Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile #3-- Sh*t Happens Again

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run, July 16-17, 2011

(Was gonna start on this year's TRT race report, when I realized I needed to finish and publish the one for two years ago.)

I drove up with Baldwyn Chieh (running the 50 mile) and Joe Swenson (in the 100 mile with me).  

at pre-race check-in in the Carson City main plaza
Dinner was at the Olive Garden in Carson City with several of my Quicksilver Ultrarunning teammates, some of whom I met then for the first time.  I never realized how popular some of these chain places were.  There was this line going out the door.   Luckily, a few of us had left early to stake out a table.  These are a great bunch of runners.  If I lived in Silicon Valley and had a normal schedule, I would hang out with them more often.  We would sweep team wins in all divisions of the Pacific Association of the USATF Ultra Grand Prix.

There was more snow left on the course this July than I'd ever seen before. 

forget whom I stole this photo from, but thanks!
One slope the most obvious option was to sit on your butt and slide down.  Fine when it was soft in the daytime, but probably not so fun if not downright treacherous when it froze over at night.  Fortunately a few dedicated volunteers had dug out steps in the slopes for us to use (though it still required much caution.)

Things started pretty well.  My altitude headache wasn't too bad.  I was thinking this might be another sub-24 year.

Early in the race, I ended up running a while with Jen Benna.  She (and later I would learn several others) had read my 2010 race report and studied my GPS recordings with the goal of sub-24ing.  It blew my mind that she was still lactating her infant daughter, and was going to pump her breasts on a few uphills.  I wondered: if my breasts were overflowing with milk, would I be able to run nearly this fast?

Even two years later, I still don't know the answer to this question...

pretending to lead the way for Jen, photo by Brett Rivers

Once out of the Red House Loop, I started to really feel the altitude and I just couldn't keep up with her.  I need to come up with a term that conveys that this isn't just being chicked, but chicked by lactating woman pumping her breasts while racing.  "Lactochicked?"  She made a pretty decent charge for 1st place, finishing 2nd only to my Quicksilver teammate Bree Lambert, who was not lactating.

Jen's race report

Having been dumped by Jen, I tried to be a guy and just hang out with guys, but with my midday outfit I looked too dorky, so got abandoned by all fellow dudes too.

(I think) this was Matthew Schmidt, who would sub-24, on our way out of Diamond Peak.

Major fashion offense in order to protect my skin.
I hope my wife never sees this.
She would be so embarrassed and never let me run again.
Or leave me for good.
I have worked on this since.
My third outfit above Marlette Lake, as the sun and temperatures started to dip, by Baldwyn Chieh

All the snow and rain meant lots of puddles and wet feet.  Since not so warm, I changed shoes before and after 2nd Red House Loop.

puddle on Red House Loop earlier in the day, by Baldwyn Chieh

At Diamond Peak the second time, I realized there was no way in hell I would make 24 hours, so I decided to take care of some blisters forming, probably due to running with soaked feet, and sliding around on ice and snow.  There was a volunteer podiatrist who taped me up.  I forgot the doc's name. He was awesome.  It was well worth the time.

Then I asked where the bathrooms were, and people there pointed me up this seemingly long flight of stairs.  I went up, minding the bonus elevation that wasn't getting me any closer to the finish.  After trying to use the toilet, I went out and noticed the elevator.   Mental note-- don't take the stairs next time.

Okay, this next part is kind of gross, so if you don't want to be grossed out, skip the next paragraph.

Soon after I left Diamond Peak before the really steep part of the ski slope, I felt like I had to pass some gas, but when I did, runny fecal liquid shot out all over my shorts.  Was this a leftover from my HURT 100 run half a year earlier?   It was a huge mess.  I looked for leaves or something at the side of the trail to wipe up the mess in my pants, lest I start chafing.  Unfortunately it was several miles before I could wipe myself up and sanitize my hands in the portalet at Tunnel Creek aid station.

Sometime after this fiasco, I then tripped over a branch sticking up from the trail.  I was majorly plantar flexed as the stick got caught on the upper on my right Raptor, ripping a huge hole in it.  Would have made continued running quite problematic, but I made it to the next aid station.  Another nifty use for duct tape:

Fairly new shoes-- thankfully, I am sponsored by La Sportiva.

The sunrise while around Marlette Peak was beautiful-- last year I ran these miles in the dark, so consoled myself that my slower pace allowed me appreciate a great view.  No camera, so you will have to settle for a much less orange, less pink and less dramatic pic taken by my Quicksilver team leader Greg Lanctot 1-2 hours later.

Finished more than 3 1/2 hours later than 2010, but still helped my Quicksilver Ultrarunning team with PAUSATF Grand Prix points.

Our Quicksilver Running Team finishers:
Jim McGill (who finished DFL this year, continuing the honored tradition I started), me, team coach and cheerleader Greg Lanctot, RCAA female champion Bree Lambert, Harris Goodman, Pierre Couteau, Sean Lang
I suspected that I was the only runner in this universe to have earned all three buckles.  Come to think of it, I'm glad I didn't finish under 24 hours again.  From top to bottom: sub-35 hour buckle (2006), sub-24 (2010) and sub-30 (2011):

race results with splits -- men's/overall winner was Jorge Maravilla, whom I met 10 weeks earlier running PCTR's Diablo 60k (which he also won)

race website

GPS recordings of my run
part 1: miles 0-35
part 2: miles 35-70
part 3: miles 70-100

Baldwyn drove my Rav most of the way home.  I don't remember being jostled by any huge bumps, but....

The next morning before driving to the BART station for work, I found I had a huge flat, and had to load the kids in the car so their mommy could drive me there.  I wasn't quite in the mood to run there (and hadn't left the time anyway.)   Nail stuck in there.  Thus, adding several hundred dollars in new tires to the value of my silver buckle.


Matthew Schmidt said...

Thanks for the shout out & the pic, Mark (even if it was a couple years later). I'm impressed you just keep going back for more of this tough race. Nice work!

Matt Schmidt

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Hi, Matt, thanks, same to you. Great TRT sub-24 that year, and your Angeles Crest last year-- think you finished 5 or 6 hours ahead of me. Been good seeing you occasionally at races.

Jean Pommier said...

Wow, Mark, so vivid account even 2 years after the race, you carry many memories in your mind! And CONGRATS for your amazing no-DNF strike!!

Olga King said...

Mark, you get stories and sh*& happening to you and you make it read like almost fun! Sometimes:) Congrats on a buckle collection! I need to come back and get that unfinished business done...

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Hi, Jean-- I worked from 6 am to 10 pm yesterday with 2 hours to get between sites. So there is no way I could ever write and finish a report from scratch. I have about 20 reports in various stages of completion, but as time passes, the urgency to finish them diminishes. This one was mostly finished. Having just run the same race was impetus enough to complete the recap.

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Olga-- thanks to you too. Sh*& can be fun, especially after you've climbed out of it.