Race report: Psycho WyCo 10-mile

Psycho WyCo 10M

10-mile #4

February 26, 2019

Place: 140/192

Time: 3:15:13

logo

Psycho WyCo Run Toto Run

I signed up for this 50K several weeks in advance, knowing my massive amounts of overtime at work were not allowing me to run much — if at all. I actually didn’t touch my running shoes for three weeks leading up to the event.

That fact, coupled with my hatred of hills, snow, ice, and most everything about this event, convinced me pretty easily to drop to the 20-mile distance before the race began.

selfie

Pre-race selfie.

I knew less than three miles in that much wasn’t even happening.

Let me be clear: I love running. Trail running is a lie, as far as I’m concerned. There was almost zero running for me in this. This is, simply put, rock climing. No thanks. Sloshing around through the mud, slipping and sliding on the snow and ice? No thanks.

So I took my 10-mile finish and bounced while I was still in one piece and in fairly positive spirts. Not much else to say about this one, other than to say maybe it’s good to do a trail race once every three or four years to remind myself how much I enjoy actual running — not that I had really forgotten.

Not much else to say about this one, so here are some pictures to document the event actually happened — and then we’ll just move on.

fire at mile 8

Fire pit at mile 8.

swag

Race swag. A mug I won’t use, a shirt I won’t wear, a sticker I won’t display, a bib for distance I didn’t run. LOL. Nice. 

Mile 90 photo

Shot of the day. Photo courtesty: Mile 90 Photography

Next up: Liberty Hospital Half Marathon — March 2

Race report: Hangover Half Marathon

Hangover Half Marathon

Half marathon #24

January 1, 2019

Place: 35/115

Time: 1:57:07

logo

Always good to start the year off with some miles — cold as they may be.

With a real feel of 8 degrees throughout the race, this would be pretty frigid. Thankfully, though, I managed to warm up — or at least go numb — a few miles in. That made for a tolerable run for the duration.

Love the cheap, low-key feel of this one.

I found a parking spot about 30 feet from the start line and lingered in my car until I absolutely had to get to the start line. From that point, I wasn’t thrilled about running. It was cold, man.

selfie

Pre-race selfie.

And of course…

bib on shorts

Bib on shorts.

pre race cold

This perfectly captures my mentality in the moment: “Don’t talk to me. It’s cold. This is dumb.”

I didn’t look at my watch once until I stopped to pee, so I genuinely had no idea what my pace was like. My watch was covered by my sleeves for warmth, so I was actually fine with not looking at my watch. I looked once at that point, then not again until after the turnaround.

early in race

In the first mile or two of the race.

I was moving faster than planned overall, but I had kept it steady thusfar and I was feeling pretty good.

After the turnaround, another runner caught up with me and we chatted a bit. We quickly realized we were running a similar pace and actually wound up running the last six miles or so together.

Actually made the miles tick by a little quicker having some company — especially with the gloomy, depressing-looking conditions.

Thanks for the miles, Rachel.

uphill 3

About mile 11.5.

Aside from the mile with the turnaround with hills and ice thrown in (underlined below), my splits were fairly consistent, considering the conditions.

8:17, 8:19, 8:21, 8:25, 8:59, 8:42, 10:22, 9:06, 8:53, 8:35, 8:47, 9:16, 8:58, 7:35 (0.28)

finish 2

Finish line photo.

I really enjoy this event. As long as I live in the area (sort of), I’ll probably continue keep it going at this one.

Next up: Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon — January 19

Race report: Heartland 50 (DNF)

Heartland 50

April 29, 2017 — Cassoday, KS

Place: x / 17

Time: DNF

Well, this one was… Interesting. I’ll get it out there from the get-go, in case you missed the title or stats from above — I did not finish this race. Spoiler alert: There will be no tale of triumph here.

