Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Javelina 100M

A strong contingent of Oregon and Washington folks brought it at Javelina.  They brought their best and they also brought the rain.  How can it be that the last two events I have done in AZ have had serious rain?  It's not supposed to rain in AZ.  Not that the weather was horrible for a PNW runner but when it rains in AZ it's more like a bucket of water is being dumped on your head.  Not the misty constant drizzle. Actually the day started out perfect with a nice cloud cover and temperatures were around 60.  When the sun did peak through it felt really hot.

I had a really strange race.  I am not going to be able to express it very well here but am going to try to paint the picture.  I can't complain about running 21:17 and coming in 4th woman, I am happy with that. My pre-race prep was horrible.  I did everything wrong except for get drunk and be hungover. Thursday was a tedious decision making day for our home we are building in Bend (yay!) I went into the process with no food, not much water and when I was done I was exhausted both physically and mentally. I then rushed home to get everything ready for the house sitter and the race. I might have eaten 1200 calories that day and drank about 40 oz of water, not good.  Friday was another quick paced day with travel and such. In an attempt to eat really clean and healthy I ate nothing to speak of. I also drank very little water. I might have gotten in 1300 calories that day and about 50 oz of water.  Already behind in sleep we got up a 3:30 a.m. Saturday. I tried to eat and drink knowing I was behind the curve but it's a little late!

The race started and I feverishly fueled. I felt dehydrated at about 10 miles and worked at keeping up on fluids and food. I did a really good job. Lap 1 and 2 went pretty well.  Lap 3 just sucked. I was feeling tired, yawning, unmotivated and had a mild headache. For no particular reason. That lap was filled with self doubt and much loathing. Yuk, I hate that which made it all worse. I can't tolerate much personal loathing from myself. It just makes me feel angry and pathetic. Knowing full well that all we do is voluntary I don't like to complain or whine. I think intense negative thoughts are a sign of weakness.  For me it's icky emotional indulgence. Not that I walk around like Susie Sunshine all the time I do expect more from myself. This battled ensued between thoughts of worthlessness and acceptance. I gave it the all girl effort too!  I tried to cry, nope couldn't do it...I was too pissed off.  I tried to convince myself that quitting would be best because we wouldn't miss our flight, stupid reasoning.  I even tried to see if I could discover a possible injury!  Then I would most certainly need to stop.  My brain was ruminating in the negative. I came in to lap 3 and told Micheal I was just off, tired and not in it.  He was really good.  He just listened and said your doing fine just keep going and fuel.  Before I knew it I was back out there on lap 4.

The 3 hours of ruminating, being negative and pathetic did me in...in a good way.  I was done with myself! Mumford and Sons song, Thistle and Weeds came on my IPOD.
The chorus:
But plant your hope with good seeds
Don't cover yourself with thistle and weeds

These lines resonated, for whatever reason, and helped me get a grip. The wonderful thing about Javelina 100M is the course and it's washing machine loop format. You get the opportunity to see everyone and be part of their day. I was surrounded by some really amazing people doing some really amazing things. That alone is beautiful and rewarding.  I love positive energy, passion puppets and people who dream big. Here I was with all of that. So with that realization I was able to draw inspiration and joy from them.  A few things that caught my attention.  Esther Holman's run and relentless pursuit of her 100M finish.  Andy Kumeda's strong amazing day. The Beast, nothing more needs to be said there.  Anna, smiling and always positive demeanor.  Liza's run was of course amazing but what I saw most impressive was her lovely effortless smile as she passed by...a true athlete! The volunteers were so cheerful and had compliments galore. Every time I came around to headquarters I felt like a winner! Focusing on all the other people and things was so much better than paying any attention to my own run or myself!

I continued trying to get caught up on fuel but we all know you can never truly catch up.  I did a good job.  It's always an interesting study. One of the draws of the 100M event is the opportunity to see yourself, your demons, your strengths, your grit and whatever else you have or most importantly DON'T have. You simply can't escape it every time. This year's race was much different than last years for me. This year I had no fight, no desire to push.  I was tired!  Not physically but mentally.  I couldn't muster up a good fight if I was forced.  I was content with the day as it was unfolding. Though I wondered how I would feel about this attitude later it seemed I had no choice. My mind, body and soul were too tired to roust my drive.

When Micheal picked me up for lap 5 I welcomed the company.  The rain came in while I was about half way through lap 6 and I was immediately cold.  I was bundled up pretty good for someone who runs in the rain a lot. The trail became a mess quickly. Big puddles and lots of sinking sand or slippery mud.  We almost bit it a couple of times. This just solidified that I was not up to par.  The fatigue built and now I was in "get it done" mode. I walked a lot!  Most of my final lap was a full on hike/walk.  What's the difference?  A hike has purpose and a walk is what you do with your dog and a cup of coffee.  My stomach was crampy and not doing so well.  I was starving but another gel was just not gonna do it.  Neither was another banana, salted potato, cup of soup, blah. When I finished it was pouring and all I could think about was getting the wet clothes off before I turned into a Popsicle, then food.  I went over an scarfed down 2 pieces of pizza and was still hungry.  We hustled off so we could get a shower, a tiny nap and catch our 11 a.m. flight home.

I have been so tired these last two days.  More tired than I can remember being after one of these.  My body on the other hand seems to be barely phased.  I didn't even need compression socks on Sunday and have very little soreness and no swelling.  I think I am exhausted though. Time for some rest to re-energize!  It's been a hell of a year!


  1. Great job! A speedy time, that's for sure. What a year you have had! I guess it's time to take it a bit easy to recover from it all and enjoy the success you have had. Way to go Ronda!

  2. I don't know whats better, that you kept going and finished awesome or that Ryan wore out the great Ronda. Fantastic on both accounts!

  3. I liked a couple of paragraphs. One, describing how much you dislike feeling whining "I expect more of myself". And one, saying that running a 100 miler uncovers your strengths, demons and weaknesses. I loved them both and relate big time. The rest, really, doesn't matter. Way to talk yourself into finishing:) It was a hellauvayear.

  4. Another great race report and a big congrats. Hello...4th place and bad race for you. You would have smoked the field if you had a good day.Love how honest,and human, you are about your race experience. I know what you mean about getting into a mental rut during a race (more than the usual ups and downs), and struggle to find motivation. I goes to show how talented and strong you are. Most would have said enough during the 100. Your bad race finish time would be a dream race for me. I agree with Olga about liking those two paragraphs. Well said, and only a 100 miler can relate.

    Glad Micheal was there to keep you focused. It's good to have someone supporting you during a race that knows how to keep you going.

    You had such an incredible year. Go get some much needed and deserved rest. Just not too much! Time waits for nobody, and 2012 is around the corner.


  5. Thanks for posting your feelings during this race. I know how strong you are, so it is inspirational to see how you handled an "off" day. Congrats on staying tough, even when you didn't feel like it!

  6. Hope we both end up doing SD if all cards lay right! What else is in the makings for 2012?

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