Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Where does time go?

Its been a long time since I've been here and time just marches on!

Where I have been.. well working mostly... lots of Fascial Stretch Therapy teaching and trying to focus on my office this 2014 year.

Since my last run or DNF at 80/100 miles in the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stage Coach Ultra I have basically just taking time off from running and returned to the gym and working out. I am enjoying the weights as always have and along the way I have been helping/coaching some others to there personal fitness goals. With that, I have decided to acquire my personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and look to do some personal training as part of my office amenities.

So stay tuned for more updates on the training....!!

I miss ultra-running and the feeling it brings when out on the trails but I currently just don't miss the running part. :-)

Okay until next time...



Thursday, July 25, 2013

2013 Badwater135 Race Video TeamCath - 1st Place Women's

2013 Badwater135 Ultramarathon - 1st Place Women's Cath Todd in a time of 29 hours 55 mins. 

An amazing journey once again with great friends for life!
 Cath Todd, Samantha Gash, Mathieu Dore, Angeline Wehbe!

Many thanks Sponsors:
Aqualyte/2XU from Sport in Life Distribution
VOSS Water
Adventure HQ
University of Wollongong in Dubai

although not a sponsor I will mention ISAGENIX as part of the nutrition plan.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

2013 Badwater135 - Pass for 1st to the Finish

 passing legendary Marshal Ulrich, such an amazing guy.

The road from Town's Pass down into Panament is a long steep section where Cath would certainly take advantage but just starting the down she was feeling some pain in her big toes as it was hitting the front of the toe box and wanted to wrap them up a little before taking on the long descent. She took a few minutes at the Mothership preparing her toes but then also decided to remove the blister protection patch on her heel but as she did it completely tore off part of her skin revealing a nice round blister on the heel/Achilles, not good at all. She attempted to put another blister covering on it and also changed her shoes she could not get her foot back in the shoe as the heel blister was just too painful. Finally, she made a push to get it in yelling some lovely complimenting words to the shoe and the Universe but then realized it was not going to work so pulled her foot back out with more complimenting phrases. The Crew had to come up with another plan and Samantha came up with the thought of cutting some of the soft sponge tape I had with a hole in it to allow the blister area to be covered but not pressed on with the cut out, as well as, offer Cath one of her shoes that might work better. So after all the blister repair and a completely different shoe she had never worn before Cath was able to get her foot back in the shoe and get walking again, soon she took too running and watch out!

She was flying down the hill and while there is limited pullouts to use we did our best keeping with her as well as Angelina running most of the downhill with Samantha helping in sections. I have always liked this section of the race simply because you can see all the way across the valley to Panament Springs, approximately 30 miles and you can see many of the teams and we could definitely see a lot of the 6am starters and of course the faster 8am and 10am runners. As we made our way down I always take note of the Milky Way  (not one of my pics) because its so great to see! I kept telling the crew to check it out because its so rare that you can see it unless in your in the middle of no-where! The crew probably thought I was delusion because I kept talking about, haha.

The night time seemed to be doing good for all of us. Tired yes, Hungry yes, ready for a break, yes but we all managed to take a couple minutes here and there and rest. I do me a couple of minutes, I think we all only took about 15 minutes total sleep the entire trip, (okay maybe Mat took more because he was puking a few more times but this guy was a trooper and would toughen up when needed in the call of duty, no matter what!)
Heading into Panament, the Mothership would need a few supplies again, ice and some gas as well as maybe some coffee and another snacks we could find, Mat requested a pizza but not sure that would be available.
As we approached we planned the same type of transition as Stovepipe Wells, load the pacer up with drinks and anything they might need for a few extra minutes, have the pacer, Mat in this section, check her in as she passes and the rest of us tend to the other duties. Panament had a sale on gas at $5.98/gallon but good thing the KIA was doing good on gas and only need a little amount. A local guy offered to take our trash for $5 so we gladly paid and he was nice enough to supply us with some great trash bags. The downside of all this was that it took a seriously LONG time, much more than expected but we got what we needed. We also ran into Josh, from J-Tri's blog. I met Josh on my first crewing with Molly Sheridan, Josh was crewing on Ray Sanchez's team and told us that  Ray was asleep at this check point and had some stomach issues. (Ray and Cath made a dinner bet last year and Cath ended up buying the dinner so this year the bet was back on but this year it was dinner for the entire crew! Looks like Ray will be buying dinner after making this pass!)

As we left Panament Springs still not knowing exactly where we were in the mix of the race we caught back up with Cath/Mat and Mat quickly jumped out and I was in. We were able to get Mat a pizza but the long haul he just did had pushed him back over the edge and needed rest and his pizza. (As a crew member/pacer you sacrifice yourself for the good of the runner, and in this case being as it took so long for use to return Mat had stopped drinking liquids to save as much for Cath as he could!) 
- Let me quickly review how our pacing worked. Of course at Badwater the pacer has to be behind the runner. We would carry 2 bottles for Cath, (yes, no need for runner to exert energy holding bottles) 1 bottle of water, left hand, 1 bottle of Aqualyte, right hand. Cath would simply extend her left or right hand backwards and the pacer would simply hand that bottle to her, when she was done she would hand it back. But watch out if you got the bottles mixed up, as I did one time hahaha, no really Cath was great, she would just hand it back and say THAT'S WATER! so after my flop, I recommended putting painters tape on the bottles so we knew which  was what.)
Back to the change out, Mat is resting, Ang is driving and Sam is crewing/resting, I'm pacing up to Father Crowley's point. Panamint Springs is mile 72.3 (115.6k) and 1970 feet elevation (600m) and the top of Fr. Crowley's is 80.2 mile (128k), 4000 feet elevation (1219m) and just when you think you're at the top of climbing you continue on to Darwin check point climbing another 1550 feet (472m) over another 9.8 miles (15.6k) but getting to Fr. Crowley's point was the first goal and it was no easy task as we kept the pace steady and Cath was continuous, no breaks, no stopping to smell the sand/rocks, just grinding it out as fast as possible. She knew getting to Darwin the road would "flatten" out and give her time to run and now the Sun was slowly starting to break providing another beautiful sunrise over Death Valley now far behind us. 

