Thursday, October 27, 2011

My First Hundred

My first!
I finished my first 100 mile race on Sunday at 12:52pm at the Santa Monica Pier. The race started at 8:30am on Saturday and with the help of my amazing crew (Rey, Gabby, Lisa and Diana) I finished in 28 hours and 22 minutes. The official distance was 101.6 miles and I ended up doing over 103 miles (due to getting lost in Long Beach).

Out of 40 starters, I came in 14th place was only 26 minutes out of 10th place (about the time I lost when I got lost in Long Beach).
  • First 68 miles HERE.
  • Miles 69 to 103 HERE.
  • FaceBook HERE

 After driving down to the start in the morning (got up at 3am), we finally started at 8:30am from the Corona City Hall. Everyone took of quickly with our police escort that followed us till we got on the bike path around mile 6.
  • mile 1 in 12:06/1141
  • mile 2 in 13:03/1214
  • mile 3 in 12:55/1159
  • mile 4 in 12:51/1229
  • mile 5 in 13:31/1315
  • mile 6 in 13:55/1315

I was next to last for these early miles and was kind of surprised how fast everyone took off. I should have went slower but I did not waste too much energy doing these early miles because they were downhill. I did not like running with traffic at all but that seemed to be the way the course was laid out.
  • mile 7 in 12:42/1229
  • mile 8 in 12:56/1237
  • mile 9 in 13:25/1247
  • mile 10 in 13:54/1319
  • mile 11 in 13:34/1302
  • mile 12 in 14:03/1345
The early miles on the bike path were nice because I did not have to worry about cars and the riders are a lot nicer than the ones at home. But as the day went on, the riders became more numerous. At the first time check (12.5 miles)  I was in 31st place and Diana joined me.
  • mile 13 in 12:31/1224
  • mile 14 in 13:23/1239
  • mile 15 in 13:18/1255
  • mile 16 in 13:38/1320
  • mile 17 in 13:55/1343
  • mile 18 in 14:12/1330
  • mile 19 in  13:04/1256
  • mile 20 in 12:49/1241
  • mile 21 im 13:45/1338
  • mile 22 in 13:46/1336
  • mile 23 in 13:01/1250
  • mile 24 in 1628/1334
  • mile 25 in 1345/1342

Jack in the Box for lunch!
The bike path we ran on was nice and safe but it was for the most part a concrete path which really kills the legs. The good thing was it was slightly downhill and the weather was nice though I would have liked to have had some clouds because the glare of the concrete got old. It was very much like the glare of the snow when I hiked Mt Whitney.

According to the Twitter feed, I was in 30th place at the 25 mile mark which was at the Jack In the Box. Here my crew gave me a sausage croissant and I picked up a place or two because I only spent 3 minutes at the weigh in / aid station. My pace was pretty consistent and I felt pretty good with my 5:53 marathon split. In 2010, I ran LA in 5:56 and today I felt a lot better than I did that day. 
  • mile 26 in 1409/1348
  • marathon in 5:53
  • mile 27 in 1459/1449
  • mile 28 in 1357/1352
  • mile 29 in 1428/1416
  • mile 30 in 1630/1538
  • mile 31 in 1423/1338
  • 50k in 7:08
  • mile 32 in 1407/1356
  • mile 33 in 1516/1502
  • mile 34 in 1427/1427
  • mile 35 in 1440/1429
  • mile 36 in 1840/1517
  • mile 37 in 1552/1534
These miles are where I started to catch some people and run with them. We were still on the path and my pace slowed to mid 14s for the most part. as I had from the start, every 6 miles I grabbed a coconut water, Gatorade and  Dr. Pepper and this combo keep me hydrated  and feeling pretty good.

I had read in Marshall Ulrich's book "Running on Empty" that when he ran across the USA in 52 days, that whenever he drank, he always drank calories. This made sense to me because when doing such an extreme event, why try to make you body do two things. Filling up with water and then eating seems a bit too much for the stomach to handle  in terms of volume. So when I drank something I made sure it had calories in it.

This worked for me, because I never really bonked, got sick or was dehydrated during the race. Of course I did all of this in training and found out what worked for me, Most Saturdays, I leave my house at 5:45am and head to the Bluffs to meet my Bakersfield Distance Projecters for our Saturday workout. Along the way, I always pick up a Dr.Pepper and drink it before I get to the Bluffs (3 miles away).

Gabby & the Angels.
Then I run with my clients and often do not get home before noon or later. On the way home from our workout, I stop and get drinks at the mini marts along my route. So every Saturday, I practice what I used during the race. I think this routine helped me move through the field and by the time I got to my 37.5, I was in 21st place.

