Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wild Sebastian 100

This past weekend was the Wild Sebastian 100 in Fellsmere, Florida. You had the option of registering for 25, 50, 75 or 100 miles. The course was a 25 mile loop with 7 aid stations and however many laps you completed, that was the distance result you finished with. So it made sense that 32 runners registered for the full 100. Anyone that thought they may have a shot at going for the full 100 miles found it worth it to pay a couple bucks more. Each lap after the first lap was approx $10 more. When this race popped up on the radar, I was still in the early months of training for the Viaduct 100 in PA July 8th. I figured that a 32 hour cutoff with that many aid stations, in Florida so Jill could crew and Tammie could pace made it a simple decision to go for it. I knew that conditioning was not an issue. I had been building a base and had the endurance to run 100 miles.
I had everything packed and ready to go by Thursday evening. I was able to relax, get to bed and go to school on Friday knowing the truck was packed and Jill would just be meeting me after the track meet. We met Tammie at the Walmart in Arcadia and I took a nap in the back of the truck when they drove out to Sebastian. We realized that a hotel might be a good idea and finally found the Best Western in Sebastian. We got to sleep by 12:30 and got a solid 4 hours of sleep. Getting up and over to the park was no big deal. The only issue was that the race had been delayed by 1 hour to give some of the course a chance to dry. So we had our prerace meeting at 7 and then set up our tent to get things ready to go. Everything went like clockwork. Bottles were filled, pockets packed with supplements, music set, shoes set out for changing after a lap or two and Garmin turned on to find signal. Then it was time to go.
Things settled in very nicely in the first mile or so at about a 12 minute pace and I was running w/ Bobby Nelson. I had seen Bobby a few times recently and got a chance to hear his story about diving head first into running and ultras in the past year. He really is an amazing dude. We ran near each other for a while. And then I settled in with Issie Sosa and we ran and chatted for a while. Bob the race photographer was with us and asked if I did the shorter races too, my response was "yeah, I do 50k's also." Another highlight of the first lap was chatting w/ Michelle Matys for 5 minutes at each aid station. She was all over the course taking pics and getting ready to pace Traci Phillips. The first lap was pretty smooth. The course was beautiful. It was not an easy course though. There were many sections torn up by the pigs. There was some sugar sand, and other areas that we would turn into sugar sand throughout the day. When I finished the first lap in 5:12 or so, Jill said that some people were complaining about the course. That was pretty annoying to hear. I was very adamant that it was a challenging and difficult course but the thought is dislike for the course never crossed my mind. First time Race Director Mike Beck and his wife Kristen did an amazing job putting this race together. He gave us a heads up before the race that he had more runners than expected and some of his volunteers bailed on him. I guess he was a little light in staffing at the Start/Finish line but a few people stepped up and helped out so none of the runners even realized. The Aid Stations were fully stocked and had some great people there to pick up our spirits every time we came through. The folks at AS4 went to bed in the middle of the night but they left Pizza out for us, only an idiot would complain about that. AS5, John and Laura were making grilled cheese and they were so amazing to talk to!
Ok, I am jumping ahead, back to the end of Lap 1. 5:12 was the time and I felt pretty good. Was not at all concerned about being 18 minutes in front of my plan. I changed shoes because the course was dry and I wanted to be in the bigger shoes for the rest of the run. I drank some sugar free red bull while Jill filled my bottles and Tammie got me some new GU. Jill walked w/ me as I ate a piece of my new standard turkey sub. When I finished the sub and drink, I gave her a kiss and got back to running. I honestly do not remember much from lap 2. I still felt ok but my feet started to hurt. I had been rolling my ankle a few times a mile...oh yeah, the best part about the course, every single mile was marked with a big yellow sign!!!! So I felt good, legs felt great but the feet and ankles were starting to give me some trouble. I remember Traci flying by me like I wasn't even moving after AS1. Other than that, something about mile 47 stands out as the point where I knew my ankle was trashed. Over those next 3 miles into sunset, I felt that I was done. The pain was getting worse and worse as I rolled in to finish Lap 2 at 12:01. But the one thing that I knew was that I couldn't tell Jill and Tammie that I was done. I knew they would just tell me that it was supposed to hurt and that I was doing great. So I didn't say anything. Tammie put IcyHot on both feet and Jill headed out with me to start Lap 3. We ran most of the first 3 miles and then things got tough. My ankle was in quite a bit of pain and all I could do was walk. We got to mile 60 and I was convinced that I was done. Tammie met us there and all she wanted to do was doctor my feet up again and get me going again. I was slow to get up but I just went along with it. Those next 10 miles were pure hell. I was twisting my ankle every other step and I really wasn't sure why I began that third lap, or that current 10 mile loop.
I had been doing the math for most of the day and as were were approaching 8 hours 20 miles into the lap, I could start to see the finish line slipping away. I began the third lap with 19 1/2 hours to go and if Lap 3 took 10 hours, that left 9 1/2 for Lap 4. Considering I was walking with no running I was pretty certain that I wasn't bring Lap 4 back faster. I was also terrified of breaking my ankle on Death Row along 95 and laying there between mile 21 and 22 for the vultures to come get me. This stretch was also mile 8 to 9 so I crossed it 6 times total. I did not want to cross the stretch again in the dark so I made a decision. I was going to take a nap at AS6 until the sun came up and then I would walk 5 miles back to finish Lap 3 and get my medal for running the Wild Sebastian 75.
Jill was sleeping at AS6 and I crawled in the back of the truck with her and I am sure I was out cold instantly. We got up a few hours later and took our time walking the last 5 miles. I think my finish time was about 26 hours because it was about 10am. I crossed that line and told them I was done. They gave me a medal and I quickly took a seat to get my shoes off and check out the damage. My left ankle was bright red on both sides and swollen like Hitch! The adrenaline that got me through 28 miles on that ankle was wearing off quickly and I could barely move. Long story short, I ran further than ever before and finished a race doing so. Good enough for me. I wasn't excited or glad that I had done it. I was actually kinda upset that I put myself through that kind of pain, didn't get 100 miles and wasn't sure what kind of injury it was or what recovery I was looking at.

Fast Forward 2 Days! I have been to Dr. Dean Traiger, a running friend, for xrays. No acute damage. I have also been to Dr. Donn Fuller at Dean's recommendation. He was very understanding about the ultra running. He even commented on how I can possibly be running with flat feet. Verdict is Peroneal Tendonitis, the tendon that runs behind the ankle bone. I have had soreness with this tendon before and it has progressively gotten worse. The solution is rest for about 2 weeks until I go back, PT for a few weeks, and an anti inflammatory. Also, before future races, I will be getting the ankle wrapped and will pre load my system with the anti inflammatory.

As of right now, Viaduct is still on.