Once we reached Fr. Crowley's point I was feeling pretty good and Cath started to ask about sections to run, which there are a few here and there getting to Darwin, so when the opportunity presented she took them and she took them quickly, running still much faster than me after her 80+ miles to my now approx. 12-15, but I would push my zone and hang with her knowing the uphill was soon coming and she would walk, or so I thought! Some of the uphills, although gradual and maybe not really "hills" in her mind she would continue to run at least part of the way up them with me looking for the Mothership to no avail. Going up Town's Pass Cath would run in parts as well, maybe because she felt she could or maybe because I opened my big mouth when she asked me about running: "John, you want to run?" ... me: "well I am wearing Running shoes, not walking shoes".. (I was joking really, note to self: don't joke with a faster runner about running when your pacing) but she said Okay and that was enough to get her running in areas pushing me over the edge before the top of Town's Pass. I distinctly remember one time after Fr. Crowley's Cath goes, we're running to that next 3rd marker, I said okay as we continued to run, I was so glad when we reached the 3rd marker huffing and puffing but she quickly goes, "To the Van"! (what I'm thinking the van is another 1/4 mile  (400 meters) away and I'm already dying, but I hung in there) Good Times Cath!

When we drew closer to Darwin check point, mile 90.1 (144k), 5050 feet (1540m), its just a tent with a couple of great guys from Las Vegas, volunteering out in the middle of no-where! No Services, no bathrooms, nothing but a table, tent, chairs and what ever else they bring. I'd had reliqunished the pacing duties and Samantha was helping out, Math had recovered fully and managed to eat his entire pizza which was his saving grace. Ang had done an excellent job driving and crewing and keeping everything in tidy order and we were all getting ready for the day. Cath would want some coffee and to sit for just a couple minutes to change here shorts to a running skirt and also we would rub her legs a little. We also now saw the standings on the other racers and got the update that Pam Reed (1st place) had left only 15 minutes before we got there! Wow, we are super close and within reach. At this time one of Pam Reed's vehicles happened to drive by and turn around once they saw us, so they were checking to see how far behind we were.
Cath got situated and off she went with Mat as the road started to drop down into Keeler a meer 17.7 miles away (28k). The Sun was up and the temperature was starting to rise, in the past this section has/can be just as hot as day 1 so we were prepared but luckily the heat for us never really came and it stayed about 100*F(37.7C) which is Hot don't get me wrong. Cath quickly settled in and continued with her day time nutrition plan and she was running good now that the sun was up and she was a little more alert although tired and somewhat delusional as she told Sam when crewing her that she wanted Mat to pace her for the next 42k into Lone Pine, which was simply not going to happen from a team aspect, not that Mat probably couldn't have done it, this guy would have but from a Team aspect it was not a wise chose to put him at risk since he just recovered and we still needed him later on, and although Cath was in the Groove and not willing to change the dynamics, Sam, Ang and I quickly decided it would be my job to break the chain when the time was up. 
That time had came and honestly I was a little nervous because I didn't want confrontation with Cath at this point in the race so I rehearsed my statement several times and as Samantha walked out with me ready to change places, Ang staying in the car as to not be involved if Cath was disapproving, my heart raced as she approached and I quickly said "Okay, Cath were gonna give Mat a little break to keep him fresh for you today and Sam will now take over!" .. she simply said Okay and kept running. Whew! was I revealed. We got back in the car and updated Mat on everything. 

As we approached the 100 miler mark (160k) we all got out and took a few pictures video as she passed in  approx. 21 hours 55 mins! She didn't even really blink as the goal is 135 miles and kept moving, focused as ever. Samantha and I enjoyed the delirious times of the early morning and were constantly laughing at ourselves and making smart ass comments. The best of times when your tired and delirious. 

Then at approximately at mile 105 168k) we were on the side of the road just done crewing Cath and fellow crew member for David Clark, Jimmy was driving towards us, so I waved him down and he turned around pulling up behind us. Mat and I walked up to his car and we said hey what's up.. have you seen Pam Reed, how far ahead is she? Jimmy said: "You mean that 2nd runner right up there and points to the curve in the road." What? Are you serious, I said. "Yeah, dude, she is literally only 7-10 minutes ahead of you guys!"
OMG, so excited Mat and I were we quickly chatted and back in the Mothership. We took off to our next stop and now we could see Pam's crew van, also a red-ish maroon color. We decided to not tell Cath just yet because we didn't want her pushing to early for the pass, Cath was catching her anyway's with her current pace so no need to red line her with still a long way in the race to go. 
In the past years as a driver, and we were catching someone I would pull up just past the other runner to let them see our van and they would know we were close but this year, I would pull up short/behind Pam and keep from letting her see us as Pam is a strong experienced veteran and can dig deep like no other so to let her know to early could spell disaster for TeamCath. Finally, we had to tell Cath that Pam was just in front of her, Sam was with her and did a great job telling her to hold her pace and she would catch her anyway, but Cath is here to Win and a Competitor so we noticed she picked up the pace just a little.

Finally, I had to no choice but to pass Pam and just as I expected, she was walking at this time, saw our van and started running! Overall, I could see Cath's turn over was much quicker and it was going to be inevitable that the pass was coming, now it would be just when, especially since we were now passed Keeler and within 1 mile (1.6k). The anxiety of the race is something I have never experienced before in the past 5 years and to now be in the hunt for first was truly amazing. Samantha continued with Cath and as we drew near mile 110 (176k) there was a slight long downhill and with Cath only 100 meters or so behind her, the decision was made and she put it in high gear! Cath caught Pam Reed and went around her aggressively and forcefully with a determination and statement that said, If you want to win, you're going to have to take it from now! It was completely exciting to see her make the move and Pam saying Good Job as she went by. 
The pace stayed high till we opened a gap on her of about a mile then she settled back down into her rhythm. 

Making the pass brought new emotions and feelings to crewing that I had not experienced in the past 4 years. I guess I never really thought about being on a winning Team, as I also just wanted to help any runner, no matter what there finishing time was but now being the lead Team we were the one's being chased. Pam is clearly the only female close enough to take the lead back and with 25 miles (40k) left to go, there was still time for her do it if anything went wrong. As we were approaching Lone Pine Cath kept asking for mileage splits to the check point at the Dow Villa Hotel in Lone Pine, mile 122.3 (195.6k) and I got really good at calculating the distance (remember all four of my teammates work in Kilometers and Meters)
Finally, making the turn on to the highway in Lone Pine and knowing we are only 2 miles (3.2k) from the check-in was a nice feeling. I knew that we if we could get some more distance going up the Portal Road she would win. 
The Mothership pulled ahead to the Dow Villa check-in and Mat, Ang and I all quickly jumped out and got ready for her. I knew I would be taking over going up the Portal Road but figured it would be after we made the turn on to the road so I went into the hotel room and told them our runner, Cath Todd was coming! They quickly asked "when did you pass Pam Reed?" I said mile 110, "oh great job" they said. A few guys came out to the side walk to cheer her on and yell for her as she approached. The plan was for her to take a quick leg rub down and get moving she didn't want more than 10-15 minutes here knowing Pam was closely behind but as we got her checked in she quickly stated she was not stopping but just for 2 minutes. We quickly rubber her legs, changed her bottles for the pacer, which was Sam but then she started walking off and yelled "John let's go, your up!" Ohh, crap, I was completely not prepared but took the bottles and ran up to her. We quickly got to the intersection to make the left hand turn on to the Portal Road, crossed the street and started running. I knew we would run the first part of this road as its basically one of the few parts to run due to the increasing grades later on the road. 

