My body felt perfect, I had been training hard and I was ready for an awesome 100 mile race. Too bad that was 3 weeks prior to the San Diego Endurance Run. Sometimes the stars align a little early. My body fallen apart and I could not put it together by race day. The entry fee was already paid and my crew (Mom, Sis and Nephew's) were ready for a San Diego weekend vacation. What the hell I was ready for an adventure and curious to see if I would listen to my body if things went a rye.
Friday morning we packed in the mini van and were off. On the way down to San Diego I got a call back from an Assics ad I auditioned for the day prior. They liked what I had to offer but wanted a smaller foot. They asked to see me a second time ASAP in Venice presumably to cram my foot into a size 10 shoe (I wear and 11-12) We were already on our way and this was out of the question. The shoot was to take place on Monday they mentioned their was a slim chance I could still get a call back then but that did not happen. In a way I'm glad they did not tell me outright I could of had the job because I really should not be passing up the nice paycheck. Never less it was nice to know my womens small calf muscles were aprreciated over the buffed out actors who couldn't run.
Friday afternoon we Checked in at Shiners lodge and played on the jungle gym a bit at the starting line.
Dr. Dan and I
Race day my body felt ok I tried to be optimistic. I figured there was a 85% I would not finish but I also like suprising myself. I decided to wear my CEP calf sleeves my Moeben's some short shorts my Injinji's and the kso treks. Every Ultra I have ever run I have started with a shirt on and almost every race I wish it was gone after five minutes. I met up with my Dr. Dan Lehnberg of South Bay Sports Medicine who was running in his first hundred and who would go on to finish 6th in just over 22 hours (Well done Dan). We wished eachother well and planned on having a beer together after the race.
At the last second I decided to ditch my shirt. The two guys in front of me in black shirts I figured were the favorites to win, on the left defending champ Ben Hein and Tracy Moore on the right, unfortunately neither of them would make it to the finish this year.
My plan was was take a conservative 8 to 10 minute pace on the flats and downhill and stay below a 12 min pace all but the steepest climbs. The goal was to try to keep this up through the first 50 or 60 miles and then somehow find my way to the finish line stumbling my way through the dark of night. From the very beginning I didn't feel that great and couldn't seem to settle into a groove. I was running about 20 people back from the leader moving alone at my own pace. The beauty of the course managed to distract me from my malfunctioning body. In the first 8 miles there were prairies, mountains and even a very scenic lake, not what I normally picture when I think of San Diego. Steve Mill's the race Director had outdone himself in redesigning this picturesque course. At one point I got into a slight stalemate with a skunk, who was jaywalking across the trail (I gladly slowed and game him the right away before sprinting past).
Coming into first aid station was really cool. Pretty much every crew was there. The crowd was full of energy and excited to see each and every runner come in. People I don't know were yelling go Pat (while probably laughing at my attire at the same time). The vibe was really positive and made me feel like very loved. A few friends helped me refuel and it was back to the course. My Vibrams were holding up good, my feet felt great but my legs didn't feel quite right. I continued running my planned pace cruising along through the second aid station. By about mile 16 I knew it was not going to be an easy day. This was the first time I have ever ran on a trail with this particular pair of Vibram Treks. They were providing adequate protection, yet two holes small appeared on of the toes on my right foot. The course was getting more technical and I was starting to stumble a bit. I took a few fall's landing on my handhelds, nothing serious, no blood, no bruises just some strains on random parts of the body. I maintained a sub 10 min mile through mile 20 as I approached the 3rd aid station There were 2 beautiful girls cheering me on, they new my name and my spirits (and ego) were lifted quite a bit. Upon leaving the aid station. I passed the the 2 girls, thanked them for their support. I proceeded to run about 100 feet before tripping over a rock and tasting the trail. (what a dumb ass, ego back to normal) The two sirens turned around to see if I was okay, I mumbled something about just stopping to do some push ups but I don't think they were buying it, lol. I hobbled to the 4th aid station around mile 24 where I knew I'd see my crew. At that point I was supposed to decide whether my pacer Dan Westergaard was to drive down from L.A. or not. Even though my body felt like crap I didn't feel like I was causing it any damage yet and I knew Dan really wanted to get in some training miles for Badwater
As I approached the aid station I was happy to see my family cheering me on.
