Phew. So much to report and I'm sure I'll forget something. To start with, I didn't have that usual week full of pre-race panic. It wasn't until the night before that I got a bit nervous. On race day, I felt good and got to the start line with just the right amount of time. Ditched my drop bag, waited a few minutes, went to the bathroom, and just chilled until the start.
As we started the race, I saw a familiar face. My stalker. As we chatted a bit, he said he was here for redemption and wanted to finish (he dropped at Mile 20 last year after a fall). I wished him well and eventually leapfrogged with him several times over the next few miles. I also saw Wayne, the bearded running master from ICY-8 earlier this year. He seemed surprised that somebody knew him. As did another lady I knew from last year.
Anyway, we headed down the road to the trail. I went through the first aid station after grabbing just an Oreo. I met up with Butch and Diane. The three of us and my stalker ran together for a bit, trading places, chatting, etc. I eventually passed my stalker and wished him well. I assumed he'd be right behind but it turns out he dropped early. Like at Mile 10. While last year I had very little remorse for him dropping, this year I actually felt bad for him. I was hoping he'd finish and put the demons of last year behind him.
The first ten miles for me were great. My second aid station was another fast one, just ice and water. I was moving faster than expected and felt smooth. The second ten miles sucked ass. I got way overheated and couldn't cool down. I pushed it a bit and ended up overheating even more. I eventually learned that I needed to slow down so I didn't overheat.
The next aid station was much slower than I wanted but I had rocks in my shoes and stopped to take them out. I was going slow but was still moving. I got more ice and water and moved on. The next aid station had our drop bags and yet again, I was slower than I wanted to be. But my bottles were still semi-frozen so the water felt great. Until it ran out. The ice just wasn't melting as fast as I wanted it to. I made it to Mile 20 feeling a little better.
From Mile 20 to the end, I felt much better. I was staying hydrated, I was fueled, I was managing my heat much better, I just couldn't move as fast as I wanted to. Turns out, if I ran too much, I'd get overheated. Go figure. I somehow stumbled upon the process of running for 20 paces and walking for 40. I'd periodically run for 25 or even 30 paces and would mix in a walking break of 60 paces every mile. Not only did this keep me moving, it kept me moving at a pace that my body could handle with the heat. An added bonus was that it constantly took my mind off the pain in my feet. Worked like a charm!
Through several aid stations I got to see several people I volunteer with for the trail. I was also lucky enough to have my wife and Tabitha help (my kids were there too but they were mostly cheering me on). Not sure I could have moved through so quickly without them.
Let's see, what else happened. I knew I was moving slow but I managed to pass quite a few people in the final ten miles. One guy was hurting pretty bad and Tabitha even helped him out as he came into the aid station. He eventually finished with Wayne but Wayne told my wife he may not have made it without everyone there to help him. He was hurting bad. Wayne was walking and finished last but man, he can hike scary fast. He also took a picture of my shorts.
And speaking of my shorts, one of the ladies volunteering knew me and cheered me on at one of the road crossings. Her friend was there taking pictures and as I came through the second time, she said her friend was going to take pictures of my ass. Ha! Then there was a guy who I passed who said "Your shorts look hawt." I said "Thanks." He said "No, I mean, they look hot to run in. Not that I'm staring at your ass." I laughed and said "Well, it's pretty clear I have nothing to hide in these!"
Okay. Here's the blood and gore part of the report. So if puss, genitals, and feces scare you, just skip to the Weather section below. So, the race was a bit odd. I didn't poop in the morning and had a constant fear that I'd need to at any moment. I never felt an urge at all. Despite eating a breakfast burrito and an iced latte before the race. Which usually flushes things out. So I carried baby wipes with me nearly the entire race before eventually saying screw it, I can live with some ass chafe for a few miles. Speaking of chafe, my shorts are awesome. But because of how things sit in the banana hammock, I had some chafe on the, um, trunk of my tree. Very odd spot. Thankfully it didn't impact any important performances. My blisters were also a bit odd. I haven't had blisters on my heels in ages. The one actually bled a bit when I lanced it while the other felt like it was much deeper than normal. The blister on my toe is, unfortunately, pretty normal.
Temps were about 75F at the start and got to about 90F by the finish. Humidity was high. Sun was out in full but the course is mostly shaded. There was a breeze here and there.
Fluids and Fuels:
Iced latte and most of a breakfast burrito on the way to the race. Went through a ton of fluids. Took four Hammer Fizz tablets, four servings of Hammer Perpeteum, two Hammer Gels, a few Oreos, a few Ritz crackers, and tons of ice and water. Recovery was a hamburger, cold water, Hammer Recoverite, and I'm sure a few other things.
Aches and Pains:
One blister on the toe next to my left big toe. One blister on my left heel. One larger blister on my right heel. Tender feet. Right hip hurts. Overall, just stiff and sore.
I kept things simple. Started out with my iPod shuffle but ditched it at Mile 16. Had Deerfly Paper on my hat and ditched that at Mile 20 along with my pedometer. Outside of that, it was a small mini flask of liquid fluids, a small BodyGlide, a few baby wipes, and my two handheld bottles. I did eventually shed some gear over time, like tossing my last mini flask at Mile 28. I also had spare shoes, spare socks, and a few other items in my drop bag (which we could access at Mile 16 and 24 in the race). I also had frozen two mini flasks and two handheld bottles and put them in my drop bag. This worked well but the handhelds didn't melt fast enough. Oh, and I wore my T-Star shorts (red) and had numerous compliments on them (from both men and women). I had only one spot of chafe but beyond that, they performed awesomely.
Start to MM 11 - 8:55 (less than a mile)
MM 12 - 12:20
MM 13 - 12:03 (includes an aid station)
MM 14 - 11:57
MM 14 - 19:10 (longer than a mile - far eastern turnaround)
MM 13 - (missed this split so it's part of the next one)
MM 12 -25:51
MM 11 - 12:34
MM 10 - 13:11
MM 9 - 13:01
MM 8 - 15:24 (includes aid station)
MM 7 - 15:18
MM 6 - 15:51 (includes gun range bypass)
MM 5 - 14:13
MM 4 - 18:00 (includes aid station)
MM 3 - 13:47
MM 2 - 14:35
MM 1 - 14:21
MM 0 - 13:57
MM 1 - 17:53
MM 2 - 15:17
MM 3 - 15:55
MM 4 - 16:45
MM 5 - 18:10 (includes aid station)
MM 6 - 16:09
MM 7 - 19:03 (includes gun range bypass)
MM 8 - 15:35
MM 9 - 15:57 (includes aid station)
MM 10 - 14:57
MM 10 to Finish - 27:15 (about a mile and a half or so)
Finish - 7:37:38