Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Death-Defying Driving, Exile Parking, Biomechanical Problems, Whining and Parasite Infestation at Miwok 100 km



Saturday May 3, 2008 I ran Miwok. The first and last time was 3 years earlier, when I took a wrong turn and ran an extra 8-10 minutes, and also developed iliotibial band pain the last third. Perhaps because I hadn't run it in so long, the race seemed more important to me, or perhaps I was just eager to solidify my lead in the competitive Master's division of the PAUSATF Ultra Grand Prix (although I decided that if Jean Pommier also ran to his potential, he'd beat me). In any event, I really wanted to do as well as I could at this race. A simple PR was not enough. I wanted to cut 75 minutes off my 10:44 from 3 years earlier, and come under 9:30. I felt I had it in me. At the very least, I was excited to have an injury-free and navigationally "clean" run this year.

Clean my ass.

That didn't come out right. Clean run my ass.

Things were looking good earlier in the week. I got good training runs in between night shifts over the weekend, and then enjoyed a (rare) light work week. I actually tapered for a change--after Monday morning's easy run commuting from the BART after my last overnight shift, I didn't run at all, and on Thursday did a hilly 75 minute hike carrying my baby, taking care not to work too hard. The only bad move, very minor, was quickly carrying up my 3-year old Peter up the stairs to our house Friday evening, because at school's playtime he "was in a throwing mood" explained his teacher, and so he lost one of his shoes. (Three days later, I would learn the whole story--somehow he convinced a bunch of older boys on the playground to play fetch and they should be the doggies, and so he would throw his socks and shoes, and they would fetch with their mouths these personal items to my son, the precocious ringleader. Woof woof, good doggies. And when the teacher told them not to put socks and shoes in their mouths like doggies, they answered they were cats in an attempt to be able to continue playing.

Uh, so am I supposed to be proud of my son, apparently a born leader? And do I complain to those parents for their kids' obvious lack of fetching skills?


Busted! Anyone seen a left black Converse, 7 kids?

I drove up to Marin Friday after taking my one-shoed son straight home. On race Saturday Peter had a birthday party to attend closer to home around 11, and we had a dinner party to go to at 6:30ish later that evening so carpooling was out (little did I know carpooling was mandatory), and I drove up alone. Late but quick dinner with his family and their neighbor, but I managed to get in bed by 9.


Yum yum, but I passed on the green beans...


By the way, my brother never runs, but the previous weekend decided to enter this 4km fundraiser run for his kids' elementary school--and won! He was apparently still sore 5 days later. 100% win rate--not bad!

Managed to sleep 4 + 2 = 6 hours before waking up for good around 4:25, half an hour before my cell phone alarm was unrealistically set. (I always set it too late, but always wake up early. Silly ritual.) Dressed, taped, lubed, gastroenterically relieved-- all ready, I climb into my Prius, turn it on, and the clock says 5:11 (race starts at 5:40). Way to fritter away time! No problem, should still make it if I drive smart. Already have my race number pinned.

MY RACE BEGINS WITH A PREMATURE ADRENALINE SURGE

It's a mile to the highway 101 entrance ramp from their house, about 10 miles north of the exit to get to the race. Uh oh! It's blocked off for major 580-101 interchange ramp construction! No problem, stay cool. I drive (highway speeds) along the frontage road to the next exit north, and get on 101 south--only to find that it's not just the entrance ramp but the whole highway that's closed. I look for signed indicating where the detour is, but can't. I end up heading toward east toward the San Rafael-Richmond bridge (away from the race). Okay, now I'm starting to sweat. I exit, quickly get back on the highway, exit and again, and find myself behind a long string of cars and trucks doing the same detour. By this time it's 5:23 and the race starts in 17 minutes. I get onto the highway and drive, uh, let's say, fast. My heart is pounding, but I take slow deep breaths, trying unsuccessfully to relax. Visions of running alone across the Rodeo Beach 15 minutes after everyone else flash in my mind. My stomach feels like it might perforate. I find little things to do to shorten my anticipated delay and stay cool, like putting on my cap, taking off my jacket.

