Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Old Goat 50 mile race

***Disclaimer*** If you are reading this, you probably know that I finished, but you do not know how bad it actually went. This is a quick recap of all the bad things that happened. The only good thing that happened was being able to stop when I reached the finish line.

“Even the downhill is up” "100 mile race experience packed into 50 miles" "It is one of the hardest 50 mile races in the Country" These were the type
of one-liners I came across when I first heard about OG50 (Old Goat 50.)

  My friends, Mark, Jeremy and I were talked into signing up for this beast of a race by our ultrarunning friend, Carlos. Mark gave in first, then Jeremy,and I followed suit not wanting to be the odd man out. It was one of those moments where you click submit on that online form then think,"What have I done?!?!"

  I immediately started to read the race reports about how hard the race was in previous years. With every personal recantation  Jeremy and I read about the race, the more of a caricature like image of the race we painted in our heads. All of the possible doom and gloom scenarios of things that could happen during the race became the normal topic of conversation (although we were mostly joking about it.)

  Training for the race was going amazing... I was on a 50+ day running streak and had run a few 100 mile weeks back to back, averaging over 10 miles a day in February for the Taji100 challenge. Then came the opportunity to run a 12 hour race the month before Og50.......I got talked into this one too. I rationalized the decision by telling myself that it would be a good training session for the Goat.

  It turns out it was a bad decision to go into that race over-trained. I managed to go 50 miles in 9 1/2 hours, but in turn I badly injured my right heel. Out of fear of a stress fracture, I did not run a single step during the 20 days leading up to OG50.

 March 23rd, race day was finally here. All 3 of us were injured in various ways, but we made the deal to at least start the first loop and then make a decision whether to continue on after  21 mile loop

  We all headed out on the Candy Store loop at 6:30am as a group. The trail was very beautiful and similar to the Noble Canyon trail in  San Diego.

The "fun" begins....

Mile 0:  Gastrointestinal stress begins and I am unable to eat a proper meal for energy
Mile 1: I need to go to the bathroom from the distress, 20 miles to go until I am back at the restroom.... I wait
Mile 2-4: Rolled my ankles bad...twice
Miles 4-7: Bottle-necked on the single track by a few slow people. Finally broke free and began to run faster then I should have. Slammed my big toe into a rock....twice, and it felt like I broke it.
Mile 9: I was running up a slight uphill on technical, jagged rock trail behind 2 gals. Focusing on their footing and not mine...I tripped, flew through the air, landed palms first into some sharp rocks. Thank goodness I was still wearing gloves for the cold weather, which allowed me to press
on with minimal injuries.
Miles 10-13: I slip off the wet rocks while crossing a stream and dig my right foot into a mud pit, completely soaking my right shoe/foot in mud.
Miles 14-21: The intestinal distress got more and more intense. My hips and knees lock up, causing me to walk for 4 miles straight, back to the bluejay campground.

I was greeted with cheers from the onlookers and encouragement from Shawna (of the awesome Wentlandt family)When I got back to Bluejay campground well below the 6 hour cutoff in 4 1/2 hours. More importantly, I finally got some momentary relief in the bathroom after waiting for over 4 hours. After plopping myself down on the ground, I surveyed the damages from only 21 miles on the trail.

I then began the internal battle of whether  I would press on for up to a total of 14 hours...... No, I decided it  would be better if I quit now, since I then could relax the rest of the day.

Mentally I had given up, but for some reason I was in autopilot mode....I let Shawna fill my camelback, I took off my wet compression socks and put on just the dri-fit ones, and began having about 5 cheezits as my first calories in the race. Next thing you know she is telling me that I have to go on, and  I am being kicked out of the Aid station by her.

No turning back....
Miles 21-23.6: Some of the real climbing begins, temperatures climbed on the exposed trail, and my intestinal distress came back with a vengeance. I felt very sick and disoriented at the Trabuco Aid Station. I stumbled through the aid station accidentally bumping into people. I thought my friend Jessica was taking my pic with a camcorder, but instead starts interviewing me about how I was feeling. I had to divert the question, as to not start spewing out obscenities on film. My break was short lived. The awesome photographer,
Lynne Cao, was yelling at me to continue on. Carlos begins spewing out all sorts of advice as how to break down the sections in my mind. I was not coherent and could not make sense of what he was telling me, let alone remember it.

Miles 23.6-28.8: The 5 miles straight of downhill over super rocky terrain was a short lived relief since it caused my quads and feet to be overworked. I was in post race shape at the halfway mark, every things hurt. This was not very comforting as the OG50 race really begins at mile 28.

