Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2008 TRT 100M

(Catra headed back to the Start/Finish
in the first loop while I head towards Mt. Rose)

This was the first race where I gave up fighting. I quit when my stomach heaved a couple of times a few hundred yards out of the Tunnel Creek AS at mile 67.

Would I have finished had I continued? Most likely. Would it have been difficult? Definitely!!

So why did I stop? One thing that I can think of is that, having negotiated the course twice before (2006 50M and the 2007 100M), the section between Tunnel Creek and Mt. Rose had become a bete noire of sorts for me. It had taken a long time in 2006 and had forced us, Anil and I, to dig a bit deeper last year to make the 76 mile cutoff. Faced with the prospect of a queasy stomach, the fact that I was unable to put in decent amounts of food and a looming 9 mile trek to Mt. Rose, I decided that stopping was my best option.

Did I feel bad? Maybe. For a few minutes. Did I think that I failed? Certainly not! I had learned so much from the 67 miles about what I needed to do/not do for food & hydration. All through the first 50 miles I had taken in ample amounts of fluids and was peeing almost 2-3 times an hour. The 11 miles from 50 to 61 changed all of that - my pacer and I were down to one bottle each (I had forgotten to put an extra bottle in my Start/Finish drop bag). The amount of water going in decreased substantially. My energy levels, high even at mile 67, could not be relied upon to carry me through to the end.

I kind of shot myself in the foot with this race. I decided to tinker with what worked in the past 4 100M races - my nutrition. Instead of an entire bottle of Ensure, I downed only half a bottle every time I reached an AS with a drop bag. The result of this was that I ran for many long miles with hunger pangs gnawing at my stomach. I would then take in a gel and that would take care of my blood sugar for a few miles.

I want to do this race once again next year and "conquer" the Tunnel Creek to Mt. Rose section once and for all.

Congratulations to Diane Vlach (she and I ran the first 56 miles together) for finishing strong in 34:23. She rocks! Nancy Warren ran a superb 50M in 12 hours and change. Kudos to Catra and Andy who finished together in a superb 32 hours.

I reconnected with Karen Bonnett whom I had first met in the 2006 Helen Klein 50M where she ran the 30K. She finished her TRT 50M in good time and was there early Sunday morning to cheer the 100M finishers. She is an amazing athlete. Among her stellar achievements is the Paris-Breat-Paris brevet.

The volunteers in this race were as good as any. David Cotter and Kevin Bigley put on a superb race. Thank you all.