I messed up my with my shoes, nutrition, and hydration...again.
The good news is that I did complete 4 laps and got a 100K buckle and didn't have to go to ER. ;) So that's a plus, right? Here's the story.
On Thursday night, I drove over to my sister's. She lives about 30 minutes outside of Phoenix and she was going to be my "crew" for the weekend. I got to see my nephew & nieces for a little bit on Thursday night and then Friday morning. After I took them to school, I went to the store to pick up the last of the food/supplies I wanted to take. My sister got off work at noon and after we ate lunch, we drove out to Fountain Hills where the race was being held.
We drove straight to the McDowell Park to check things out and they had already got most of it set up. So we got to see the layout of the start, Javelina Jeadquarters, in the daylight.
@bayou's pic of it here). While I was in line for my bib, my friend Cliff (from ET51K) came over and I got to meet his pacer Jeff and introduced him to my sister. We waited a little bit for Josh to come done and then headed into the pasta dinner. We ate with Cliff, Jeff, and Josh (see a pic of that here) and they were scaring my poor sister! I'm trying to get her started racing but they have all been doing these crazy, hard, long runs and she thought they were nuts. ;) In a good way. I asked her after if meeting them and hearing what they had done made me seem less crazy to her and she said NO. Ha!
Me and Josh at packet pickup:
@batelauer) and also found Cliff.
Me and Robert:
The race started at 6 am and it was still dark when we headed out. I had my small Petzl headlamp on and it was fine. The start was crowded and most of the runners at the back where I started were walking so that's what I did. No dodging runners in mile 1 for this race! It was nice and cool and kind of surreal. Watching the sun rise over the valley as we ran was pretty darn cool.
Javelina Jundred is a loop course. You do the course in opposite directions each lap which is what the sign with the skeleton above is reminding us. There was about an 800 ft gain each lap with the "halfway" point being Jackass Junction. The other 2 full aid stations were Coyote Camp and Rattlesnake Ranch. There was also a water only stop, Tonto Tavern, between Coyote Camp and Jackass Junction.
Loop 1 - 0-15.4 miles
I felt awesome on the first loop (check out this pic here). I had food in my pockets and was carrying my water bottle so didn't stop at the aid stations except to refill my water bottle. I was trying to keep my pace to about 14 min miles and I had no problem doing that in the first half of loop one. It was rocky and had a gentle hill so that slowed me down. Once I left Jackass Junction though it was a smooth downhill and I went quicker than I should have. I finished that loop in 3:35. I just got some food and then headed out for my next lap. I told my sister that I planned to do it slower - about 3:45 or so she would know when to expect me.
I saw Cliff for a lot of the first lap and got to see Robert and Josh as they headed back on their loop 2 so that was fun. Oh, and this was what the views looked like while we were running.
I was still feeling great on loop 2 and tried to take it even slower to get my average pace down. I was doing a 9 min run/1 min walk and then walking any "hill" I felt like. I grabbed some food at Rattlesnake Ranch and Jackass Junction and had them refill my bottle with ice water, which tasted SO good. I was doing S Caps every 45 minutes to and making sure I drank water during the 1 min walking intervals. I felt like I had a good schedule going and my stomach was doing fine.
After I left Jackass Junction, the rocky part started. It started warming up too and I was starting to feel it. I was afraid I was going to run out of water before the next aid station so was conserving a little. I totally forgot about the water stop, Tonto Tavern, between Coyote Camp and Jackass Junction. I think I started getting behind on my hydration at that point. When I got to Coyote Camp, I saw Josh there and he told me I looked hot (what every woman wants to hear! ;) too bad he didn't mean it that way) He also told me to sit down but I said no, I needed to keep going. He left and I was shocked to see him heading toward HQ instead of Jackass Junction. I knew something had to be wrong for that to happen. I drank a bunch of coke and water and asked them to hose me down with ice water and then headed out myself. I finished loop 2 in 4:01 which I was happy with since it included stops at the aid stations.
Oh, I met Carilyn (@CarilynJohnson) out on the course during this loop which was really cool and got to see Cliff and Robert on their loop 3.
Loop 3 - 30.8-46.2
When I got back to HQ, my sister was waiting for me. I asked her to get my drop bag so I could change my shoes. The course was rockier than I expected, not bad but a lot of the kind of rocks just sticking out of the ground. That's the kind of rocks that did my foot in last March and they were doing a number on my foot again. I knew I needed to change shoes and get the little rocks out of my shoes when I got back to HQ so didn't want to waste time at Coyote Camp and that's why I'd told Josh no. I wanted my heavier Saucony's with the sturdier sole/rock plate so I could run more comfortably. Looking back, I wish I'd started out in them.