So in 13 miles or so, I caught 9 people and PRed in the 50K (7:08). According to Lisa's Garmin, it was about 36 miles to the beach and we went from 700 feet to sea level.
  • mile 38 in 1448/1426
  • mile 39 in 1507/1404
  • mile 40 in 1451/1433
  • mile 41 in 1447/1428
  • mile 42 in 1427/1430
  • mile 43 in 1441/1435
  • mile 44 in 1703/1506
  • mile 45 in 1550/1536
  • mile 46 in 1435/1423
  • mile 47 in 1455/1437
  • mile 48 in 1434/1421
  • mile 49 in 1952/1434
  • mile 50 in 1455/1408
  • 50 miles in 11:58 
 Miles 38 to 50 were in the high 14s for the most part and my feet were started to hurt a bit. It was nice to make it to the ocean and start heading north instead of west. As usual the beach was cold and foggy and as the sun went down, the wind picked up. Being a Saturday might , there were quite a few bonfires that made breathing difficult at times.

As we headed to Huntington Beach, Lisa and I were treated to a lovely sunset as we run along the bike path that is used for the Surf City Marathon. Up until this point, I was always confident that I was going the right way and I had run or driven over much of the course in the past. But as nightfall came and we left Huntington Beach, my confidence started to wane.

Sunny California beaches!
The good news is that my pace had not waned and i set another PR. 11:58 for 50 miles beat my best time of 12:44 at Leona Divide. Of course this course had no hills to speak of but soon we would hit some.

Besides drinking a lot every 6 miles, I also had a banana, pringles and other snacks that i munched on as I ran. This too I practiced all the time. I thought of myself as a bear that would eat whatever came my way for the most part when I trained. This way, I could handle whatever came my way during the race. Often I hear other runners described their nutrition regimen during a race and I think what a huge pain in the rear that would be.

Plus what do you do when things go wrong? By wrong, I mean your crew doesn't show up, you forget something or the aid station runs out of stuff. Now since I am slow, the aid station running out of stuff is often the case. I remember doing the LA marathon a few years ago )(2008?) and being really hungry. I  had done the race years ago and they had food along the way. This year there was none.

Then at the halfway point I saw lots of banana peels on the road and thought "At last!". But to my dismay and others, there were no bananas for us. Fortunately, I use a page out of  Dean Karnazes's "Ultramarthon Man" book and carry money, my id and a credit card whenever I run. He orders pizzas on his midnight runs and i often hit mini marts on mine. At this LA, I went into a store and bought a Mountain Dew and a Snickers  and headed back out on the course.
  • mile 51 in 1516/1504
  • mile 52 in  1625/1600
  • mile 53 in 1616/1551
  • mile 54 in 1849/1635
  • mile 55 in 1632/1611
  • mile 56 in 1704/1445
  • mile 57 in 1550/1511
  • mile 58 in 1544/1532
  • mile 59 in 1647/1633
  • mile 60 in 1519/1515
  • mile 61 in 1653/1629
  • mile 62 in 1636/1629
  • 100k in  15:22
 Despite being tired of the bike path, I would have preferred it over the next section of running.My paced slowed into the 16s and this was due to the darkness, my feet hurting and the scary roads we had to run on. Running through the marshes on that two lane road was not fun especially since we were running with traffic. we had headlamps and reflective jackets but I did not like it one bit.

I was really glad when we got to Seal Beach. Lisa did a great job of pulling me along this part of the run but it was still slow going with all the traffic lights that needed to be obeyed plus we had to watch for cars coming from every where. Interestingly, it seemed that as we approached an aid station, that we would run into other runners out there which was nice.

Lisa leading the way to Seal Beach.
At the 50 mile aid station I was in 20th place and only spent a few minutes there which may have been a mistake in that I should have spent some time asking about the course ahead. Since i had run the Long Beach marathon a few weeks before this race, I did not think that this section would cause problems but boy was I wrong.

Gabby and I were moving along the bike path when all of a sudden it came to and end in this shopping center area. It was crazy there with people coming and going from restaurants etc. I remembered this area from the marathon but I had come from the other direction. I was lost and did not know what to do and wandered around for a few minutes until I found a bike path that head out to sea.

My gut said this was the wrong way but I hoped that it took us around this shopping center and then dumped us off further north. So we stayed on the path and headed out towards the Queen Mary. It was really dark and we had no idea that the route we were taking was a dead end until we had ran out of bike path.

In all, we had gone more than a mile in the wrong direction. So we lost a good 20 minutes on our detour and I used up a lot of mental and physical energy as well. When we made it back to the shopping center, we back tracked a bit and finally found the right turn that dropped us off into the craziness of downtown Long Beach on a Saturday night.
So glad to find the course!

One good thing about getting lost is that we meet up with a group of runners before we went through skid row. our plan had been to go through this section of the bike path with Rey but instead his wife gabby was with me. so it was nice to have a large group run through this stretch where under every bridge there was a large homeless community.
Our pack through skid row.

Interestingly it was almost as festive as the nicer parts of Long Beach. In Long Beach proper there were several parties with music and lights. In fact, one party was playing the "I ran" song by the Flock of Seagulls as we passed by. The homeless encampments had lights and music as well. Fortunately for us, the residents ignored us as we ran by.

