PRE RACE REPORT
Training this year went a hell of a lot better then last year despite being sick most of December. Last year after Cactus Rose 100 , i was injured for about 6-7 weeks and hardly got in any good training at all. This year, while the recovery was slow i was only out for about 3 weeks or so which isn't bad. last year i logged about 273 miles between the two races (cactus is late october), but this year i got in about 433 miles despite being sick twice in my peak training weeks. i got in a couple 100 mile weeks which was good and a 34 miler at isle de bois 54k and a 50k at the athens big fork trail marathon two weeks before hurt.
so im going into a little better shape. still not in top shape like i was in the fall but good enough to shoot for a faster time. last year i ran a 32:45 and the last 40 miles were so slow to say the least. this year with ok conditions, i would like closer to a 25 hour finish. it will take a pretty good race for me to achieve that but i personally don't think its out of reach. if it is sloppy and muddy like the reports are saying then who know how long it will take. goal splits for a sub 25 are 4:25, 4:35, 4:45, 5:30, 5:45. the sudden drop after loop 3 is due to fatigue and darkness. i believe in a 100 it is common for people splits to be somewhat close the first 60 miles or so.
One thing im doing different this year is shoes. last year i wore gore tex shoes which was a huge mistake. they kept in so much water that my feet were destroyed by mile 50. this year im wearing these for several reasons. i've always worn the Salomon xt wings for training or the s lab version for races and they feel perfect. the soft ground version should perform great on the mud out there, and the shoe has a ton of support so i will be less likely to roll an ankle on the roots (i heard there was a couple out there). finally if you look closely by clicking on the picture you can see that i drilled 5 holes in the bottom of the shoe. that will help whatever water gets into the shoe, get out quickly. i will be wearing drymax socks also. i've never really worn them but according to a lot of people they do well with moisture.
|Salomon XT Wing S Lab 4 Soft Ground|
No matter who you are, how well you're prepared, or how well you manage the race, it will beat you up. this isn't a race where your legs can all of a sudden feel fresh 80 miles into it. the technicality of it just wears on you. it starts beating you up sooner then other races and it doesn't stop. it got tough early, and it remained tough for the final 80 miles. the worst part is staying in the game mentally. each loop or segment takes so long so it is brutal mentally when you accidentally think of how much more you have. i had to really concentrate on the present and take one section at a time.
did i meet my goal? yes and no. time goal - no. satisfied with my race - yes. i was hopeing for a sub 26 but a sub 25 idealy. i ran a 26:47. what im satisfied with is that my splits weren't too bad in my opinion and i was able to run the "flats or runable stuff" the whole time. there just isn't much of each. i was able to run the smoother descents just fine which there isn't much of that either. as the race went on, the technical descents got tougher and tougher. also the super technical root sections got harder to run since they require you to be very light on your feet and very agile. a bit of a breakdown of how the race went...
goal for loop one was a 4:25. i did not really stare at my watch since the course kind of sets your pace for you. there's only so much you can reasonable push. i ran loop one comfortable and have no regrets. it was quite a bit quicker then the other loops but more on that later. i ran a 4:13 which pumped me up. at this point i was optimistic that i was going to have a great race. i felt that a 4:30 loop 2 was very reasonable. at this race i didn't have a crew which was fine. at each aid i would grab my drop bag, grab a chair and get what i needed. i didn't jack around but i didn't rush either. a couple minutes tops. the entire first loop felt good and i was ready to tackle loop 2.
i set out at 4:16 and had a goal of completing loop 2 in 4 1/2 hours. loop1 i peed quite a few times so i started on the salt pills. it was obvious a little late because loop 2 didn't go so well. i started out feeling ok but halfway up hogs back, i had a major hot flash and sweat was pouring off of me. i felt weak and knew exactly what it was. i ran the small climbs/descents after hogs back when the white and orange are joined fine. once i got to the 2nd section of the climb up to tantalus i didn't have much power in my climb. after tantalus it gets very runable but thats when it got worse. a guy caught up to me (jim? maybe) and we ran together for a bit. i told him of my problems and didn't want to hold him up. i just felt like closing my eyes. it was pretty early in the race (mile 23) to be that tired. i knew it was low on salt (or over hydrated) so i started taking an additional s cap in middle of the section. the rest of the first segment i struggled. it took me 15 minutes longer then loop one to do it. i knew i was falling off pace but i just needed to concentrate on getting myself back feeling good rather then worrying about pace. the climb was the same but while descending into nu'uanu i started to bounce back. once down there i was feeling ok and did what i needed to do. i read one my letters titled "mile 30" from my girlfriend. my brother, sister, girlfriend, and two of my sister's friends wrote me motivational letter to read preiodically during the race. they knew i would be without crew so any motivation had to come within. that extra minute at the aid stations was well worth it. it was really inspirational to read what they had prepared. i finished loop 2 feeling fine but off pace for a 5 hour loop.
i set out for loop 3 at 9:15 which was over an hour ahead of last year but quite a bit slower then what i felt i was capable of. i left at the same time as hannah roberts and i heard stan yell to hannah "kick brians ass". it was all for fun but i was hoping to prove him wrong. if i only knew haha. i had my ipod and half way up hogs back there was some distance between us so i decided to go ahead and press play. music gets me pretty fired up and i was feeling good again. last year i made it to mile 47 before turning on the headlamp. this year i had a goal of making it an extra section to nu'uanu before using it. i barely made it and finished the section in the dark. i was feeling good and ran into a friend named glenn mackie at the aid station. he asked if i needed a pacer and i jumped at the oppurtunity. glenn and i bs'ed going up the climb through the enchanted forest, along the slippery rocks up nu'uanu, and on up to the five minute hill. once up top i told him to run what he felt was a good pace and i would try and keep up. it worked out great. he's done plenty of 100's including hardrock five times so he gets it. up top, hannah caught me and we both ran the descent pretty solid and switched positions a couple times. i ran loop 3 in about 5:10 to arive around 14:25 into nature center. i told glenn to tell the volunteers to let me be and i would handle my own stuff.