Miles 28.8 - 34: Things went from bad to worse on the trail. I was still not eating enough calories after several hours of running, and I began to bonk hard. The temperature kept rising and I started to experience heat exhaustion. I was so hot and overheated, but I was unable to sweat. I took this as a bad sign and began to have a mild panic attack. I tried to calm myself by taking deep breaths,but was unable to since it caused a pain in my chest. A panic attack mixed with heat exhaustion, a hard bonk and hard breathing made for a slow and scary climb up to Bear Springs aid station.

Mile 34, Bear Springs: From a distance I spotted one of the volunteers open chair in the shade, and I planned to spend the rest of the race sitting there. I sat there in a state of bliss and so glad the pain was finally all over. Trying to cool off,  I doused freezing cold water on top of my head. My break and DNF decision was short-lived once again as a racer plopped himself in the chair next to me. He was in much worse shape then I was, throwing up every time he ate something. I figured if I wasn't in as bad of shape as him that I should continue on.I also could not bear to watch someone throw up when I am not feeling too good myself. I could not stick around to watch the carnage, I pressed on to finish the never ending 8 mile straight up climb to Santiago peak.

Falling apart...
Mile 34 - 36.8: 2.8 miles to the top of Santiago peak, with another aid station? When reading it on the paper it didn't sound so bad. Doing it was another story. I was slowly moving up what was the most ridiculously sustained fire road incline I had ever been on. Every ache in my body reached its maximum pain. Every injury from the past year seemed to surface all at once.. from my knee pains..... to shin splints......
to hip flexor pain..... to quadricep tendon pain.... to calf pain.... to back pain.... to shoulder pain.... to neck pain.... to ankle pain... to feet pain....
 I felt like the mountain was trying to beat me down, not allowing me to reach the top. The physical beating brought about an emotional breakdown. This was not new to me, it had happened twice before; once as I neared the end of my first Ultra and again during ATY's 24 hour race.
It is hard to admit,, but I was in tears, with an enormous feeling on inadequacy. I got my phone out, turned it on, and hoped I could get some signal to talk to a friendly voice. Luckily I did eventually get that signal and phone call. She encouraged me to press on, and I was  able to snap out of the bad frame of mind I was in. I pressed on, made it to the top of the peak, had a celebratory half of a very small quesadilla and headed down.

Miles 36.8 - 47: The large downhill sections were a nice break from the sustained climbs, but I was experiencing such an intense burning sensation on the bottoms of my feet that I was only able to run .2 miles at a time before needing to hike. I still to this day do not know why they were in such pain, as I did not get any blisters.
I would run until the pain was too severe to continue and go back to hiking. I repeated this over and over.
Breaking the 40 mile barrier provided a great mental boost that was much needed, especially with everyone that I led the entire race passing me on the downhill. I probably would not have made it through all of the
climbs on the main divide fire road without that boost. I was so mentally drained that I even
left my water, bottle full of ice water, on a table at an aid station and did not fill my hydration pack. I started to feel very dehydrated, although I'm sure it was mostly in my head. I was so over this race......mentally physically emotionally..... At least I was blessed with a nice sunset over the clouds.

Miles 47 - 50:  I was greeted down the trail by my friend Jessica, who was working the Trabuco aid station. She jokingly offered to take over for me in the last few miles. I was definitely not in a joking mood at mile 47...I somehow flipped a switch in my head, blocking out all my pain receptors. I skipped getting aid,
and flew down the remaining 3 mile hill, passing 5 people in the process. A few of them asked me if I was feeling better now. I told them no.... "I just want to be done with this," as I ran by.

It was a great feeling to finish strong and an even better feeling of being able to stop. There was a big cheering crowd as I finished, and the RD shook my hand, placed a medal around my neck , and congratulated me on finishing..

I walked over to the chair that was kindly offered by my friend Trasie, I sat down, my body shut down, my joints locked up, and I got a bad chill.

I had no sense of accomplishment, just an overwhelming feeling of happiness to be done.

The finish line festivities were by far the best of any ultra I had been too. A home cooked meal was being prepared by the RD's  daughter in both vegan and meat varieties  I had a veggie burger and some soup before hobbling back to the car. Once the chills went away, we left the race.

12 hours 40 minutes 4 seconds
79th out of 117 finishers and almost 170 starters.

