Wednesday, November 11, 2009

RC3 Chicks Run World Run Day

World Run Day was November 8th. It's an event set up for runners to take a day to recognize and run for their charity of choice. RC3 chicks had various charities and run distances. Some for MDA and others for local charities. Regardless, it looks like it was another beautiful Arizona morning.

From left to right: Darris, Syndie, Christina, Renee U.,
Heather, Kim, Jamee & Kira

Injured Runner Renee

It's nice to know that Renee R. is not letting her wrist injury slow her down. We're looking forward to seeing her walking and running again in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, she is traveling around and supporting her daughter Mallory and her WSU soccer team. WSU plays Villinova in the first round of the NCAA soccer tournament this Friday. Best of luck to Mallory and the WSU team and happy healing Renee. We miss you!

Renee sporting her WSU cast and daughter, Mallory

Monday, November 2, 2009

Javelina Jundred Pacing Experience

Nikki and I (e) spent Halloween night into the early morning on Sunday pacing at the Javelina Jundred (JJ100). It was quite an experience running/walking/hiking through the desert, during a full moon, talking with runners who have such great determination to conquer 100 miles. I've often wondered what it takes to run such distances and how one would train for it (Okay, I admit that I might be thinking about doing an ultra as a future goal). I think I found the answers I needed.

After keeping track of our adopted runner, Tammy Massie, via the JJ100 webcast at home, I arrived at McDowell Mountain Park/Pemberton trail at 5:00 p.m. as I had calculated by Tammy's previous laps that she would be arriving about 5:40 p.m. When she arrived after 6:00 p.m., she was clearly going through an emotional swing and contemplating stopping. However, after she sat down and started going through her aid station routine, we started to talk through it. She decided to start the 4th lap and at least go for the 100k buckle a.k.a the "Wuss Out Award". Not a great name for that award as I feel that running 60+ miles is NOT for wussies. Tammy admitted that perhaps this desert environment was a bit harder for her than she thought. The Arizona afternoon sun beating down on you for a good portion of the day can suck the life right out of you and I think many of the participants that train in cooler weather found it difficult to complete the 100 miles. I'm sure that is a major reason that the JJ100 has a 50% finish rate. We got started on the lap and at the second aid station, Tammy had mentally decided that she would not be able to continue physically after the 4th lap (Each lap was 15.4 miles). We had downhill for the remaining 5 miles to the start/finish and this helped her get to that 100k mark.

After we broke the news to Nikki that Tammy was going to DNF, Nikki and I planned to meet Sunday morning to complete our marathon training run. Just as we were packing up our stuff we were asked if we would pace a couple of guys that had just come in from their 5th lap and needed some help. Nikki had already prepped herself to check off 15.4 miles so it took her about 15 seconds before she started making her way to the start. I decided to buck up and pace again since Nikki would be pacing the same lap. We went to the start and Nikki hooked up with Phil (a.k.a. The Puker) and I with Troy (#169) who was dressed in Indian garb for Halloween. Troy and I started off at a fast walk so he could get his legs going again and then worked it into a jog/run for a little over 2 miles. After that we did a run/jog/walk routine. We were ahead of Nikki and Phil (#205) but not far as we saw them coming into the first aid station as we were leaving. Phil was having some difficulty and per Nikki had to make stops to throw up. Thus... he is now known to us as "the Puker". Troy had talked with Phil earlier and he told me that Phil had run across the country for charity for 96 days and has been in countless ultra marathons including Badwater.

Apparently Phil was feeling better later because they passed us before the second aid station (aid stations were every 5 miles). I know Nikki was of huge help to him with her fresh legs and we all know she can keep a conversation. Both Phil & Troy completed the JJ100 and well within the 30 hour cut off time.

I got home at 5:30 a.m. and went to sleep feeling like I got a taste of ultra marathoning. I came to the conclusion from my conversations with both Tammy and Troy that there is one common denominator amongst these ultra marathoners: They are strong willed and determined to overcome both personal and physical obstacles. Troy told me that when he completes an ultra that he sometimes becomes emotional with the sense of accomplishment he feels afterwards. I think that's all I needed to know to make a decision to go a little bit farther next year.

Nikki, Tammy and I after she finished completing her 4th lap and with her 100k buckle.

Tammy resting and getting ready to finish out her duty as a research participant. She was part of a study on Hyponatremia and how much salt is lost and how much is really needed to replace it for endurance athletes. She had to leave a bagged urine sample in a box at each aid station. She also had blood draws every other lap and had to keep a log of everything she ate.