As we made the turn, I said.. "I hope the crew knows which way to go as I didn't even tell them where the turn was" but our team was on top of it and quickly figured it out and pulled up next to us.
The Portal Road from Dow Villa check-in is 12.1 miles (19.4k) to the finish, with elevation at 3610 feet (1100m) up to 8360 feet (2548m) with most of that gain coming the last 5 miles (8k) on the switch backs.
Cath's pace was steady and was doing good but she was beyond tired and giving all she could. She kept asking if we could see Pam but the road is somewhat twisting and simply could not see that far behind us. I was calculating her pace and figuring it was going to take us 3 1/2 - 4 hours to get to the finish but not knowing where Pam was I needed Cath to keep her pace 16-18mins/mile or 10-11mins/k even though she planned for 20min/mile or 13mins/k as the lower section of the Portal Road is more manageable for that pace and knowing the upper portion would being a pace of 22-25mins/mile or 13.5-15.5mins/k or possible slower. Cath kept asking not only for the distance to the finish but how far Pam was behind her. Finally, I made a deal with Cath: I will send the van back to see how far she is behind us but you have to promise me that if we find out she is 4 or 5 miles (6-8k) back you will not slow your pace!, otherwise, I am not doing it. (I said this because knowing your ahead by 4-5 miles with about 9 miles (14.4k) to go, its almost impossible for someone to catch you unless they are completely running the whole Portal Road or your runner slows to a snail's pace and I simply didn't want Cath to slow her pace knowing she could possible be that far ahead) She easily agreed and promised, so we sent the van back. I looked at my watch to see the time and monitor how long it would take for them to return, now this is purely estimating but if the Mothership returned in less than 5 minutes, she was close; if they returned in 20 minutes, she was pretty far back. Turns out they returned within 10 minutes, so that told me she was close enough to still be a threat with 9 miles (14.4k) to go. Cath asked me if we had it. I said No Not Yet, don't count Pam out, there is still too much road in front of you to the finish so let's keep working on it to close that distance to the finish. Cath even managed to run a couple of the less steep sections and I could only imagine what was going threw her mind knowing she was so close and being chased. 
She made several comments that she wanted to win, to win for friend Rich Holland who was injured in a life threatening bike accident sustaining a brain injury and has been raising money for him through Back on Your Bike, to win for her team, and for achieving the goal she set months ago. I told her to keep the pace as she was and she could do it, no slowing down expect on the very steep grades we were about to start. When we hit time station mile 130.8 (209.2k) the start of the switch backs, I told her we would shortly be able to see where Pam was. With 3.6 miles (5.7k) to go I could start to smell the Victory. As we completed the first switch back the crew approached me a little way back from Cath and said that she needed to maintain the pace to break under 30 hours, I had completely lost track of overall time but now I checked and this was going to be within minutes of 30 hours if she maintained the pace, if she slowed too much the victory was still hers but the 30 hours would be missed my seconds or minutes. 
Up 2nd switch back Cath remembered this section from last year and how the road dips back into the mountain and its seems like a long ways to the lower camp ground just before the last S curve to the finish line, she knew she was close but not close enough as she said she at her end. Great, just what I needed to hear to now have to tell her I need to her to keep pushing to make 30 hours.. so here it goes: "Cath, you're doing amazing and I'm so proud of you for not slowing down but I need to keep this pace a little bit longer to make just under 30 hours" .. Cath: "Oh, I'm not worried about that, I don't care, I just want to finish"... me: "I completely understand that but your other goal was to go under 30 hours and you can do it, I just need 20 more minutes of a push from you (what a jack I am!, this gal has busted her ass for 29 hours and the last 2 miles (3.2k) I am asking her to go faster! haha) You can do this, you've been doing this for 29 hours and its only 20 more minutes, okay!???" ... waiting for the piss off reply.. Cath: "Okay I will keep trying!".. me: "okay great that's all I need, you got this Cath, you can do it".
Getting to the camp ground the grade is not as steep until the final S curve so she was able to pick up the pace which was clearly going to get us under 29 hours but it was still close. I instructed the Team that once we hit the S curve to continue up the parking, park and then walk back down to us a little ways as the finish line is only about 200 meters away and we would all cross together as TeamCath. We hit the S curve and the Team drove away, but some how Cath caught the glimpse of someone behind us and thought it was Pam. "is that Pam?" no I said. "are you sure, she was wearing blue shorts, that runner has blue shorts!" I said no that's the guy you passed a while back, he has blue shorts too. "John, are you sure?! You got my back right?!!" Yes, Cath, I gotcha, You are Okay, we are almost there, less than 500 meters! "Okay but keep watching my back" she said. I suppose in her mind if I had said that's Pam she would have literally took off in a sprint! 
The Team soon joined us and we all gathered close, draping the Australian flag across the back of her, holding hands and yelling out, "RUNNER COMING IN!" I soon saw the finish line tape being strung up, I saw the race director, the cameras and people cheering and clapping. We approached the finish all together and crossed the line as one. She had done it, she Won! She immediately dropped to her knees and starting crying in glory, we all embarrassed her on the ground, tearing and crying with joy. I couldn't believe the emotions I was feeling her for, for the Team, and for achieving her goals. 29 hours 55 minutes 29 seconds. We all high-fived, hugged, laughed and continued to cry with emotions for several minutes. It was over but feelings, emotions, pictures and memories will last forever. 

After a several minutes we had to move to the side for another runner was coming and then we took finish pictures as she received her Finishers Shirt, Medal and Buckle.

After the photos we walked back down to the Mothership to change clothes then grab some food. As we were chatting Pam Reed came in, 44 minutes behind for 2nd place. 

We all enjoyed the stories post race and food but then it was time to get cleaned up and some much needed sleep. We headed back down to Lone Pine, stopping on the way to cheer in Ray Sanchez as he was making his way the Portal Road and finishing his 6th Badwater. 

After a quick shower it was food time again and then we all quickly hit the beds. The next morning the girls were up before the boys and letting us know they were going to get coffee. Mat and soon were up and met them at the coffee shop still chatting about stories from the race. After that it was clean out the Mothership, ohhhh boy, always a fun job post Badwater crewing, and reorganize the van for the drive back after the awards and pizza. 

