Tuesday, September 25, 2007

rio del lago 100, race report

Hope not to bore you, this is LOOOOONNNNNGGGG.

(pre race, Norm Klein in blue)

Well, picked rio for a couple of reasons. I was eyeing three 100's during the month of September. I was only going to choose one to do. Picked this, finacially, it was only $140 to fly to sacramento for this one. Originally it was $350 to fly to san diego. This was perfect timing after Waldo.

(pre race toes... Night Life color with little flower stickers)

I ran this race last year so I knew what to expect from the race. Gu2o for part of the schwag but Gatraide out one the course, what's up with that??? 15 gu's in the same bag but none on the course??? Now this makes complete sence. And of course half the entrants from the double marathon and 100 miler not starting off with tourches slowing up everybody for the first 40 minutes in the dark.

(Helen Klein and Dr. Lind) (Helen holds 75 world age group records)

So, the day looked pretty epic in terms of weather, highs around 70, lows 55 and maybe a sprinkle or two. Starting at 6am was good. Yes, I had my torch on my noggin. We start off and of course everybody that didn't have a light would stop at every rock, ditch, etc. All I wanted to do was just run, not stopping every 25 feet. I would work my way around anybody without a light finally ending up in the front third of the pack.

I start off carrying very little for the first 10 miles. As I have to drop my torch off there and at the same time I would pick up my race belt and use it for the next 20 miles. I am running with effort here but not too hard I thought. But at mile 17 I start CRAMPING!!! Oh, this is wayyyyyy to early for this to happen. I follow with two S-caps and continue this on cue taking at least one every 45 minutes the rest of the race.

Running along I see Julie Fingar ahead, and Scott Dunlap (running the 53 mile race), is just behind me. I now know that I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be running in this company. I back off a bit and think I need to run within my ability. So, it is time to cruise. I have a long way to go.

I leave No-Hands for the climb up K-2. Cool, I see 4 wild turkeys. (we don't have them where I live)

(coming into cool fire station)

I get into the Cool Fire Station at 5:22 hours of running. What am I doing??? I am one hour ahead of my 22 hour goal. Leave Cool to do the Omstead loop leaving one bottle, and my race belt as I will pick them up later. I grab my bottle of beans and head out following a guy that wants to run 18 today for his first 100!!! I have no intentions of running his splits.

I eat a few gulps of beans, run, walk. Continue this until the beans are gone. Good, 600 calories, 1000mg of sodium and some good staying power I figure. Finsh the Cool loop in 1:15. This is the last time I look at my watch. Grab my race belt, hand held and head out. Oh, leave with Mr. 18 but I have no intention of staying with him.

Here is the cool part of the race. I am 1-2 miles out from No-Hands. I hear a noice down the hill from the trail. It is a COUGAR!!! He hears me and now leaps and bounds away from me down towars the river. Not two minutes later I hear a noise above me. I keep going. I run another 50 yards and look back, two yearling dears. Was the cougar on their scent??? I hope it wasn't mine!!!

(looking back to No-Hands aid station)

All I could think was this was going to be a good day.

I catch up to Mr. 18 five miles down the trail. He runs everything!!! I do my normal run flats and downs, and hike the hills. He gaps me while I hike, I close it while running. Finally, I let him go for the last time.

Fast forward to mile 63. An aid station person tells me I'm in 6th. I really didn't want to know this. I tell him I have a long way to go. I think to myself, I am just going to enjoy this one and just try to finish upright.

Get back to the school and know that I will spend a little extra time taking care of myself. I switch belts, grab another bottle of beans and jam every pocket with my Crank gel. Oh, pick up my pacer here, i.e. I-pod!!! I talk to Mark Lantz (100k U.S. masters trail Champion) for a bit while doing this. We talk about how Jeff did this year and how great a race Waldo was. He was pacing Rena Schumman this day.

My next goal was to get the beans down as I know I don't have enough gel to finish without it. I take small gulps, run, let it get down. Continue this until the 12 ounces is gone. After this, I figure it is time to start racing.

Not one mile out of the aid station I find some more poor trail markings. I run up the road, back to the chalk markings and make the decision to follow the chalk. I run down five minutes and a man with his kids say I am on the Junior High course. Arrrrgghhh, not again. I turn around and head back. I find a ribbon on the road later on but it was no where near the intersection. Vandalism again this year??? Yes, but not here actually. Later down the trail.

(yup, you guessed it, more trail)

I get to mile 73 and now turn on my lights. Very nice. Last year I had to turn them on at mile 63. And this year the race was a week later, cool.

I can't remember where I see Jon Olsen on the way back but I know he is on course record pace. Sure enough, 15:31, 59 minutes ahead of last years course record, WOW!

(Mark Tanaka in green, Joh Olsen in white)

I come up on Mark Tanaka and he about runs into the skunk I had stopped for. The skunk takes aim but decided it wasn't worth it and leaves the trail. Mark and I echange greetings and he looks great.


I am in 5th now??? How is that??? Julie Fingar is still ahead of me but where is Mr. 18??? Well, he got lost again. (Total of 2hrs off trail for the day)

I pick up one of Julie's pacers at mile 77. He wanted to run more. So, he takes me to the turn around and back.

When I get to the turn around I ask if they had milk shakes this year??? Bummer, no.

Well, at the turn around I noticed that I have gained at least 15 minutes on Julie. All I think about is it would be nice not to get chicked. To finish ahead of Julie, Rena, and Van would be pretty cool and they are well known in the ultra community. I knew I couldn't catch the 3rd male because he was gaining on Mark and staying even with Jon.