But with it being my third crack at the Heartland 50 and fifth time on the course on the flint hills outside of Cassoday, KS, it wound up being an experience worth a write-up anyway.

shirt + bib.png

Shirt and bib for this year’s race.

Unlike in 2016, when it rained all day/night before the race, the weather was actually fairly calm this year (lol) — until race day. The rains came in around 4 a.m. and didn’t stop until, well… I’m not sure if it’s stopped yet, to be quite honest. I knew going in it would be a challenge, to say the least.

In a word: Layers.

pre race shot

Pre-race shot indoors. Ah, the great indoors.

I love this event. The course is challenging and often a struggle, but I always see a few people I know or am at least familiar with. The same was true this year. A handful of people I’d met previously or seen at other races gathered in the building before heading to the start line.

But as always, my favorite person remained the one next to me…

w Kami at Heartland

Me and my favorite friend before I embarked on the day.

I was more bundled up than usual due to the conditions. I had on a dri-fit short sleeve shirt with a long sleeve cotton shirt over it. And on top of that, a thin, hooded Under Armor shirt/jacket thing. That hood saved my world for the short time I lasted out there.

I also wore compression sleeves — mostly for warmth — and a newly-purchased pair of gaiters to keep rocks out of my shoes. In hindsight, I would’ve preferred rocks in my shoes. Those things chaffed badly. They probably won’t get worn again.

Anyway…

To call the conditions brutal would probably be a vast understatement. With “real feel” temps at 34 degrees, nonstop heavy rains only getting worse throughout the day and winds between 20-30 MPH and gusts of 40+, I was freezing cold and soaking wet — not a great combination.

After 1 hour — 5.61 miles

I was moving along well. Faster than my last race, which was in much better conditions and on a smoother course. Chatted a bit for a couple miles with another guy who lives in Topeka. His name was Jay and he was running the 50K.

I ran more steadily than planned, but at a comfortable pace while we talked through the rain and wind until I finally let him go as I took a walk break around mile 5.

Pre Battle Creek

Before the Battle Creek aid station; this was somewhere around mile 6 or 7.

I reached the Battle Creek aid station 8.45 miles into the race in 1 hour, 34 minutes. There, I saw my friends Elden Galano and Melissa Bruce.

Melissa, being the just-the-right-amount-of-bossy friend she is, demanded I eat something. Pretty sure I gave her a “Yeah, yeah, I know” as I grabbed a baggie of Cocoa Puffs and continued on my merry way.

I mentioned to Melissa that I was already considering dropping to the 50K — partially due to the super dumb conditions, but also because Kami had not been feeling well pre-race. You see, we are expecting our first child (Cue: “Aww…”) and she’s been feeling it lately.

Luckily, it turns out she was feeling better than she had been before the race. But the conditions were only getting worse.

After 2 hours — 10.2 miles

I’m not sure I was even to mile 10 when I decided I’d had enough. I was going to get to her at the aid station at mile 16 and call it a day. Though my pace slowed, I was still moving steadily through the crapfest of a storm.

After 3 hours — 14.7 miles

I had occasional moments of insanity where I considered continuing. But as someone who never gets cold, I was frozen. I was soaking wet. My clothes were heavy from the rain and everything was getting worse.

Sure, I could change clothes, dry off and continue, I thought. But then what? I’m soaked and still freezing half a mile later. Like I said, it was only getting worse.

focused at 16

See?

I just wasn’t having fun. So I called it a day. I had a difficult time justifying another 10 hours in the mess that I’d already spent three and a half hours in. Not worth it for me.

While I have zero regrets, I hate quitting. But I was not alone. From the Lapland aid station at mile 16, we gave a ride to Krystle Dalke and Bob Woods, who had also opted to drop. We later heard word that a couple others had dropped at 16 as well.

If I hadn’t just run a 50-mile PR two weeks prior, I may have felt the need to try to prove my toughness and continue. But, I opted to save myself for another day, go home to a hot shower and a big burrito.

reflecting at 16

Should I keep going? Lol, nah.

