Saturday, September 8, 2012

Headlands 100 Course Change/ Injury Update

A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.
-Bill Cosby

Situation - Status
"PACER: A very good friend who runs with you for part of a 100+ race... with some of the more difficult races, having a pacer is more of a security blanket than anything else. Someone to make sure you don’t deliriously wander off the trail or freeze to death on some remote section of the course." (definition courtesy of Outside Magazine: Ultra Lingo). 

A few months ago I was confident I would have two pacers. Three weeks before I have one, and 2 weeks prior to the race zero. I cannot blame anyone for not wanting to pace or bowing out because it is a thankless job that you do because (1) you are intoxicated at the time of commitment (2) lost a bet or are in debt or (3) are an ultra runner. The guys that were going to pace me have young families so that's a solid excuse as well.

DROP BAG: something in which to pack your preferential race day items (extra socks, fried sweet potatoes, headlamps, etc.). Volunteers will typically collect this motley assortment of bags on check-in day and drive them to designated aid stations for en-route access."(definition courtesy of Outside Magazine: Ultra Lingo).

I decided that I would drop bag the race and just crew myself.  I am not as prepared for this race as I should be; training is not there. Also the more people involved in travel the tougher (read as: expensive) it is logistically and being in grad school I am penny pincher nowadays.

I contacted Victor B. an elite ultra runner and creator/designer of the Victory Sportdesign - Bear 1. This bag was invented to get in and out of aid stations quickly, but has tons of applications outside of the ultra scene. I need a bag that is durable, rugged, and efficient. The Bear 1 fit the bill. Victor was kind enough to ship the bags over quickly. In addition to helping me get the bags he said he would be willing to pace me if his schedule allowed. (Note: Victor has won the last 4 races he has entered, all longer than a marathon, all on trails at blazing speed.)

Crazy right !? Out of nowhere a guy who wins these crazy races offers to pace a total stranger at night in the wilderness (relative term) knowing that I will probably be destroyed, moody and moving a the speed of evolution. Ultra running is just that sort of community. Everyone from the first person to cross the finish line to the last...we all suffer together, its like AA for non-alcholics. (note: its confirmed V. is pacing me - 7 pm ish to 9 am ish)
I also text my friend Berto (Crew/Pacer: Rockn River 50 - Race Report) asking if he knew anyone running up in the Headlands that weekend. A few texts later he says he will be there to crew and pace me for a loop and I never even asked him too...I think he is buttering me up since I am going to be in his wedding (note: buy lots of booze, destroy all cameras and ensure awesome bachelor party).

There is also a shot that some others will swing by the race to check it out which will be nice, but I am not banking on them helping since they aren't familiar with the format and will probably be shocked at the dumb things I put myself through.

Headlands 100 Changes
Course Correction - instead of the Rodeo Valley Trail we are using the Bobcat trail, same elevation but more gradual rather that straight steep. 

Golden Gate Aid Station - NO GELS ALLOWED - you can provide your own, but for fear of littering the race cannot provide them.

Injury Update
I had a great chat with my doctor. He confirmed that I have some issues going on. We decided that I will be shutting it down for a month (bike and swim only) after this race and chat sometime in October. I will looking at trekking poles (Euro-style) this weekend and make it a game time decision, but most likely I will stick to what I know and just get strong real quick.


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