Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Race Review: Xterra 50k, Myrtle Beach. A.k.a. The Shit Wall.

A great athlete once asked "Whatchya' gonna do when Hulkamania runs over you?"

This guy is one of my few heroes by the way.

Well, I can tell ya what I did.

I got squished.

This was my 4th or 5th Ultra. The Xterra Trail Run series held right here in Myrtle Beach! At, you may have guessed it, The Hulk.

Have I talked about the Hulk before? Well, it's our local trail. It's basically our only trail. It's not Vermont, but for Myrtle, it is fan-freekin-tastic.

Saturday morning, 7am race. 10 minute drive from our house. Pretty kick ass right there. Also, a high of 80 forecast for the day. I'll take that too! No need to worry about layering or any of that nonsense.

So all things considered, this was going to be my race. 50k with a hopeful sub 6hr time. Should be a doddle.

Well, it wasn't, I got my ass kicked. Not by the other racers, but my own self.

Here is my sob story. Get out your little violin.

There were only 13 people doing the 50k. I don't know how many did the other distances, it doesn't enter into my story anyway, so screw 'em.

We started just a bit outside the Transition Area (TA) spot on 7am. At the "Go" two dudes take off like they're running a 5k. One dude, the winner of last years race I guess, and an elite Spartan racer dude.

Good on them, go have a good day boys. I'm just gonna crank out my 50k pace. 12min miles is my goal, about 5 miles per hour.

But see, when I train for this shit, with a few exceptions, I basically only run with Heather. So when I race this shit, I only wanna run with Heather. I don't want to see, hear, smell or even know there is another person near. I don't mean any offense and I don't mean to sound unfriendly, I'm stoked that people do this dumb shit. But I honestly just want to run my miles while quietly staring at my girlfriends rear end. I don't want to keep up mindless conversation, or feel obliged to warn everyone of trail hazards, etc. Just let me doy out and run.

Best view on the trail.

So all this means I have to try to break up the pack. And maybe I go out a little fast. Not like an 8min mile fast, but faster than is really prudent. I actually feel I was running a pace I could have kept for 10miles and still have the 12min pace for the last 20.

Haha, jokes on me.

8 miles in and I know I'm not gonna have a good day. At 2 miles I had backed way down to my Ultra pace, yet I feel cooked already. Why do my legs ache so soon?

12 miles in. And there it is. The Wall.
Not the Pink Floyd Wall.
And not even the runner's Wall, but The Shit Wall.

I couldn't see it, couldn't feel it, but I ran right into it. Then it fell on me.

I spent the next 8 miles slogging my through what was supposed to be a relatively great race. I would walk a bunch, then run a bit, etc. I can walk pretty fast, so I was able to keep up 4 miles an hour for a while. However that only lasted so long before I dragged the Shit Wall through a Shit Swamp and slowed down to 2 miles an hour. Several times I was forced to actually grab on to a tree to prevent myself from falling over.

Where's my tree, I'm about to hit the dirt.

At mile 20ish we hit the TA. I could have quit, I probably should have quit. I already had the T-shirt and I don't really care about the finisher medal.

But it was a nice day! And what the hell else did I have to do? So I dumped my Camelbak, my soaking wet hat and shirt, and shuffled off in an attempt to finish off this last lap.

Can you see the Shit Wall I'm dragging?

Let me say this to you too: Heather is still with me. You should read her race report, as she had a great day. But I'm out here dying. She essentially sacrificed her podium placing to make sure I didn't turn into vulture food.
She carried some water for me, and forced me to eat. She watched over me like a baby duck.

What is this? Ya know the make Dog Food like this now?

It's taken me several days to write this, so I completely forget what (or if) my point was other than to relay this:

Every athlete has good days and bad days. Turns out some athletes have downright shitty days. But if you're not a pro, which I sure the hell am not, then who cares?

I had shitty race, but a great experience. My girl stayed by my side on a well marked and fun course. We still both finished top ten (not hard in a field of 13) and got some cool pint glasses out of the deal. I got to run an Ultra on home turf. I got to eat and drink 70 dollars worth of Mellow Mushroom. I got to log another Ultra under belt. I also got to meet some other cool athletes.  

The T-shirt (Cotton, but nice) and the Top Ten Pint Glass.

I know you probably expected a bit more out of a race report. Like my Paris Mtn or One Epic, but I just don't have the time these days. Too busy working. I hate working.

I do have another big race coming up in May. Shooting for 100m or a minimum of 100k. I will try my best to have a better recap of that.
Then I also may be doing a Krispy Kreme Challenge. I should have some good puke pictures for that one!

Thanks for reading.

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