While 38 started the 50-mile race, just 17 finished. That’s less than half, folks. Power to those 17. They are more badass than I am — or at least more so than I was on this day. And I’m okay with that. Great job, folks — Adele Jordan, Will Sprouse, etc. Lots of really tough runners out there who battled the elements for a lot longer than I did.

Funny thing: While one of the things I struggle with most during an ultra is the ability to actually eat anything, it was here — at the aid station where I’d decided to drop from the race — when I ate the most at once that I’ve ever eaten during a race.

Well, I only ate one thing (cookies), but a lot of them. By my count, I scarfed down four Oreos and seven — yeah, seven — gingersnap cookies. Those were amazing. Thanks, Sherri Rider!

And of course, thanks to my friends Jason Dinkel and Barry Smith for putting on this event. I know it’s not easy — especially when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. You guys are appreciated.

DNF rain

It’s too bad I didn’t finish this race, because the crap conditions made for some pretty sweet race photos.

That damned Heartland course has gotten the best of me multiple times.

Despite two 50-mile finishes, I’ve now got a Heartland 100 DNF and a Heartland 50 DNF to my resume there. Taking into account my time as a pacer in a previous year’s 100, I have now put in 198.89 miles on that course.

I expect someday, there will be more. It won’t be this fall, as I do not plan to attempt a fall 100 with Baby Mead being due October 30.

But someday — I’ll be back. Until then, Heartland…

Race report: Chocolate Rush Half Marathon

Chocolate Rush Half Marathon

Half Marathon #13

February 4, 2017 — Olathe, KS

Place: 80/215

Time: 1:58:45

After a five week stretch of running at least 5 miles or more every day (though mostly treadmill miles), my ankle was slowly feeling a little bit stronger heading into this one.

The Chocolate Rush Half Marathon took place in Olathe, starting and finishing on the campus of Mid-America Nazarene University.

Another cold race, similar to the one I did on New Year’s Day, five weeks earlier. This one was windier, however, which made it that much less desirable for most folks. But the course was a good one and mostly flat, which suited me just fine.

I decided to start with a pace group for the early miles, which I never do. If I’m being honest, I don’t like talking — or listening — when I run. Well, to strangers, anyway. Maybe I just don’t do small talk well. I enjoy running with friends. But when a stranger tries to chat my ear off during a race? I’m not all about that life.

Anyway, I stuck with the pace group for most of the first 6 miles or so and kept them in sight through about mile 9 or 10. I sprinkled in bits of walking the last few miles, as my recent head cold had made it tough to breathe in spurts — although not nearly as bad as I’d expected.

But my lungs worked harder than the rest of me seemed to throughout this one, as my legs, feet (ankle included) and brain all felt pretty good following the race.

Since I’ll likely never PR this distance again as long as I live, I really just wanted to run fairly consistent and finish sub-2 hours, if at all possible.

Once I lost sight of the pace group, that plan was in jeopardy, but I managed to keep my walk breaks brief and stay on track, coming in just under the two hour mark.

I did visit a little with a girl over the last few miles who said this was her first half marathon. She is a soccer player at MNU, who was talked into running by some teammates. After going together for a bit, then alternating leads between the two of us, she finished strong, just ahead of me.

My splits were good early and tapered off late. Still managed to maintain a sub-9 pace overall with an 8:58 through 13.24 miles.

8:44 | 8:30 | 8:15 | 8:17 | 8:23 | 8:12 | 8:38 | 8:34 | 8:55 | 9:41 | 9:55 | 10:13 | 10:22

Factor in the sweet, chocolatey food at the post-race festivities, this was an event I’d definitely do again.

16426072_10101182106955442_3116393621858993626_n

Race swag + my pink-laced kicks. Loved the medal from this race, not to mention the post-race chocolate.

chocolate-rush

Hold up real quick, lemme pose for a second.