27 March 2011

Antelope 100 Recap and Moving On

It was ironic that Karl Meltzer was the one who kept telling me that he wasn't sure he'd even finish the 100.  He was somewhat injured (stabbed by a yucca plant last weekend) and fatigued.  He said he'd start the race and see how he felt at mile 19 (the first time we came near the start/finish).

We started out and Dan Vega was immediately off the front.  I settled in with Karl at a reasonable pace.  I pulled away from Karl but he and I came back together at the first aid station (I stopped to grab a gel and he didn't).  Dan made a mistake, thinking he had gone the wrong way (you can do this short out and back spur either before or after the next section and Karl and I were doing it first, so Dan ran back to do the spur - he was a good 4 mins behind us by now).  At this point I was leading after bombing a long descent and starting the switchbacks back up from the beach.  At the top of the switchbacks Dan caught me and I couldn't believe he had run the spur and then caught back up in such a short time.  So, he was in front of me for the next few miles by about 100 meters with Karl further back behind me.  At an oddly marked trail junction at mile 18 Dan and I waited for Karl because we didn't know where to go.  The three of us cruised into the start/finish aid station at mile 19 together.  Dan was in and out in 30 seconds, Karl followed shortly thereafter.  I was having issues with my shoes cutting into my ankles and I had slipped on an icy slick muddy stretch and tweaked my knee somehow.  I commented to those two at mile 18 that "I just about did the splits back there."  Anyway, my stop at the aid station took a while tightening my shoes that were slopping around and generally not feeling right.  By the time I got out of there, Karl was 5 mins up on me an Dan was gone.  My heart sank and I dipped into a bad mood as the first wave of pain was already beginning so early in the race and I just felt out of sorts with physical pain and a scattered mindset having made dumb mistakes.  The next 20 miles were just dull.  I dropped to about 20 mins behind Karl by mile 40 and had a substantial lead over the 4th place person but I just wasn't feeling right.  At about mile 46 I was on the paved road where there was a marker to turn off into a field.  With the late afternoon sun (it was about 7pm) in my face, I missed the marker and continued all the way up the road to the top of Buffalo Point.  Realizing my huge mistake, something snapped in me and I was done.  I jogged back down, made the correct turn, and finished the first loop of the course in the dark.  It took 45 mins for me to stop shivering, since I was under dressed and had stopped taking in any calories once I decided I was done.  I think I'm done with Antelope Island; I've had some of my worse races there.

Now I begin "phase 2" of my training - much more vert.  Next up: a couple of 50 milers in May, then the San Diego 100 in June.  The mistakes I made this weekend have sunk in and I learned several lessons, mostly, to respect the distance of 100 miles.

Shaun Katona (my weekend traveling companion) drove with Pippit (very nice of him to bring Pip out for me) to the race (I flew since I was starting a day before).  Then I rode back with them.  Shaun finished the 50k, working through his own tough patches.
Pippit co-piloting to Utah.  He seemed to really like Shaun.
Pippit in his hotel room cave.
Shaun getting it done in the 50k
The highlight of my weekend was getting to witness Darren run his first 100 miler.  He's been training for it since December 1st, getting out every day regardless of the weather, working through injuries, taking time away from his family.  He said a sub 24 hour finish would be a dream and he made that happen: 22:11.  I got a bit choked up when he finished.  When he got his award buckle from the race director and said, "I owe this to my wife and daughter, my parents, and my coach" I had to walk away for a bit.  I haven't been that proud of someone in a long time.  The photos of his finish say it all.

17 comments:

  1. Awesome. Sorry to hear about your race, but very cool that you could enjoy your athlete's triumph. It's like your watching his life change before your very eyes. Huge.

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  2. Looks like Darren was a bit moved too. That's great.

    I still cannot relate to the 100-mile distance at all; it's about as abstract as flying to the moon for me. Heck, same for 50.

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  3. A South CRUD victory, and you owe me a beer. I'm thinking of calling the police to do a welfare check, hope you're not hanging from the rafters of your house...

    Kudos to Darren, 22 is pretty solid.

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  4. Keep your chin up, Tim. You've seen what you're capable of in the last couple of years. Many more races, many more miles to log in the coming weeks, months, years... You have a ton of folks pulling for you, believing in you. Keep that in mind during those tough patches. -NS

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  5. Thanks very much.
    Like I told Brownie in an email, I'm disgusted with my run and for stopping. It's about all I've thought about for the last 24 hours.

    If I had rafters in my place, Brownie, I'd be hanging from them! Instead, I think several beers and fajitas might be the answer tonight.

    Thanks again.

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  6. Head over to Serrano's for a little "misery" dinner and then back at it tomorrow. It is just an early season race with bigger fish to fry coming later in the season. At least Pippit was there for moral support post-race :-) Great job with your star pupil, too, Coach!!

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  7. Hey Tim,

    if it means anything your blog is probably the funniest ultrarunners blog and I look forward to reading it. Sorry your 100 didnt work out the way you wanted...hope you channel some of the negative vibes on guys with Hummers that park obnoxiously. You will crush the next one, good vibes coming your way.

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  8. Sorry it didn't turn out as you hoped...sounds like you are ready to get back at it though which is good. A bad race every once in a while has some positives in terms of better motivation/mindset for the next ones.

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  9. I'm home and ready for a little rest! Only a little one though; that race hurt but Leadville is gonna sting (I need to be ready)!

    To everyone that reads this silly blog, I do truly owe much of that finish to Tim.

    As to the last picture, thankfully I've already forgotten that pain and, come August, I'll be ready for some more.

    Darren

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  10. I look at those rocks in the background of this blog and I cannot imagine even doing 50 in that stuff. That looks rough.

    50 is a helluva day at the office.

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  11. Those photos are fantastic. Especially little Pippit under the bed. Sorry about your knee, Tim! Hope it's feeling right soon!

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  12. Hey Tim, sorry for your race. That island is a bitch. I am one for three there. It just seems to have the right mix of hills and flats, it just messes with your body. You either run really good, or completely blow up.

    I was looking for you at the finish, but I guess I missed ya.

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  13. Thanks for the kind words. You know, it's just a race but when you're wrapped up in it, it becomes a lot more than just a race. I learn a lot more at the tough races than the ones that go well.

    Scott, I actually was picking you to win and surprize the favorites. You still pulled out a good race and I'm sure on another day you could run well below 7 hours. Heck our 100k course was much tougher and you smoked that!

    Lots of 2011 left and the big events are yet to come.

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  14. Also sorry to hear the day wasn't what you hoped it would be. Looking forward to the next race report.
    :Liza

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  15. Tim, I shouldn't have even ran. I had a string of bad luck coming into this race. I got really sick with phenomia 3 weeks before the race and I am still not 100% recovered from that. I was only able to run about 2 weeks out of the last 6 and nothing over 10 miles. So I really can't complain with my time. Thanks for the vote of confidence though :) Good thing is, there is always next time.

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  16. Is this race your first DNF? Either way, don't sweat it. You've got an incredible racing season lined up and many opportunities to find your groove.

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  17. Hey Steve,
    Thanks. I've dnf'd three times. This one stings the most. The good thing is I got in a 54 mile training run and feel no effects at all this week. I'll make up for it!
    Great job at Moab. 18 laps would fry my brain.

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