Once that was all done we got the awards area early and took the grass and sat and enjoyed the conversation of more stories, and just simply becoming great friends and being a Team! Soon the awards started, we ate and chatted with others and then it was drive time back to Vegas to party! The drive back was great as we all sang and were acting about enjoying the overall Victory now that it has set in.

So here are some great lines that were said during the race: (I am sure there are others I can't remember now)
"the ice cubes are too big, can you make them smaller"
"can you spray my face but not my sun glasses"
"can you spray my neck but don't get my chin wet"
"every person should know exactly what mile/kilometer we are at!"
"Everyone should have Tissues on them at all times!"
"the drink is too weak, make it stronger".. (literally hand her the same bottle 3 minutes later) "now its too Strong!"
"John you got my back?"
"tell John to drive only 400 meters (1/4 mile).. So I would drive 1/4 mile... "Tell John he went too far"

Overall, this was an awesome crew to work with and get along with. We all had our strengths, roles and times to step and down when needed. Friends for Life! Cath was a great nice runner with no outbursts just funny statements. She was determined, focused, and stronger than anyone I have seen who is being pushed to achieve there goals. I can't thank her enough for asking me to crew again (and for the record any other future years she may want to do it!) 

We all returned to Vegas and the party continued with dinner and drinks till wee' hours of the morning. 


Race Pics:


and thank you to AdventureCORPS for another amazing race, Chris Kostman and his crew who do a wonderful job all along the way, so glad to be a part of this event for 5 years in a row!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

2013 Badwater135 - TeamCath Part 1

Badwater135 Ultramarathon! Where to start? So many good times with new friends and old. So many emotions this year and you would think after 5 years of crewing it would be the same, but its not!

A quick review, I crewed Cath Todd with Molly Sheridan in last year's Badwater race with a friend, Darryl that came with her from Dubai. It was a tough race with strong 25mph+ winds, of course hot temps 117-120*F and she also experienced stomach issues that caused her to get sick which has never happened to her in an event before. Cath was able to recover but it cost her some time and she finished her first Badwater in a very respectable 36hrs 28mins. and swore she was not coming back for the Worlds Toughest Foot Race.
So after she recovered and gathered her emotions a few months later she emailed to say she was going to return and asked if I would crew with her again, as well as, Molly. I was totally in but Molly would not be able to crew this year as she returning to Leh, India.

Cath quickly put together her crew consisting of myself, World renowned StretchDoc and ultra-runner and 5x super crewer; her friend Angeline who lives in Dubai with her and is a great fast marathon runner, Samantha Gash who we met in India a couple years ago at La Ultra - The High and is a very accomplished ultra-runner as well as the first women to complete all Four Desert Races in Racing the Planet series and many others, and Mathieu Dore, a Canadian guy she met while running Beast of Burden, also a great fast ultra-runner. It quickly realized that we had a power team as each one of us had our strengths that she could utilize. As the race drew closer we had skype meetings on logistics and race tactics but one of the meetings I remember distinctly was that Cath said she was coming back to Win this race in the women's division! I honestly didn't have any doubts she could do it but it would have to be the perfect storm because Badwater brings every element to test your will and make you fail in its beauty of places called Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, Devil's Cornfield, The Sand Dunes, Town's Pass, Father Crowley's Point and the Portal Road to Mt. Whitney, so when she threw down the statement I was a little excited, okay, a lot excited to be on a winning team! Don't get me wrong, working on all the other racers crews was awesome and I wouldn't change it but being at the front could and would bring different responsibilities and dynamics I have not experienced with the other 4 years.

The week of the race we were all excited as flights were arriving on Thursday, Samantha was first and I picked her up and we had lunch and some REI shopping then a great salad dinner she fixed and relaxed at home. Friday, Mat, Cath and Ang would all be arriving. Sam and I went to the airport early to meet Mat who arrived earlier that morning and hung out and immediately I knew we were going to be a great crew. Then Cath and Ang arrived and once again the crew got stronger with Ang. We collected luggage and off to shop at REI, WholeFoods and Red Rock Running Company, then check in at Caesars Palace where they were staying.

On Saturday I picked up the MotherShip, which was a Kia Sedona, more on that later, then picked up the Team, packed up and off we went to Death Valley of course stopping at Starbucks and the Big Cow.

Arriving in Furnace Creek on Saturday this year was kind of nice and much more relaxing than a early Sunday arrival. We had plenty of time to chill and get things settled and just bond a little more as a Team. We went to the start at Badwater and took some pictures by the sign as well as chatted with Tony Portera, a now 5x Finisher! 

Mat and I also took the Badwater Pale Ale  for some electrolyte hydration, hey its Hot in Death Valley :-) 
It was then dinner and off to bed for Sunday's big runner check in.

We all woke up early and went for breakfast then took off to the race check-in as there is always a line at 10:30am when then start. In the mix of getting everything packed in the Mothership I forgot 3 vital things: 1) Race Waiver Forms (which they have there to complete but its easier to have them already done) 2) Blinky Lights, 3) Race Reflective Vests. Luckily, we were able to borrow some from Jimmy Gabany, race director/owner of Elemental Running, who was crewing for David Clark. In line we took a few photos and during the overall runner check-in process. 

Once Cath was all checked in and the race meeting was over we were back relaxing with more food and final preparations. Cath went over her pace chart and times frames for all the check points. I tried playing on the new swing set but this was the notice: 

Then it was time for Mat and I to decorate the car with all the great sponsor magnets. Many thanks to VOSS, Aqualyte, 2XU, AdventureHQ, SportinLife, University of Wollongong in Dubai.
  After we were done with that it prepare clothes and plans to pack the Mothership in the morning. One thing about his KIA is that the inside seats are removable but then they have to be stored some place, such as on top of the roof, where as, in other vans like Dodge the seats fold directly into the floor board which is much easier to deal with.

We had a 10:00am start so we didn't have to get up as earlier but the excitment and wanting to get started simply wakes you up. We all got ready and Mat, Ang, and I started loading the Mothership with all 21 gallons of VOSS water, coolers, food, luggage and 2 stupid Kia seats. Once all that was packed up we had plenty of time to head to the start so went to take some pre-race pictures at the Badwater road sign:
 My picture was #2 representing our 2nd year.

Mats was "C" for Candana.
 Ang was hugs for bestfriends!

and Samantha's was jump for Aussie's!

Making our way to the start its pretty great seeing the 6am and 8am starters already on the road and the crews working hard to keep them going. We got to the start took a few more photos, Cath weighed in and then gathered for the group photos and National Anthem at the start. 


Start - Furnace Creek - Stovepipe Wells - Town's Pass.