I saw Josh at the aid station and he told me he was really sick - throwing up, etc. so I found out why I'd been able to catch him. Poor Josh. I grabbed a few things to eat, including a popsicle (totally yummy) and went to sit down in the shade to change my shoes and socks. My sister also had a Fanta Orange soda for me and that tasted so good. I spent about 20 minutes there and then headed out. My dad, stepmom, and niece were there but waiting for a shuttle so I didn't get to see them. I told my sister since it was hot now I planned to take it even slower so don't expect me for 4 1/2 to 5 hours that way they could go to the casino if they wanted.
As I headed out for my 3rd loop, a bunch of people were looking and pointing at something in the desert. I asked what they were looking at and it was a coyote! So cool! :)
I think I did pretty well from HQ thru Tonto Tavern. But then fell apart between Tonto Tavern and Jackass Junction. I ran out of water and I was so hot and starting to feel woozy. That is not fun when you have to pick your way thru rocks. After twisting my ankle a couple times, I gave up running and just walked. People were asking me if I was okay so I must have looked bad. :(
My calves and hamstrings were trying to cramp and when I stopped at Jackass Junction for food and water, they started in earnest. Oh, and my inner thighs decided they wanted to join the party. I felt a little dizzy and nauseous and was flashing back to Summer Spectacular 50K so I knew I needed to cool off. I sat down in the tent but was still feeling bad and my legs were cramping so I laid down on one of the cots. The medics at the station made me drink a ton of water and take some S Caps and bananas and oranges.
Listening to the other runners in there who were dropping made it so tempting. I knew I had to get up and get moving or I'd give in and call it quits. But then my right calf cramped up bad. It was brutal. The medic grabbed my calf and he really worked it to get rid of the cramp and then loosen it up. I was so thankful for that. Another runner came in who was in bad shape so I got up so they could have the cot. My inner thighs were still not happy campers but at least I wasn't dizzy or nauseous anymore. I had them refill my water bottle, stuffed some ginger snaps in my pockets, told the medics I was leaving, and left. I'd spent 50 minutes there and it was cooler and the sun was setting. I had my small Petzl light in my pocket but the moon was pretty bright so you didn't really need it on the smooth section. I found I was able to run a little and I think I did probably 50/50 on the way back to HQ. I stopped at Rattlesnake Ranch but food did not sound good at all but I had a little broth and a quarter Nutella sandwich.
It was harder to see who was who in the dark but I did see Josh and Cliff going back in which was nice. Oh, and I heard coyotes howling for the first time that night as I was getting close to HQ. A pack with pups which was a total trip!
So, I finished loop 3 in 6 hours and 35 minutes. Considering that included the 20 minutes at HQ and the 50 minutes at Jackass Junction and the stop at Rattlesnake Ranch, I wasn't too far off in my time moving to what I'd told my sister but I could feel time slipping away from me and it was frustrating.
Loop 4 - 46.2-61.6
When I got in to HQ after loop 3, I went to where my family was and they helped me get ready for loop 4. I had a slice of pizza and the rest of the Fanta from earlier. I changed out of my Run It Fast tank into my Jackson Jackass 50K shirt (for luck) and grabbed my jacket and another light. I also grabbed my mp3 player and stuffed my pockets with pretzels and shortbread cookies. I had given myself 15 minutes for this stop and left right on time. I said goodbye to my dad and stepmom and told my sister I would see her in hopefully 6 hours or less. I saw her sooner than I expected because I left going the wrong way! So I had to backtrack to go the right way. Oops. :)
Once again, I think I did okay going up to Jackass Junction. A lot of walking, a little running, and mentally feeling okay. I stopped at Rattlesnake Ranch again for another square of Nutella and banana and a refill of my water bottle. My niece had filled it for me at HQ. I'm sure she told them water but it was filled with Heed and I couldn't drink it so didn't have anything to drink between HQ and RR. I tried a couple sips but it just was...gross. I'm sure it's not but I just can't handle it. So there was that. But I didn't really think about it being a bad thing. I was just moving and listening to my music to focus on something other than what was ahead.
I passed the 50 mile mark on the way to Jackass Junction! My first 50 miler done. I was in new territory since leaving on lap 3 but I thought I would never see 50 miles on my Garmin the way things have been going. So that was very cool. But I was cold and tired when I got to Jackass Junction so I stopped and sat down and had a cup of soup. Robert was there and he wasn't doing to good. I spent more time there than I should have but finally got going. I left there at 11:30.
