"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Berryman Synopsis

Well I guess I never got around to writing a Berryman race report, so instead I will hit on some of the highlights. The night before the race I was kind of nervous trying to figure out what to take with me on the trail, and what to put in my drop bag. As it turned out I made one error that turned out to be not as bad as I thought it was going to be. At the start of the race I felt like I was doing ok keeping my pace under control. I usually go out too fast and burn out. I saw John Quick whom I have seen at a few other races so I figured that if I stayed near him I should be alright since we are close to the same when it comes to speed. This strategy worked until he stopped at I think the third aid station. I felt good still and was carrying gels, and two 26 oz bottles so I kept on trucking. I figured if he never passed me I was doing fine, and if he did catch me I would do my best to keep up. I never saw him again. It is 15 miles to Brazil creek camp which is where the drop bags were waiting, and my mind was reaching. This is not a good thing because my mind felt that it should be right around the next corner so why did I have to keep running and running and running. I was in the doldrums. I realized this simple fact and focused on other things. Immediately before Brazil creek camp is Brazil creek. Up until this point I had managed to keep my feet dry, I studied the 20+ foot wide creek and realized that dry feet were a thing of the past. The night before I had decided not to put my second pair of shoes in my drop bag. I had socks but with my shoes being thoroughly soaked I decided not to change. I left the aid station wishing I had dry shoes. I had 10 miles to go before I completed the first loop, and could get to my dry shoes. I have very limited experience running with wet feet. My only hope was that I would't get any incapacitating blisters. The next 10 miles were not nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be. I didn't have any issues from my feet being wet, and for that I am thankful. When I completed the first loop everyone cheered (Beth, Nicole, Megan, my Dad, Sis, and Natalie). I stopped over to the side where they were, and everyone was attending to my needs it was really nice. I told them what I needed and they got it for me. That was exactly what I needed since I didn't feel like rooting through my bag for things. Seeing the family really rejuvinated me, I was still tired but I felt better and I knew I could keep going to the finish. Finally with dry feet I left for my second loop. This time I decided to walk the uphills. I kept up with my nutrition, and felt good, tired but good. I felt some mystery pain in my knee and was beginning to wonder if I should call it quits. I decided to go aid station to aid station, and see what happened. Eventually the pain went away and I never gave it another thought. I lingered a bit in almost every aid station, not too long but long enough to top off my water bottles, and exchange pleasantries with the volunteers. Everyone was so nice and accomodating, they all said I looked great (one even said that I looked so good that he couldn't believe that it was my first 50 miler), and they would always ask if they could top my bottles off for me, little things like that mean alot.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the best part. When I finished the first loop Beth warned me to watch out for bears. "Haha very funny but there are no bears here" "Yes there are over on the restroom there is a sign saying not to feed the bears, if there were no bears why would they need a sign" Then it all came back to me that bears were in fact making their way back into the area. When I envision my death I see myself being killed by a wild animal, usually a bear. If anyone has read my myspace blog they understand. In my wife's defense she thought I already was aware of the bears, and was giving me a friendly reminder.
Back to the point. I decided to listen to my Ipod on the second loop. This made it hard to listen for bears but it helped to get my mind on other things. The whole second loop I saw only about 4 runners. I was alone, tired, and thanks to apple I couldn't hear. Since I was "alone" I decided to sing along. I've heard that a surprised bear is an angry bear, there have been no studies regarding the effect of my singing on bears, and there are none planned for the near future. I thought I saw a bear once along the side of the trail, it turned out to be a log. Eventually I forgot about bears altogether. I had a nice conversation with my Mother, it was pretty one sided though, but I knew what she would say if she were there.
Fast forward... I left the last aid station and I was pretty tired but I was bolstered by the fact that it was almost over, only 2.3 miles to go. Since it was so close to the end I let my nutrition slide and I started to crash "May Day, May Day". I knew the terrain somewhat and got to a point where I thought when I topped the next hill I would see the finish. This happened three times. I was in a tail spin. I was in the doldrums again. I don't know how long that last 2.3 miles took but it felt like an eternity. I finally topped the final hill and saw Megan and Natalie, what a sight for sore eyes. I handed them my bottles and I sprinted to the finish. My time was 12:23:21.
This race was a great experience from start to finish. The only way it could have been better was if I had been more prepared. Well there's always next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment