UPCOMING EVENTS for 2016: Puerto Rico Marathon (March), Virginia/Pennsylvania Marathon Double (April), Cedro Peak Ultra 45k (April), Quicksilver 50k (May) NUT 50k (June) Lake Tahoe Trail 50K (July), Cloudsplitter 55K (October)

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure. This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, and triathlete. Along the way I've cried, laughed, fallen, gotten up, lost, won, hallucinated, been dehydrated, DNF'ed, and been DFL.
I also swear. Alot.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Monday, September 13, 2010

More fun in 2 days than most have in a lifetime.

Dear Diary,
WARNING: This entry involves people running long distances, heat, and missing course markings. 
There will be curse words. 
You have been warned.

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I was at the Rio Del Lago 50k/100 mile race.  Baboo did the 100miler.  I did the 50k 'fun run'.   Stacey took pictures, which you can find here.  

Shit, I'm tired.  The car trip back to the back to the airport was about 10 miles of exhausted insanity such as I've never seen.  I drove, white-knuckled, back to the car rental place, only to find myself suddenly jerking awake as the car drifted toward the shoulder.  Crazy.  Next time I'm up all night: shuttle or taxi service.  SRSLY.

We rented this thing, the Ford Flex, which looks innocuous enough, but up close, it's totally Pimp.  They've added more idiot-proofing to cars than I could have ever dreamed.  I especially love the gentle beeping that warns, "There's someone behind you, stupid, so don't go backwards any more."

So, this was a fairly productive weekend.  Saturday morning, RBR and I headed out on a nice and easy 50K, which became less nice and decidedly less easy as the temperatures soared during the late morning.  At one point we headed back only to pass what were the last three people in the race.  We were so excited to find out that we weren't dead last that we did a little "We're not dead last" dance. 

It got hot.  Insanely hot.  Balls of sweltering heat followed me up every hill.  RBR was suffering, as she had blisters on top of blisters, but said very little about that.  She seemed to be right on my heels at all times, perky and happy, even when we nearly got lost.  Me, I bitched constantly about the heat. 

fuck, it's hot. 
i can't believe how hot it is. 
why is it so hot? 
this is messed up. 
I was told that it doesn't get hot until late afternoon here. 
California pisses me off. 
Paradise, shit. 
This place sucks.

"You know, don't forget, you did a marathon 5 days ago," RBR reminded me. 

Whatever. I'm supposed to be baddass, and I was being a total puss.  To add misery, the entire 50k was around a huge, beautiful Fulsom Lake.  As we slogged along up and down every dusty hill, I could see people standing up to their hips in the water, laughing and splashing each other.  Fuckers. 

Many course markings were gone because of either mountain bikers or horseback riders who took them down.  I estimate we did an extra mile or two trying to find our way, and that we spent 30 minutes walking around looking for which direction to go.  I would look down and think, there's footsteps going that way, so, what the hell.  We guessed right each time, eventually finding a course ribbon further on, but the last time it happened, we went off in several different directions before finally getting a course ribbon.  We were pissed, too.  It was about 3 miles from the finish. 

It took much longer than I expected, but we ran across the timing mat only to be told, uh, you two tied for 3rd place, women 40-49, so you each get a prize.  RBR was nice enough to have hers sent to her so that I could take mine home.  This after I provided her a 'meal' of half of a steamable bag of Birdeye rice and chicken and half of a Budget Gourmet macaroni and cheese, 'cause I'm all classy that way. 

==========================
So then, it was showers and eating and time to crew.  We headed out to Rattlesnake Bar (what IS the deal with all the 'bar's in Cali anyway?  I didn't see a single cocktail)  which is at mile 55ish. 

Then we waited....and waited....and waited.  It got dark.  Finally, someone came into the aid station calling my name. 

"I'm Misty!"  I waved my hand at her.

"Your runner wants you to go out on the trail and take him a headlamp,"  she told me.  I ran one out to Sweet Baboo, who told me calmly that he was done

"There's nothing left in my legs," he said.  I attempted to persuade him not to drop, and he waved at me dismissively.  Then, he put his hand on my shoulder and dropped his voice to its very serious, patient, let-me-explain-this-to-you Dr. Baboo tone: 
 "I know what you're trying to do, but I'm done," he said.  "Seriously, Misty.  There's nothing left.  Have you ever seen a 40-minute mile?  I have."

"Well, at least sit down for a while and eat your sandwitch," I said, reasonably. 

Part of me was all, Yay!  I get to sleep now! He's quitting!  Whoo hoo! 

