Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Buffalo Run 50 mile Race Report

Whew- glad this one finally ended. I have never felt this bad after a race...any race! More on that later though. Since Moab a month ago I have been battling shin issues. I have been to therapy, I have taken time off, I have had fantastic training runs and I have had very poor runs a missed a few all together. Needless to say I was heading into this race with very little to no momentum. I had thought of dropping down to the 50k or even the 25k and a few thoughts of dropping out of the race all together but with the race schedule I have lined up, I thought I might as well give it a go. Ultra Running is a choice, you do not have to run, you do not have to prove anything, you can do whatever you want. Yes, I have been less than 100%. Yes I have been struggling but when you toe the line- all excuses go out the door. YOU chose to be there and if you let those excuses inhabit your thoughts then you are setting yourself up for a DNF. I was taught long ago that if you start something like this it is by your own choice and no matter how it turns out, you decided to be there.
As I drove out to the island I had those all too familiar butterflies after all its race day. I parked the car and started to slowly get things in order. I decided on 2 dropbags- one at White Rock and one at Lower Frary (passed through there twice). I carried one UltrAspire handheld and an UltrAspire Fusion MBS belt (it holds 2- 8 ounce flasks). In the handheld I carried water and in my flasks I carried 4 oz of EFS liquid shot and one scoop of EFS electrolyte mix. Over the past year this has proven to be my fuel of choice.
After I got all prettied up I walked over the the tent to drop off my bags and see some friends to wish them luck. It was a beautiful morning and the temps were perfect (that would later change).
When Jim said GO- we went. To my surprise I felt pretty good. My goal was to go out a little slower on the initial climb and make sure I didn't use up too much. Well, I ran all the way to Lone Tree and was feeling pretty good. Once we hit Elephant Head the sun was up and things looked amazing. It was pretty uneventful until about mile 19 when we hit White Rock AS and the HUMR crew. It was great to see more familiarr faces. I was in and out pretty quick and just getting prepared for the long haul to the ranch. On the way to the ranch I could feel the temps climbing. I do not do well it heat and it was about to show.  After Lower Frary where i switched out a couple flasks, the front runners started coming back. It was nice to see some of the speedy bastards- Bj, Bryce, Corey and Ryan. I ran near Curtis for a good portion and saw him and Dan at the Ranch. The heat was really starting to get to me and I had a few doubts how this was going to turn out. The shins were aching and I was "just off". I tried to stay with Dan and Curtis and piggy back on their pace but right before Lower Frary I hit a wall. I had the pleasure of seeing Breein, Forrest and Shawn which helped perk me up a bit. At Lower Frary, Erik Storheim dumped a big bucket of cold water on me and I was hoping this would do the trick. I left Lower Frary in a walk and had no desire to run. I was sore and hot and just didn't want to be out there anymore. I managed to get the legs going and trot along. The last 10 miles were very uneventful but I tried to make a goal of not letting anyone pass me. I was hoping to finish under 9 hours and when I saw I had no chance I lost alot of motivation. I think I could have easily gone under 10 hours but I just didn't have the drive. I tried to think back to Wasatch 2011 and that finish but it wasn't going to happen today. I really don't know why I couldn't get things going and over the last 8 or so miles I just thought about the rest of the year and where to go from here. As I trotted down the long gravel road and up the small climb to the finish- thanks for that Jim :) - I was never so happy to see a finish line. I didn't look up at all as I came down the chute, part because I was tired and a big part because I was so disappointed.
Finish in 10:07 good enough for 45th place and well off my goal. I did PR the 50 mile distance for me but this makes 2 races and 2 disappointing times.
After the race I had to go to my car and lay down for 30 minutes to try and compose myself. I was feeling horrible....okay I really felt worse than that.
My thought know go to what's next. Part of me thinks I just need to shut it down until I get my shins healthy but the other part doesn't want to lose any fitness either. Regardless of what I decide to do there are a few things are are obvious. I hope to work on those things after the sting on the race wears off.

A huge thanks you to all the volunteers and people who make this race happen. This was my first ever trail race 7 years ago and still a favorite! Thanks Jim.
Major kudos to Bryce, Bj, Cory, Ryan,Shane, Curtis, Nick, Lindsay and Harrison.
A special "Atta Boy" to Larry Adams for nailing the 100 miler!!!!!
Forrest and Breein- way to go! First ever 50 milers and did it in style. Breein damn near passed me too.....
Thanks to the family for making it to the finish to see a tired and wore out guy cross the finish line!
It was great to see all the familiar faces a the race- look forward to seeing you all again soon.


Jeremy said...

Hey Aric, I was in a similar predicament going into the 50 on Saturday with some leftover issues from Red Hot in February. I too was happy to see that finish line at long last... seemed like a lot of people were struggling out there with the heat. Nonetheless, congrats on the finish and PR!

Larry's Running Adventures said...

Aric.. Congrats on the PR, and for finishing.. I'm new to this but one thing I have learned quickly is anything can go wrong at the distances we run and we better be personally prepared for it.. also toeing the line post injury is both physically and mentally demanding, but a tremendous boost when you complete what you set out to accomplish.. congrats!

Adelyn said...

It takes a lot of mental strength to get out there and run a race on an off day, especially on finishing! Despite your disappointment, I hope you can still feel proud of pushing though. Thanks for sharing your report.

Danni said...

Heal up and don't worry about losing fitness. It comes back pretty fast. Better to keep from being injured if possible.