Friday, October 19, 2012

Time to take off my Sandals and put on my Kilt Del Mar Mud Run 2012

Earlier in the week I gained a free entry to the Del Mar Mud Run. Last year  I ran and won the R.O.C (Ridiculous Obstacle Course) race at the same place and had a great time. The only problem was that Del Mar is 2 hours away and I was already running in the Manhattan Beach Homtown fair 10k at 7:30a.m. that morning?
Lucky for me the final race of the day was at 1 P.M.

So as soon as my sister finished the 10k we walked up to my moms house about 1.5 miles away  got cleaned up? (kind of silly to clean up before a mud run) and were on the road about 20 minutes later.
The race had said something about a free beer? So I was really stoked to have my sister come along  as a designated driver :)
(Not that she isn't good company otherwise)
Time to take off my Sandals and put on my Kilt
Not all Mud runs are barefoot  friendly I took a chance at the R.O.C. race going barefoot and it couldn't have worked out better.   It always amazes me at events like this less than of 1% choose to Set Their Piggies Free? I guess my idea of a barefoot friendly probably greatly differs from the general public.
To my surprise when I got there I saw  a lot of people walking around barefoot cringing as they stepped on even the smallest of pebbles.
They didn't run barefoot did they?
Ah Ha!
THe dirty shoe donation pile was a huge success.
I had a few minutes to kill before the race so I went over to the rope swing hoping to see a few face plants into the mud.  Then to my surprise a pretty cute girl swinging across barefoot (Awesome). Out of the the 200 or so people I saw go by she was the only one without shoes.

Time to get on with my own race.
We lined up in the gates for the 1 P.M.Start

 They only let 75 of us take off every 5 mins. If I wanted to win It was paramount to start in the front group so that I wouldn't get stuck behind slower runners who had started before me.
Before the race started I ran into a familiar face.  I ran against the Dude next me last year in a 5k. On that occasion I was running in third place right behind him and another dude when we went the wrong way.  Before It was too late I stopped and turned back while he kept going. I was able to recover and still finish 3rd that day but he had to drop out. The guy is good runner and I was stoked to get to race against him again.

Quickly him and I jumped out in front.  Running barefoot I didn't feel like I was going that fast but that was because it felt easy, when I looked at my watch I was running a Sub 5 min mile.  (Later when I would got to look at my watch all I would see is mud.)
After 500 yards it was just him and I but he had 75 foot lead.
When  we got the first mud tunnels I plunged straight in.  I was there to win and it was good thing my ears were covered by a bandanna Because there's a lot of room in between them for mud to hide.

The pit consisted of about 8 inches of mud with 1ft or murky water above it.  Instead of crawling through it I let my body float above the mud only using my arms to propel me forward by scooping my hands into the sand.  This required almost no effort  and I pretty much caught up to the dude in front .

By the time we got out of the second mud pit the other guy seemed winded.  I had the lead and there was no way I was gonna give up without a fight.
 Less than 5 minutes in the race I started catch stragglers who had started at least 30 mins before me in the 12 p.m. group. but lucky for me they were staggered far enough apart not to really get in my way.

I really had to be careful not to make a wrong turn I was going at a fast pace with nobody to follow and there were multiple spots left open for maintenance vehicles where you could accidently skip large chunks of the course of the course.

It was hot afternoon but combo of not wearing much clothes and jumping in mud every couple of minutes kept me refreshed.  As the mud run progressed I felt stronger.  It was the total opposite of the 10k I raced in earlier that morning.  I wanted the win but more importantly I was having fun.  I looked forward to each new challenge that presented itself and when I new the finish line was coming soon I was disappointed,  because I wanted more.
Only one last obstacle remained, the rope swing.  By now the course was crowded with runners from earlier heats and I was really hoping I would'nt hit a back up.

