On July 22, 1995, I DNF'ed (Did Not Finish) the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run (my second 100 mile race and first DNF). I made some critical errors on both the days leading up to that event and on race day. I returned home after an abysmal race dejected and upset. I wrote down what I felt I needed to do differently the next time I toed the line of a 100 mile.
I've held onto the list. Though the page on which it is written handles more like parchment now the words are still legible.
1) Drink more water the week before an ultra.
2) Relax while traveling to the race.
3) Eat regularly and eat foods with which I'm familiar.
4) Don't show up before I have to. Don't think about the race too much.
5) Don't set myself up for disappointment. Take it easy, relax, and have fun. Don't race them. Don't ever be disappointed of where I am in the field.
6) Stick to my training foods and fluids. Don't use things I'm not used to during an ultra.
7) Don't eat too much or drink too much early on - moderate.
8) Don't let what others tell me influence my mind set, strategy, and plans.
9) If I do DNF - look ahead, learn from it, and move forward - don't lament, don't sulk.
10) The run will be there next year!
Quite frankly, I lost sight of many of these points at this year's Leadville Trail 100 Mile. I allowed one thing after another frustrate me and control my race. I lost sight of why I was there and why I enjoy these events so much.
With that said, I won't bore you of the why's and how's of a day that went south, but, instead, will keep this old piece of scratch paper closer at hand. Let's look at some cool photos while you anxiously await the next blog post which will regal you with successes of an ultra gone right. Cheers!
A definite race day highlight was sharing trail time with fellow Flagstaffian and close friend Brian Tinder. He'd go on to finish in 21 hours!
Atop Sugarloaf in the early morning. Unfortunately I wouldn't see it again as I would drop at mile 73.
Leaving Fish Hatchery (mile 24).
Running on the new section of single-track trail carved out above Winfield. I liked it!
I was so looking forward to seeing these familiar faces at Winfield. Here Derek Schultz, my pacer for the Hope Pass section, plays photo op with Zoroaster.
I felt as if I had a dump truck on my back! Nearing the crest of Hope Pass at 12,600'.
Crossing Hope Pass (mile 55).
Derek paces me through Twin Lakes (mile 61).
Crew member Craig Bushong helps Emily Harrison prepare to pace me through the Colorado Trail section of the course.
Your Moment of Zen
DNF: Dog's Never Forget. It's okay Dad, I still love you! Lick!