I catch up with Julie in the next seven miles, making up the 15 minute gap. My pacer says he has to let me go. He says he isn't in enough shape to finish with me the last 10 miles. I get my next pacer, I-pod. And the pressure is on...

I know Julie is stuggling but when I saw Rena she looked strong. Mr. 18 was just behind her and I knew he would be finishing strong. Game on.

I run through the next aid station. I have enough fluids.

I just run everything possible. I am not in pain so I figure just keep running. There is no reason why not too. I have been working my ass off for the last 25+ miles.

I get to the last two aid stations and they both say I look better than anybody else. That is encouraging. I thank them for being here.

Last aid station, 3.1 miles left. I really don't want to be caught now. I run the mile trail and then pop out onto the dike road. I run for a bit and then it's lights out. Look back and nobody. Run for a bit more, still nobody. Turn the corner and look back the 3/4-1 mile, nobody. Very good. After making the corner, lights back on, and only a mile or so to go.

Make the turn off the dike road to the school with only a 1/4 of a mile to go. This is good.

Come into the finsh, say "runner" as I know the last runner was here long ago.

Look at the clock with 50 feet to go, hey sub 20, how is that???

19:58:48, it couldn't have been better. A 2.5 hour PR!!! This is sweet.

After getting weighed I go for the shower right away. Now the pain has officially set in. I haven't hurt like this since my first Waldo. I lay on a wrestling mat with my legs on a box. I can't bear it. Finally, I go to the meds. Ibuprofen and Tylenol. The Tylenol kicks in 20 minutes later. That was the trick. Couldn't sleep until 11am for an hour. Awards at noon.

By the numbers...

Run: 100.28 miles (officially that is)

Crank gels eaten: 30

gu gels: 6

S-caps: 34

cans of beans: 2

bottles of gatoraide: didn't want to think of it, hate the stuff

chaffing spots: 4, still bleeding from two spots

blisters: yea, got some, big deal

toe nails lost: 4

times hurled: 1, the best ever during a 100

falls: 1, can live with that

beers after run: 1/2, just enough to help with nap

placing: 4th, sawwwweeeett

PR: 2 hours 35 minutes

chicked: not today baby cakes

happy points: about a cazillion

That is all. Sorry for so long. But this is kinda a journal for me too. Something to look back on for planning for future races.


olga said...

That was NOT long at all! LOL. Awesome, Tom, I saw updates as they were coming in, and heck, that race was sweet dreams for you! Nice work, man, and loved the baby cakes comment:)

angie's pink fuzzy said...

good job!

Joe said...

Your giving me hope! That was one heck of a performance out there. Congratulations Tom!

Meghan said...

Congrats Tom. You are getting tougher and tougher by the minute, you know that? Most impressive. The -not long- writeup was fascinating and I'm glad you shared it all with us. And, the inevitable question? What's next?

Anonymous said...

Tom, GREAT JOB!!!! VERY IMPRESSIVE. I still see that you're having problems projecting finish times ;-). Awesome PR!!!. I felt like I was there pacing you as I could picture you on this run through your words. Great report. How does this compare to Kettle?

p.s. just finished walking fox cities marathon in 5:49 on sunday.

caroline said...

Congratulations! Great job! Love the toenails...before the race! Great color. Wow, you only threw up once. That's a bit of a breakthrough, don't you think? Well done! Celebrate, take good care of yourself, and recover well.

Steve said...

You are really having a fantastic year. Way to go. And to think I ran the first loop at Capital Peak with you. Just goes to show what great training will do.

Steve Stoyles

Addy said...

wow...seriously...for how long 100 miles is, that race report was downright short! I love that for you, seeing a cougar meant it was going to be a good day. I think I would have flipped out, knowing he was out there while I was running at night!

A huge huge congratulations on the awesome performance. You're amazing :)

scott keeps running said...

great report tom! oh, and the race was pretty good too, i guess. ;)


i like the fast forward to mile 63 part. too bad we can't do that in real life. i tried it once and my pause button kept going off. and then the eject button ended that particular run.

rustyboy said...

Congrats on a well run race AND a new PR! Too bad I won't see you in San Diego - maybe next time?

Oh, and if you think your RR was long-winded, I can point you to a few of my races that covered half the distance but read 5 times longer.

ultrailnakaman said...

Tom, didn't find your write-up tedious or excessive at all.

I first realized after finishing Olmstead and hearing how close you were that you were running really well. Way to push your pace to the end, and make that 20-hour cutoff. And since I didn't get sprayed, maybe my nose should thank you too... you must have a way with animals.

Nice job, Stud (Tarzan), congrats!

Sarah said...

Well done, Tom! Everything really came together for you. Only 2 cans of beans? : ) Congrats!

GB said...

You freakin' stud! Wow, what a race. You continue to amaze me with these races and PRs. I seriously hope to be run like you when I finally take up Ultras (but I highly doubt that will happen). Way to go, Tom! Be proud!

Journey to a Centum said...

I agree with Olga, AWESOME is the best word to describe your effort.

Did the cougar siteing help your speed?

I think we need to get a "Powered by Beans" shirt for you.


Backofpack said...

Wow, Tom! Eric told me to read this. Too cool! Congratulations on a great time, a stellar finish and a strong run.

OCRunnerGirl said...

Congrats on a great race. And a strong finish! Way to go!

stephruns said...

Freakin' amazing Tom. Today 4th tomorrow first:-)

Makita said...

Amazing PR! Way to go!


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