Sunday, March 25, 2012

Half Assin' and Mustachin'

This week sucked wholesale ass with regard to running, so if you're expecting the optimism of a functioning adult, keep looking.

The taper week leading up to the Kal Haven Trail Run was a dysfunctional mess. I did a whopping total of three 2 mile runs to the little creek near my house. I have no real reason for the sporadic low volume running, other than my tendencies to self-sabotage. The entire week, I tried convincing myself that I was looking forward to the race. Only in hindsight do I realize that my head was never in it in the first place.

The run started out great. I was with a good group consisting of past and current members of the WMU Running Club and some cool folks from Gazelle Sports. The frist 10 miles were trotted by effortlessly. Other than a few people stopping to pee, we ran in a tight pack. Kept a steady intake of GU and water coming in, but was starting to feel a little off. I kept thinking about dehydration, and remembered that I soaked through two shirts at work the night before. With a couple miles left until the halfway point at the town of Bloomingdale, I decided that I had to go drop a deuce off trail.

Yadda Yadda Yadda, hiding in bushes a couple feet from passing strangers, yadda yadda yadda...

I hopped back on the trail(I wish there was a better word for that trail. Its less technical than a sidewalk) and tried to catch the group. That would prove difficult since Alex and Evan decided to drop a couple sub7 miles after I stopped.
Nick(left), Me, and Robbie pulling into Bloomingdale. Robbie kicked ass in his first ultra
and was great company in the second half.

By the time I arrived in Bloomingdale, Alex and Evan had already had enough time to do what they needed to do. I decided to take off with them anyway without taking a leak or grabbing extra GU. This is where things started to fall apart. The plan for us to run as a team should have had a clause stating "you know, unless we don't." I wasn't surprised. I stopped to pee, and it left a gap of about 200m that never got closed. I felt weak, my stomach felt like it was in a knot, and motivation was sapped now that I was running solo.

After noticing a couple rocks in my shoe, I stopped on a bridge, the only scenic spot on the 34 mile trail. I shook the rocks out of my MR00s, but not before dropping one off the bridge. Fuckin' A. Who drops a shoe, honestly? Luckily ir didn't fall in the creek and I didn't have to walk too far to get it.

The next hour or so was a death march of alternating between "welp, this sucks. I might as well walk" and "if I run, this will be over faster." As one person after another jogged past, I realized that I just didn't care. It was no longer a race for me. Whether it was physiological, psychological, or some combination thereof, I just didn't feel like continuing. After a cup of Gatorade from an aid station, I puked up some nasty thick contents of my stomach. Instert nail A into coffin B.

A little more walking, and I heard someone calling my name. It was Robbie. He came along and I finally started running again. We ran the last 4-5 miles finished together. It was a blessing to have somebody come along and run the last parf of the course with me.

My time was 4:50 or something, which was good enough for 29th place. I'd like  think I've gotten faster in 2 years, but in 2009 I ran the course in 4:23. This isn't the abysmal failure from a numbers standpoint, but I can't help but feel dejected. There was a time when I started races with determination. This further engrains my belief that I'm less a runner and more an outdoor enthusiast. I'll have to continue the search for what I truly enjoy doing. Running is an wonderful hobby for me to express myself, but the details of where, and why are immensely important.

After the race, however, was a wonderful afternoon of beer and mexican food and more beer. Awesome pub crawl with friends from school. Drinks and dancing until 2am, followed by a bike ride the next day. On the positive side, I gave up halfway through an ultra and still finished in the top third, went on a lengthy drinking adventure, and then had a nice bike ride the following day. I'll stop bitching.
Okay, so I'm not the serious downer I was talking about.
Just have to get my mojo back.

1 comment:

  1. I fell apart in the last third of and ultra this weekend too. Gotta love the feeling of being passed by ever slower and grayer joggers while the finish line seemingly keeps getting moved back.

    Dropping a shoe off a bridge though takes the cake.