Finally, the start came and everyone was off!! So exciting! We had a couple minutes before we needed to head out so we took our time and then rolled off the start line, only 135 miles to go. 
Our first crewing was going to be interesting as Mat, Sam, and Ang are all newbies at this and so I was waiting to see how they would all do. We thought it would be best for me to drive at first because it can be a a little difficult watching other crews, where to park and your runner, as well as traffic and informing your crew to look both ways crossing the road. The first stop went pretty good and overall I didn't see too much confusion, just some pointers on how to space out a little more and let Cath run to you and not you with her.

The first 17 miles she has to run solo so its important to keep this spacing and not appear to have a pacer so the crew part must be quick as she passes. Overall, we got into a rhythm which is what happens and things start to just fall in place. Cath ran slower this year at the back and took her time and held great as this can be mentally challenging because the front runners and leaving you behind but its a long race and with her plan of winning she had to stay within her time she predicted she could win it with based on the other competitors. 
As we approached the 17 mile check in at Furnace Creek she had started passing through the 10am group and some of the 8am group. At Furnace Creek she would pick up Ang as her first pacer, Ang would make sure she was checked in at the time station and have a full supply of water/drinks as the Mothership need ice and more gas so this would take a few minutes. After putting gas at $5.43 gallon we were back on the road and looking for Cath and Ang.
We soon arrived and Mat and Sam were ready to go because we knew they would need immediate crewing, Mat actually took over here Ang came back to Mothership to rest up and help crew along the way. The weather was certainly hot, 120-121* from our listings and the wind was blowing about 10-15 mph at times. We were also catching some of the 6am group and most of the 8am group heading towards Stovepipe Wells. Cath had to stop approximately 30-35 miles to do some blister prevention on her feet and right heel area.The spraying of water was somewhat getting into her shoes and making her feet soft so from here on out we were much more careful on spraying her legs and not drenching her upper body.

Making our way into Stovepipe Wells, Mat, Sam and Ang kept swapping out pacing, the plan was not more than 60 minutes per pacer but since it was pretty darn hot and these three were not super acclimated to the heat we changed that to 30 minutes to keep everyone fresh, of course me, I was driving and intermittently crewing at times just to get out of the Mothership and stretch the legs. My time would come later heading up Town's Pass. As we got to Stovepipe Wells, Samantha would be checking Cath in at the time station as Mat, Ang and I would be getting ice and gas. Mat had also just finished a hard pacing section in the heat wasn't feeling good so was resting. After the chaotic mess at Stovepipe, the store was crazy busy, the gas pumps were busy and this year they were bringing ice from the back of the store instead of the ice truck sitting outside, we got threw it and even organized a little in the van. After heading back out to catch up to Cath/Sam, Mat really wasn't feeling well and began throwing up! (oh shit, I thought, this is not good, this guy is tanked and will be worthless now) well in a few more minutes he threw up again!! Sam and I were chatting as Ang was pacing some and knew Mat needed to rest and recover. While going up Town's Pass we also passed Marshall Ulrich and Dean Karnazes, Cath was moving great and completed the 40.9 miles in 7 hours 37 minutes (11:10min/mile) 
Soon after making those passes I took over as it was some good long uphill getting to the top of Town's Pass, it was hot but luckily the sun was going down and we had some wind but not nearly like last year, even Tony Portera would say later that it was Hotter this year than last year but less wind than last year.
Cath was doing great and holding strong and steady, she didn't really ask where any other racers were just doing her race. We chatted about last years Town's Pass experience with the head winds, her puking and having to stop for a while and how different it was this race. My personal goal was to get her to the top of Town's Pass and in some sections it is runnable just uphill and she chose to run making my life difficult :-) and eventually pushing me to my limit so I quietly bailed out almost near the top as I knew pushing myself over the edge was not wise as she would need me up Farther Crowleys and the Portal Road.

Finally we made it to the top of Town's Pass. It was dark and all you could see was blinking hazards and headlamps from the runners. As we hit the top of the pass the girls were rotating pacing duties and Mat was still resting but feeling better. The steep downhill into Paniment was going to be run hard so the girls were ready and as we started the descent the pace immediately quickened.

too be continued... Part 2 - to Paniment, Darwin and the Pass for first place!


Saturday, June 08, 2013

Fascial Stretch Therapy Teaching!

After a pretty good recovery from the Badwater: Salton Sea it was back to work and hitting the gym as much as possible along with some quick traveling to Las Vegas, NM for a high school graduation.

This past week I spent helping teach level 1 Fascial Stretch Therapy at Stretch To Win in Tempe, AZ. I have been wanting to help TA for over a year now but simply has not worked into my schedule and this year I set it in stone I was going to get there! I drove down on Sunday morning and arrived at my extended stay hotel with small kitchen and after a quick clean up headed to over to Ann and Chris Frederick's house for a teaching assistant meeting to discuss how the week would go and to meet the other 3 teaching assistant. One of the main reasons I wanted to TA was to really understand the power of FST and although I have had excellent results over the last 3 years using it on many athletes, patients of all types such as dancers, triathletes, runners, tennis players, UFC/MMA fighters, football players, baseball players, aerialists, swimmers, track and field, crossfit, weight lifters and many others I knew that going back to help teach others is a great way to really understand and learn Fascial Stretch Therapy making my work even more fantastic, if I do say so myself :-) 
At the meeting it was quickly catching up and meeting the others and then the outline of the week. One of the first things called out is that WE as TA's would be much more interactive in group break out sessions and instructing certain movements and patterns, Ohhhhh Crap!! me center stage, Stage FRIGHT! but wait, this is what I signed up for and this is what I was looking to understand so I quickly put that out of my mind and would act as if I was in my office teaching a patient. Our teaching group was fun right out of the gate and we all seemed to just fit well with each other.

Monday morning we arrived at Z Health, the host office of this level 1 week and soon all 33 students arrived. We all went around greeting and welcoming and learning just a few things about each one. Then it was time for official introductions, a quick video on fascia and then its hands on time as Ann starts showing the first of the many patterns and movements. Overall, our duties is to watch, help and offer assistance during the one-one sessions and in group sessions we actually teach the feel and movement patterns of the more difficult patterns. 

The first day was interesting to see the entire group all meeting each other for the first time and working together and as the days proceeded they all started to connect with each other and friendships are formed. Weds we all went out to a local bar, had a few beers and enjoyed the time outside of the teaching area, it also allowed for those partaking to unwind after 3 full days off brain overload. By Thursday they were basically finished learning most of the movement patterns and it was practice practice practice! Thursday night the teaching staff all went out together and Friday we basically finish up with a practical exam, questions, and a special guest, NFL player Mr. Leonard Davis comes by for a fascial stretch session and to help with graduation festivities. Such a nice guy too! 