The race day instructions tell you to go left after the exit and go up and down the big hill. Instead I try my luck and turn right for the shorter drive to the tunnel, which is one-lane and sometimes forces you to wait for your direction to get the green light. Of course it's red. A car leaves the tunnel just then. Hmm, I could be waiting another 3-4 minutes. It's 5:34 in Saturday morning. Who else would be leaving that tunnel? Isn't this a true emergency?

The official story, in case any traffic police read this blog, is that no one ran the red light and went through the tunnel (speed limit 25) at 60 with their brights on the morning of May 3, 2008. I would never do such a crazy, dangerous thing.

Bump! Forgot about those speed bumps!

Then where the two routes merge, there is a line of 6 or 7 cars stopped and I feel have the premonition of something very bad. I was thinking I was going to barely make the start. After an eternity, he gets to me. You're alone, well you have to park here, the volunteer traffic guy tells me, waving me to the field to the right. (I would later take a close look at and actually read the letter RD Tia Boddington sent out with our race numbers, which said under item #1 "We have extremely limited parking, please review the e-mail I sent about carpooling and parking permits. If you didn't get e-mail me and I'll re-send." Although I read and followed "Please write your name, state and age on your bib," I somehow managed to completely miss these lines and the email.)

I guess it's ironic that as a compulsive composter/recycler Prius-owner, the only one in my group of ER docs who runs/bikes/uses public transportation to get to work, turns the shower off to lather up, etc.--I get majorly busted for not carpooling to this race.


photo taken post-race, before taking my Prius out of the exile lot for non-carpoolers.

Instead of invoking my carpool lane sticker rights, or simply ignoring him and driving, I'm too docile even as I'm freaking out to fight it. I park, then run out. Whoops, left my bottle inside. I run out again. "How am I supposed to get to the start, I ask." "Is there a shuttle?" The guy tells me "no, you'll have to run." "Have to run? Are you kidding me?" "Look, what's the big deal," he asks me. "You're going to be running 15 hours today, what's another 10 minutes?" As if there is a point in educating him, I violate the rule that you always be nice to volunteers and shout at him that I'm not going to be running 15 hours and this is crazy. I see another car drive up and I go up and beg the driver for a lift to the start. She's hesitant-- probably scared of this raving lunatic. She's actually stressed out since she's late volunteering at the start. I convince her and even though I don't remember her name, I will love her forever and ever.

So it's 5:45 but fortunately the race hasn't started yet, maybe race director Tia got word of the detour. I'm still worked up and coming off my adrenaline, so probably not registering half the quick conversations I hold. One of my favorite fellow bloggers, Don Buraglio introduces himself (yes, come to think of it, I've never actually met him in person) and instead of having a normal pre-start 2-minute conversation, I tell him about the craziness I've just gone through ("...if you see a pool of blood on the course, it's from my stomach.") Baldwyn Lee from Vancouver introduces himself and tells me he saw my name on the registered list for the STORMY 100 mile race in August. I see another yellow Sportiva Mountain Running Team shirt and recognize speedy Thomas Reiss. I see Jean Pommier, whom I thought was my only PAUSATF Grand Prix competition, and wish him luck. Chihping Fu see me and maybe takes my picture.

I GUESS I MADE IT

Tia Bodington starts the race at 5:56, and I we all start running across that beach. I'm glad I'm wearing gaitors. And more relieved that against all odds, I am starting on time. My stressed out feeling dissipates.

