October 20, 2012

When the bell rings

You know it. Happens every time you push. I mean, really press it. That time. The time of decision.

The bell.

When the bell rang at Hinson, I gave up. I went looking for excuses, and I found about eight hours' worth of them.

For 13 hours, I strung together a brilliant performance. Patient. Calculated. Measured. Monitored. Flexible. Break-free. Dude, I was killin' it.

And then, it got dark. And then it got hard. And when the bell rang, I took a break. Knew when I crawled in the cab of my truck for a nap that any shot at 100 miles had gone bye-bye. Wasn't sure how legit the shot still was for my 90-mile 24-hour PR when I crawled back out 40 minutes later, but realized quickly that I could no longer do the math. Should be no big deal because I suck at math, but at that time, it was the Entire World.

So, I walked. And ran a little. And rode the emotional night-time ultra roller coaster. And took two more little naps, calling them efforts to problem solve even though I didn't need either of them. And eat stuff after every 1.52-mile lap even though it was too late for that to matter much.

Sun came up, I got frisky and I finished with plenty of running left.

Numbers: 50 miles in a comfy 10:56. 55 miles in 12:07. 40 laps in the first 14 hours. 15 laps in the final 10 hours.

Final outcome: 84.76 miles for a smashing 10K Hinson Lake PR in this, my fifth running of this jewel. That's my second best 24-hour total in seven 24-hour format tries.

Looks great. Looks pretty bad-ass even, especially the rally at the end there. In some ways, I guess it was. Made some fantastic on-the-fly decisions. Experimented with the original plan, found a better plan, rode that one for a long way. Definitely did my own race. Improved the final number. A lot.

Still, from a racing perspective, the bell rang and I cratered.

So, how did I do?

Depends on how you look at it.