What they didn't think of though was what if you ran 24 hours. That is like 14400 calories, or about 4 lbs of body fat (1 lb of fat is worth about 3500 calories). Of course I'm not making an exact calculation here because I'm not even talking about glycogen reserves being utilized and the extra calories taken in during 24 hours of running, but this is my blog so I can make up any math I want.
Enter the San Francisco Summer Solstice 24 hour race. But first, a little update and what has been going on in my running world: Since having a blast at the 4 mph challenge back in March it has been pretty quiet on the training and racing front. First was the attack of the killer cold. I had not had a cold hit me this hard in a long time. Usually I can run through a cold. Not this one. Next, I started hitting the hills to get ready for the big vert Ohlone 50k. I felt pretty confident with my fitness going in, but then the race was cancelled due to a freak rain we got that scared the park into pulling the permits for the race for some reason. After that let-down I sort of just goofed off for a while because I couldn't figure out my next move. I knew about the San Francisco 24 hour race because it was part of the PA series that our club competes in, but I had thought that there was no way that I could run it because of racing Ohlone, family trip to Kansas, and helping out at Duncan Canyon at WS with Quicksilver. But when I studied the calendar a little closer I realized that the race actually fell on the weekend that I was going to be home alone with nothing better to do, so naturally I signed up.
|Not the most focused training around. The bars represent the amount of miles that were run in each week. The big bars are about 120 miles.|
Here are some pics to give some life to the one mile loop:
|Team blue. Left to right: Stephen, Jim and Keith.|
|I think there is a bridge back there somewhere...|
|Alcatraz in the distance.|
|The promonade. Views of the city just under the clouds.|
|Another lap down.|
|John Brooks (left), is the guy that makes this race happen.|
|Sachin doesn't even look like he just ran a hundo last weekend...|
|Jason Reed says hi. Views of aid station central.|
|People had some pretty comfy setups. I don't know how many runners actually took naps in the tents, or whether it was just supporting crew that were camping out for the party...|
|The fog burning off in the afternoon.|
I was pretty much in the zone clicking off the miles until 70 when I realized my stride length was getting shorter and I just didn't have as much pop in my legs. I decided to take a sit break, remembering the way they seemed to help during the 4 mph challenge. Loren, our racing team captain, was there cheering us on and helping us out. He lent me his blanket and I went and sat in cab of John's truck to stay warm as it was pretty cold and windy out. Then Greg, our club president, who was also helping us out, came over and brought me some awesome food that he had swiped from some banquet he was at earlier that day. He talked up my daughters who were killing it in running club at Bishop grade school this year in a program that he helps coordinate. It is pretty hard to feel sorry for yourself or to not want to do well in the race when all of these people really put their energy into helping you...like I said before, the support is great.
When I got back into the fray, I remembered that those sit breaks don't come without a penalty. The legs were so stiff that it took a whole lap to get them to function properly again. But then the payoff: they started to bounce off of the ground again and I was back in business. As I rounded out my fifth lap post break, I noticed that I was slowing down again. I kept at it for one more lap and then thought to myself that if I keep doing these breaks and keep clicking off miles the way I was, then 100 was in the bag. So that was the plan for the rest of the night. 6 laps in-between sit breaks. Chicken soup while on break, and a small cup of coke every lap. The coke did wonders with respect to keeping my alert and awake. I remembered my sleepiness at the 4 mph challenge and I also remembered the lack of available caffeine at that race. The little shots of coke though were perfect to keep me going through the night.
I got another shot of energy as the sun came up the next morning. Then it was just a matter of finishing it off. I reached 100.8 miles at 23 hours and 19 minutes elapsed and decided I had had enough. I had had my eyes set on that goal and was satisfied when I made it, so I got my sweats on and sat down and cheered on the rest of the runners as they were going for their own goals (or even racing). The aid station made me an awesome breakfast burrito that totally made my day.
I know a lot of things I could have done better, but all in all I am really happy with the way it all played out because it gave me confidence that I can actually bounce back from my legs seizing up when the sun is shining. I think salt pills really might be the way to work through some of those tough spots, and I should really expect to be able to move well into the night. This is a great event and I will probably do it again sometime. Probably not next year, but sometime.
There wasn't too much damage from the race. I have a couple of toes that got blistered up, and various chaffing that is healing up. The most annoying thing is that I let myself get sun-burned. I didn't even realize it with the clouds and cool temps, but being out there all day exposed will do it to you. The muscle soreness and recovery has been average - no issues as far as I can tell yet.
|Chikara, the newly minted course record holder with 132 miles, left it all out on the course. Including anything he ate...|
|Pierre thinks it's hilarious.|
|Garret is happy he beat me again. He got me at the 4 mph challenge and beat me by a few miles at this one as well. Idaho for all the marbles...|
|This guy. Maybe someone who reads this blog will tell me who he is...|
|Every mile I was faced with a decision: which bowl to choose from...|
|William had a special day out there. Something like 118 miles I think. First in the 40-50 age group.|
|Jean toughed out the loops again and improved a couple of miles from last year by running 129.|
|I'm not usually a big fan of the chotskies but I can use every one of these: coaster, mug, 100 mile buckle baby!|