It is time for a temporary break from Ultras. I hope to come back stronger, injury free and mentally stronger  when I do. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rohring Round The Clock 12 Hour Race

  The 12 hour race is still painful to think about and I have been procrastinating writing even the shortest of race reports.....

The 12 hour race was on 2/23 at Rohr Park in Bonita, California. Rohr Park is a 5k loop of dirt trails and cement sidewalks intertwined throughout a park and circumnavigating a golf course.
Despite the course being significantly longer then the Across The Years course, it is a loop nonetheless and just as mentally tough.

I had got sucked into signing up for this one as my first race of the year , less then a month before it was to take place. I was cautiously optimistic going into it since I had a few hundred mile training weeks in a row on the pavement for the Taji100 challenge. The downside to those big weeks was that I was coming into the race overtrained and slightly injured. I had to look at the race as an opportunity to just run all day with my friend Jeremy and a few others, treating it as more of a party.

5:30 am : Me and a small group of other lunatics doing the 12 hr race embark on our first lap in the dark. The group quickly divided and I found myself running with Jeremy and a guy named Joe. It was dark enough out that we missed the first turn without knowing it. After running about a quarter mile we quickly realized that something was off when we were running on a golf course fairway. We kept pressing on, hoping that we would rejoin with the trail. After running in circles around the inside of the golf course, the day was looking to not be a good one. We finally spotted the starting line across the fairway and decided to keep running until we passed 5k of distance. After passing the 3.1 mile mark we ran back to the start line, which was now visible due to the increasing light in the sky. We had tacked on an extra half mile and were dealt a huge mental blow to start the day.

Autopilot mode.... The first 20 miles felt like we were on autopilot and we ran non-stop without any walking. We would fuel up every 10k at our cars with food and drink that we had brought. Bringing your own supplies is a must for this race since the supplied food and water were in short supply.
The autopilot mode eventually caused us to crash, me mentally and somewhat physically and Jeremy physically. Around mile 27 Jeremy had to sit out a lap to attend to a growing pain in his feet and legs. I kept pressing on, hoping that I could hit the 50k mark in 6 hours.

From mile 24 on I was beating myself over the head for signing up for another looped course. I could not think of any good reasons to keep pressing on... except that I had told everyone that I was going to get 50 miles done that day. I had really screwed up making this my first race since the 24 hour.

This was my first race that I had used a heartrate monitor as a tool to determine my pace. As I clicked away the miles into the 30 mile rage my body was in rapid decline according to my monitor. My 147 heartrate pace slipped gradually from 8:30 pace down to 11:00 min/mile pace. After passing the 50k mark, anytime I ran it would immediately spike to 160 heartrate no matter how slow I went. I knew that I would get more injuries if I kept that heartrate for the many hours yet to go in the race, so I had to employ a run/walk strategy for most of the remainder of the race.

After getting above the 40 mile mark I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and began to pick up the pace again, mostly running. I was envious of Jeremy and the wife sitting on the sidelines and wanted to join them. The endless hours of sun were starting to get to me, so I wrapped the shirt on my back around my head. I looked like a person wandering through the desert, in hopes of scavenging every last bit of shade. She told me I looked ridiculous, but I did not care since races like these allow a person to stop caring about what others think and perceive of you.

I finally passed the 50 mile mark on my Garmin in 9 hours and 38 minutes halfway into one of my laps!! The sad part was the lap was only going to make 49 official miles when I finished it. After finishing the lap I waited for her and Jeremy to join me for the last lap. It was a very long lap since Jeremy had to limp walk it with us, bringing his total distance to 60k. Over an hour later we finished the lap, giving me 52 official miles and 54 miles on my Garmin in 11 hours and 7 minutes. We called it a day and I finally got to sit down for the first time.

The race:

 If you want a bare-bones, fat-ass style ultra with no frills, this is the race for you. No t-shirt,medals or timing chip for this one.

Pros: Nice course if you can handle lots of concrete sections and almost no inclines. The scenery is always changing  with the never ending flow of civilians on the trail and in the park. All of the competitors, like at other ultras, are friendly and motivating. The course is very visually appealing with all of the trees and greenery.

Cons: Lots of obstacles on the trail with all the random people walking/running/skipping/rolling around the loop. You will not survive on only the food and drink provided. No timing chips made for an annoying day of having to check in after each loop, messing up the flow of continuously moving... sometimes they didn't hear you and you wondered whether that 3 miles counted.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Taji100 Challenge.

