Nanny Goat 100 Race Report

Introduction
I
went into this race knowing it would be a challenge.  As a law student
classes and particularly finals are my first priority.  May is the time
of the year that brings flowers for most of the country and nervous
breakdowns for 1Ls.  One final exam determines the grade for the class
and spilling your brain onto the paper in IRAC form is the only way to
succeed. (IRAC – Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion, then repeat for
every issue/element…forever).  I was fueled either by frustratingly high
amounts of coffee or decompressing with generous pours of scotch; or
both.  Ultra training was disastrously low on the priority chart.  Regardless of the stress, 32 miles per week was my average going into
this race.  Those miles were quality trail miles so my legs could reap
the benefits of the hills and the subtlety of the terrain, but the race
course on the other hand was deceptively simple.  A one mile loop 100
times.

 
Gear
Victory Design Bear Drop Bag (link)
Tailwind Nutrition (link)
Headsweats Visor (day) / Buff -(night) (link)
iPod Shuffle
Oakley Radar Glasses
Perl Izumi Arm Coolers (day) / MoBen Arm Warmers (night)
Patagonia Tech Tee (Capilene 1, silk weight)
NorthFace Flite Series 5″ short (day) / Sugoi Tight Shorts (night)
Tevasphere Trail Shoes (25 Miles) Altra Running Lone Peak Trail Shoe (56 miles)
Garmin 910XT
Drymax Trail Socks (grey)
BodyGlide Anti-Chafe + BodyGlide Skin Glide (blister protection)
Fenix Headlamp / Black Diamond Storm Headlamp
Ultimate Direction Handheld (Review)

Nanny Goat 100

The
one mile loop is on a horse ranch in Riverside, Ca.  It is deceptively
easy as far as courses go which is the problem.  The first few miles I
was cruising along at a relatively quick pace for a 100 miler.  Around
mile 4 my knees began aching.  How could my knees hurt on a course with
no elevation and not even a 10k into it?  The answer lay in the courses
deceptively tricky flatness.  The temperatures at the start were
perfect; high 50s-low 60s and overcast so everyone went out a little
quickly to take advantage of the conditions.  That fact coupled with a
grassy section about .2-.3 that sucked the unsuspecting runners into a
false sense of security only to reward them with twisted ankles or in my
case achy knees.  Shoes sunk into sponge like obscurity and before you
realized it the pain sets in and its a patch job style race from that
point on.  After 6 miles I began walking a part of this section and by
mile 25 I was walking the whole grass section, lesson learned.

At
mile 25 I took a break.  I felt great but knew I was running too
quickly.  I had been running steady with no aches and pains after making
the grassy section adjustment.  I began chatting with another runner
named Arturo and  it turns out he is going to be taking on the Headlands
100 in September.  A few days after the race I got an email from him
telling me he had to drop because his daughter, who was there to support
him, fainted and had to be taken to the hospital.  At the time I was
blissfully unaware the heat was crushing all of us.  I should have been
more cognizant given I saw an older man fall backwards on his head in
the middle of the afternoon, but of course you never think it could be
you…so wrong.

But,
by mile 10 I was not urinating on schedule.  Its a weird thing to talk
about but in ultra running it’s your personal tracking system.  I drink a
lot of liquids.  My urination schedule is pretty regular and even on
the hottest days out in Griffith Park I am clear with a slightly yellow
tint, i.e. hydrated.  Sorry for the details.  Race day consuming copious
amounts of liquids and still nada.  Approximately 4-5 hours into the
run I noticed that my urine was an ice tea color; not a good sign that
early into a 100 miler.  The overcast perfect running conditions heated
up in a heartbeat and I missed the adjustment.  The next 6 hours I tried
to consume more liquids and re-hydrate but the urine got darker and
darker.  By the 50 mile mark I was not at coke color level, but pretty
dam close to it.  I ran the first fifty in about ten and a half hours.
 I was on pace to break 24 hours, which is the magical number for ultra
runners but the hydration was a problem a bigger one that I thought.

Mile
60 Al joined me to pace for a few miles.  Al was there at my first
hundred and was the first person to see me hallucinate from exhaustion (Rocky Road 100 – Report)
live and in technicolor and has been one of my biggest supporters since
I started running ultras.  He saw me drop 50+ lbs. and increasingly
become healthier and happier.  We ran for a few miles and I told him my
plan was to run hard from 1 am – 3 am and make up lost time.  He asked
how my hydration was doing and I answered, fine.  I probably should have
been more forthcoming but I did not want to have him come out to
Riverside to walk a few miles in the dead of night.  So we jogged a
little and he left me after midnight.  I did end up running from 1 am – 3
am, but that was all the gas I had in the tank. 
 

Mile 80-81

My
body had not adjusted the hydration issue despite my best efforts 
Throughout the day I met amazing people.  Everyone, as is typical in an
ultra, suffered together and rejoiced in each others accomplishments. 
It would be impossible to list everyone, but if you look at the Nanny
Goat 100 facebook group you will see what I am talking about.  A solid
group of people who are all about cheering for each other.  Despite all
of these positive vibes I decided to drop at mile 81.

The
body took a toll and I did not want to push beyond my limits.  I knew
that my hydration was off and this was just not the day to push the red
line any further.  Arriving at the main aid station and announced that I
was dropping.  The RD told me I could walk a mile an hour and still
make cut-offs, but I reiterated that I was done.  He suggested I sit for
half an hour and decide after that.  I agreed…

I
sat on a cooler leaned my head back and felt a tremendous weight come
over me.  I woke up to a few people slapping my face asking if I was
okay?  I asked what happened and the answer was “you blacked out.”  My
initial thought was; bull****.  There is no way I blacked out.  Blacking
out it is a college drinking story not a seasoned ultra runner story.  I
tried getting up and lost consciousness again.  Then it sunk in, my
body was agreeing with my decision to drop and it was not taking any
other answer.

The
volunteers, particularly Jean, really saved me.  Knowing my personality
I would have tried to keep moving and probably collapsed somewhere, but
they brought a cot and had me lay down.  Once I laid on the cot my body
was alternating between strip into nothing hot then shivering cold. 
Jean placed a heater and placed it near me and then tried getting me to
consume water.  I was so miserable and I could do nothing about it.

My
breathing labored and naturally could not get comfortable.  My legs
were complaining with the pain that sets in once you stop.  I went from
feeling confused and disoriented to achy and cramping then back to
confused.  It was akin to a boxer being knocked out.  It just came upon
me in a flash and I had to ride it out.  Some time later, honestly I
have no idea how much time because I was confused, Jean brought a
pillow.  It was fluffy and white. 

I
tried to complain that I was gross and would ruin it to which she
answered, don’t worry about it we are ultra runners.  I finally fell
asleep.
 

Finish 
I
woke up feeling nauseous but years better than I had a few hours
before.  I thought; what if I had sat somewhere on the course?  What if i
had opted to keep going regardless?  The questions naturally will never
have answers but just the thought of those answers is scary.  I learned a lot of
valuable lessons, but more than that I am proud I listened to my body
and decided to drop.  My body obviously overjoyed with the prospect of
stopping (read as survival) showed agreement by passing out.  It took me
a few hours to get back into a good mental place, such a good mental
place that I signed up for another 100 in August.  I respect the
Headlands too much not not dial in everything before it.  Most of my
non-runner friends think I am nuts and should take the experience as my
chance to retire from the ultras.  Giving up is not my style.  I look at
the experience as a gift. I was given a lesson and a bunch of new
friends with 81 miles thrown in.  Failing is only failing if you don’t
get up and I think its my duty as member of this community to get up and
get motivated.




Advertisements

One comment

  1. You were smart to stop. A lot of the runners had issues with dehydration. I think it's great you are learning from this, but not afraid to try again. Next race, do things a little differently. But honestly, every 100 mile race I've had, there are new issues that come up (there's a lot that can go wrong in 100 miles!) But take some advice from other runners, listen to your body, and learn from these types of experiences you have had. You are a strong runner and I know you will get it next time. The buckle means so much because we all know how much work and dedication (and pain!) it takes to get it!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s