Not all of the 2015 Team USA 24 Hour Running Team are as consistent or as speedy as the amazing Maggatron (Maggie Guterl) to race our way into the WSER100 with a Golden Ticket. For some of us plodder humanoids our only chance is to get in through the lottery like the rest of the mere mortals. For me this meant running the Mohican 100 Trail Run even though I have been injured, in my body and mind, and have been running way less than 25 miles a week.
I must admit my training woes are more mental than physical. My diet has been inconsistent and crappy and I have gained more than 25lbs. I have been a complete idiot and not gone to a doctor about my hip since I’m afraid. I am lying to myself. Yes, I am a big mess. Mental instability: it’s what makes good ultra runners great.
I’m not going to do a full chronological report here, just a list of stuff, since my writing is about as piss poor as my running right now. I was over confident in the beginning and paid for it at the end with a death march for more than 35 miles to the finish. I could have had a much more enjoyable, pain free experience with better pacing, but what fun would that be right? In hindsight I’m pretty surprised at how well I am recovering, this is one thing that I did well.
Cool things to see:
- the water fall
- the gorge
- the dam
- the cicada ( hearing was cooler than seeing )
- the Mohican Adventures Campsite
- first event that I continued for more than 24 hours ( 30:51:02 )
- first event where I was late to the starting line ( I thought the start was at the same place as the finish. I come to find out 15 minutes before race time that it’s a mile down the road, I had to walk down there and drop my bag before starting for more than a few minutes delay)
- first time I cried during a race ( yes, after shuffling through mile after mile with excruciating chaffing seeing the green grass of the campsite; knowing the finish wasn’t far beyond and a lone young camper ringing a cowbell made me shed a tear.)
- first time I took a shower during a race ( there was a bathroom with a shower on the course, good to know for next time since I would leave a drop bag there with 3 changes of gear and clean up every loop)
- first time I prepared for my shower after the race during the race ( knowing that I would have to climb a large hill after the race to get my clean clothes and shower stuff I took a short detour off course to my truck and then carried my and left my bag by the showers so it would be there for me after the race)
- first time I saw a pace bunny at an aid station ( I’m not sure who the lucky runner was who had a young woman in a bikini, bunny ears and tail waiting for them at the aid station, that sure would have kept me moving )
- a cheap head lamp is always better than an expensive one ( for the nth time my $120 Petzl NAO died in short order while the $30 Petzl Zipka served for the early morning start and the entire night )
- when your fat and you have to wear old cheap running shorts chaffing will be a major issue. I really need to loose the weight to fit in all my nice running gear again.
- wear your garmin and stick to plan, respect the heat especially when it doesn’t cool off at night. the fitbit lulled me into thinking I was doing much better than I was which strangely made me push harder when I should have been backing off.
- train and diet for 6 months to a year before running a 100 miler
Considering this was a Solo 100 (no pacer, no crew) I had very little gear. I only used 1 drop bag which you could get to 3 times on the loop course. ( I saw one man using a cat litter pail for drop bag which seems like a good idea) It had:
- spare headlamp
- change of shirt, shorts, shoes and socks
- light jacket
- spare mp3 player
- Arnica gel
- some assorted gels
I carried 2 water bottles in my AK race vest along with another headlamp and mp3 player, a few gels and my trucker gum.
I have been a buckle snob in the past believing there should be a distinction between a 1 day finish and everyone else. This experience gave me a new outlook on that. I am happy and proud to have a nice new buckle and qualifier for the WSER 100 lottery. Hopefully by the time I get in there I will still enjoy running hundreds.
Congratulations to my teammates Harvey and Connie with amazing performances for 2nd and 1st place ( and Connie’s 6th win???) . Crazy to think I can be back in the same league as them. Hopefully I can get my head and body back in check and pull off a late qualifier this year in a last ditch attempt to make the team. I have found that I usually need to dig myself into a big hole in order to succeed. This is a very deep one, so who knows what I will do after this.