 My recovery from my Across The Years race has gone better then expected. I do not have any stress fractures or seriously dehabilitating injuries from it...just some tendinitis issues.  After taking a week off at the beginning of January, I jumped straight into my training for Old Goat 50. I started a running streak on January 11th and am 18 days into it now. My main focus has been technical trail hill repeats everyday. The last 2 weeks have been about 40 miles per week of hill training.

 I came across an interesting challenge someone referenced on Facebook. The Taji100 challenge caught my eye for two reasons. For starters, anything with the number 100 in it is alluring, secondly the Wounded Warrior Project is a great organization that I have given to in the past, and lastly, I love a good challenge! It also does that hurt that the month of February will contain my peak training for OG50.

 I have set a personal goal of hitting 200 miles in the short month, a distance I have never come close to in previous training!

Please consider donating to WWP through my donation page per mileage I complete. If you cannot donate, please follow my progress and encourage me on! Thanks!

DAY 7 :  Finished the first 100 miles. 2/4 to 2/10 was my highest mileage running week ever at 112 miles.
DAY 14: I am at 196 miles and plan to finish my original goal of 200 miles later this evening. My original plan definitely did not have me running back to back 100 mile weeks. I have readjusted my goal to 300 miles and have begun doing less miles in preparation for my upcoming 12 hour race on Feb. 23rd.
FINAL: 282 miles in 28 days, took it really easy the last 2 weeks of the challenge to rest up for my race, but I am happy with the total.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Reminiscing 2012 and Across the Years Race

  Many of you may not know this , but the beginning of 2012 was the beginning of my running career. 7 years earlier I had done a little running but I never tested myself in a race. My obsession with running and racing began with 2 Spartan races which began a snowball effect ,causing me to complete over 15 races of various distances this year.... 5k's , 10k's, half marathons, obstacle races .

  My new found fun on the trails was derailed for several periods of time before the summer due to various injuries and a car accident that left me with a bad back and neck. I eventually bounced back for the most part before Summer. 

Everything changed though when I stumbled across a listing for a 50k race in the mountains. The race, Cuyamaca 3 Peaks, was a few weeks out and sold out already. Jokingly to my friend Jeremy, I said we should put ourselves on the waiting list. Next thing you know I was shooting off an email to the race director , asking to put us on the waiting list. I knew absolutely nothing about ultra marathons at this point, it was definitely not on my radar of being something I would do. I had heard of a character named Dean Karnazes from a book my bro read but that was about the extent of it.  Heck, my longest run had been 14 miles at that point! Lo and behold 8 hrs later in the morning I had gotten a response back from the RD saying he opened 2 spots for us. My impulsive race addiction had me signed up for it the same day!

 Long story short, I did the race in July( 7 months into running), got my butt whooped from the course, heat and my inability to follow course markings( adding distance), but still managed a mid pack finish. I was hooked, I loved everything about it.... the misery, the cool people, and  a sense of accomplishment knowing that I had gone further in a race than most people have.  From that day on in July I lived and breathed everything ultra running related. All the great podcasts, articles and documentaries were fuel to the fire that created the urgency to do another one as soon as possible. And so I  September I did Endure the Bear 50k, shaving over an hour off of my 3 Peaks time and again in October at Lake Hodges 50k, shaving almost an hour and a half off of my Endure the Bear time. To this point , Lake Hodges was my longest continuous run without any walk breaks, 32 miles of mostly a sub 9 minute pace.
  I ended up getting injured at Lake Hodges from overuse of my peroneal muscle and tendon due to a compensation in my foot for another injury. I was on crutches for a bit and my running was derailed once more.

  Right before Lake Hodges 50k, Across the Years race had just come under my radar as something that I would be interested in doing to cap the year off. I liked the idea of giving myself 24 hours to see what kind of distance I could travel. I would never be able to duplicate such an environment to try  outside of a racing environment.  With my foot injury I was unable to get any good running in for about a month and a half, so I withheld entering the race.  Eventually my foot did heal and with the stir craziness of only doing one race while my foot was injured (pr for the half marathon), I impulsively signed up December 12th for Across the Years 24 hour race on December 29th. My Christmas gift to myself was to see what my body was capable of. 

  The allure of getting a 100 mile belt buckle was upon me, but the odds of me going that distance with all the injuries and setbacks I had during the year, on top of it being my very first year of running, placed the odds at least a 1000 to one against it. I knew I had the drive and determination to finish an event like that, and my ability to operate well under extreme exhaustion was an asset. Nevertheless, I had never even been on my feet for that long and my longest run had been around 32 miles! 