I got lucky sprinted in front of a group of lollygaggers grabbed the rope in stride  and hoped I didn't fall.
(It felt graceful at the time but I guess pictures don't lie.)
Photo finish. well not really
The next dude to cross the line came a few minutes later but there was still a chance that someone who started later might beat me I guess I'll have to wait and see.
Time to get cleaned Up 
Kind of fun especially because there were few cute  girls in white shirt's next to me :)

They had an even fancier group shower with soap but the line was about 4 times longer that what you see in this pic. Plus I think the dude on top may be  peeing on them?

It's crazy to me how different the experience at mud run is between those who are going for a fast time and were there for good time.   So here's a couple of random videos to show you what the course looked like

So what now the race is over time for my free beer.

Wait a second that's not a beer
 Check out my new shirt courtesy of the Stone Brewing Company
Buy Here
Although I did drink the fizzy yellow beer.
 Not this dude again?
Pic taken at the R.O.C. Race
Where did I finished in the official results?
Yep that looks about right.
(Awfully nice of them to make it easy for me to find my name) Probably no one in the world cares but me  but I checked all the times for the day and I had the third fastest ? (Doh) Upon further research I was beat by 2 people in the 11 a.m. group 1st by a gut with no race stats who ran a 20:47 and then followed by 47 year old lady who's 5k P.R. was 20:08 and she ran a 20:53  (this doesn't add up).  If I am wrong I'm seriously impressed
My time:
I presume they didn't run the took an accidental short cut.  (But I guess others could presume the same thing about me).
I think directors should invite all the winners back next year to run for free and let us run head to head.
You here that Vavi?
Better yet It would be ton of fun to run all 6 races in row and try and win them all?
If only I had 50 million Dollars to pay for it?
A crowd assembled to watch me receive my award and I didn't even have my speech prepared yet?
I actually thought I might get to go on stage.

The party boy music stopped and they announced me as the winner
Nobody cared :(
5 seconds later the party boy music started up again but I did get to claim a pretty cool first place bottle opener
Time to put that award to good use!

The Del Mar Mud run is a real fun race staffed by the super nice folks at Vavi Sports.  It is full of beautiful women and dudes in garters?  I had a great time and hope to back next year.

My only gripe is
Miller 64??? 
I don't think that qualify's as beer?
You guys can do better than that

Back to a life of crime
Compression , Rest, Ice, Massage, Elevate

My body Felt great during the race and I went running both the day after and the day after that.  However I then started to suffer severe pain in left Knee. For the next week it felt like it got worse every day.and I was forced to withdraw from the 100 Mile Endurance Challenge held tomorrow 10/19/12.   I decided to test my knee yesterday with a short 8 mile run and was pleasantly surprised that nothing felt torn or broken although it did feel very fatigued.
As much as I would love to run tomorrow I realize it is not in bodies best interest if I want my healing to progress.  As of now I don't feel like there is any need for surgery (I was really scared that there might be) and I want to keep it that way.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Manhattan Beach hometown Fair 10k

That time of year again already?  The one constant in my racing schedule for the last 7 or 8 years had  been the Manhattan Beach hometown fair 10k.  It use to be the only race shorter than a Marathon I would run all year and because of that I really enjoyed spinning my legs fast for a few miles.   But of late it seems like all I run are short races. (taking all the funh out of it)  Most of the Ultras I would like to run sell out before I'm willing to commit to signing up and I prefer to live my life one day at a time.

Oh Well, on with the tale.
Left to right 
Silva Brother (I set the course record at his beer mile earlier this summer).Last years winner )and this years winner, the dude ran a 31:06 on a tough course) Girl to my left Prior nemesis (see blog post better than the one you are currently reading lol and like 8 time winner Natalie Higley) Myself (2010 winner) and random cute girl who I recognized from this pic I took at the 2010 MB Solstice run running barefoot
 I like to jump out in front right off the bat but my heart really wasn't into it. (that's my excuse when I'm slow and out of shape.)   Through out the first mile I was right at the 5 min mark and I was working hard
My body felt fine striding through town but my pace quickly dropped to over a 5:30 mile.  All through the city I  heard my name yelled along with screams of encouragement from both strangers and friends.  At the same time that this made me feel really good inside it also may me feel a little bummed as if I were letting these people down.  As a former winner of the race I am expected to contend for the win but on this day I was nowhere close.   I was running in about 15th place through the halfway point when I saw my mom cheering on the sideline.

