Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reflections on Rocky Raccoon

Rocky Raccoon shirt, belt buckle and Texas Trilogy award

Well, it's a few days removed from the race and I'm pretty much back to normal. My legs feel great, the blisters have mostly healed and I had an enjoyable 6 mile run on the greenbelt tonight. I feel strong and ready to go race the marathon in Surfside on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how much of a hangover I have from the 100. In the meantime, here are my thoughts on the Raccoon.

Final placings - 239 started and 162 finished (68% finishing rate). I came in 32nd place with an official time of 21:35:13. In the Texas Trilogy standings I was very happy to discover I came 2nd overall. Hooray me!!!

Volunteers - they are the heart and soul of trail races, and the ones at this race were the best. Being ultrarunners themselves, they know exactly what you're going through and what you need. I always made a point to thank them for being there because without them there would be no race.

Music - some races the music works for me, others it doesn't. I used my ipod for about 6 miles and couldn't wait to dump it in my dropbag. The sounds of the woods were much more interesting.

Poetry in motion - no mantra for this race, but there was one line that kept repeating itself over and over in my head. It was from Ted Hughes' poem "The Jaguar" and the line in question was "the bang of blood in the brain". It scans really well and when I wanted to push the pace late in the race I kept using the beat to sync up my stride and maintain my rhythm. Another little mental diversion trick that works really well.

Pacers - I didn't want any and didn't need any. I know myself pretty well and the best part of the entire race was running at night by myself. I didn't have to keep to anyone else's pace and they didn't have to listen to my god-awful singing!!!

Sleep - you would think that after running for over 21 hours straight you would just fall into bed and sleep for a day, but I never sleep well after an ultra. This always happens to me in any race of 50 miles or more - the night after I will just stare at the ceiling and eventually get up. Then about 2 days later it hits me and I crash.

Fever - again after a race of 50 miles or more I will run hot for about a day afterwards. Slight fever and chills are the norm. I don't know why, but I've gotten used to it and come to expect it. One theory is that the body has been working so hard to cool itself down for hours at a time, it gets stuck in cooling mode.

The munchies - I know how recovering drug addicts must feel because I've been snacking like a horse every since the weekend.

Another hundred - we talked about this on the drive back to Austin. I claimed I had scratched the 100 mile itch while Clea maintained I would sign up for Cactus Rose. It all depends on Nancy and the new baby, but I suspect she may be right.


Cynical Mud Babe said...

Congrats on placing so well both at RR and the TT! Awesome job. I can't imagine after doing as well as you did that you would not want to keep participating in the 100 mile insanity! See you out there!

clea said...

I KNOW I will be right!!! Congrats again..I too am feeling itchy to run, but saving it for the marathon this weekend. Guess what else I did today? Argued with the Holiday Inn in Huntsville to credit my account for the 2 nights they ended up charging me for! Still working on that one...

Mark said...

Oh no, I can't believe that. Of course, the credit card billing wouldn't have shown up last weekend because they wouldn't charge it until the date of your stay.

You haven't had much luck with that hotel - didn't they mess your reservation up at Sunmart too? (though at least then they were able to upgrade you to the suite).