LooseCrew-JeffO: Moab Report (finally!)


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Friday, April 04, 2008

Moab Report (finally!)

Yes, I'm frickin' BUSY!!!!
I still haven't fixed my flat tire (story behind that.)

Got plenty of sleep the week before the race, plus Thursday night was great with a late Friday morning rise without alarm clock.

I drove out Friday morning before the race. Lunch was at Frisco, CO, but then straight on to Moab. I had plenty of time to find the race start and talk to Reed, Glen, and Alec.

I didn't go to bed all that early. I rented the DVD "Mist" and watched the beginning on my laptop. I still got a goo solid 6-7 hours of sleep.

I wasn't really very prepared. I hadn't taken this race seriously. i said it was a 100-mile training clinic. Still, things went smoothly until the night gear switch which was a total cluster-phuk for me. I was speaking Belgian, and hoping I wasn't offending anyone for speaking in tongues. But then I was finally gone with all the proper gear.

This course is beautiful. The views from the course are incredible the way only the Moab area can create them, and the course itself is equally beautiful.
You start down a hard road, then into sand and packed dirt for the first climb. Then you drop like a rock for a short ways. The footing is good, but it's slanted some and there's a precarious drop on the right that could rough you up if your feet slipped. But with good traction, it was okay.
Down into a mostly dry drainage, through some rocks, up into sand. The sand got deep - the kind you shouldn't fight. Then up onto slickrock.
Slickrock isn't slick. It isn't flat. On the one-hand, the footing and traction is normally fantastic. normally. There are cracks, some parts with rocks strewn about, some pits that take you by surprise, and of course, downhills pound your feet to hell. I hear it's harder than concrete. I'm not used to that, but the Moab Red Hot 50K+ did help warn me.
You climb to 486ft above the low spot.
I heard there's a 430ft climb. This may have been true of a previous course? I don't know. All I know is I plotted it out and I got 626ft. Times 18.6 loops makes it approximately 11,580ft. That's way more than they claimed, but much less than the LT100, so I figure it's good training no matter what it is.
I walked all the uphills and ran all the downhills - flats optional, but the sand was SWEET! Yes, after climbing on slickrock for miles, then running down, hitting the road with an inch or so of sand was BLISS! And this lasted all the way back to the aid station. The sand reeled us in.
Yes, there was pretty much only one aid station - the start/finish.
They did, however, have an unmanned water stop a couple of miles from home station.
After the slickrock, the road dropped into a creek. On the right, you can see an incredible shear-line caused by dramatically wind-worn, rounded sculpting, with bowls. Then a faultline sheared a bowl and everything else so clean the cliff is almost totally flat! And it rose up several hundred feet!
The course meandres through the creekbed, then back to a nice sandy road.
The home station had everything, with a revolving menu. Potatoes in a chicken soup, pasta, PBJ wraps, bananas, and sometimes other things or request. Reed knows how to treat ultra runners!
Here's my official lap splits:
Lap 1 - 1:10
Lap 2 - 1:10
Lap 3 - 1:10
Lap 4 - 1:10
Lap 5 - 1:10
Lap 6 - 1:09
Lap 7 - 1:14
Lap 8 - 1:20
Lap 9 - 1:24
Lap 10 - 1:18
Lap 11 - 1:25
Lap 12 - 1:49
Lap 13 - 1:35
Lap 14 - 1:53
Lap 15 - 1:48
Lap 16 - 2:45
See how consistent I was the first 7 laps? And these splits tell the story - struggling to maintain, not so bad, first 10 looking good, okay 11 not so bad...
Oh, the agony.
My lungs filled with fluid. Anyone near me could hear the bubbles in my lungs and my cough was relentless. My nose gushed so profusely that I didn't want anyone around me. I was a noise-factory of blowing, coughing (sometimes into a convulsive fit that had me doubled over), farting, belching. Hey, if you don't know me and you were out on the course, I was that noisy guy!
A woman looked to be having problems around 50 miles. I asked if she was okay. She responded, "I'm okay - how are YOU? You sound terrible!"
I gasped for air, pursing my lips on exhale to force more air into my lung's alveoli.
But I figured I could keep it up. My legs were STRONG! Several people said so, and my times for the first half of the race were good and steady.

I never felt nauseous, but my stomach did grow slightly particular. I was able to eat anything, and there was never any indigestion.
My knee issues that started in Leadville and DNF'd me at Boulder were GONE! Awesome!
The hydration was nailed - the electrolytes were nailed. I consumed plenty of callories - but enough? Does anyone consume enough calories in a 100? We burn fat. I have enough fat to run 500 miles.

So why did I nearly collapse during that last lap? Why did I DNF at 85.92 miles?
That's covered next...


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