the dreaded loop 4 begins. we left right at 14:30 which was now about 1 1/2 hours ahead of last year. last year loops 4 and 5 the wheels came off big time and i did very very little running. glenn and headed up the first climb and i couldn't help but think that this was the point in last year when it all went to hell. we kept bs'ing and it was great. i still had my handheld bottle at this point but i had picked up my handheld flashlight too. thats one difference from last year is that i had two light sources which was huge. we kept a pretty good pace down into paradise park, but the boulders were starting to get pretty tough. first time in the dark and first time with tired legs. we arived at paradise park and i thanked him for the suprise pacing and grabbed my real pacer patrick. he is a friend of hannah and he was eager to pace and see what this 100 mile stuff was all about. i told him i was in need of miles 67-87. i figured i could make it to 67 no problem and once i got to 87 i wouldn't quit. i've never finished a 100 by myselff so i told him that i wouldn't need anything past mile 87 plus his car was there which made the logistics easy for him. i told him to expect a 6 hour loop since it was going to by my slowest miles probably. when we left was when i started hurting pretty good. we did the next two sections ok, but it wasn't very speedy at all. this was when the descents and the runable stuff was getting to ba a struggle. we made it back to nature center at about 20 1/2 hours which was now 4 hours ahead of last year. this was the deciding point in my race last year but i was prepared for it this year.
i did my bottles, ate some food, stuffed gus in my bottles and changed my batteries. this was my longest aid station just like last year. only this time it was a productive 6 minutes instead of 30 minutes of bitching and whining. last year i wasn't sure if i could continue or not. i sat there for 30 minutes sipping on rockstar, eating food and trying to get some energy. finally at the 25 hour mark i got up for a slow as loop in the daylight. this year i left with patrck at 20:30 and didn't feel all that bad. not fresh at all but i never ever considered quitting. it was still slow but we were getting it done. my pace on the descent was falling and we arrived at paradise after 2:20 which wasn't too quick. i thanked him for his pacing and keeping me company during those dreaded miles. i left ready to get this freakin thing done. up to this point i haven't strayed from my nutrition routine. a 200 calorie packet at each aid station, and 2 gus in middle of each section. that kept me around the 350 calories per hour that i usually do. that is pretty high, but my stomach usually puts up with it just fine. this next section was very slow and the 2nd place female made up serious ground. i struggled ont he descent into nu'uanu big time and when i got there i wasn't in a hurry. she blew through the aid station and thought shit i just lost a place but i didn't feel like fighting for it. i left my headlamp there even though it was still dark. i knew it would by light in 10 minutes or so. i felt like shit on the climb up nu'uanu. it was slow and i didn't have much strength left. i made it up and after taking a gu goign up the five minute hill like usual i was ready to run the ridge which was one of the more runable parts of the course. i was relieved because i had finished the final climb of the day so it was all down hill from there. i ran to the gate pretty solid and at that point i cought up to claude and keith. we did the section between the gates together and was happy to see them doing well. he said he was feeling good enough for a fifth loop so i was pumped for him! my watch clicked the 26 hour mark while up there and asked them if they though it was possible for me to make it down in under an hour. once my time slipped earlier in the race, 27 was my new goal. i realized i needed to give it a shot and i also got a huge burst of energy at this point. i started running and it felt great. so i took it up a notch and it felt even better. the faster i went, the more adrenaline i had. my ipod was back on and i was beyond pumped. this was probably the strongest finish i've ever had. i was flying on the descent. there is 3 or 4 small climbs also on the descent and i chose to run those too. i was fired up and hauling ass. i spotted the lady that passed me about 5 miles earlier around the bridge on the orange and white section. i passed her on the climb after the bridge and i was running the climb. i knew since i was running the climb she more then likely wouldn't try and keep up. i wasn't really trying to beat her but i was in such a grove that i didn't want to slow down to be polite. i made the final turn down pipeline and kenw i only had about half a mile of technical running left until it turned to nicer trail into the finish. i looked at my watch and realized that i just descended quite a bit quicker then loop 1. i crossed the line at 26:47 to receive my new buckle and to finally relax. i finished 9th overall which was nice but i out there more for my own personal goals.
i felt pretty good and hung out til the end of the race. i had some beers and hung out with mosi smith who i roomed with at western states in june when i was there to pace. we all had a good time and it was amazing to watch the finishers in the final couple hours. these people put everything they had into the race and did all they could to stay ahead of the cut offs. they all had a ton of emotion. their finishes were so awesome that i even forgot that i ran the race myself. i was more pumped for them then myself. especailly claude. this was his 4th go at it and he wanted it bad. he crossed and you could tell he was pumped.
the post race banquet was great as expected. great food, great beer, and great hanging out with all the hurt family. the recovery was extremely great after this race. i was pretty sore monday but felt better on tuesday. good enough that i called mosi to meet me and run diamond head in the morning. my legs felt great on the climb and the descent off the volcano.
will i return?? no other race makes you not want to more then this while running it, but once you go to the post race dinner, you realize that you can't miss it the next year. who knows? i've gotta look at finances and also i wouldn't mind doing bandera.