I had a little bit of speed still in me and began to pick off a few of the runners but even on my best day there is no chance  of me running a a 31:05 on a tough course.  The kid who run in an amazing runner .  As for me I'm just a dude in sandals going for a little stroll.

The chick who took this photo is from the Local runner Store The Village Runner.  She says that I was giving her the "Stink eye" I was just surprised that a pretty girl was taking my picture and it took the hamsters spinning in brain a few seconds longer than usual to figure out who it was.
My buddy Emil Filmed this video of my coming down the home stretch

10 place overall
2 age division
5th Brother sister division (thanks sis you did great )
1st place in the Sandal division (3 years in a row)
This shirt can be be good enough for you to
At least I beat the barefoot dude
(This dude is actually a friend and usually runs in Luna's)

My heart was never in the race this year I felt like I was running more out obligation than desire.  I still have love for this race.  I will be back ext year and the year after Etc....

The Day was not over yet?
Whats the first place medal doing in the center?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In search of Wives and Magic Underwear I jumped out of plane, helped my friends run 100 miles and drank some crappy beer. Bourbon Feet goes to Utah

Cool Castle!

Upon arrival in Salt Lake City everything seemed pretty normal except that everybody was white.
Not to be racist or anything but white people can be pretty creepy. I should know.
 (I've been one my whole life)
With no minorities around to help homogenize the status quo young white people in Utah must go extremes to find their own  identity ranging form  Mormonism to Juggalos, and even includes tatted up hipster vegans who  run in sandals?  
(crazy )
The other thing I noticed was that there sure were a lot of kid's and it seemed like most of the kids belonged to adults that looked like kids. (huh?)    So if your and out work preschool teacher in SoCal I'm sure you could find of job rather quick in the SLC.

Why was I in Utah?

My friend and head cobbler at Luna Sandals Scott  Smuin (raised in Utah) was going to attempt to run his first, and "one of the toughest" 100 mile trail races in the country while wearing Luna Sandals
I had some free time and I was stoked that I  come out and crew.
Also running in the race was my friend and fellow Mas Loco Shawn Wood.  I'd be staying with him and his girlfriend Stephanie.  I hadn't either of them since the CCUM 2012  They are really cool  people and I was looking forward to the trip.

I arrived a few days early. What now?

Maybe it's finally time I found some wive's and started a family?
(Says the guy who is barely responsible enough to keep a cactus watered)
Pretty tempting? But I have a hard enough time keeping up with one woman. 
If I was gonna have 20 or so wifves I'd  pick a variety, every shape color size, 

plus a few of really buff ones to use as my bodyguards 
(Why not?)
Starting a family is a little ambitious for 6 day trip. 

What else does only Utah have to offer?
Magic Underwear

Surly it would be more Magical if it had already been worn by a genuine Mormon.  "To the thrift store."

It turns out they are only sold To Mormons at special temple stores. 
 I was totally stoked to find this Jon Deere 6 pack bazooka tube style cooler for $.75.
Upon further research I found that you can get them online but they super expensive
(warning the model wearing them is pretty sexy)

Later that night I found out my buddy Shawn was gonna go Sky diving the next day. It would be his 5th jump toward becoming a certified diver so that he could jump anytime he wanted with his Lady who happens to already be a pro.
 (Not that kind of pro.)

I thought it would be pretty cool to watch.
It would be a lot cooler if I jumped as well?
In case you are reading this blog post years in future and are perhaps writing a report on the 45th president of United States? The next series of pics may not be historically accurate.
About 10 minutes after signing a sheet promising "If I Die, I will Sue!" I was in a jumpsuit  and walking out on the tarmac.
Shawn and Scott Looking for me up in the sky
(Shh! I'm the dude who took this picture?)
"Hey Dudes"
How the Hell did Scott get in the plane I thought he was the dude on the ground taking the pictures?
"In Luna Sandals anything is possible"
"See Ya."
(those building in the background must be 2 miles tall.)
Birth of a Sky diver.