Things went way south when I hit the rocky part. My right foot was killing me and I was trying to place it very gingerly on the trail. Which means of course that I slipped a few times. And the way I was placing my foot bothered my shin so that started complaining. I guess I hadn't been eating enough because I also had a huge drop of energy and it seemed like forever until I got to Tonto Tavern. I sat down on the bench there and started eating the pretzels I had in my pocket to see if that would help. There was someone manning Tonto Tavern this time and I thought I might be hallucinating so I asked him if he was a real person. He said yes. But wouldn't a hallucination have answered me as well? ;)
So I left there knowing I had 5 more miles to go. It felt like forever. I wanted it to be over with but the only way out was to walk. My legs were seriously noodley and it was not helping me plant my foot safely. Oh, and I'd developed blisters on my toes. But finally, finally I got to Coyote Camp and forced myself to drink some coke and eat something. I think I had a brownie and something else but I can't remember what. I tried not to linger and didn't let myself sit down again even though I really wanted to and wondered if I should take care of the blisters but I didn't. It was mostly smooth after that so I got a little quicker at least.
After Coyote Camp, I heard coyotes howling again and saw a couple of shooting stars. And then I started thinking about how slow I was. I got a text from Josh at 3 am and I told him I had 1 more mileish to go. He told me to take it just 1/10 of a mile at a time. That was kind of hard for me to do because my Garmin had died somewhere after Tonto Tavern. But I knew what he meant and I just kept moving forward. I was depressed about how much walking I'd done on that last part so I tried throwing in a few spurts of running. And by golly, when I got near HQ, I forced myself to run to the start. I was going to finish running at least!
So I finished lap 4 at 3:23 am. Yes, lap 4 was 7 hours and 12 minutes. Pretty bad, huh? That's flipping depressing. It took me 21 hours and 23 minutes to run 61.6 miles.
I was done. My foot and shin were done. I could have gotten 1 more loop in before they pulled me from the course but I didn't think my foot would get better, only worse so I told them I was dropping and they gave me my 100K buckle.
Pretty cool buckle, huh? My first! Woo!
My sister and my niece were waiting for me when I finished. I didn't want any food or anything. All I wanted to do was get my shoes off. When I took off my socks, I got to see the blisters. One on the outside of each big toe. Nice, big, red ones. Ugh. I waddled over to the med tent and asked them if they could help me with them and they cleaned them up and bandaged them for me.
Then we left to see if we could get a hotel room but the 2 hotels closest to the race were full so we decided to just head home. My poor sister was super tired! We got home about 5:15 and I cleaned up and then fell into the sleeping bag. Seriously. Just kind of keeled over into it. I slept for maybe 90 minutes, if that, but my foot and shin were hurting so bad it was fitful. I gave up sleeping at 7 and started icing them.
And that's what I did most of Sunday. Iced my foot and shin or applied biofreeze to it. I could hardly walk on it and my family was just shaking their heads about how I could think it was fun. I was not a good advertisement for racing on Sunday!
I also was still nauseous and did not want to eat but I forced myself too because I was still cramping up until dinner time on Sunday. Even my hands were cramping. I wanted to thank my sister for helping me at JJ100 so I said let's go out to celebrate. I said I didn't care where we went as long as I could get a steak. They picked Olive Garden and I was good with that so that's where we celebrated my first 100K.
Followed by celebratory sundaes:
So I have mixed feelings about this race. I am not happy but I'm not too sad either. I am really disappointed and mad that I didn't make it to 100 miles. A friend had sent me a text a week before JJ100 and said something like I would be a 100K finisher soon. He was totally joking, I think. But I am still pissed that I proved him "right".
And yet, I am proud of myself for not dropping during loop 3 and for going out on loop 4. Proud of myself for doing my longest distance to date and for getting my first buckle. Heck, I'm proud of myself for showing up and not letting fear keep me from getting to the starting line. Yes, I was afraid that might happen. But it didn't.
I also enjoyed the venue/course and seeing the runners on the course multiple times, especially it was cool to see Mike Morton and Hal Koerner running the same course I was!
When I think back on the race, I have more positive thoughts about it than negative. I still have doubts about whether I'm made of stern stuff but I am willing to try again. I think this was a good lesson for my next one. Right now I'm planning on one in March. Hopefully. There is still a big jump from 100K to 100 miles but it's not quite as scary as it was before. I can't wait to try again! :)
Well, that's it. My JJ adventure. Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!
P.S. In case you were wondering...Josh did 100K (after being violently sick and getting attacked by a jumping cactus during his run!), Robert did 70 miles (when a massive blister on the bottom of his foot forced him to drop) and Cliff finished his first 100 miler in 27 hours and 30 minutes! And surprisingly, I wasn't the last 100K. Only 160 of 364 runners completed the 100 Miler. Another 159 runners completed at least 100K. I was 316th. You can see all the results here: JJ100 Results.