11/20/08

JJ100 Race weekend Recap Part 2of 2

And the story continues......
I was prepared for when Leigh came thru after her fourth loop (60 miles) to pace her even though earlier she told me that she wanted me at mile 75 (loop 6). She came in and it looked like the full day of sun beating down on her had taken some of her spunk out of her, so I asked if she wanted me to pacer her from this point forward. Her reply was that she would really like me to join her, but the really needed me later. I told her that I will be there for her when she needs me, and does she want me now. She said Yes. So, while some of her friends/crew took care of her. I got on my bottles/fanny pack and lights(s). We headed off for our 40 mile run.
The small talk started with introductions if each other, how ever she could have called me any name during the run and I would be ok with that. Discussed some logistics as to her preferences for me running in front, beside, or behind her. Whether she considered a slight incline as a steep hill yet, when she would walk, march, or run. I was trying to sum up her mental and some physical conditions after going 60 miles. Leigh seemed extremely coherent and alert, which makes my job of pacing and caring for her much easier. Later on during the first loop, I learned that she was having some stomach pain and so we went thru the nutrition checklist, since it was not morning yet, I ruled out morning sickness. It looks like we will have to suck it up and keep going. We managed a good pace that was manageable for her and I knew that I would not have any trouble keeping this to the finish line. Just as we left the second aid station (Jackass Junction) a runner indicated that there was a snake on the trail ahead. In the distance I could see another runner shining their flashlight on it, so as we approached Leigh swerved away and I shined my flashlight in the 15in long Diamondback Rattlesnake, this snake looked like it was sleeping and it was actually very cold out for snakes, so seeing one was a surprise to me. I looked for a marker and about 100 feet down the trail was a glow stick hanging on the tree. Now on our way back we could be alert to its presence.
The end of lap 5 (mile 75) I was feeling wonderful, and Leigh's friend from Fleet Feet came over and took to her needs while I restocked my supplies for the next 15 mile loop. It was around 1:15am when we came into the headquarters, and my son is sitting at the computer with Jamil. I told him to go to bed like his brother has done and I would see him in the am. As we were leaving, I asked Leigh's friend from Fleet Feet, if he sees my son up, to let him know that I told him to go to bed. If us parents don't stick together, then the teenagers will walk right over us. We were heading down the trail on loop 6 and only got about 1 mile down the trail when Leigh indicated that she intended to change her shoes out at the last stop, I looked at my gps and we were one mile out, I could run back and get the shoes for her and run and catch up to her and make the change at the next aid station, but not knowing which pair was hers and where they were, and leaving her on the trail alone. The risk was there for allowing Murphy and his laws to step in. I suggested that we change them out the next go around, and she seemed ok with that. We continued marching up the 7 mile hill and as we got to the glow stick, we both started looking for the snake again, it had crawled away and went to bed. We got to the next aid station and got some soup and took a quick potty break. As we left the aid station and took the left turn at the end of the park to head south, the full moon was out and the silouets of the mountains made is such a beautiful night. The trail seemed to go on forever and I even started looking for orange markers, and I put them out there. We never left the trail, but it seemed to go on forever. We did manage to get some good runs in during this segment, then we finally made it Jav. Junction. where she as a close friend at that gave her a chair massage, while I let the rocks out of my shoes and inspected my feet and applied some Vaseline to them. Leighs friend gave me some ginger cookies to feed to her every couple of minutes for the next stretch, which I did until she threatened to bury me in the desert if I gave her one more. I still have the cookies in my coat pocket, maybe I will mail them to her, or save them for the next time I pace her. We finally got thru the rocky down hill section and the sun came up, we could finally turn the lights off. With about 2 miles to go on this loop, we passed Anthony as he was taking the final loop, offered congrats to him and we headed in from Leigh's 6th loop. We got to the Start/finish headquarters area around 6am or so, the computer was down and timing was now by stopwatch. I indicated to Leigh's friend that she needed to change out her shoes and her blister popped an hour or so ago. I wish I knew this individuals name, but he was a wonderful resource and cared for her very well, what a great friend. After a few minutes of rest, we shook the dust off us and headed out for her final lap (10 miles). We both found some stored energy and were able to make some time up with short quick runs every minute or so. We came across Bob one mile out and he was heading in from his 6th loop (about 2 miles behind us). As we approached the final aid station I was running low on Gatorade and water, I forgot to refill at the last aid station, so I had to stop and fill up and we got some fruit and we were on our final 3.8 miles downhill to the finish line. We were doing some runs, but mostly walking because Leigh felt her heart pounding hard and I told her that we will only go as fast as her heart allows. Then on the down hill, I looked back and Gary Culver was right behind us. Gary is a runner that I run with each weekend for our long runs and canal runs on Thursday nights. The two of them started talking, and then Gary politely departed and headed down the trail with his long legs. Gary only beat us by 9 minutes.
When we got down the hill to the bottom of the riverbed and the 1 mile to go sign that I placed there on Friday, Leigh started to thank me for helping her and we were both a little emotional about the entire thing. For me it was making sure that she got to the finish line safely, and for me it was the first time I ran over 26.2 miles and I was wrapping up 40 miles. We got to a short distance from the parking lot and I saw my son sitting on his bike watching for us, I took off my waist belt and jacket and gave them to him so Leigh and I could go across the finish line together. We made it across the finish line at 28hours 7 minutes. I proceeded to escort her to the medical tent to have her blood pressure checked and make sure her heart was doing well. I gave the medics the information that I could, as to the times when we noticed issues, etc. I then went to get a quick snack, said goodbye to some new and old friends. and had to take off for home.

