Tuesday, July 28, 2009

White River 2009

Youch! That's my one word to describe this year's White River 50 Mile Endurance Run... youch...

The day started off in West Seattle dark and early, 2am to be precise, I was out the door by 2:30am meeting up with Matthew in Magnolia to car pool, en route by 3am. We arrived at that race start with only minimal turning around and were soon checked in and toeing the line for the 5:30am early start.
('feasting' at the Buck Creek aid station 27 miles in)

Though I started near the front of the pack of early starters, I did not feel as though I was going out too fast and was able to settle into a reasonable pace fairly quickly. I ran the first 6 or so miles with Eric Barnes whom I could tell was going to be stronger for longer than I had in me, never the less I trailed along and talked with him while I could. Shortly after watching Eric disappear ahead of me my day really began, some where near mile 7 or 8 I started to feel early signs of cramping, though really that's only in retrospect, at the time I just thought it was brief little one-offs. Soon the one-offs added up and before I knew it my quads, thighs, and calves, on both legs, had tensed up to the point that they felt like tree stumps, I did my best to continue moving forward but I must have looked pathetic and ridiculous all at once as I stammered along attempting to move straight legged down the trail. With every bend of a knee either a quad or calve would scream. More than any other time on any other course, I entertained the idea that I may not be able to finish, I wanted to but I knew there was no way if my legs continued to feel the way they did. Thankfully, after hobbling for a short time, I asked another runner if they happened to have any S-Caps, though I hadn't taken them before, I was willing to try anything at that point. Under instruction from the fellow runner, I took 2 right then and there, and with in minutes started to feel better - not 100% by any means, but better. From that point on the race was a battle between electrolytes and cramps, one moment I'd think I was in the clear the next I'd start feeling it again, this made for a long day on the course.

(...coming in for the finish, still smiling 'as always!'...)

I'll spare you the long details, ups and downs, and ins and outs of the rest of the race and just stick with the 'it was a long day' cliche. I will say though, that never have I been happier to have such a catastrophic break down during a race, after all, there I was, 2 weeks out from STORMY learning invaluable lessons that would no doubt aid me in finishing 100 miles. Thanks to White River I stocked up on S-caps (and Clip 2!), and, even more importantly, I got a lot of time on my feet while feeling horrible, I know that sounds unappealing, but the confidence I gained but 'gutting it out' was essential. I knew if I could go that long, feeling that bad, and still finish, that, if nothing else, I might have a chance at STOMRY.(don't be fooled by the clock, remember, I took the early start.. add an hour...)

All photos used above taken by race director John Wallace III.
More photos via Glenn Tachiyama here, here, & here
Finish Time: 12:39:30
151 out of 166 (195 starters)

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