Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nanny Goat recount

I actually wrote this a while back but lost it when I cleaned the blog up so thought I'd repost it once again for tracking purposes since it was my first 24hr attempt.

I first found out about the Nanny Goat ultra when my friend Jeff posted that he was going to try for 100 miles in 24hrs.  I thought it would be kinda cool to join him and Terry for the day and possibly help out where I could and maybe run a few laps with him.  For some reason the 24hr time didn't register and I thought I could make the drive Sunday morning and help out then.  The problem was that the race was to end at 8am Sunday morning.  Hmmm.

A couple days before the race I went to the website where I saw that they also had a 12hr option.  Having just done 40 miles in 8.5hrs at Mind the Ducks a couple of weeks ago I figured I'd enter the 12hr option and shoot for my first 50 miler.  And then the brain started playing tricks on me.  What if I finished the 12hrs and wanted to keep on running?  How possible would it be for ME to shoot for 100 miles?  With a distance PR of 40 miles, could I even run for 24hrs?  And so I sent an email off to Steve Harvey the race director.  Since the entry price is the same regardless the option you want to run, Steve informed me that if I quit before the 12hrs is up I would be credited for the 12hr option.  If I run after the 12hr option is up, I would get credit for the 24hr option.  Simple.  And so I decided to go ahead and sign up for the 24hr option.  I later got a facebook message for Jeff congratulating me on signing up for the 100 miler.  What?  A finger slip or was my sub-conscious telling me to shoot for more?  Whatever!  My brain is always fucking with me.

I have no idea on how to tackle a 100 mile attempt but realized that I couldn't just wing it like I did MTD.  I wouldn't survive.  And so on Friday I did some math and figured that I would try to run 4 laps at a 12:00 pace and then do 1 lap while drinking fluids.  Every 5 circuits of this I would stop and eat as well as take a couple of salt stick tablets and then just wing everything else.

And yes, I was scared shitless.

For nutrition I decided I'd go as paleo as possible and bought some cans of sardines, a few avocados, some veggies and fruit, and a bottle of tequila.  Yes, tequila.  I thought I'd make it a party and celebrate every 10 miles with a shot of anejo.  Have I ever mentioned that my brain is out to do me in?

I planned to drive up race day morning thinking I could leave at 5am and make it there in time for the 8am start.  I woke up at 1am due to anxiety and couldn't get back to sleep.  Got up around 3am and packed everything.  Maybe too much.  Guess there is no such thing as too much when you are talking about running an ultra though.  Got bored and decided to leave the house at 4:30am, stopped at 7-11 for some coffee and drove up to Riverside.  Uneventful drive but I could feel that the lack of sleep was going to kick my ass later in the day.

I met Terry as soon as I arrived.  They had an elaborate setup with a sweet tent and a canopy.  I set my stuff out in a section of theirs and decided to try to figure out the course I'd be running.  I made it halfway around and met up with Jeff.  Neither of us could figure out the course and decided to head back.  At the camp I met up with a few others I knew.  Ed "Fancy Pants" and "Jo-Jo Starbucks" are a couple guys I have met before.  I also recognized Yolanda Holder and Endorphin Dude from previous races.  A FB friend named Kimberly also introduced herself and her husband to me, recognizing me from the kilt I was wearing.  

After a quick speach from Steve, we were off!  The first 10 miles went off without a hitch and I gladly took my shot of tequila.  Whoa!  The next lap was interesting.  Lots of belching and my stomach started going sour.  A couple miles later and I was normal once again.  At mile 20 I was a little hungry and so I opened a can of sardines and grubbed.  The heat of the sun was starting to impact me and the sardines were a tad difficult to get down.  Chased with a shot of tequila of course.  The next couple of miles were very interesting.  Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.  It was at this point that I switched from the Luna sandals over to the Vibram Treks.

I made it to mile 30 and things started falling apart.  Between the heat, the dust, and the sardines/tequila, I wasn't feeling it.  Plus the monotonous 1 mile loop was getting on my nerves.  I was bored with this adventure and mentally checked out.  This is a problem I have that I really need to work on since once my mind checks out on a race, I have no initiative to continue on and come up with all sorts of lame excuses to quit.  Every little ache and pain multiplies 10-fold.  Today I whined about the dust and smog screwing with my breathing.  Saying this out loud made it even more so.  Yes I could have continued on but I really didn't want to.  And so I sat in my Sweeney Chair (Thanks Pat!).  

Every once in a while I would get up and run a lap but then would quickly sit back in the chair.  I was probably only running one mile for every hour of sitting around.  Pathetic.  I was so mentally checked out on this race that I didn't even remember to swipe my badge on a couple of laps.  Maybe I would feel more motivated after the sun sets and it cools down?

Right before sunset I decided to give it another go.  I had run over 35 miles and physically I felt great but for some reason, I still didn't feel motivated enough to continue on.  On one of the laps I encountered a gopher and I nudged it with my foot to get it off the trail.  Afterwards I turned to continue on and felt a small pop in the left foot near the 4th metatarsal.  I continued on but was very nervous with this and upon arriving back at the start I decided to call it quits.  And so I turned in my badge and received my medal.  I counted 38 laps but think I'll only get credit for 36 since I know I didn't swipe the card a couple of times.

Wrap - up:  Even thought I didn't accomplish what I initially set out to do, overall I had a good time.  Just didn't enjoy much of the running aspect of the day.  It was great hanging with Jeff and Terry for the day.  I also met Mary Lou who was camped next to us.  Very remarkable lady who never quit and just continued running into the night.  Jeff didn't have a very good day out there but as always, his perseverance and willpower was amazing to witness.  Ed was amazing as well, with his colorful outfits he never slowed down.  And he is always quick to high five and shout inspiration to everyone he passed.  Very happy that Dr Liu came out to run a couple laps with me.  Am also very happy that Rachel had offered to come out and run through the night with me (I texted her and told her not to bother though).  The running community never ceases to amaze me.  These people are genuine and will go out of their way to support and care for those they know and even those they don't know.  Most times I feel unworthy to be included amongst them.  I am blessed to know such amazing people


No comments: