"I like you. I'll gladly sit down and have dinner with you after the race. But when the gun goes off, I pretty much hate you, and I want to stomp your guts out. That's racing." -J Rapp
"Have faith- trust in the plan - the breakthrough will come. I promise. " Woo
“The only time you can be brave is when you’re afraid.”
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
So I think I'll leave this one at this point...and next post we'll move onwards and upwards, and hopefully post a lot more often with some comedy hopefully thrown in!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
So back to Ragnar, back to those days. Our team was split into 2 cars---first car of 3 runs their first legs, then hands off to us, and we run our legs. We did this 3 times throughout the 24 hours and 50 minutes---covering 200 miles in a winding course from Wickenburg to Tempe Map of Ragnar Relay Del Sol. I was running the 6th (anchor leg), and with me in Car #2 was Chris Bergeron, Bill Jones, and me. Great group! They put up with my antics---but probably wanted to kill me by the end of 24 hours in a car with me (I am a piece of work most of the times, but especially during a race--I'm downright annoying).
We new going into this that our competition was the Durapulse Ultra Team--led by their coach, Nick, and a tri friend, Bryan Dunn (read: sub 7 pace EASY). They were the only other Ultra team to start in the last wave (3 PM...the slower the team, the earlier you started---some teams started at 6 am). Ben led us off and of course smoked em, then James took over, ruptured Achilles and all and fought the battle against Bryan, handing off to Buddy. When Car #2 took over, we were 100 seconds behind the Durapulse team--looking good! So Car #2 was "ON" now---Chris first, holding the competition pretty much even; Bill next---strained hamstring and all, and he had the "grand-daddy" leg...17.1 miles, all at a gentle incline (wasn't gentle if you ask Bill, or me! Add the fact that it was now 11 pm, running on a highway with nothing but a headlamp on---I wasn't jealous (read: crazy work Bill!). After Bill, I was up. I took over, and we were behind the Durapulse team by a little under 8 minutes (Bill's hamstring held him back after mile 11--Tough Sucker!).
So now it's midnight, but I wasn't tired one bit (read: too excited to be!). It's pitch black, I'm out in the middle of nowhere (can't even see the city lights yet, coming into Peoria), and have some time to make up, so I go out pretty fast. Mind you, I can't see my watch, nor do I want to take a second to turn the light on...I'm just going by feel. After about 20 minutes in, Chris and Bill give me a split: 4:35 down! Okay, now I'm fired up...can I catch this guy? We looked him up before my leg, and he just did PF Changs 1/2 marathon in 1:25 (sub 7 pace)---that's FAST! I trusted my car buddies and just kept pouring it on. Then more splits: 3:20, 2:15, 1:15...so do you think I am gonna slow down? With about a mile to go, I catch him, pass him, and give our team the lead after our first run through our 6 runners. I knew they were going to be too solid for us to hang with considering James' achilles and Bill's hamstring...but we were having a blast! Add in Buddy's 911 call from the ladies locker room toilet at Macaroni Grill (4 trips! and couldn't eat!)...our chance at taking down Durapulse was over.
After our Car finished these first legs, we headed to Anthem to try and get some sleep (I slept for 1 hour on the gym floor with nothing other than a foam roller for a pillow---Bill and Chris had pillows and sleeping bags---pansies!)---it was 2 am. Our second runs took us from Anthem to Cave Creek, where we handed off again to Car #1. After our second runs we headed to The Village at DC Ranch for a steam sauna, hot shower, and whole wheat pancakes--the perfect break!!!!
We caught up with our team going down Nine Mile, and started to get delirious considering the lack of sleep and what we were doing. Our third leg started at Fountain Hills High School and ended at the finish line...Tempe Arts Park. Chris took over after Buddy completely toasted himself on his 3rd leg (see the video on Facebook...classic!), Chris held strong running over the Palisades and into Scottsdale, where he handed off to Bill. Bill then handed off to me for the final 10.4 mile stretch. I was feeling a bit tight, but all in all I was feeling ready to run! I had used Ultragen (read: First Endurance Rocks!) shakes after every run, and I was feeling no ill effects of the previous 2 runs, but I was mentally tired/drained. I ran the first 5.5 miles well, holding 6:35 pace, knowing that all I needed to do was finish and we take second. I was keeping entertained by counting 'kills' (passing other teams); I reached kill number 33, then BAM (literally and physically)...right calf feels like I tore it off the bone...my mind goes crazy---what a dum-sh**! I just ruined your year doing this "fun" event! I'm now running 8:00 pace (but I still got 2 more kills ;), and make it to exchange 35, where luckily Chris and Bill are waiting for me. I give them the "substitution" sign and they looked stunned (I think they thought I was joking)...I had my best game face on and was hiding the limp, but they saw that I was serious. Without a second breath, Bill was ready to go--he took over for me (read: Bill, you rock!). Without knowing the route, Bill ended up running 2 extra miles (read: got lost while trusting another racer, who had a map!) while Chris and I tried to locate him, unsuccessfully until we spotted his bright Orange ONE shirt crossing the Tempe Town Lake Mill St Bridge. Bill takes home the Heroes Trophy, for running 41 miles over the course of the event---NUTS!!
Overall, we ended up 13th overall out of 306 teams, and 2nd to Durapulse Ultra in the Ultra Open Disivion...not bad for a group of guys, half who are injured (James was already scheduled to have his Achilles reconstructed the week after the race)! While Chris and I were frantically looking for Bill, I announced my retirement from Ragnar, but I am fired up about doing one of these again, and maybe somewhere like Napa, Seattle, or Vegas would be a great adventure! I'd go to battle again any time with these guys---and now I can have something to replace that high school baseball experience with. I just hope Bill isn't looking at me like I was looking at my high school teammates who left me for dead on the mound ;-}
My calf is feeling pretty good here, 4 days later, and I look to be able to run well on it tomorrow....say a little prayer for my right calf! With Marquee 1/2 Ironman 5 weeks away, I hope I can get some solid training in to be competitive!