ME WALK? AND RABBITS (or so I thought)
mile 0 (start) to mile 16.0 (Muir Beach)

So starting up the paved hill (Field and Conzelman Roads) I find myself running several meters behind Jean Pommier and next to elite runner Kami Semick, who's won the women's race both times she's run it, in 2005 and 2007 (9:06:56). I take advantage of this rare opportunity and strike up a conversation with her and later Beverly Anderson-Abbs who was right behind us. Jean stays intense and doesn't join in. (Per his blog, he was wondering where we all had the breath to talk and run uphill.) At one point we catch up with Jady Palko, who somehow for the first time notices how, uh, svelte I am and exclaims "DAMN YOU'RE SKINNY." Later I ask him if he still does a lot of triathlons, and he says not since his mother has dragged him out to do these ultras. "Besides, do you know how much Ironmans cost now? $500!" I can't remember if he speeds ahead or the opposite. As we start downhill, Kami and Bev and totally talking it up. Eventually it spreads out a bit and Kami gets ahead and Bev a little behind

I remember 3 years ago walking up a lot of the hills, as I used to do at a lot of races. Since I've since developed the ability to run up more hills, I did minimal walking, was able to chat, and managed not to lose my breath. But, I wonder as I write this if was straining my calf...

I guess at Tennessee Valley, Kami takes a long time since I can't see her ahead of me running down the slightly downhill paved road before heading up Coastal Trail and Pirate's Cove. If Palko was ahead of me, I pass him here. The trail gets technical and steep as I remember the spot where both of my calves cramped and I went down on the steps at last year's Golden Gate Headlands 50k, before Bev handed me some electrolyte tablets so I could finish. (I was sort of hoping to be running with Bev at that spot so I could thank her again, but she was about a minute behind me then). As the trail heads up, I catch site of a guy who I think is the studly Navy Seal David Goggins, who lets me pass. I consider starting a conversation with him, but feel like I should just pass him. Perhaps in retrospect I should have been hanging back more.

WHY GUYS, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR WIFE/SISTER/MOTHER/GIRLFRIEND/ELITE FEMALE RUNNER WITH WHOM YOU HAPPEN TO BE RUNNING
mile 16.0 (Muir Beach) to mile 28.4 (Bolinas Ridge)

Out of the aid station on the single track, I try to adjust my cap, whose brim feels like it is warped, maybe from the last wash. Unsuccessful, I finally take it off, and notice that I've been wearing it inside out through numerous photos by the pros (I had deliberately put in on during my frenetic drive to the race). I feel like I've discovered my flies down and no one's told me.

Soon, either I catch up with Kami Semick or vice versa and am leading the way, trying to keep a relaxed pace. Eventually Redwood Trail ends, we cross the paved road and start up Deer Park Fire Road, the big hump on the course elevation profile. I plan to try to slowly but constantly run up it, without pushing too hard. Kami trails me a little and eventually catches up, as my lower right calf and achilles is feeling like it is about to go into spasm. She tells me I should take care of it now, but I tell her I'm trying to make it to the aid station at Pantoll (mile 21.7) rather than stop.

Okay, maybe it wouldn't've made a difference, but in retrospect my advice is, if you find yourself in a race running with an world-class female ultrarunner, named Kami Semick or otherwise, maybe you should listen to her. The calf never spasms but does get tighter and whenever the grade changes I find myself scared to push off with my calf lest I snap something. I let Kami pass and ahead of me to the aid station.

There I ask if I can stash a few electrolyte tabs, but they limit me to 1 or 2, which I guess is fair when there are almost 300 runners yet to stop there. My bottle gets filled, I toss my Gu wrappers and stash 2 new gels, and then start to run out.

They say you can only store 7 things in your short-term memory. I think during ultras, it becomes 4 or 5. I forgot to stretch my calf while at the food table. I stop by a chair and do it for about 4 or 5 seconds, then eager to get going, take off again. Not exactly physical rehab therapy. But I am doubting that even spending a minute on it would totally relieve the tightness.

Kami is still taking it easy, since I catch up with her easily and start running on her heels. She tells me I can pass at any time, but I decline and tell her I'll do it only if the sound of feet right behind her gets her nervous. At this point I'm feeling a little more fatigued than I usually do and should, and figure she knows what's she's doing so staying with her is not a bad move. We do more chatting, about our shared weakness with altitude, and I get to hear about her experience running in the International 100km championships.

