Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 Uwharrie 40 miler


Deja Vu
I'll skip right to end.
I got to the 20 mile mile turn around in 3:40, which was too fast, and just plain dumb.
The volunteers were amazingly speedy and helpful. They got my drop bag, filled up my bottle and took my nasty used gel packs.

I slammed an Ensure, reloaded on gels and started back towards the finish. My legs were stiff and dead. Everything hurt, right hamstring, left achilles, hips and knees, but that was expected. Unexpected was a pain in my back and chest. I was breathing really hard just walking, and my heart was racing.
I still had 20 miles and about 4 hours to go.

In anticipation, I had brought pills. I popped some ibuprofen and caffeine, and started running.
I knew exactly what was ahead, because I was in the exact same place and condition 2 years ago when I destroyed myself completely.

Women's first place finisher tackles "the log"

About a half mile out, I came to a stop, stepped off the trail, and just stood there. Did I really want to hurt myself again? For what? A steady stream of runners passed by. As a testament to trail runners, every single one was sincerely concerned, and asked if I was OK.

"Yes! I'm fine... actually, I am great!". I was so happy to quit. I turned around again and walked back to the 20 mile station to drop out and catch the bus. Even walking slowly was difficult, and a laughed at myself for even considering going another 20 miles.

My lovely Ultra runner wife Shannon ran by, surprised to see me walking. "Oh, no no no!!"
She looked great and was running strong, yet she offered to drop out with me. "No don't be silly." I declined.
We both had the same goal of 8 hours, but she had paced herself much better for the first half.

At mile 22 however, the battery in her Garmin died.
The constant feedback of the GPS is what drives her. For her, if the GPS does record it, a run never happened.

For example, we have a route that we take our dogs that is exactly 1.1 miles long. We know this because we have run it hundreds of times. Yet, we still have to stand in the driveway holding 3 dogs until she gets a satellite signal.

Without the Garmin, she lost all motivation and finished in 8:27. It still was good enough for 2nd place female and 26th overall.

The experience was not a complete loss for me.
I discovered the the e-Gel that I was using worked GREAT... in more ways than one:

  1. As a fuel source. I had 5 of them, 750 calories worth, without stomach issues.
  2. As a glue. I had put the used packets in the front pocket of my shorts, and the residual gu had leak out. When it dried, it glued my shorts to my thigh with an incredibly strong bond.
  3. As a hair remover. When attempting to remove my shorts, I ripped out a large chunk of hair from my thigh. I need to keep this in mind when bikini season rolls around.

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