Friday was also a day that the group has come full circle. Its like when your training for a marathon and the first day you run 3 miles, thinking there is no way you'll make the 20 mile training run but then weeks later you complete that 20 mile training run and are ready for race day! Monday they were at the 3 miles and by Friday they were at 20 miles! The same satisfaction in coaching I felt in TA'ing! I was happy I came this week and was even more happy I was asked to come back in Nov to TA with this awesome group! 

Level 1 - Fascial Stretch Therapy Class

I learned some great things, new updates to Fascial Stretch Therapy and new friends! Priceless!!!!!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Back at it, and what's next!

I am glad to report that I am fully recovered from the Badwater: Salton Sea race and back in the groove of things. Which means its back at the gym, back on some crossfit workouts and back to running! 

Only a couple of fun runs, 5ks currently on the books in June and looking towards July for crewing at Badwater 135 once again, my 5th year!! so excited. Then Aug 31 we have a group fun run of some Zion National Park trails, about 50 miles with 10,000ft climbing planned about 3 weeks before I look to take on the Kodiak100 in Big Bear, Ca.! 

After that its just go with the flow and get ready for my next official race in Huntsville, TX with good friend, John Tuggle from Austin, in his first 50 miler at Rocky Raccoon 50, Feb 8th. Interesting as this event used to be on the same date as the 100 mile race but has been moved to its own date, either way I am excited to run that with John T, aka TheTriDoc in Austin, TX.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Badwater: Salton Sea race recap Pt 2 to the Finish Line

At mile 40.5, the start of the single track trail section, it was 5:29pm when we checked in and just a few minutes to prepare for the upcoming 8 mile section where we not have crew access, we would be climbing approx 3500 feet and were expecting rain, wind and dropping temperatures.


We were soon already and headed off passing Stray Dogs and Stray Dogs #2 who had made it to the trail head section as well but had stopped to look at the general map area provided at the trail head. Just shortly up the trail section we could see a small type sign with an arrow and a Y in the trail section, we were told to follow the arrow up Y section, as another team had missed the arrow and ended up in the wrong place and had to back track getting bonus miles and added time to there overall race, but Team Neapolitan was 4th overall to finish so it did cost them time but they were fast. We took the arrow turn and immediately the trail started to climb more aggressively, Bill was in the lead but he was stepping very carefully not to have his feet slide inside his shoes and cause blisters so he gave the lead up to me. I quickly settled in a good pace but soon noticed that Molly was starting to slow down so I pulled up and stopped a few seconds. I was feeling pretty good heading up the trail section as this part was basically a StairMaster and since I have been doing lots of that I had a great leg power and felt good. As we continued up the trail I noticed Stray Dogs, Marshall's team, was coming up on us and soon caught up to us and passed us. I started to walk with them as they were making a great pace up the trail but then noticed I was way far ahead of the team so had to slow up. After they passed it us it was quite a bit of time before the other Stray Dog team caught up to us,
until then I was taking pictures and enjoying the climb occasionally looking at my heart rate monitor. (oh yeah, I had decided to wear my HR monitor and see how many calories it would say I would burn and what my heart rate would be at different times. Going up this section I was about 130-140 bmp, which was easy compared to my StairMaster work in the 150's -165. I eventually wore my HR monitor for a total of 16 hours and then just got tired of the strap. It said I had burned approx. 12,000 calories in those 16 hours. I mentioned this to Bill who said it was too high. At the time we had a discussion about the body's ability to burn calories per hour so overall I am not sure how accurate it was. I also took a few pictures looking back down to the start of the trail head.



This section of the trail was really great and even though it was pretty hot you could feel the temperature dropping as we continued up and you could also see the clouds and rain looking stuff closer to the top. As we made our way just about to the top of the first section climb, Stray Dogs #2 was closing in and just off in the distance. It was funny because at one point, Chris Frost yells out... "hey guys, Come Here! I got something I want to tell you, its really important!" of course we laughed and yelled back.. Hurry up and catch us so you can tell us!... he yells back.. "No seriously, wait up, you're gonna love this, its really important!"... we all laughed again and kept moving and finally when they caught up to us we asked: So what was it, what was so important? He replies.. "ahh hell I don't remember now, you should came back to me so I could tell you then, laughing."... good times. They went on past us and basically took point as we were able to stay behind them for the most part. We finally made another pass on them as they stopped to put pants and warmer clothes on as by now the temperature had really dropped and the wind was blowing all over so you could definitely feel the cold. I had already put both extra long sleeve shirts on, so I was wearing 4 shirts and once the rain started I put my Wal-Mart special green Coleman camping pancho on to try and stay dry. I also added my gloves and headlamp as it got dark and now we were all in the night time. The good thing was that we were all bunched together so that made navigation easy and we were all going about the same pace but the bad thing was that we still had about 3 miles of trail and we had just descended some so that meant only one thing, more climbing to come and no sooner than that happened and we came into a wide open clearing and you could see this bright flashing blinking red light up on the side of this mountain and that is where we were heading.

We actually got there faster than I expected but none the less it was still climbing and I was still glad to have my StairMaster legs. The cold and wet continued and it was more windy. Somewhere along the line we were in front of Stray Dogs #2 again and wouldn't see them till almost the finish line (more on that later). I remember just marching and now that the wind was blowing, rain definitely coming down and me wearing shorts I was focused to get to the Mothership ASAFP! I needed my gym pants and another shirt as I was freezing but nothing I could do about it now and the faster I moved, we moved, the warmed we could stay. Soon, I realized we were at the top of the 2nd mountain and we were starting to head down a little, or the trail was dropping down again which only meant we would soon be at the highway where the crews would be meeting us. Originally, the rule was that when runners reached the road section again we would continue up the road for another 1/2 mile or longer to meet the crews but this had been changed due to safety concerns for the runners and the crews were moved right down to area of the trail where the runners came out, which was fine with me, thank you Chris K! As I finally made a few last turns I could see lights in the distance and as I came around a tree section all of a sudden I saw someone coming in front of me and of course with headlight to headlight I could not see who it was and they asked, Who is that? I said Team FOMO and then they replied, Hey, its us, Alan and Brendan.. OMG that was the best ever to see them. I was just a few steps ahead of Bill and Molly and I quickly continued to walk to the Mothership with Alan who had said that the van was all heated up and ready for us to warm up in along with hot soup. I continued to get to the van as soon as I could and when the doors opened, holy cow it was like a Bikram studio in there. I actually thought it was too hot as I couldn't even breath but soon with the side door open it was just right. Alan got me my gym pants and then Molly and Bill showed up and we all dressed with another layer or two and grabbed some soup. I sat in the front seat for a little while and then jumped out to use the bathroom but then quickly jumped back in as now I was freezing again. I asked Brendan for a black trash bag so I could put on top of the green pancho plus he gave me another blue long sleeve shirt, make that 5 layers and 2 plastic bags. We also now added all our night gear vests and blinking lights to the attire.