But then the other, ethical part of me said, well, shit.  You know what you have to do, right?  You have to try to talk him out of this.  You're in charge of that.   

RBR ran to get a sleeping bag for his shoulders and a chair, and unbeknownst to me, she was running on ball-of-her-feet UGLAY blisters. Baboo ate his Subway.  He drank down 4 cups of gingerale.  I forced some SportLegs into him, and some Tylenol. 

At one point, with a volunteer standing near him, Baboo said to me, "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, doing this so soon after Leadville," as I was rubbing his legs.  The volunteer looked startled.

 "You did Leadville? This year?  Wasn't that 2 weeks ago?"

"No, don't be silly," I said.  "It was three weeks ago."

"And the marathon on Monday," RBR offered. 

Baboo laughed.  "How long have you been at this aid station," the volunteer asked.

"About two months," he said seriously.  Not long after that, he headed out back out onto the trail, and I followed him.  RBR took the car around to the next aid station. 

I tried to find an illustration that invoked the concept of a pacer, but all I got was this -> 

I paced Baboo from about his mile 55 until 63, and then I had to stop for a while because that was miles 32 to 40 for me, and my feet hurt and I was tired.  (Wah, wah). 

It was surreal, running through the dark on rocky trails in the middle of the night. Over the next few miles, it was a constant up and down stepping that was beating up Baboo's legs, and he was starting to get grumpy.   The next aid station was closing in 15 minutes.  We were passed, and then passed, Gordy Ansleigh and several others.  We made it to Twin Rocks Aid Station, where RBR was waiting, and Brian said he was better, and he would go ahead without me.  I was reluctant, but holy hell, my feet hurt. 

I have trail shoes that, after about mile 15, star rubbing a red spot where the arch support is.  I don't need an arch support. Hence the red spot.  I had managed to stave it off all day by applying SportSlick to it, but was closing in on 40+ miles, so even that wasn't working. 

He ran alone for a while, and got later and later, and more behind.  Eventually, he was 2 hours behind his projected pace.  He ran through one station, and was told not to stop, not for one second, but just keep going because he'd missed their cutoff.  So, he did.  As he ran by me, he shouted that he needed caffeine. 

On the way to the next aid station, RBR suggested we get him something with caffeine.  We saw a gas station open, and that's where I found AMP for sale, 2/$3.  What the hell--he loves Mt. Dew, so, I bought them. 

He was dead last at the turnaround.  I was running the numbers in my head; they didn't look good.  They had extended the deadline due to a racer getting lost on the course when the markings were taken down.  I gave him the AMP , and he took off.  It was after after 6 in the morning.  He had nearly 20 miles to go, but he wasn't moving fast.  The quads had taken a beating.  The sun was up, though, so he could see again. 

We were a little delayed getting through town because they were having a road race, and there's nothing ever, ever, ever so more important than road bikes. Ever . EVAR.  No, just stop. They are way more important that you.  ALWAYS.  What race?  100 miles?  Of running?  Never heard of it.  You can't go this way.  Screw your runners who have been running all night.  A cyclist might come rolling down the hill.  Our race is more important.  yes, that was the attitude.  Roadies can be a fairly elitist bunch.  Not all of them. But enough to give me yet another reason to hate cycling: who wants to be associated with assholes like that?

RBR asked if I thought there was a Starbucks . Well, hell yes, there's always a Starbucks.  In fact, that's a good way to cheer your friends up when they've suffered a tragic loss.  You put a hand on their shoulder, drop your voice down to a warm, comforting tone, and you say, Well, there's always a Starbucks. 

Then, it was back to the next aid station, inbound.  I knew he had a huge hill to scale, but he showed up early.  I was pretty surprised.  He had made up 2 hours of being behind and was now back on track for an appropriate finish. 

Meanwhile, Johnny Tri (JT) had been pacing Catra Corbett, who dropped. I was also told Gordy Ansleigh had dropped earlier.  He asked if Baboo needed a pacer.  Yes!!  I could spend more time sitting on my tired ass rather than running on my dogs.  I gave Baboo the second AMP, and then he and Johnny headed out, with 10 miles to the finish.  We drove to the next one.  It was mile 90. 

We got to the next aid station, and as soon as we parked, my phone rang.  It was JT.  What the hell-?

"Hello?"

What did you give to him?!?!

What?

WHAT DID YOU GIVE HIM??!? 

"An AMP, why?"

