Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 12 Hour ATR Race Report

This has been quite a year. I've toughed it out through an 8 hour race, a 24 hour race, and a few shorter races. I moved a few months ago, I'm in the middle of dealing with a flooded basement, and I still have a trip halfway across the country to plan for. So no, things haven't been quite lately. So to say that my training has suffered from all the stress life has thrown at me is quite an understatement. But I'm okay with that. Part of running is dealing with adversity, adapting to it, and either pushing through it or finding a way around it.

Last weekend I spent a few hours in the emergency room with back spasms. It was sudden, painful, and still on the mend. I knew the day after that I was going to be healthy enough to at least start the 12 hour race. But I also had to temper my plans and just chill out and not do anything stupid. I wanted to live to run again another day.

And that's exactly what I did. I played it safe, dealt with things as they arose, and pushed through the pain to meet my original goal from earlier in the year. In some of my other races I felt the need to run for other people. Friends or family that either died or were sick. People that were important to me in some form or fashion and I felt the need to honor them by running in their name. A lot of people do it for a lot of different reasons. I generally didn't advertise it but it was still something I felt like I needed to do. Well, for this race, I did it all for me. And I didn't feel one bit guilty about it either. In fact, I frequently found myself doing something I very rarely do when I run a race, I smiled. A lot. And if felt damn good.

My day started at 0345 when I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm. Instead of trying to get another few minutes of sleep, I just got up, showered, and headed out the door. I got lucky and had dinner with fellow runners the night before who agreed to carpool my stinky butt to the race. So by 0430, I was loaded into their car and headed to pick up Moises, the other runner they were picking up. Mike and Tracy, and their son Mikey, were very gracious to make the offer to drive me and it made for a much easier day.

Once we unloaded our gear, we prepped, I saw a few other runners I knew and before we knew it, it was time to start. The first loop was mostly in the dark and I took things slow. I ran here and there but wasn't in a big rush. On my second loop, I ditched the lights and long sleeves and picked up my hydration pack. It didn't hurt my back but it made me feel it more than just the handheld. So when I came back through for my third loop, I ditched the hydration pack and stuck with the single bottle. For loops four and five, I did run out of water at the end of the loop but I was never more than mile from the finish so it wasn't that big of a deal.

While I could have pushed things hard on my fifth loop just to make an attempt at six, I knew by the halfway point of loop four that it would have been stupid. I was lucky to hook up with Moises on my last lap. We walked nice and easy and played it safe. Near the end, fellow local runner Rob caught up to us so he helped us push the pace a little bit at the end.

In the end, I'm happy with how things went. Sure I could have done better with so many things but to be able to do so many miles without too much effort felt great. So I'll take it as a win and move on to my next goal.

The cemetery in the woods.

One of many gravel roads.

One of a few spots where I stopped long enough to bask in the sun.

Enjoying my donut (off camera) with my feet up at the end of the race.

Temps were about 55F to 60F at the start but warmed to about 75F to 80F. Sky was clear. Winds were light. Humidity was low.

Fluids and Fuel:
Had coffee, banana, and GenUCAN for breakfast. During the race I had GenUCAN electrolyte mix, plain water, and a bottle of GenUCAN. And a couple of coffees. I also ate some pierogis, half a grilled cheese, and some chips. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite, a donut, and Burger King on the way home. Although extremely tempting, I only had a sip of soda.

Aches and Pains:
Back was still tender but no pain. Feet hurt on the last two laps. Ended up with one blister on my right heel but it was too deep to lance. And I did have some mild monkey butt on the last lap but nothing bad enough to hurt in the shower. Outside of that, everything felt fine.

No new gear or special gear but I did get plenty of questions and comments on my JWalking Designs running kilt.

I normally track my time in the aid stations but each time through, even when going to the bathroom, I was there maybe 3 minutes at most so I didn't bother to track it.
Loop 1 - 1:52:12
Loop 2 - 1:52:28
Loop 3 - 2:00:01
Loop 4 - 2:19:21
Loop 5 - 2:24:30
Finish - 10:29:30


Anonymous said...

2nd photo...look at the bigger size. See the face? WTF?????

Lauren said...

The cemetery in the woods looks very interesting. Sorry to hear about the back spasms. No one can imagine how terrible back spasm pain is unless they've had them. I've had them, and they are THE WORST. I think that I'd rather give birth (at least I'd have another baby for all my pain : ). I hope your spasms are are gone for good!