because continuous running was very unappealing to me. At the first aid-station I needed to sit for a moment: the first of the day. Marshall brought over chicken noodle soup and we soon moved on. We arrived about half-way through the loop and I bummed one ibuprofen pill of another runner at an aid station. I continued on and started to feel better so we started putting some good consistent running until we were back at the Jeadquarters. 92.4 miles, 18hrs 5 min
|Hells yes! 101.4 miles 19hrs 49 min...1:49am, 14th overall|
|Ecstatic with silver sub-24 belt buckle|
Sitting here two days since the finish it all seems like a blur. I'm trying to recapture every moment of the run because I'm frankly proud of this performance and what it holds for future 100 mile events. It's quite amazing how nutrition can effect a race and maintaining that turned out to be a huge part of why I was successful. I'm going to recover for the week and do some hiking, light jogging, and give back to the trail community by volunteering to help for a PCTR event at Pt. Magu. Well, I'll get a free entry so maybe it's not entirely for selfless reasons. Speaking of selfless, I was inspired and impressed on how selfless the Coyotes were for one another. They came out crewed, paced, supported, donated their energy and time for all their runners, including myself. Simply, a good group of people.
I want to give special thanks to Marshall who took another shift off work, although I don't think he's upset about that, gave his time and his energy to pace me and made sure I had water, was eating and taking salts. I'll be paying him the same favor next summer. And of course to my girl and love, Megan. She devoted her time to drive to and from Arizona, gave me confidence with her support and love. I was always excited to hit the aid station ready to hug and kiss her.
I also want to give a shout out to all the runners that toed the line, especially Erin Chavin, Adam Bowman, and Gabi Schenkel. Congrats to all!
So what is next? My plan is to start working on some speed, power, and climbing skills in the next few months in time to be ready for the Ray Miller 50 miler in February. But for now, reflection and recovery. Happy Trails.
|Me & Marshall post-race|
|I must be tired.|
|Yeah, I'll be wearing that buckle for a week|