The Javelina Jundred… Round 2

On Friday morning, an excited Javelina bound crew and runners took off for Arizona having no clue what to expect. But that was part of the draw. Carl, Erich and I would be running. Amanda would be pacing me, Cat would be crewing Carl and Pat would be filming the whole thing. Sleeping on Friday night was next to impossible. I didn’t question my training. I knew that I was much stronger than I was last year. What scared me was the unknown. Things happen during a 100 mile race that sometimes can be fixed and sometimes can’t. And there were a lot of people watching to see how we would do on this rogue form of training. I wanted to make everyone proud.
The start line was a mad dash for us. We had arrived a little late and parked far away. I ran to the start, decked out head to toe in a bumble bee costume and crossed the start line before I even realized what happened.
The first 15.4 miles flew by as I talked and laughed with other runners. I looked forward to seeing Carl at each turn around. I came into my first lap at about 3:10. I knew I needed to slow down but I felt fine. Cat and Amanda filled my bottles with coconut water, gave me some food and got me out quickly. They were a great crew. I was about 17 miles in when a cramp started taking over my right calf, to the point that my leg would seize and jerk to the right every time I tried to run. Luckily I was going uphill so this would be a good opportunity to stop and walk a bit. The pain continued and a nice runner gave me some salt tablets. It seemed to help a little. By the time I passed the next aid station a runner suggested that I run 30 seconds, walk 30 seconds till the pain subsided. It seemed to work and about an hour later I was running again. About 29 miles in I saw Carl again. He didn’t look good. Because of the jet lag from his trip to Australia, he was falling asleep on the trails. We exchanged some encouraging words and continued on our way. As I started to enter Javelina Jeadquarters again, there was BMack, waiting to greet me. I was excited to see him and his girlfriend Shana there. Shana had also decided that she would like to pace me for a lap so all I had was one more on my own and then we could get through this together. As I headed back out, something didn’t feel right. I started to get cold (temps were in the 80s) and my stomach was bloating out. I was still sweating but my vision blurred and I got very nauseous. I decided to have the medic check me out at the next aid station. He took a look at me and called for a car to take me in. “I’m not dropping.” I said. “The only way I’m leaving is if I’m medically pulled.”
“You are medically pulled,” he said sharply. The car came around for me and I was loaded in and brought back to the search and rescue tent at headquarters. They stuck me with an IV and checked my vitals. My blood pressure was high. Over me within seconds was Cat. I turned to her, “I’m so sorry. Are they mad at me?” I heard BMacks voice. “What? Of course we aren’t mad at you.” It wasn’t long before my blood pressure began to drop but the bad news was that I was peeing blood. Game over.
My focus now shifted to getting Carl across the finish line. I had my win at Javelina last year. It was time for his. After I had gotten cleaned up I waited at our self created aid station and it wasn’t long before Carl came through. He turned to me, “What the heck are you doing here?”
“Didn’t you hear? I set a course record! I just finished…” I faked a smile.
He looked at me sideways and I told him the condensed, less dramatic version of what had happened. He was not feeling well so BMack and Shana laced on their running shoes and headed out on the course with him. I felt better knowing he was not alone. As the sun began to set, it got very cold. A runner that had also dropped lent me his sleeping bag and I sat around the fire bundled up, chatting with others that had not made it. The death toll was becoming higher and higher. It was not long before I saw Erich. He had been MIA all day, apparently running just a little ahead of me, and I was missing him at all the aid stations somehow. “Me too,” he said, as he approached me. He had made it to mile 54 and couldn’t stop throwing up. Carl came back through around the same time and Amanda headed out on the next lap with him. He was feeling a little better, or at least it seemed. After we got him loaded up, I resumed my spot by the fire, sick and shivering. I wasn’t sore at all, but I couldn’t seem to get well from what had happened earlier that day.
Carl came walking into mile 78. His head was down, looking defeated. His achilles was in so much pain he could barely walk. After a very hard debate from all sides of the spectrum, the decision was made for Carl to drop.
And there we all were, Javelina: 1, CrossFit Endurance: 0. Over half the field dropped or was pulled that day so we were hardly in limited company. Do I think that the DNFs had to do with the training program? Quite honestly, I think every training program can be improved. Muscularly, I was fine. I got sore a little sooner, but my management of the pain was better and it didn’t really seem to gradually get worse. Just that dull discomfort. I also had ZERO problems with my feet due to proper run technique. No blisters or hot spots. They looked exactly the same after the race as they did before. Had I trained long slow distance, would I have crossed that finish line? Possibly, but maybe not. A lot of things can happen in 100 miles, even to the best of athletes. What I will say is that my body was not prepared for were things that it was last year. One being the heat, one being my body’s ability to process food and water in extreme conditions. Now having trained like that would I have a 200 lb deadlift, a 22 minute 5k or be able to do push ups? Not a chance. I’m a much better well rounded athlete than I was a year ago and I wouldn’t trade that for anything, not even another Javelina buckle.
I still believe in CrossFit Endurance. I don’t think you can ever meet your potential going out and running 100 mile weeks. I don’t think there is anything wrong with people that do that, but for me, I want it all… I want to be a good CrossFitter that can do work outs to standard and go out the next weekend and PR my 100 miler. I have nothing to prove on the Javelina course… the belt buckle is sitting in my living room. If I went through what I did out there so that others in our community like Kellie can finish their first 100 milers, it was worth it to me.
Moving forward… I had the best race of my life at a 50k, a month and a half after a 50 miler, Between those two events I did nothing but CrossFit. My thinking is that every other month, especially prior to an ‘A’ race, I will do a 50k or 50 miler. That will keep me able to recover and improve my CrossFit workouts, but at the same time test for things that might go wrong like salt/water ratios, heat issues, keep my stomach in a place that it can digest what I’m giving it in extreme circumstances. I’m not going back to long slow distance training. There is a way to do this and I’m all about using my body to test it out.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Younes August 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

No more than 20 miles a week, that is an accomplishment, cagnrots guys. Not having all those miles in your legs would make you a lot fresher for the event too. Strength & Conditioning this morning. 60lbs. for the Snatch workout, 120 lbs. for the 3 rep on the minute/10 minutes and made in through the Hang Pull-Ups. Could believe I was doing regular pull-ups without kipping. I’ve improved those a lot. Good workout today.

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