I got home and took a bath and crawled into bed while my wife took our daughter to a birthday party, I for some reason was to tired to attend. Got up after a couple of hours of rest and went to dinner with the family. Monday I was back at the gym doing jogging laps in the pool. wanted to take it easy for a day or two, but now I am back at the usual routine.

Now that things are back to normal, I can focus on family, training for ATY, and weight loss.

I am now about 6 weeks out from ATY (Dec 31, 9am) 24hr run. I can not thank Leigh enough for giving me the training I needed for the ATY, I can now taper from the long run and get a couple 25-30 milers in over the next couple of weeks. I am following a strict schedule on my running as soon as I write it down. In short I have no clue what I am doing. I figure it is like training for a 5k just multiply each days distance by 20...?

On the weight loss front, this past week, even with running 40 miles I was able to drop 8lbs in 7 days. I did only drop an additional .7 lbs yesterday, since I had birthday cake (my lovely wife turned 28 (again))....Happy Birthday Lori, I love you.

8 comments:

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Crap, I didn't realize yesterday was Lori's birthday. Julie is going to flip when she finds out.

I can't tell you just how awesome the transformation you have gone through is. 44 freaking miles (don't forget the 4 your started the day off with me). In your wildest dreams would you have ever thought you could do that?

Next stop, ATY!!

Jeff said...

Great report, Eric.

What an incredible event. Congrats to Leigh and to you for your pacing.

I suspect you'll be looking for pacers next year!

Blog My Runs.com said...

Eric great job out there pacing Leigh along, she told me you were so awesome!!

Way to go!!

J~Mom said...

You are such a kind and caring guy!!! What an amazing job out there! Leigh's friend is George I am pretty sure. :>)

Wes said...

40 miles? Jeesh, Eric! What are you? an Ironman??? :-) Yes, fabulous job!! You must be very proud. Almost made want to do a 100 miler... for about a second!!

Run Mommy said...

Hey there...found you on one my other blogs I read. Great job - crazy distance! Good for you and I look forward to reading more..

Kirk said...

Eric, the pleasure of meeting with you during the course of the race was not one lost on me. You and I, we both had our runners to take care of. But, in extending ourselves on behalf of our friends and fellow athletes, we shared the common thread of thoughtfulness.

I knew that Leigh was going to be in capable hands. Helping a little bit here and there was a privilege, but one that paled alongside that which you enjoyed by pacing her.

And, for the record, the guy with the Fleet Feet jacket was me. Thank you for your generosity and kind words!

-Kirk

Pat said...

44 miles in one day is amazing. Doing it for the benefit of a fellow runner is awesome. You should get a medal for that.