 At a Buckle party ( cool event to see other peoples 100 mile finisher's awards) I went to, I received a big confidence booster by my buddy Carlos, who is a multiple 100 mile finisher, when he told me that I definitely could do the 100 miles. I think just hearing one experienced person tell me that changed my mindset. I still had my doubts, but I started to at least believe in the possibility that I could do it somehow. Within that week, the organizer of the Buckle party, Trasie, messaged me , wanting to know about what mileage I was shooting for in the upcoming race. I told her 100 miles, I expected her to laugh but she didn't . She asked me what my longest run was... with hesitation I said 32 miles in a day, I definitely thought she going to say I should shoot for a lower mileage but she didn't. Instead she said that she believed I could do it. I could not have been in a better mindset going into the race. This was essential to my success and I am now a firm believer in how powerful the mind can be.

December 29th was here, it was sunny and 34 degrees outside as we set up our canopy , gear and food. We quickly became friends with our immediate neighbors Jim and Steve . I had every meal planned out since I had planned on being completely self sufficient due to me switching over to a vegan/ plant based diet 2 weeks earlier. The wife was to crew me for the race so I didn't waste anytime rummaging through gear instead of making forward motion. 

9 am : race began and I was not feeling good physically . When I stopped running and began walking on the back half of the course my hip flexors were giving me trouble on the very first mile. Only 95 more laps to go!

3pm: I completed the first 50 k of the course with a run walk strategy of not running most of the turns on the second half of the course.  I was on course time wise with a split schedule I worked up to get to 100 miles on time. Calorie intake proved to be a problem , I had not anticipated having trouble getting down the calories I needed to keep my energy up. My main calorie source was avocado sandwiches with vegennaise, tomatoes and sea salt.

  From my first 50k to mile 40 things were still going great and every step was now the longest distance I had gone in a day.  Once I hit 40 though things went downhill fast. All of the little annoyances were starting to build up and negativity was starting to take hold. It started with the realization that in 10 more miles I will have to do the entire 50 miles over again!! You have got to be freaking kidding me! Instead of breaking the run into 5 mile goals like I had been, I started looking at the entire 100 miles as one big chunk.   I needed a little boost in spirits so I tried to go on Facebook to see everyone's well wishings but instead my phone kept saying I was putting in the wrong password. First I was locked out 1 minute, then 5, then 15 ....Then I swore the timing devices did not capture a few of my laps. By that time I was steaming mad and ready to throw in the towel and quit. 

Mile 40- 50: I did a lot of walking during this time , I figured I needed to press on to see if I could recover from the super low I was having. I reached mile 50 a little off my desired time of sub 10 hrs , but got 10 and a half hours instead.  
Miles 50-62: I experienced my first recovery from a bonk. I had heard of people experiencing such a thing, but experiencing it myself was incredible! I began to feel as fresh as the beginning of the race. Hitting that 50 mile mark felt amazing!  I now had my eyes set on the100k (62 mile) mark, a distance that seemed unfathomable before this race. With fresh motivation, I was able to quickly start cranking out the miles under the light of incandescent lamps running off generators.

Mile 62: Beware the chair.... As the middle of the night approached, the temps dropped down into the 30's and the amount of racers dwindled down. I had completely lost my appetite and my crew, the wifey, settled down for the night in the warming tent. Every lap I would look to the inside of the warming tent and see people napping, conversing, putting their feet up and foam rolling..... I envied them....a lot. I was feeling pretty crappy now and decided to risk taking a break to ice my feet. I plopped myself down on a chair in the warming tent. Sitting down for the first time did not bring about the relief I was expecting......I actually started to feel all of the pains I had been suppressing and it was not pleasant. The second I took the ice packs off of my feet they still felt like they were on fire. After wasting about a half hour I decided resting was not going to do me any good, so I tried to stand up to get going again but I couldn't activate my muscles even with the help of someone pulling my arms.I had to be basically lifted up out of the chair. After getting to  my feet I was unable to walk without stumbling..... everything had tightened up and my chances of finishing were looking bleak..... bonk #2 was in full force and I wanted to quit... I was even given permission by Lauren and other people there that it was ok to quit and that I had still conquered a great amount of distance.
   I headed out for another lap on the 1.0495 mile course to see if I was really done. After a full lap everything began to move again and I was back in the race. My new friend Jim, offered me his timer that beeped every 30 and 45 seconds, signifying when to walk and run. 
My body somehow bounced back once more and I was running again.... very fast in fact. When the timer went off for running I was averaging about a 8 minute pace. People on the course started to tell me I looked very fresh! After pounding out 8 fast laps the surge of energy I had got, tapered off and I was back to a death march. 