The wooded trail gives way to single track in a meadow. I am about to tell her that I remember the trail being more cambered last time, when the trail indeed becomes more cambered. Both of us (and I'm sure a majority of the runners) start inverting our ankles and a few times almost slipping off the trail, so we slow down a bit. Then I hear someone catching up behind us, in defiance of the crappy trail surface. I say, "Wow you've got balls!" which makes Kami respond with a "?!" and then I explain "I'm talking to the guy behind us."

Ballsy guy turns out to be Mark Lantz, whom I thought I saw at the start but wasn't sure in the dark. I hadn't realized he had gotten off the wait list. He tells me he got called just 2 or 3 days ago, and thus hadn't tapered, having done a 40 mile run earlier in the week. He then wonders why he does this run every year when he hates the course so much. Kami says "well it's beautiful" which is true, but he's right about several points which I see if I can guess. Mark even hates the fireroad section to and from the turnaround. The course is in many ways very painful, but we are still seeming to have a good time, and he's in great shape.

HANGING OUT WITH THE GUYS
miles 28.4 (Bolinas Ridge) to mile 35 (Randall turnaround)

Either before or after the aid station, Mark and Kami pull ahead, sort of as if Mark was running off with my woman. It couldn't've lasted forever, I console myself, unable to keep up. (The 2 would end up finishing 42 & 37 minutes ahead of me, stellar performances I doubt I could match even on a perfect day.)

About 1 to 2 miles later, I hear more steps coming from behind and as they pass me I see it's Sean Meissner from Oregon and Thomas Reiss from San Luis Obispo. I'm really surprised to see Thomas coming from behind me. They encourage me to stay with them, and welcoming their company, I find myself able to keep up without killing myself. I tell Sean that I'm actually carrying a sheet with splits from the 2005 race, with his row of times ending with 9:28 highlighted as my "best case" target. We soon figure out we are actually several minutes ahead--maybe I'm doing that bad.

I'm surprised Thomas isn't running way ahead, but he demonstrates this very humble and respectful attitude towards the 100k distance, since he'd never raced more than 50 miles and didn't want to burn himself out gunning too many long races too fast. Sean and Tom's plan was to run together until Pantoll on the way back (49.5 miles), after which Thomas, if feeling up to it, would kick into high gear.

Before too long, the leaders start heading back. I test my recognition of elite ultrarunners with Sean. I get Dave Mackey who Sean quickly calculates is on record pace, but I have to ask about Lewis Taylor, no one knows #3, Hal Koerner's easy. After we turn left for the big descent, we see in fifth Jon Olsen (who needs at least 3rd for states), Scott Jurek's a no brainer, but I don't recognize Topher Gaylord...

Sean and Thomas start pulling ahead and I have trouble keeping up.
I'm surprised not to see Jean Pommier, who took off quickly from the start, until fairly close to the turnaround, as well as Mark and Kami ("We were wondering where you were..."). I really thought they were way ahead. Maybe I would be able to catch up?

ALONE IN THE MARIN WILDERNESS (FOR THE MOST PART)
mile 35 (Randall turnaround) to mile 58.4 (Tennessee Valley)

I'm quick at the turnaround aid station and leave before Sean and Thomas, but they quickly catch up and overtake me. (They would end up doing very well, and Sean would set a 10-minute PR.) Now I get to see all the runners close behind me--Bev, probable Goggins, Alan Abbs (Bev's husband). I'm feeling tired and not climbing as as fast as I'd like. I make no ground on anyone.

After repeating the mistake of calling Ken Gregorich someone else (I think I called him Joe this time) and then realizing my mistake a few seconds later, I decide not to mention any names unless I'm 100% sure I know it. But since it seems every third person is greeting me by my name, I feel a little bad. I easily recognize from her blog, Olga, although we've never met in person.

If I buzzed past you without greeting you by name, please send me a note.

I notice that my Garmin is probably undermeasuring the traveled distance by about 2 miles, so after a while on the fire road, I'm wondering how much longer to the aid station. I ask someone who doesn't greet me how far. I specifically want to know if it's safe to swallow my Gu gel, since my bottle's empty. He smiles and says "Oh, it's just around the corner."