 Little Known Fact that only sky divers know? 
Heaven is full of chain smoking flowers and hipster dragons.
 "Oh No? 
Those Mormon churches sure look pointy! "

Little known fact #2
Utah is the most dangerous place in the world to Sky Dive!!  
Even without the aid of magic underwear I was able to sneak between the steeples and land without a scratch.
Thanks for the Beer the Steph
(how did she beat me to the ground?)

Synopsis on sky diving:
I'm not very brave dude and also not much of risk taker.  I thought I would be more afraid especially while flying  up an just for jumping out but really it was a lot of fun fear never was a factor.  I got my first view of the great Salt lake as I fee falled from 18,000' and smiled from second I jumped till the second I hit the ground.

 Enough of my Shenanigans
 to tell the tale of how Shawn and Scott took down the BEAR. 
 Race Check In.  T-minus 14 hours till the start of the race.
Nasa Space training
(I can totally read her mind)
"Pat Please spin this merry go round as fast as you can!"

Luis Escobar doing his best to blend in with all white people by dressing up as cowboy
I can hardly tell which one was him?
It turns out he bought that shirt in Urique right after running the in the Copper Canyons Ultra Marathon in 2006. "Fine, Cool Shirt Dude!" 
Just before leaving I saw another buddy  from SoCal Josh Spector.  .
 Mile 30ish aid station

 This place sure is beautiful! At the same time I was excited for my friends and I was also a bit jealous.  
Shawn's mom made goodie bags foe the entire crew. 
Shawn's one lucky dude.
 looks ready to me!

Race morning
Lace up buddy
 One of kind (for now?) ZZYXXZ Reflective Luna tech race shirt
Don't forget your glasses and teeth.
Ironman or just a dumb ass with a glowing shirt? 
Nerves of steel. 
 What kind of idiot would try and run a 100 miles in Sandals?
My kind of idiot!
Good Luck Scott?
 Shawn's mom is really proud of her son.
Left to right
Steph, Me,Scott,Shawn,Eric, Conner, Izzy, Rebecca 
This is gonna be fun.
 Ghostly start

There was no crew access till mile 20
 First to arrive Josh Spector.  He would go on to finish in sub 24 hours.  Well done Dude!
 While standing around I ran into my buddy Andrew Labbe sporting a pretty cool shirt:)
 Looking good Luis.
 Good job boys!
 Double take 
Good Job Boys, see you at mile 30ish
(I ran down the hill and took a second photo.)

Crewing myself with crap beer, avocado, hot sauce and olives,  
Me to Luis  "Dude,  you look like Shit."
Luis responded with a big old grin and a few choice words.
Congrats on your 28th 100 mile  finish.
 Although my friend Eric is mostly a Vegan he does partake in eating the occasional beard bug?
(I figured a gross pic needed a gross caption.)
Here they come
 Scott does not drink alcohol  but when he came into the aid station there is noway he would have passed afield sobriety test.  
 Steph I told you not to drink the river water.
Later dudes see you at mile 42
 The day was flying  by and the terrain kept getting prettier.
Foxy Lady and Foxy skull.

So far Scott ans Shawn had been running together.  But by mile 42 Shawn arrived a few minutes before Scott with the aid of Conner as a pacer.
 I could tell the race was starting to take it's toll on Scott and he was doing a great job keeping a positive attitude.
 Scott told me later that the main thing keeping him going were the massages we gave him at each aid station. 

 Mile 51 Halfway done.
By the halfway point both Scott and Shawn seemed pretty miserable.  Shawn arrived about a half hour before Scott but while he was warming up in his Jeep I took off with Scott to pace him for the next 25 miles.

