LooseCrew-JeffO: Collegiate Peaks 2009


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

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Collegiate Peaks 2009

I hadn't even had time to completely unpack from my Arizona vacation with Zane Gray. Mostly I'd sifted-out the dirty clothes washed them, and repacked so fast I only hoped I hadn't forgotten anything.
I drove down immediately after work and barely made it in before 7pm when they close the kitchen. I usually get 2nds and 3rds, but my body has not been the eater it historically has been. One go-through was enough to fill me to the brim.

I have to warn... I've been this way several times a year for the past 16 years, and never have I seen so many cops. In only 120 miles, I saw more cops than I saw the entire 2000+ mile Arizona trip. Not only that, they weren't even a tiny bit lenient. I thought a state cop was going to pull me over in South Park. He pulled onto the shoulder giving me the evil glare and turned his car around. I was only going 3mph over the limit. But he never chased me. Then in BV, cops were writing tickets for a ridiculous 15mph speed limit. As the race director said, "I know 15mph sounds absurd, because most of us in this room can run faster than that." No shit.
And as I was writing this, a BV cop pulled someone over across the street. Then a county sherrif pulled in to back them up. In all, I must've seen 9 different cop-cars on the prowl. I digress...

My plantar faciitis was not in good shape. I first felt it during the Moab 100. It bothered me slightly throughout the Zane Gray 50. Zane is a slow 50, so no wonder it never became a factor, but CP50 is a fast course. I feared it would be a factor, and it definitely was.
On Wednesday, I got tired of a blistered and itchy toenail, so I pulled it off. There was nothing but a crater, which is what I like. Toenails are stupid and just get in the way.
Also, on Thursday, I did a dumb thing. I ran with the Denver Trail Runners, including a crazy hell-bent-for-leather downhill through rocky single-track that left the rest of the group far behind. (Me and my crazy downhill!) So my legs were not fresh at the beginning of the race. If I'd been smart, I would have only ridden my bike during the week.

The forecast called for 50% rain, with a start temp of 34F. I packed too heavy. I took my running pack with hydration bladder, and I wore four layers, plus had an ultra-lite rain jacket.

In spite of my injury, and my pack weight, I hoped for a PR under 9:30. And in fact, above the ankles, I felt great.
Starting out, to stay on-pace, I noticed a woman with a most-amazing figure and graceful sway - and wearing tights to show it off. I tried to keep her in sight, but she got away from me, since she was a 25-miler. But I caught her at the first aid station. I kept passing her though, and then I passed her for good.
But then Gina Harcrow caught me. We had the same pace plans, so it would seem we would be good pacing each other, but she caught me about the time my plantar faciitis was at its worst. So we only ran together for about 10 minutes and then she left me on the summit climb. I kept her in sight all the way to the summit aid station, but then she was hopelessly ahead.
I picked up two other guys going the same pace. There's a section of trail where every year, the lead runner passes by. I let the guys know this was the spot. John Anderson was a little behind, but still passed us within that same section just two minutes after I predicted. Nick Clark was seconds behind.

My first lap was a good 35 minutes too slow for a PR.
If life has taught me anything, it's that it ain't over 'til it's over. I still felt good. I had peed 7 times in the first lap. In fact, the first time, in my usual style, I pee on-the-move. I waddle to keep from peeing on my shoes. I thought I had privacy, but five women passed me during my whiz. Oops.

At the turn-around, I dumped my pack, tied a long-sleeve shirt and rain jacket around my waist, and took off again.
I felt tired, but was still looking forward to the 2nd loop, which was a very good sign.
To be honest, I took more ibuprofen than advisable. Vitamin I is what kept me from slowing dramatically. And any time the build-up started to fade just a little, the pain in my heel slowed me down. There were two periods when this had happened. One started right before Gina had caught me, and the next started at about mile 26. The 2nd one wasn't as bad.
The whole 2nd lap was a mental battle that I mostly won, fighting the pain.
At mile 30, my gut started slight cramps and gurgles. At mile 40, my gut really felt bad. This is the sort of thing people blame on Heed. I've used Heed for years and have always preferred it, but this time it seemed to be the cause. And the result was that I stopped eating and drank less. But I battled on.
I had caught up to Marcus Mueller, from Eagle, CO, at the summit aid station at about mile 33, and we periodically ran together the rest of the way. We kept trading places. When my gut started bothering me, I stopped to do a #2 next to the road, and had barely gotten my shorts up before Marcus passed me. I managed to catch him again, and then passed him significantly far ahead. So I was very surprised to see him at about mile 46+. He passed me with ease and made it stick.
By that time, I had figured it out that I wasn't going to get my PR, but I could make it very close. With such a goal gone from my plate, and my Moab 100 Achilles injury flaring up, and my new plantar faciitis injury flared up, feeling such misery so close to the end, it was extremely tempting to just walk it in. But I stubbornly wanted to know where I could be at my PR of 9:32. I chugged on, albeit not quite on race-pace. At 9:32, I was across the last bridge on the paved road leading to Buena Vista.
At that point, the only incentive I had was to finish under 10 hours. I slacked-off like a complete woos. But sub-10 isn't a bad time, really, just nothing to brag about. I didn't care about the exact time, and don't know what it is. Nine:fifty-something.
Afterward, I was limping pretty significantly. I'm pretty buggered-up.

I had a great time. I got to meet all my usual friends, re-acquaint with less-frequented friends, and made some new ones.

In the aftermath, laying around the rec-center, feeling sore and tired, my friends John Wright, Naz, Ralph, and Scott asked if I wanted to go for beer and pizza. Man, I jumped right up! Trash me, thrash me, then BEER ME!
After dinner, we drove into the hills to camp and do irreverent guy-talk around the caveman-campfire. (What's said in the guy-camp stays in the guy-camp.)

Next week is the Greenland 50K. A measly 50K is like taking a week off.


At 10:17 PM, OpenID footfeathers said...

Good god, I looked at your race calendar and I thought it was the national calendar for all ultras in 2009. More power to you and great job grinding it out yesterday in BV.

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Nick said...

Jeff - way to gut it out. You had me chuckling through your race report.

The cop who ticketed me seemed to think he was doing me a favor for just fining me and not adding points to the ticket. What can you do, tell him he's a prick!

Wish I could pee on the move. I have to stop and focus. I've tried doing it on the move, and achieved nothing but a cold willy.

I was on the vitamin A(leve) diet. Not a great idea, but it sure is effective.

Rest up this week! Still can't believe how many races you've got on the calendar. Have you checked out the TR race series? Keep racking up those finishes and you should be in the running.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger olga said...

I hate you. In 2005 that's what I did - raced myself in shape. The more I raced, the better and faster I was. 22 ultras plus 2 pacing and 1 DNF at Leadville60. May be I should give up my son and stay single:) Nah, whatever. I'll just read your reports. As for gut - could it be overload of Vit I? I had that at WS'05. Big time. Very big time...Take care of that plantar, man.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude! "I'm only going 3 mph over the speed limit" is like a girl saying "I'm only a little bit pregnant" And as to your Phoenix women,girls with big boobs need love too!

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Team Gangels Runs said...

Good job Jeff. You are just cranking out the races this year.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger RunColo said...

Nice write up, and yeah you're getting in a lot of races.


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