Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cuyamaca 3 peaks 50K 2012 Race Report

The weather was forecasted to be clear all morning with highs around 90. I laughed, because I train in Tucson. Got a little too cocky there.
I woke up at 4 a.m. and picked up my packet by 5:15. I met my buddy mike there and we talked about the stupidity of going out too fast, while I was drinking a de- fizzed red bull.
"Yea, I used to do that." I said.
The race started at 6a.m. And we were off!
I pretty much stuck with the same group of guys for the whole race. Ben, nick, and Christophe. We had the lead. The course started off winding through grass fields on the shore of cuyacama lake. The sun was rising and mist was rolling through the fields. It was like something out of a late summer calender.
We began the climb up stonewall peak and pretty much stuck together, one of us passing the other every now and then. After topping out we quickly descended to the paso picacho aid station. I was so pumped and amped up on red bull that I didn't even take water. When the volunteers asked me what I needed I just responded with " how do you get out of here?!" She told me and I was off.
I was feeling great!
I held the lead for at least an hour.  I dropped down to big bend aid station, re filled my bottles with ice water and then began the climb back up. About 5 minutes later Nick was coming down and 2 minutes later Ben, followed by Christophe. I held the lead until about half way up Cuyamaca peak, when Ben and nick caught up and passed me.
The latter portion of this climb is on a paved road and it's so steep it's just not runnable. I wasn't feeling good and I started to bonk. I kept getting dizzy every time I looked up towards Nick and Ben. I caught up to them at the aid station on the peak where the lady volunteers had bikinis on and the fellas had abs and they were jamming to Miley Sirius. It was pretty much the most lively aid station I had ever seen. I had an S!Cap (first one in 20 miles) and an otter pop and got sprayed down with a mister.
I took off as fast as I could to try and keep up with them, but I started having alot of trouble on the way down. My shin started tightening up and then my hamstrings and calves started cramping, which had never happened to me before.  I had messed up nutritionally. I think part of that mistake was due to recently reading an article on irunfar about that ridiculous book "waterlogged" which I took a little too seriously. I kind of had the idea in my head that my body would take care of itself.
Tim Noakes' theory doesn't work for me. I've been hearing the argument "It's science!" as an explanation to various beliefs and theories all my life. Well guess what? Just because there's a scientist who claims he has "conclusive" evidence from a study doesn't make those findings accurate if that study was funded by a person or group that favored or disfavored a specific outcome. You just can't believe everything you read.
If my body didn't need sodium during an endurance event and could balance electrolyte levels on its own, than I wouldn't have cramped up and got as sick as I did. I didn't  replace my fluid or electrolyte losses.   Note: these aren't excuses for loosing, the winners were simply better athletes than me.
Nick and Ben got away from me and I didn't see them again until the finish.  Coming down west Mesa fire road my hamstrings and calves really cramped, I felt like I was going to puke my GU up and I just sat in the dirt crying like a little girl talking to myself.
"I don't know who I thought I was."
"I can't do this!"
"I'm nothing special."
"I need to get to an aid station to drop out."
"I don't even know why I quit smoking. I want a cigarette."
"God damn it! I can't do this!"
After about five minutes of that nonsense I got up and said  " That's enough. Just keep moving."
I shuffled for a bit.
Tried to run.
 Stopped.
"God damn it!"
Left foot.
Right foot.
Left foot.
Right foot.
It was very slow at first, but no one caught up to me during this 15 minute ordeal and eventually the cramps went away. I felt great again. I continued on cold stream trail for quite some time and made it to the last aid station,  but once I got about 5 miles from the finish I started to feel dizzy again and I had to walk the uphills. The sun was beating down on me and I just wasn't feeling good.
Christophe caught up to me. He didn't look like he felt so well either, but he was trucking along at a good pace.
I told him good job and asked him how many miles to the finish.
He said 4.
I didn't bother trying to keep up with him, it wasn't going to happen.
About a mile from the finish line I saw a bunch of cars and a big tent by the lake. I figured that was the finish so I took a right and headed over there. I soon noticed I saw no runners or course markings. I asked around and no one had seen any runners pass by.
"Fuck."
I backtracked, took a right and carried on. I dropped down through a field and came to a junction where it looked like I should turn left, so did. All that turn did was loop me backwards about a quarter mile to the same place where I had originally dropped into the field.
"What the fuck?!"
I was so irritated.
I lost my place and at least 10 minutes because of that.
I came across the finish line in 5th place in 05:25.
I hung out at the finish line waiting to see my buddy Mike come through.
After the race we went to lunch in Julian. I couldn't ask for more than great company and good food after a day like that.
Life is good to me.
It's time to train harder.

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