When everyone was already we proceed back into the cold freaking rain and wind and now all of us were freezing so we had walked as fast as possible to get the body heat back up but that only lasted about a mile as we reached check point Ranchita, mile 50.2 in a time of 15 hrs 26 mins (avg. pace 18:26/mile) I was hoping we would make it there under 15 hours but with the cold wind and rain just didnt't happen but on a good note at Ranchita we all took a picture with the beast! too funny!
Then we quickly got moving again as next time check would be at mile 68. Again, its raining, sometimes hard fast rain, sometimes just steady easy rain and sometimes just misting but overall it was still cold. After a few minutes at Ranchita we were back on the road trying to warm up.

Over the next couple of hours all I remember was starting to feel tired and just annoyed that it wouldn't stop raining or let up. Overall the team was quite, we were all just staying in our zone and moving as fast as possible. I actually think sometime after this we only ran just a few more times before Lake Henshaw and pretty much walked the rest of the course. As we came up to make a left turn I remember seeing all these lights off on the side of the road and was trying to figure out what it was and as we got closer to it, turns out to be an electrical station hub. I remember walking by it trying to avoid the big random semi's that were traveling on this part of the road probably wondering that the hell these 3 people were doing walking in the middle of no where in the rain, but looking over at the electrical station and thinking, I bet its warm inside that little office bldg.

Our next big exciting team drama happened at the next T in the road where we needed to make a right turn and made a left turn instead. Luckily, the Mothership had stopped just after the right turn and noticed we all went left and shortly jumped out to yell at us that we had gone the wrong way. Bill was pretty sure we had to make a left turn and Molly and I couldn't remember exactly which way so we left it up to them to decide. Well turns out after some very loud voices and over energized enthusiasm and deciphering the map we had indeed gone the wrong direction, so Bill handed the map back and proceeded to walk in the correct direction. I looked at Brendan and said, "so we're going the wrong direction? He said yup.. okay then.. so Molly and I started walking the correct way too. It was clearly evident after this over excitement release of energy that there was tension in the ranks and as we try to let it settle we also try to get into a running rhythm but Bill had clearly stated he was not in the mood to run, guess he had no more excitement left but all was good as we continued on with Molly leading us. Soon Bill was dropping off the back and Molly peeled off and said just keep walking. I thought ohhh shit, its gonna go down now but then I was pretty tired so didn't think much of it and kept walking. I could hear these two behind me with another surge of excitement and again after a few minutes I had to join in because overall we were wasting too much energy on something that had already happened and was over. Yes, parties of Team FOMO were over joyous with expressing there feelings at a over exited volume but nothing that was expected at some point in the awesome adventure. As we all quickly talked about it, it was said, over and done and we all moved along as normal, although I do remember Bill saying he was ready to run and happened to pick a nice uphill portion of the course so I remember not running, but in reality the hill seemed monstrous but really was only a small rolling hill the next day driving the course home.

Shortly after all the festivities I back so sleepy that was weaving all over the road and shuffling and simply could not stay awake. One time I even walked into the curb almost falling over! Finally, Bill offered a No-Doze and so I took it and got a little pep from it but it was short lived and soon I was back to sleep staggering. Bill recommended that I take 5 minute nap and see if it would help revive me so I gladly accepted. That was the best 5 minutes of sleep ever! I quickly hit the van seat and I passed out, only to be woke up which seemed like a couple hours later but I crawled out of the van and off we went with a much more revived feeling and a much faster pace. But like this too, it soon began to wear off and so I drank down a Rock Star Recovery and got a little pep from it but then soon I was back to sleep as ever so Bill suggested another 5 minutes because it had lasted a couple of hours and we had made some good time vs. my slow sleep walking pace. So again, I took it and soon laid down again in the van seat. This time Bill had to get something from his bags and I noticed the back hatch was open, the side door was open, wind was blowing through the van, I was freezing and said.. GUYS, can we close the f'n doors I'm freezing!! I remember the doors being closed but I also remember opening my eyes and now seeing the side drivers window rolled down. With being in sleep deprived delusional state I somewhere yelled out... Close the windows you assholes!!... but honestly, I don't remember yelling that at them but I do remember bitching about the doors being open. Well the 5 minutes was over and basically a waste of time because I had no peaceful rest and as I climbed out of the van I grabbed my Starbucks Double Shot Espresso drank it down with some nice rain water pooling on top of the can lid. I did get a little pep again but this time I felt like I crashed even worse than before, like a total sugar dump! I told Molly I was not drinking any more of those as they were making me feel worse and more tired.

After a few minutes Molly suggested that I hang on to her shoulder, remember, you can push, pull or drag your teammates, so I quickly clinched my big meat hook onto her shoulder and started to walk with her which was seemed to speed up our pace for a while but I know my arm felt like 50 lbs to hear and probably was so Bill offered to help with me holding on to is pack with my left hand, so I clinched on with my left meat hook but the I quickly realized I was now really starting to lean on both of them because I was not having to support my weight. Overall, I let go of Bill and told Molly I wouldn't clinch down as much and just keep walking. Not sure how long this went on for but at one point Molly quickly turns around and says: "OMG, were you just snoring!?" ... I said, it wouldn't surprise me because it certainly felt like I just totally went to sleep there for a second! haha.. After that I woke up some but then asked for another No-Doze. I took it down but didn't feel any pep and Bill said I should take another 5 mins. By this time it had already started on daylight and somewhere we passed the 68 mile mark in 21 hrs 45 mins (19:11 avg pace). I gladly took the 5 minutes again and once again came out feeling super refreshed along with popping anther No-Doze. I was waiting for a break in the clouds to get some Sunlight but it would be another hour or so before that happened but in mean time the pep I had received was good for us and we were all moving good again. There would be no more sleeping till after the finish so it was a final push the last 10 miles.

I remember at one point I was starting to question in my mind if we were actually going to finish under the 28 hours. I mean we were moving like 20+ mins per mile and still had approx 12-13 miles to go and realisticly having 4+ hours to finish seemed doable but 20 min miles can easily turn to 30 min miles if the road because steeper or you just run out of gas and cant move fast enough. I asked Bill.. are we going to make it.. He replied Yes, as long as we keep moving and no more stops. I was relieved to hear this and knew I just had to dig a litter deeper to keep moving. Finally, after 10 hours in the rain if finally stopped! It was foggy and the Sun was trying to peak through the clouds and finally for about 10 mins it did pop through, long enough for me to stop and look up at the Sunlight and get my internal clock turned on. I felt good after this and all the way to finish other than I was tired, of course.