I told my sister I felt like I was functioning at 15% of my potential but to call Dan and tell him to come on down anyway, maybe Dan's support could help will me to the finish line. I had been passing a few people here and there through the first 24 miles. And was still optimistic that I could finish. About a mile and a half out of the aid station that all changed, my right knee began throbbing. I was caring IT band stabilizer on my wrist as a precaution for my left knee and now I was forced to use it on the other one. It didn't help much. I began one of the most technical, rocky downhill sections of the course. I was executing very poor form and the body was going downhill faster than I could run (whatever that means) I was In a lot of pain, going slow and getting passed. Injury was inevitable if I were to keep this up for another 70 miles. I hobbled to the aid station at mile 32. Just my luck there was no crew access. I was done and content with this decision. The head of the aid station said the next section of the course was a four mile loop, back to the same spot followed by an grueling eight mile climb to mile 42 where I could meet up with my crew. He didn't want me to regret my decision to withdraw and encouraged me to do the 4 mile loop. Reluctantly I agreed with him and stubbornly continued on the course. My body told me to quit and I didn't. I was not proud of that decision. The next four miles I felt horrible, however my spirits were lifted when I got passed by my Dr. Dan who looked real strong, I could tell he was going to have a good day and I was proud of him.
I got back to the aid station and my day was done. My body felt horrible but I had not passed the point of no return. I withdrew before injury could occur. I was near the front of the pack through mile 30 but not in contention to win. by mile 37 I took myself out. I'll live to fight another day I thought. I found a chair in the sun grabbed a few handfuls of peanut m and m's and waited about an hour till I could get a ride up the hill.
It was interesting watching people come through the aid station a total mix of emotions some people looked as if they were out for a walk while other's looked like they were in as bad of shape as I was. Everyone was real nice at the aid station both runners, and volunteers were very supportive but I wanted out of their asap.
Some really really cool old dude who's wife was running in the race gave myself and Bill Ramsey another dnf'er a ride back to the start line. We drove up the fire road that the runners were climbing. I got to say it felt pretty good to be off my feet. Bill and I each were drinking Ice cold Tecate's giving cheers to our jealous competitors as we proceeded up the hill and off the course. Maybe it was karma, but all of a sudden three bee's flew in the truck, one stung Bill in the neck one flew away and the 3rd hid in Bill's beer till he almost drank it down. (poor Bill I think the 3rd bee was supposed to sting me) I was not happy with my performance but was proud of myself for making the right decision to withdraw. My only regret was that I would not get to run with my pacer.
Luckily my pacer Dan was able to another runner to pace. I told Dan that I expect some ridicule when I crew for him at Badwater.
Both of my two prior races I had won. I think my nephews expected to me to win this one as well. I was a bit concerned that they would be disappointed with my dnf. I couldn't have been more wrong. They both embraced me with lot's of love and were very excited to play with their uncle at the pool that evening and then again the next morning. As much as I would have loved to have finished the race, I was perfectly content to be spending the rest of the weekend with my awesome family (I mean crew). I am grateful to have you guys and love you very much.
The San Diego 100 mile Endurance Run is a top notch Ultra. Thank you to all the volunteers and the race director Scott Mills for putting on such a spectacular event. Although the race did not go as I planned it only fuels my desire to train harder, smarter and come back stronger next year.
It's been a week since the race. I've ran a few times played a ton of disc golf and played a bit of Paddle tennis all barefoot. My body still feels sore. This Sunday I am running in the Culver City 5k for team Jamba Juice. It will be my first race running for them and I am really excited. I had the option of running in the 5k or 10k (I choose the wussy option) I think I can gimp my way to fast finish. Sadly I have a uniform consisting of long shorts and a shirt (but the race is free). I pondered running In a pair of Luna Sandals Barefoot Ted Sent me but I think I'm going to with the Vibram sprints.