(TRAIL ETIQUETTE 101)
Okay, I don't know about you, but when someone asks me that question, I do my darned best to give them an accurate estimate of how far they have to go, even switching to the lap mode of my GPS. I don't think giving a cutesy "it's real close" answer when it's not is ethical or considerate. Volunteers being off on the distance estimate is one thing, but someone actually running the race--inexcusable. So with Gu in my mouth and throat for several minutes (it ended up being more than 2 miles) with no aid station in site, I'm a little.....disappointed in my fellow ultrarunner. NOT COOL. Smart ass, please reform your evil ways.

Besides waiting for the aid station, I keep expecting to see Joe Swenson, whom I first met while running with him on this mid-course out and back section 3 years ago. As the runners get slower and slower, I'm fearing he is bonking worse and worse. Eventually I figure he didn't start, confirmed by his email to me later that weekend--alarm clock problem. Well I guess at least I made it to the race.

Hitting the single track, I find almost all of the runners coming the other way, step to the side, prompting my repeated litany "sorry, thanks, good job, keep it up." A few times I see people in the distance, making me think I might be gaining on someone, only to find that it is a hiker.

Bev is the first to overtake me, shortly before the wooded mostly flat area leading up to Pantoll. She's in good form and no way can I try to keep up. I'm now double-chicked, but since she's Bev, no major disgrace.


about to lube my armpits at Pantoll, photo suspected to be taken by Agnes Pommier

After Pantoll, it's a short wooded section and then down the long Deer Park Fire Road. My knees are starting to feel it and the trail is rock hard, so I intentionally try to control my pace. Plus I'm convinced I'm not catching up to Jean Pommier, Mark Lantz or anyone at the rate I'm going anyway. About half way down, I start to hear pounding foot steps behind me. Despite my intentions and my knees, my racing instinct makes me pick up my pace a bit. It takes him almost to the bottom to overtake me. We cross the paved road and as we start back on Redwood Creek Trail, the dude virtually stops--"I'm going to walk a bit here" he tells me. My right knee tells me I'm an idiot as I easily make distance.

After 1/2 a mile I see the turnoff left to Miwok trail, which the race directions warn us about. The next couple of miles is dense foliage, so dense it feels like bushwhacking at times, and includes plenty of easily identifiable poison oak, some of it at face height, another reason to hate (as well as love) this course. I would later conclude this was where I got the parasites...

During the short descent to Highway 1 aid station (mile 54.7), I hear "old man coming up." It's Kevin Rumon (6 years my senior), whom I met and beat (he will never forget this) at my homecourse Firetrails 50 last fall. Now it was his turn to smoke me, even as he tells me "You will probably catch up with me at Tennessee Valley." I had been thinking about wiping hand cleaner all over my legs at the aid station, but am distracted by Kevin, who I feel I should try to keep up with. "It's a little up and then mostly downhill" a volunteer tells us.

It's actually a big long hill up. Try as I do, I can't muster the energy to keep a decent pace, while Kevin, looking strong, machines his way up and I lose sight of him even before the end of the 1.8 mile climb. Now I'm 4th in my division for PAUSATF so my points from this race probably won't count in the final standings. As a further insult, before I crest the summit, I see two more people creeping up on me. Soon they overtake me on the downhill. As it turns out only the woman is racing, explains the man, apparently her pacer, manager and press agent. She's in the zone, so I ask him her name, he says Prudence, and in my best French pronunciation I guess "L'Heureux" since I've seen her name in race results. I am both dismayed that she is triple-chicking me, but tell her (well actually I tell him--she's in the zone) that she is running a really great race, sub-10 hours and in 3rd. They fly down a series of hills. My knees don't let me.

As a final demoralization, yet a third runner zooms past me on the final descent to Tennessee Valley, probably David Goggins. What bad way to finish. I'm wondering how many it will be the last split to the finish.