There was a race photographer, Dave and Margaret Nelson, that had shown up and was following us along taking pictures and got some great shots of us, or as I like to call it, the Zombies warmed over, haha.




As we continued to the top I could see the mile markers and noticed they were marked every .2 tenths of a mile which kind of sucked because you saw them so frequently but was kind of good because it was counting down very quickly or so I thought. Although one time I thought we had been walking way longer than .2 mile and when I saw the next sign I was like NO WAY!! that's wrong we have gone a least 3 miles! haha, felt like it any way. 

As we were approaching the last 2 miles we could the Stay Dogs #2 behind us down around the corners and knew they were closing it. Just about this time, there crew truck passed us and turned around heading back towards there runners. I told Molly, ahh, those Dogs, are pacing us and seeing how far we are ahead of them! About this time a medical car had gone by just a couple minutes earlier and had returned and stopped to tell us that Stray Dogs #2 were only .6 mile behind us and moving pretty fast. We now had 1.6 ish miles to go to the finish line and I had already calculated that they would catch us in the last mile. I remember telling Molly, I don't really give a crap if they catch us now because we are all going to finish! She said yea she didn't mind if they caught us either as we knew it was going to happen based on the amount of speed we had left in our bodies. 

Just after this Team Coyote with Jimmy Dean Freeman and Ray Sanchez pulled up next to us, hooking, cowbelling, yelling and screaming for us. They said the other team was just around the corner and was giving us so much encouragement to keep moving and not get passed. I was definitely exciting but again I guess in my mind I had already conceded to them and knew we would all finish and that was the main goal. Team Coyote took first place with a time of 15 hours 57 mins. They pulled up ahead to a spot where we just under an mile to go and it happen to be a long steep down hill area and as we picked up the pace just a little running down hill Team Stray Dogs #2 comes flying by us literally in a sprinting fashion carried by the downhill momentum. I mean we couldn't have tried to keep up with these guys/gal if we wanted to! They passed us with .8 mile to go and finishing 6 minutes ahead of us. We all exchanged congratulations and high fives as they passed and said see you at the finish, save some beer for us!

The last .8 miles was pretty great. I mean hey, we did it! We had come 80.2 miles and this was the end for 26+ hours! The crew did awesome and Bill, Molly and myself all made it through without major injury or issues. As we got to the gate to run and walk up the finial .3 mile Brendan and Alan had parked the MotherShip and joined in the last part. We could hear everyone yelling at us to hurry up and the excitement was totally great. As we reached the finial driveway we would see the other teams and people and telling us to run so we all joined hands in Badwater fashion and ran the last 100 yards to the the finish line inside the garage of the house that Chris had rented. We made the last little turn and there was the finish line tape! Hands up, all cheering and smiles and accomplishment to have made it! 26 hours 40 mins 23 seconds.

The feeling after finishing this race was the same as I felt after finishing my first 100. Different than my 2nd 100 finish as well. I was surprised in myself that I finished this run with only (1) 8 mile training run as my longest distance since Nov 2012, although I had run some shorter distances of 4-6 miles my run volume was only in 20 miles per week but I had been busting it in the gym and crossfit type workouts. My left foot did have a small blister on is only because I stopped applying the FootKinetics stuff the last 12 miles and my right ankle was achy but probably because I was putting more weight on it from compensating from the blister. Other than being freakn' tired and ready to eat some real food I was great. 
We took our finish line photos with Chris Kostman and him giving us our finishers medals and then Team FOMO Finish photos.


Since the post race brunch was about to start we simply hung around and waited for the food and others to show up. It was a little tough and I remember napping on the couch for another few minutes until food was served. This was a great location for the finish line activities, it was a rented house, beautiful, big and just a great location. The plan was to have things outside but with it still being chilly and foggy we were all indoors. I enjoyed the finish food, maybe because I was just plain hungry. After eating and sitting around for a little bit it was time to move on and finish up this great experience and head to our cabin. Since we had been sitting around and resting the stiffness and aches all started to set it. We loaded up and headed out saying our good byes and arrived at the cabin to check in and getting settled in. 

The cabin was a great little 1 bed room loft with kitchen and pullout bed and I made my way to the loft area which was really only about 4 1/2 feet tall so you had to either crawl on knees or simply squat/bend over, crawling was my option. I crawled my way to the bed, took of my shoes and still basically in my race clothes, passed out! I probably slept for about 2 hours, then woke up and headed to the shower crawling back down the stairs. Got showered up, crawled back up stairs and slept again for another 3 hours after which time everyone had woke up and we all great ready and drove to Harris casino in Rincon, Ca, which was only about 15 mins from the cabin. After a great buffet, again, probably because I was hungry. After dinner Alan had to head back home and we went back to the cabin where yes, once again, I passed out for the rest of the night sleeping about 10 hours. Everyone was up early, about 6am and we all got ready, packed up and headed out driving most of the course back to Salton Sea area and then on back to Vegas stopping a couple of times to stretch out and stopping in Borrego Springs at Kendall's Kitchen for breakfast which was pretty good, recommended. 

Final Notes:
  • Probably should have more run training overall before attempting long distances like this, even though I thought I performed great.
  • The nutrition drink I used by Herbalife, called Prolong, performed well and settled with me and my stomach. Might have been different it was hotter as it reminds me of Hammer's Perpetuem. The pop tarts and crackers are always a saving grace as well as the chicken soup!
  • I need to bring better clothing for possible weather conditions, no matter what it may say! I was really out of my element not having sufficient clothing for the colder wet conditions, my fault.
  • Continue working on crossfit workouts and gym stuff as this is proving to be beneficial for my overall run fitness/conditioning.
  • I have to manage the night time blues better! Something has to work, maybe Mt. Dew but I have been avoiding soda's at all costs lately so that's not really a viable option. More No-Doze??
  • I am now officially qualified to apply for the Badwater Ultramarathon 2014!
  • I would love to do this race again next year under 24 hours.
  • Highly recommend this event as the race director, staff and volunteers do a great job all the way around. It will sell out next year, you watch.

Well that's it for now. I am 8 days post run finish and my recover is going well. No longer swollen or tender feet and feeling good overall that I have actually performed a couple of workouts already this week, no running yet, but was on the StairMaster!
Up next is a training run in Zion National Park Aug 31 and then Kodiak100 in late Sept but let's not forget July 15, 2013!! Yes, I will be back crewing at Badwater 135 for Cath Todd again this year!! So excited to see everyone and the Badwater peeps!