|At some point, everything is a duck in a tree.|
I made another attempt at 100 miles in under 24 hours, at Pacific Rim One Day on Saturday March 21, 2015. I failed. I'm really fine with that word, failing. I have an unfinished play that I started writing, in my early 20's, called Never Really Touching. I finished a few others, while I kept working on Touching. People I knew, in theater at the time, used to jokingly call it Never Really Finished. At some point I wrote this, about the process:
"There is nothing in my life that I view in absolutes. No answers to questions, there is no place to stand. I never feel like “now I know”, or that I finally understand. My life’s work is titled Never Really Touching, not as some romanticized play on words that someday I’ll really touch, but because that is truly how I view life."
I made it to 87 miles. I know that is something to proud of, but it wasn’t the goal. People that do endurance sports frequently say that they enjoy finding out what they are capable of. I don't think we ever really find that out. What we can find out, if we try hard enough, is what we are not capable of. I have spent considerable time in the last 4 days, again, thinking of new ways to address the eating while running problem. If I was never going to try again, I probably wouldn't bother.
I spent the first 20 miles mostly trying to slow myself down. I wanted to be around 10 minutes per mile but was much closer to 9. I would slow down as I started lapping runners and talk with them for a while, there are a lot of interesting people in this world, and some not. I thought about where crows nest, and why we never see them. Getting close to mile 30, I went through my first bad patch, nothing really wrong just lethargic, almost sleepy, I've been here before and I know how to do this. My plan was all liquid nutrition until my body asked for real food, I wasn't going to force feed myself. My Infinit drink is 220 calories plus electrolytes in 20 ounces. In a perfect world that's 20 ounces per hour, but I can never seem to keep on that and always fall behind. At mile 30 I ate a granola bar and at mile 36 some Coke. That worked, I started feeling better and ran really well from mile 40 to 50. My plan had been to get through 50 in 10 hours and I was around 9:57. At mile 50 I sat down for the first time. Drank some water, got a new bottle and made my first and biggest mistake. During an event like Hood to Coast, I pretty much live on liquid carbs (the same drink) dried nuts and grilled chicken. I wanted to have a variety of real foods available, and I brought grilled chicken to Pac Rim. I've never eaten grilled chicken and then run right after, but at mile 50 I ate a handful of chicken pieces. Mile 50 through 65 were a nightmare. I'm not sure how much else can be quantified from that point to the end. I made it through the night, walking the razors of bonking and puking. A pattern of eat and drink a small amount, lay on my back for about 20 minutes, walk a mile or two could get me back to slow running/walking for a few hours. And then repeat that pattern again and again.
Nothing else went wrong. Weather, for the most part, was ok. My legs held up pretty well. I found some blisters when I finally looked at my feet, but I wouldn't have known they were there otherwise. Some chaffing issues that hurt like hell after, but weren't much of an issue at the time. I'm inclined to blame chicken, or myself for breaking a cardinal rule of trying something in a race that hasn't been practiced. But I also know this could have happened no matter what I ate at that point, it just happened to be chicken.
So, I'll try this 100 in one day thing again, not til next year though. I need 2 simple foods that I can practice with all the time. And, I need to practice with them, all the time, not just 3 times a year. It's going to be Justin’s Almond Butter (which comes in single serving packets like gels) and Fritos, and nothing else. I'll keep using the Infinit drink, as I've had no real problems with it.....but I'm also going to start also using diluted apple juice. Apple juice and fritos is pretty much the equivalent of my drink and I can find it anywhere, even gas station convenience stores, which I 'll eventually need for my solo California Coast run anyway. I'll start using the almond butter on every run longer than 10 miles, which means I'll have a bunch of experience with it before I try again. I'm going to have to train my stomach to be able to do this and trying something 3 times isn't practice enough.
I saved the best part of the weekend for last. Some very dear friends travelled in for the weekend to support me, encourage me, run with me. In some ways, it made the “failure” that much harder, but more importantly, it made me want to be a better friend. Jerry and Julie Mullins took 3 different “shifts” with me. I know they totaled 19 miles for the weekend. Steve and Kellie Schellenberg ran the 10, post chicken, miles with me, which must have been horrible. Then they took Jeanne out to dinner, which really did make me feel better. Britt Sexton was with me til the wee est hours of the morning, and left me with Korean BBQ Pork Jerky, that didn’t taste so good at the time, but was AMAZING after. I think I get pretty self centered on my own goals and ambitions sometimes and don’t take enough time to really support and encourage others. I was really moved by these great friends this weekend and will remember it always.
Jeanne is, simply amazing. Other runners, on the course, before talking about anything else, would tell me how amazing she is. And they only see a fraction of it. I’ve got some fun run Summer plans. I’d really like to run the Old McKenzie Highway before it reopens to car traffic if it can be worked out. I won’t do anything big race ish until Fall. And, next year, sometime, I’ll try again.