HE DROPPED ME!  TWO MILES AGO!  I'VE BEEN TRYING TO CATCH HIM EVER SINCE!

Soon after, Baboo blew through the aid station at Negro Bar.  6 miles to go.  He was running an 8 or 9 minute mile, there at mile 90, hauling ass.  RBR was agog.  He had risen from the dead.  It was a strange sight, not unlike seeing some strange animal running through the city.  He sprinted past several people who were barely walking. 

I was pretty sure I knew why:  Not only did he have a burst of energy, but the sun was getting high. He wanted to take advantage of it being cool and visible out.  We drove to the next aid station at Auburn Dam and waited.  He eventually showed up, and had slowed considerably, but it was 10:00 ish and it was 2.75 miles to the finish, so there was no question now.  He was finishing. He asked if I'd come with him, and feeling pretty certain that he was walking, I did. 

I walked along while we talked, and picked up trash out of boredom.  Along came JT up behind us.  Predictably, 1/4 miles from the finish, Baboo took off, and I tried to keep up, but by now you know: he's a freak stud.  He crossed the finish line at under 29 hours, his second 100-miler in less than a month, with a full marathon done in between, and then went over to get his buckle. 

We arrived went out with JT to the Old Spaghetti Warehouse.  Then we headed to the airport, and arrived back at our house at just prior to 10:00 pm last night. I can't remember sleeping so hard.

I got, let's see, 15 + 32ish + 8 + 2.75 = 57.75 miles for last week, so I was short about 2.25 miles.  With all the running around we did for crewing, I'll call it good. 

Meanwhile, Baboo is thinking he'll crew me at Javalena, instead of doing the whole thing with me.  I think that's a good idea.  You go to some very dark, despairing, bitchy places during those races.  You don't need two people doing that.  You don't need two people saying, yeah, screw this.  I'll quit if you quit. 

Today I'm a little drowsy.  So, I'm headed downstairs to get some coffee.  See you Thursday.
...

11 comments:

  1. As always, awesome race report. That Sweet Baboo is an animal! Congrats on his finish, and great job crewing. :)

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  2. That is an awesome race report. Congrats to Baboo! I apologize for the heat in Granite Bay/Auburn and Folsom. It was freakn' hot that day.

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  3. That was an awesome race report! Thanks for sharing and Congrats to everyone on the team!

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  4. Wow, what a stud and studette, you guys rock! Hope to see you at Javelina, you'll be more than ready with the mileage you're putting in.

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  5. One of the best race reports I've read in a while. Great job on both running and crewing! Congrats to both of you :)

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  6. Nice to meet you and Baboo and RBR. Wish we'd had more time to chat. The heat was intense wasn't it?! I signed up thinking it was going to be max about 85F but that's not what it felt like after about 11AM. The heat radiating off the trail was like an oven! I was turning into crispy toast and out of water about a mile out from Cardiac when I came across a stream and soaked my shirt in it, then draped it across my back (for the rest of the day, re-soaking it at every opportunity) dripping water and wiping my face on the cool sleeves. It saved me for a while. Then there was massive amounts of ice in the bra, hat, bandana... :) It kept me going but I lost all my buffer time by Auburn Dam and Maidu. The sad part is I still had plenty in my legs and was just starting to feel better in the cool evening, but then it got dark and I popped several blisters when I stumbled on a rock. Kind of lost the will to run after that. I would like to finish a 100 miler someday, but this was not the day.

    Baboo looked really strong and happy when he passed me coming down from Cool. David saw him at Rattlesnake at his lowest point- I guess the heat and fast pace got to him eventually, but his recovery was awesome. Glad you could keep him motivated and energized. The ebbs and flows of energy in ultras are really intriguing.

    How are his/your feet doing? I had to keep soaking mine in cold water all day yesterday.
    Anyway, congrats to you both!

    Cynthia

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  7. I used to get a blisters on one of my arches and a guy at my running store suggested just cutting the arch out of the insole. Lo and behold that actually worked.

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  8. Huh. Well, it couldn't make things worse, could it? *She said, optimistically*

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  9. All I can say is...wow...I'm in awe.

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  10. hat a race day!! You guys did great in that easy bake over with no trail markings! yikes!
    gettin' close to JJ100, exciting!

    and maybe you gave Baboo that blue can of AMP before earlier but when slugged down that reddish OVERDRIVE AMP, it did just that!! and he was gone!! too funny.

    c ya all in about 6 weeks.

    rockon'

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  11. OH my. I love reading these ultra reports, but I just can't even fathom running that far.

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