Mile 70: After a few slow laps I had a huge surprise waiting for me near our Canopy. I thought I started to hallucinate or go into shock when I saw my good friend Jeremy from San Diego waiting for me to finish the straight part of the course. Luckily I was not having a mental breakdown or dying , instead it turns out he had driven from San Diego to help me out on the course and witness me getting the 100 miles done. He didn't tell us he was coming and it was a great lift to my spirits!

Mile 75:  Another tough lesson learned... I should of listened to my body at the 100k mark when my feet were burning. I should have reapplied skin lubricant to my feet or changed socks because now I had an onslaught of blisters on the bottom of my feet. I literally could not walk another step so I decided to take a break to see the medic on duty. Of course they were with someone else and taking a long time to treat their feet. After what seemed like eternity he took a look at my feet and told me he couldn't do much for me since draining them would make the pain worse.

 After taping up my feet he told me that my race was pretty much over and that I should reassess my goals since I was not going to make it to 100 miles. This was not what I wanted to hear at mile 75....
I decided to press on even after wasting 45 minutes in the medic tent and being told that my race was over. I knew with all the wasted time and being unable to run on the blisters, that my chance of finishing 25 miles in 7 hours was unlikely in my condition.... I just couldn't walk fast enough.

One thing that should be known about me is that if I am told that if I cannot do something, it kicks my determination into high gear and I will do everything possible to prove that person wrong and prove to myself that I am capable of anything!

I needed both my wife and Jeremy to pull me out of the chair since my body had shut down even more so since the first chair incident. I was unable to walk on my own and had to keep my hand on Jeremy's shoulder for stability on the first lap. We were moving so slow that I started to get a really bad chill, I took Jeremy's jacket and was then wearing a shirt, beanie, 3 jackets, shorts, pants, gloves,and ear warmers. Even with all of that I was still chilled to the bone and feared that I would get hypothermia. Luckily it eventually passed and I slowly eeked out the miles through the night with excruciating foot pain.

Mile 86: After a long night of accompanying me on my death march and getting a blister of his own, Jeremy had to return his night bib at 6am and he went to his car to get some sleep. I was on my own for 3 more hours and I could see her sleeping on the ground in the warming tent. When she woke up we talked about my new goal for the race. I told her I wanted to complete the 24 hours as my primary goal and to go into the 48 hour race so I can make sure I finish the 100 miles as my secondary goal. The organizers were super cool and put me into the longer race for no charge since I would not go the whole next day. I decided to see what I could do in the remaining 3 hours.

Mile 92: Done yet not done..... I had made it through the 24 hour race with 92 miles! What an accomplishment, almost 3 times my longest distance to date! I thought I would keep going but I only made it to the turn where our canopy was. I was moving at about a 30 min/mile pace so it made sense to rest for a bit. I laid down on the grass and went in and out of sleep for about an hour. It was not at all restful as I had some of my new running friends yelling at me to get up and keep going. They were not experiencing my pain, they had no idea what i was going through....and they definitely didn't know the pain from not reaching my original goal in the 24 hour period. I got up anyways and started shuffling around the course on my mutilated feet.

Mile 97:  Only 3 laps left yet I could not go another step due to my blisters multiplying through the night and day. I decided to get my right foot treated by the medic before continuing. The blisters were under much of my toes, heel and one even popped under my big toe. The medic made her drain out one of the blisters on my foot, lucky her!

MILE 100! This was it, the pain was about to stop and I was going to join the small fraction of the population who are 100 mile finishers. My wife and Jeremy both joined me on the final, 96th lap. 
I did it! and on a Vegan / Plant only diet that I had not tried out in any training !

2012 was officially over for me and I had proved to myself and all my friends/family that anything was possible(and that skeptical medic).. I thought I would be emotional at the end of the race, but I had nothing left.... I left it all on the course. 

Thank you to Jeremy White, Jim Tello, Steve Kissell, Ryan Weidert, and Anastasia, you were all instrumental to my success in getting the 100 mile buckle. A thank you to everyone who believed I could do it (you know who you are), and extra thanks to Jeremy for sacrificing his money and weekend to come to the race....and especially to my wife, for her support of all my athletic endeavors this year and for taking care of me during the race, without her support I would have never finished.

The injuries are mostly minimal and will heal with time...Hello 2013! Bring it!