WELL, AT LEAST I DON'T FINISH TOO BADLY
mile 58.4 (Tennessee Valley) to mile 62.4 (finish)

I catch up with and confirm the identity of David Goggins starting the uphill trail out of the aid station. He's walking. I ask him if he's cramping or something. No, he answers, but tells me he just ran McNaughton, the 150 miler last month. 33 hours. (I figured that was good enough to win, and as it turns out it's a new record for the race's 2nd year). Whoa, I shout to him, just 2 weeks ago, right?

So I'm thinking, if I can't beat a guy who just thrashed himself winning a 150 mile trail race 2 weeks ago-- Navy Seal 25-hour something 2007 Badwater finisher (which would've won that race almost every other year) David Goggins or not-- well then I suck. Or I finally caught up enough on my nutrition and stretched out my cramping calf that I could run up the hill at a more self-respectable pace. I don't look back. I run in the form I haven't in about 35 miles.

The final descent has too much pavement, but I figure even dirt trail would hurt anyways. I catch up with Prudence's pacer having trouble with the steep downhill, who says he's not doing a good job since she took off way ahead, but I tell him he actually did a great job. Luckily no one close enough ahead or behind to warrant doing more damage to my joints. The finish people sight each runner one the ridge above the finish, and so I get a couple minutes of constant cowbells and cheering as I make it in and then gave Tia put the medal around my neck.

ACTUALLY THE CLOCK IS STILL RUNNING
mile 62.4 to mile 120-something

I've never so badly wanted to hang out and mingle after a race--I'd traded words with half of the finishers ahead of me, and this definitely was the race to exchange good war stories. It's cozy in the tent, great weather and high end post-race food, much of it even organic (!). Unfortunately, I was probably an hour from home, and we had dinner plans another 30 minutes south. Plus, I wasn't anywhere near my car. Knowing that a few words always leads to a chain of longer conversations, I gathered two plates of food, got my goodie bag


Top-of-the-line race swag. Clockwise centripetally from upper right: official Miwok tech shirt, $5 off $25 purchase at Whole Foods. Moeben sleeves (score!). Sunsweet prunes. Gu gloves. Montrail Ultra Cup cotton tee. Ultra Running to which I subscribe but won't get this issue for another 2 weeks and it will probably be majorly ripped. Miwok ale. Miwok mug with label on bottom as RD Tia warned us stating external printing has lead and cadmium in it, surprise surprise--made in China--so don't repeatedly lick the label. Zombie Runner goodie bag with coupon, lip balm, fruit bar. finisher's medal at top of posting.

and then decisively and painfully departed, sacrificing dozens of commiserating and celebratory conversations. I convinced a couple driving out after seeing the former Nike missile launch site (they open it first Saturday of each month) to drive me out. We're surprised it's so far that we backtrack thinking we passed it. I get to my car and resist and the temptation to return to take a few photos for his blog...you guys hate those post-race mugshots anyways, right?

Traffic is bad around Berkeley as always, but I make it home by 5:45. Once I feel while driving something crawling on my thigh and pick up a tick which bites me (I didn't know they did that, just thought they slowly burrowed their head into your skin) and I drop it. Probably the same one crawls onto my other leg and so I blot it with lube. Very distracting and dangerous doing all that while exhausted, short of sleep and driving. Another one falls out of my shoe later at home. Neither looks engorged, but I hate ticks.

After a quick shower, it's more miles to Fremont for dinner with friends and bringing out kids. I wear shorts so I can ice my right knee. Somehow I manage to stay up until 11:30 before passing out.

In retrospect, not dealing with my calf earlier was a big mistake. Once I alter the way I run due to pain in one part of my leg, then other parts start to tighten and hurt. Soon, the front of my ankle started to tighten up. And before the middle of the race, my right knee would be hurting. When my calves spasmed a few miles from the end of Golden Gate Headlands 50k last August, running just a few miles to the finish with altered mechanics left me with knee pain that plagued me for the next 6 weeks, through Rio del Lago.

Why did my calf tighten up? From all that crazy tense driving to get to the start?--we do use the right calf to accelerate and brake. From being too rushed to stretch out post race? From running too much up the beginning hills when I should've been walking?

Perhaps all or none of the above. The longer the race, the more chances for problems to arise. I only know that despite lots of reasons NOT to run this again (including too much time away from my family), I'll be back before too many years to run the sub-9:30 I should've. Indeed the chance to correct mistakes and improve is part of what makes this sport so fun and addictive.

Congrats to everyone who finished, especially those who DID accomplish their goals. And thanks to RD Tia Boddington and all the race volunteers (including Mr. You're Running Fifteen Hours Anyways--you were just doing your job!)



Blogged Race Reports (alphabetical by last name) -- will try to continue to add but maybe there will be too many

Photos

first published a little raw on Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 10:30 am

13 comments:

Rajeev said...

Mark,

You always crack me up! :) Congratulations on your finish and good luck with your next race.

Rajeev

Eudemus said...

Nice job and great report. Of course, you forgot to include your finish time in there. Congrats on the sub-10 hour Miwok!

Joe Kulak said...

You are a machine! Don't know how you hold up with all those top-notch performances! You still running Kettle Moraine? I'm toying with it. Depends on work schedule.

Brett said...

"Clean my ass.

That didn't come out right. Clean run my ass."

HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Baldwyn said...

Man, the report of your drive to the race gave me an adrenaline rush. I'm glad the start time was adjusted accordingly. Also, thanks for putting that trail ettiquete gem into writing. On top of managing your fluids/nutrition, I hate when something is "around the bend" and it takes me FOREVER to get there. Makes me feel slower than I am.

Gretchen said...

Okay you flew by me without greeting me by name Mark, how rude! ;) But then, you probably couldn't recognize me with the camera in front of my face...at Bolinas AS waiting to pace my runner. You looked great!
I almost said "Hi" to you at the start, but right when I recognized you Tia announced "60 seconds" so I thought maybe it wasn't the best time. Plus you were talking to Scott Jurek and I was having a little star-struck-ultra-runner-shyness. Now that I know how stressed you were at the start I'm glad that wasn't our introduction.
Don't feel bad about your uber unhip non-carpool. I think when we own up to our stupid mistakes in our blogs, opening ourselves to public riddicule, we are automatically forgiven.
Entertaining post as usual! Someone once complained that fast runners write boring blogs, but you continuously prove that one wrong.

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

Great report (as always), but I was kinda missing the post-race mug shot.




kidding.





Look forward to meeting you in person some time in the near future.

- Atlanta Trails Dave (I'll need a new name)

Donald said...

Your reports are such a whirlwind - I love them.

Great job out there in light of everything that happened leading up to the race.

Sorry I didn't get to talk with you more after the race. I guess next time I'll have to finish faster, before you blow out of there. Um ... yeah.

Baldwin Lee said...

Good to finally meet you, Mark. You had a great run.

I had a less than stellar day, but managed to finish.

Stormy 100 mi will be a breeze compared to Miwok, bring your road shoes.

What were the odds there would be another ultrarunner out there with the first name as Baldwyn?

olga said...

Mark, what a day! No, really, that's why I said - I take no excuses...I think half the racers always have something happening to them, it's like a karma, if we're so nuts, we might as well suffer to a full potential:) Good run, man!!!

rick said...

Haha he looks busted. Hey what a warm though and you made new friends, upside down cap and everything. You are the crazy starter and that volunteer that gave you a ride won't be forgetting you soon. Anyway I think that trail on Bolinas Ridge has become more cambered over the years. I don't remember feeling like I'm slipping off the trail in years past.

So what could you have done to the calf if you had a chance to do it all over again? Would stretching or massaging it have helped? It's been my experience that once something like that sets in, it's there to stay. I guess stretching or massaging is better than no intervention at all.

funkylegs said...

Great race report, Mark. Your candid commentary cracks me up! Looking forward to seeing you at Kettle this year.

Cheers,

Kirk

The Funkylegs Chronicles

Gary Robbins said...

Hey Mark, I guess we briefly met out there as you complimented me on my downhill running heading into Muir Beach.
Definitely a tough but beautiful course, and can't wait to have at er again next year!
Cheers,
Gary Robbins