I went through the 100k mark in 15:22 ( a PR because I had never gone that far before.) and was still feeling pretty good despite running through the San Pedro Port area. Here Rey and I saw lots of police cars and a few other runners and it was pretty ugly and i was glad it was dark. I had also moved up to 12th place at the 62.5 mile check point.
  • mile 63 in 2150/1653
  • mile 64 in 1715/1554
  • mile 65 in 1709/1637
  • mile 66 in 1700/1636
  • mile 67 in 1851/1737
  • mile 68 in 1810/1715
  • mile 69 in 2005/2006
  • mile 70 in 2415/1959
  • mile 71 in 1841/1833
  • mile 72 in 2214/2201
  • mile 73 in 1859/1851
  • mile 74 in 1817/1811
  • mile 75 in 1847/1842
After we left San Pedro, we ran through downtown Wilmington at about the time the bars were letting out. This section was hilly plus we had to wait at lights and go up and down curbs a lot. It seemed to go on forever and I knew it would soon get even harder because Palas Verdes is very hilly and we found that out at mile 71 where we were treated to a nice 400 foot plus climb that included a crazy mountain biker flying down the hill in the dark by us.

PV did not have many street lights so it was dark and hilly. I am told the views are great but we could not see anything as we mainly walked up and down several nasty hills to the 75 mile aid station. Now I was doing miles in the 18 plus range and my feet were really hurting. The rest of me felt great but the feet would not let me go any faster. Plus the 75 mile aid station was beyond 75 miles and was not at the first church we past. So when we got there I was really glad and so was Rey because he had done about 30 plus miles with me already.
  • mile 76 in 2046/2046
  • mile 77 in 2329/2113
  • mile 78 in 2103/2037
  • mile 79 in 2114/2109
  • mile 80 in 2121/2118
  • mile 81 in 2247/2247
  • mile 82 in 2154/2135
  • mile 83 in 1957/1955
  • mile 84 in 2200/2157
  • mile 85 in 3058/2143
  • mile 86 in 1902/1850
  • mile 87 in 944/855
At the 75 mile check in, I again was in an out quickly and had Lisa with me as we descended through the fog to Hermosa Beach. Sadly i was moving slow because of my feet and the downhill made things worse (We dropped 400 plus feet in a mile or two). These pre dawn miles were my slowest of the race and were in the high 20s for the most part.

When we got to Hermosa Beach, Diana was to be my pacer and I made another error in the race. My rule is usually, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" but my feet were killing me so I decided to change shoes. It took me awhile to take my shoes off (Ascics) and when I put new ones (Ascics) on I could not even walk.

So I hobbled back to the car and put on my hiking shoes (Saucony). I had done Whitney twice in ten days with them and figured they would get me to the finish. The steep hill down to the Hermosa Beach bike path was extremely painful but at least I had caught up to the pack of runners again. The only problem was my feet were killing me and I struggled to stay with them.
Heading to Dockweiler with Diana.

So as will ran by Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, I was barely hanging on to the group then when we were at Dockweiler Beach I had to make a pit stop and they were gone! Well more like a couple hundred yards away but I knew I had to do something because I need people around me so I will push myself. So without telling Diana, I decided to chase them down.

For hours, I had told my pacers that I felt great and could run if my feet would stop hurting but I do not think they believed me but now i was so made that I decided to run and just forget the pain for awhile. I put my sunglasses on, pulled down my hat and blasted Trance Around the World on my iphone and started to run!

Poor Diana had no idea what I was doing and I quickly left her and caught the first of about 5 runners and their pacers. Then I caught another and another and felt great. I ended up running a sub nine minute mile at mile 87 and it felt easy. But then I came to my senses and went back to a walk run that I had been doing. But for that ten minutes or so I felt better than I have ever felt in my running career. To run that fast after so many miles was amazing.
Sub Nine Minute Mile at Mile 87!

By the time I got to the 87.5 mile check in I was in 14th place and no one caught me the rest of the race.
  • mile 88 in 1852/1848
  • mile 89 in 1920/1838
  • mile 90 in 1919/1910
  • mile 91 in 2120/2011
  • mile 92 in 1747/1746
  • mile 93 in 1824/1813
  • mile 94 in 1743/1731
  • mile 95 in 1350/1348
  • mile 96 in 1337/1330
  • mile 97 in 1527/1522
  • mile 98 in 1716/1711
  • mile 99 in 1837/1827
  • mile 100 in 1752/1657
  • 100 miles in 27:34 
As you can see from the above, my pace was all over the place. This was mainly because my feet were killing me and there was a lot of traffic and intersections in the later miles of the race. It was Sunday afternoon so the bike path, roads and boardwalk were busy. A number of times, we had to wait awhile for lights to change.

  • mile 101 in 1658/1654
  • mile 102 in 1717/1711
  • mile 103 in 1332/1329
Venice with Diana.
Once we got to Venice, the race got really crazy. I had been up for a day and a half and covered over 100 miles and still had a couple to go. The Venice boardwalk was it's crazy self with vendors, tourists and who knows what wondering around. I just followed Lisa as we weaved around the masses and tried to run when I could. As we left Venice, we ran into a fund raising walk and had to run through hundreds of kids and then finally I saw the finish!

My first 100 Mile Finish!


    First buckle.

    Didn't even know I had it till I got home.

    What i wore for a week after the race.

    After race.