Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sulphur Springs 2011 - Pacing Russell

This was my second pacing experience and it was awesome, yet again.

I jumped in on the Saturday evening at around 9 or 9:15 PM. Russell was done with his 5th loop and had equalled his previous longest-distance record. Only 60km to go.

My man Russell looked great for a guy who just ran 100 km. I had seen a few people come in that looked pretty terrible (Hi Chris!), so that was a relief. The course was wet and muddy, the day had been humid and all those factors combined were taking their toll. By the time we started running it was dark and we took off in the dark.

The night was warm and wet. All night I felt a weird disconnect between how I felt and how I knew Russell felt. Both of us are from Quebec and we became known as the “French Connection” at some aid stations. I tried to gently help by initiating a gentle jog every time the trail was flat-ish. It’s easy to “forget” to start running again when you’re as tired as those guys.

After our 7th loop, with one loop to go, Russell announced that we were going to walk the last loop. We walked for more than 10km on that loop, until he realized that he could probably make it under 28 hours. That (and wanting to be DONE) gave him the motivation to get running again and we ran a fairly solid second half. I was happy to start running again, cause I was starting to feel very sleepy. Running, a cup of instant coffee and a volunteer’s Tim Horton Breakfast sandwich, brought me back to life. Dear volunteer, I’m so sorry. I couldn’t say no when you offered. I don’t know how you guessed that I was dieing for that sandwich. Was it the drooling?

According to the splits, we did the 8th loop a shade faster than the 7th so we must have done something right.

That hill at the start/finish is STEEP.

We got to the finish with time to spare and Russell finished his first 100 miler in 27h 50min in pretty difficult conditions. As I mentioned, it was muddy and it rained on and off pretty much all night.

I have to admit that my feet were in pretty rough shape for a 60km run. I felt solid, but my feet were hurtin’. I have a fair sized blister on each pinky toe and one of the toenail (left pinky) will probably fall off soon. Weird. Maybe there’s been too many wet races in a row.

Mohican is coming in less than 3 weeks now. I’m going to take those weeks fairly easy, with a decent run next weekend but nothing like this. There’s nothing I can do to get fitter now, I can only screw it up. I’ll try not to.


Anne said...

THere was talk at the aid station I crashed about how good your lights were... what do you have??

JD said...

Hey Anne, I had a Petzl Myo XP as a headlamp, and also a Petzl Tikka XP2 attached to my waist, using the Adaptor Kit.

chris mcpeake said...

I looked bad? I cant believe that. I felt super .... HA

I thought I might catch you on the last loop but no dice.

Oh I hear that the mohican is suppose to be muddy this year. If there is no rain they plan on wetting down the course by hand just for us.

JD said...

AND I read on some guys blog that the big challenges for him (in 2009, I think) were the heat, the mud and ... HORSE FLIES. OMG, my worst nightmare.