Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nothing to see here

Well, I had intended to eventually write up a "real" report of my experiences at the Coyote 2 Moon 100 miler this year. I generally set myself the deadline of "by my next race" to write something. However, with my upcoming race plans being altered (more on that later), I don't know if I will ever get around to writing anything meaningful. Furthermore, it is still hard to put a positive spin on the race since I spent a full 2 of the 4 weeks after the event sick. So, in order to just get something up here on the blog and move on to other topics, I am cutting and pasting some stuff that I posted on the Runner's World Forum after the race.

The good news is that this will be the first time I truly meet my goal of not writing up a report that is almost as long as the race that inspired it. Enjoy!


OK, here is my full-fledged race report in pictures. I'm following the maxim that if you don't have something nice to say, say it with cute little yellow emoticons. All times are approximate.

Please excuse the lack of normal post-100 miler whitewashing since I am still fighting the chest-cold that hit me mid race, I've yet to convince myself that all the misery was actually a fun and challenging adventure. I'll write up a more revisionist, positive and exciting report next week when my overactive imagination has recovered and is able to cover up the actual memories.

Fri. 7am - Arroyo Grande:

Fri. - Ojai:

Fri. 11pm - Start:

Sat. - top of Horn Cyn:

Sat. 1:30am - Sisar A/S:

Sat. 4:00am - Top of Topa:

Sat. 5:00am - Descent to Rose:

Sat. 7:00am - Ascent from Rose:

Sat. 9:00am - Lion A/S:

Sat. 10:00am along ridge:

Sat. early afternoon - steep descent to Rose:

Sat. afternoon - steep ascent from Rose:

Sat. late afternoon - Rose to Howard:

Sat. later - Howard to Gridley top: Help

Sat. evening - Gridley Top:

Sat. 7pm - Cozy Dell:

Sat. 7-11pm - Cozy to Gridley:

Sat. 11pm - Gridley Top:

Sun. 12:30am - Gridley Bot:

Sun. 1-3:30am - Climb:

Sun. 3:40am - Gridley Top: Thanks Carol!

Sun. 3:40-6:30am - along Ridge: Freezing!

Sun. 6:45-7:54 - Final descent:

Sun. 7:54am - Finish:


Oh, and here are a few more snippets posted in response to questions/comments by others. Maybe shedding a little light on the more cryptic messages hidden within the emoticon jungle above...then again...maybe not.


I'm not really sure if I actually "picked it up" during the race, if I didn't totally recover from the cold I had a week before or if something nasty just got into my lungs. All I know is that starting around 10am Saturday morning I felt like dung and then began coughing up chunks of lung cheese (it was too solid to be lung butter) from about 7pm on.

I think the only saving grace at that point was that, having been awake for 36 hours already, I didn't have the mental capacity to properly talk myself into dropping from the race. However, I do remember at one point wishing that I would trip and fall before the next aid station so I would have a legitimate excuse to DNF. Alas, its not logically possible to "will" oneself into an accident--at least not for me. The 4 hour trip up Cozy Dell is not one I want to repeat.


On the climb up from Gridley Bottom, my mind was pretty much complete mush. I mean, I couldn't focus my brain or my eyes and the things running through my head were completely random and out of my control. I was literally dreaming awake as I stumbled and weaved my way up trail.

As an example, one of the tidbits I recall was some sort of infomercial for a fake product called "New, Industrial White". I don't know what it was supposed to be, but apparently it is "better than blue or red!" Get an idea of the sort of state of mind I was in here?

At any rate, about 1/3 of the way up, Carol Cuminale comes up behind me and offers to stick with me up the hill as I sounded like I could use some company. She took the lead and I followed trying to keep up a coherent conversation so my brain wouldn't feel the need to create one of its own. With her help, I finished that climb in around 2-1/2 hours--much better than the 4-hour nightmare coming up from Cozy Dell.


Unfortunately, as I sit here with a nasty cough and stuffed up head thinking I should really be back in bed, I am afraid it is closer to the latter. At least it will force me to rest for a while and let the rest of my body recover.

Actually, I'm a little surprised I finished as well. I think its partly due to the dishonesty of friends who refused to tell me how bad I really looked during the race. A couple of people told me after the race that I had looked pretty bad. However, what really got me was when my two buddies BOTH called me on Monday morning to "check up on me" and make sure I hadn't keeled over in the middle of the night.


I promised myself if I had any inclination to return to that event it would be on the other side of the table.


Unlike most races where I swear off repeating them immediately after only to come back around after a few days to wonder how I might do it differently next time, I can still hold to my sentiment for this race. If I want to head down to Ojai next year, I'll volunteer. If I ever feel the need to put myself through a similar experience to this, I will just keep myself awake for 48 hours straight and then see how many times I can run up and down Mission Peak. I think it makes about as much sense.


Peter Lubbers said...

Too funny, Steve, those pictures are worth thousands of words!

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Race report by Emoticon! Quite the novel! It looks like your time for this killer was respectable though. I'm glad you made it through without having to hurt yourself to find relief! It sounds way more mentally challenging than I could manage.

Ultras are known for messing with immunity. I've never gotten sick after one, though I've had asthma flareups, presumably from inhaling lots of dust deep into the alveoli. I read some abstracts of articles that claim pulmonary edema can be observed in runners' lungs too.

Try to get out in the sun and get your vitamin D levels up. I've read some recent reports that emphasize its importance in immunity among other things, not just bone health, like people preventing or stopping the flu in its tracks by taking high doses for a few days. We supplement and did not get the flu this spring when my son came home from college with the flu and pneumonia! I've had pneumonia numerous times in the past and seem to be susceptible to it.

We'll miss you at Diablo this Sunday! Hope you are back to your old self soon!


Jessica DeLine said...

I love the emoticon race report. Brilliant! :)

Eudemus said...

Glad everyone likes the emoticon report. I thought I was just being lazy!

As for recovery, I am pretty much over it. I was sick the week after, then did a 40 mile week then got sick again for a week. I pulled off 53 last week and am feeling good this week. My upcoming race cancellations have nothing to do with health, just family obligations.

miki said...

:D Nice.

Sorry you had to pass on Diablo. I asked about you later. I thought there was no way I could be moving between 2 aid stations a well as the start finish and have missed seeing you.

But like Cynthia said, make sure you get on top of your nutrition and rest. You seem to be getting sick a lot in the last few years no?