A Ranting Race Report [and some fun alliteration]

All times and dialogue are an approximation. This is neither fact nor fiction, just my memory of the first 24 hour 100 mile race I competed in on July 23 in New Castle, VA.

 

 3:45am:

I don’t think I fell asleep.

My ass is on the ground in the hammock the I attempted slumber in.

It’s still dark.

Racers mill around. Check lights on their bikes. Eat bananas. Gu. Honey waffles. 5 hour energy. Caffeinated water.

I want coffee.

I have no coffee.

 

4:28am:

Why the hell did I sign up for this?

 

4:30am:

Gun shot, 103 racers on mountain bikes tumble after each other in the dark. I’m keeping an eye on my race partner, Mike, and we too are off. Ready to climb the mountain.

 

6:57am:

We crest what we think is the top of the mountain. Take photos. Smile.

I don’t even remember 3:30 this morning. I actually feel good!

 

7:22am:

It wasn’t the top. We’re climbing again.

Mike, where the hell is CP [check point] 1?

 

7:30am:

Found it.

CP 1. Fuck yes! Only 19 more to go!

 

11:42am:

Off the bikes.

Thank god.

 

1:03pm:

Mother fucking fucking bees fuck fuck fuck. This is the only time I’m crying today Mike. Fucking bees mother fuck fuck.

Bee attack while bush wacking through the woods.

 

2:38pm:

Walking. On a road. In the middle of fucking nowhere. 103 degrees.

Is it bad I haven’t peed all day? I think I’ve drank 8 gallons of water and haven’t peed once. I must be dehydrated. I think I’m drunk. I…I …

 

3:45pm:

A nice lady give us water. And Diet Coke.

I could marry you right now.

Mike beats me to the proposal.

 

4:32pm:

We miss the paddle portion due to a huge storm and are bussed to the next CP.

I’m pissed.

 

5:00pm

Opting out of optional check point seems like the logical answer.

Let’s go.

Holy fuck that bike seat does not feel good. Hoooooo man.

Note to self: if I do this again BODY GLIDE.

Note taken.

 

5:01-10:40pm

Sunset happens. I don’t really remember this section to be honest. My mind probably blocked it out on purpose.  We rest. Mike and our new friends lay down, I stand.

I don’t want lactic acid to pool in my legs. You guys will regret lying for so long.

They do. Back on the bikes. More hills. More elevation gained and lost.

I’m not even tired any more. My ass just hurts. I’m sick of Sport Beans. Clif Bars. Beef jerky. Honey stuff. I want a burger. No, pizza. Ice cream, yes, ice cream. And pretzels.

 

10:53pm:

It feels like we’re in a green house. The temperature and humidity are in the 90s and it’s hard to breath.

I just want to sleep. No. I just want to not be walking on the fucking road anymore.

 

11:56pm:

We lost our new friends.

I’m over it. They’ll find their way.

 

12:21am:

Holy shit Mike, we’re done.

We’d been racing for what feels like years. Ronny, the race director welcomes us, shakes my hands, I think I’m high.

Holy shit. I just did this. I need a shower. I still haven’t peed.

 

1:00am

I sleep I my car.

 

6:22am

Real food.

Hell yes. I’m doing another. I know what not to do now.

 

Next post: the OTHER 100 miles, 24-hour race I competed in. Yes. I did it again. And it was glorious.

Adventurer in Training

This past weekend I was surrounded by amazing athletes. I was able to volunteer for the Equinox Trek in Ohiopyle, PA… (I’m a little obsessed with this town, I love it, everyone should love it.) The race was a 48 hour adventure race where teams of 4, 3, 2 or solo adventurers are set out into the wild to hike, bike, navigate and paddle for anywhere between 160-200 miles.

Volunteering consisted of a lot of sitting around, hanging out until 3 in the morning for racers to come in to different checkpoints, chillin’ in my hammock, taking pictures…etc. Not only were the racers amazing people, the volunteers and race producers where amazing too! Many having raced themselves, others medical rescuers there to help and provide medical attention, these races are a huge deal to put on and it takes a lot of help to have a successful one.

Wait, this race sounds a lot like a race I got myself signed up for… NEXT WEEKEND! I was given the opportunity to do an Adventure Race with a friend of mine, it’s a bit shorter than The Equinox Trek, 75-100 miles in just 24 hours. So my weekend was not only to volunteer but I took the opportunity to pick the brains of the racers and other volunteers to help me prepare for this race. I also was able to get back on the mountain bike, get myself supremely lost (I will NOT be navigating this coming weekend) and enjoy the class 3 rapids The Lower Yough has to offer—all while sleeping in my car and enjoying the Falls Pub each night!

Overall, I’ve decided that I want to become one of those bad ass racers. These people are average men and women that do extraordinary things on the weekends. After asking many racers (both at the race and through email, I have met a few in the past and have kept in touch) the biggest piece of advice they gave me was COMMUNICATION.

 

I will obviously report back on my race next week—but I wanted to venture out and ask for YOUR advice. Anyone out there done some long race (adventure or not) and want to give me some tips?

 

Check me out

Post River Bank 25 2009

 

I’ve never actually seen myself run. I mean, I’ve seen pictures of me crossing a finish line; sweaty, pained face, making a bee line for the piles of bagels and orange slices, ready for a cold gulp of water and a hot coffee in my hands—but seeing me run, in motion, I’ve yet to experience. I’m not so sure I want to.

Many times on my runs I judge and evaluate other runner’s gaits, I think ooooh, she shouldn’t be in that Nike Pegasus. Or look at that guy’s calves…dang! But I also notice the way a runner’s legs move, some bow legged, some knock kneed, some don’t even bend their knees, it looks painful in some ways. All of this observing makes me wonder what the heck I look like. Do I look like a runner? Or do I look like one of those out of shape people struggling through a few miles? Do I run with the look of ease or like I’m about to have a hernia and need to be taken to the hospital?

I try to sneak a peak at my stride when I run by a window-mirrored building in the city. Quick looks over my shoulder. That messes up my stride. I slit my eyes and peer out of the corner. I usually almost trip when I try this method. All I can really end up seeing are my white legs, pink at and black jacket—no form, no method, and no proper evaluation of my stride.

 

Maybe this is for the better. I don’t want to know if I run knock kneed or bow legged. This way I can go on pretending that my stride is as good as I feel that day and as long as I log the miles it doesn’t matter.

 

…Though I secretly hope I’m the runner that makes other runners ooooh and ahhhh.