It was about 10p.m. when I started pacing and we had 10 miles to the next aid station. Scott was moving really well on the climbs but his bowels weren't doing so good when he tried to run downhill.  I could tell he was starting to contemplate a DNF  (everybody does at some point) Before hitting the next aid station Scott had hit the wall as he batled his way to mile 60.
Nothing seemed broken and he was still moving great up hill. After about 5 more  miles he told me he was done. I could tell by the tone in his voice he was having a real hard time coming to that conclusion.  
"Will see about that you got plenty of time to turn things around."
I quickly changed the subject.
Guest appearance by Barefoot Ted
After a few more miles we hit an aid station with no crew access.  It was the middle of the night we were at about 8,000' elevation, the weather was chilly and that a few bonfires going.
I convinced Scot to shut his eyes for a few minutes think this may revive him a bit.

While sitting around I chatted up this lady running in the race whom had been vomiting  for the past hour.  Early in the race she had taken a fall conked her head and maybe even had a concussion.  Dude she was tough!.  It was also her first 100 and she was hell bend on finishing although at this point it didn't look like luck was on her side.

After a few minutes Scott decided to keep going.
"Way to go Dude!"
but he still had over 50km to go yikes.
 as we hiked I found Scott  a  walking stick he coined 
"Polley Moses."  
 By the time we finished  up 25 miles nearly 11 hours had passed. Scott still had 25 miles to run and he would have to do it under 9 hours. It was now or never! Scott would have to dig deep and find his running stride once again or he was not gonna make the cutoff time.
Things weren't looking good but I knew he had it in him!
 It was nice to see the crew again.  I wished I had carried my camera through the night.  The sunrise was amazing but I had no clue that we were gonna be out their that long
 Mile 85
Shawn had also had a tough night but seemed like a new man when the sun came up.
 15 miles left.  I think he's trying to see if he can find a short cut.
 Steph paced Scott the final 25 miles and you could tell he was really stoked to have her around.  They really  bring out the best in each other.
 About  5 minutes later out of nowhere came Scott running down the hill moving free and effortlessly as if he were one of the girls from Little house on the Prairie.
  He was back on track to finish (with time to spare). Way to hang in there dude
And by Eric and Izzy's facial expression you tell his feet still smelled really good.

Next stop mile 92
 Eric I decided a little frisbee was in order
Yippy Skippy
Nothing to it but to do it.
When Shawn was about to take off, In came Scott just in time for a hug
How Bromantic.
 Happy Runner, a proud crew and some kick ass Sandals.
I love this pic.

See you at the finish line!
Life is tough

 Dude you did it!
 Big congrats to Shawn Wood on his second  100 mile finish.
 And then it was Scott's turn.
  I knew you could do it and I'm really stoked you didn't give up.
You were a pleasure to crew for and I'm proud to be your friend.
----Dreaming of the present----
This pic makes me smile
Bear Lake
Look Mom I'm in Idaho!
(and my beer actually has alcohol in it)

The final official finisher of the race came i strong
And the first unofficial finisher came in with buddy George Valasco.
 "Stephanie and Hal sitting in a tree, doot, doot,doot, twidilee, dee."
Shawn got first place in the Shawn Wood division (barely beating out Shawn Woody) and Scott got first place in the sandal division.

The Bear 100 looks like a really cool race to run perhaps I'll give it a try some day? Everyone I met In Utah was pretty nice. At no point did ever feel ostracized for not being a religious dude. Our crew got along real well and Shawn's mom and her friend turned out to be a lot fun to hang out with.  I don't need 20 wives or magic underwear to be happy.  Hanging out  with such beautiful people  and watching my friends achieve their dreams is good enough for me.

Special thanks to Shawn Wood and Stephanie Gardner for letting me crash at their pad
for giving me a pool to swim in while I was there.

I still had one last day to spend In Utah so Shawn and Steph graciously took me out to Antelope Island (where he ran his first 100 ) to watch the sunset
Check out the name of Shawn's boat.
I like it, I like it a lot.
Hey Lady.
A great day to be alive
I think I may have saw more wild buffalo's during my brief visit to Angel Island than I will see in the rest my life.
The last sunflower on the island trying to hold on to petal's.
The world is what you make of it
Life is good!