Monday, June 03, 2013

Bryce 100

I just got back from an excellent trip to southern Utah for the Bryce 100. Wednesday night I flew to Vegas and stayed with my buddy Nielsen. Thursday I picked up gf at the airport and drove to Dixie National Forest just west of Bryce Canyon National Park, picked up my race packet, ate some delicious pizza (with no cheese) baked by some awesome hippies on a mobile brick oven trailer, and slept. Friday I ran 100 miles. 25 hours and 56 minutes later I finished doing that. I took a nap for a few hours, drank some beer, ate more pizza, and then went and hiked down a slot canyon. Sunday we hiked around Cedar Breaks National Monument and then Fire Canyon in Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park. Took the red-eye home and here we are; you're all caught up.
Willis Creek in Grand Staircase Escalante NM
Willis Creek--easily accessible non-technical slot outside Cannonville, UT
View on the BLM road to Willis Creek
Devil's Garden on Hole-in-the-Rock Rd near Escalante, UT
Cedar Breaks National Monument outside Cedar City, UT
Squeezing out of Fire Canyon
Fire Canyon,Valley of Fire State Park
Near Mouse's Tank, Valley of Fire State Park

If you want details:

Here's the GPS, though it's actually only the data for miles 39 to the finish. I didn't start wearing it until then because the battery only lasts ~20 hours.

 I highly recommend the Bryce 100. The first 35 miles or so are spectacular singletrack with some of the prettiest running I have ever done (unfortunately I wasn't carrying my camera). The course was mostly an out and back, and most of miles 35-65 or so were on dirt roads, as well as most of 80-100, but there were still great views for much of that. It was both very hot (80 during the day?) and very cold (30 at night?). I felt great through mile 35, but the climb to 45 took it out of me. I did the first 50 in 11 hours, then promptly vomited and got no food to stay down the rest of the race. A man can only run so fast on ginger ale and soup broth.

I saw crew for the first time and picked up my pacer at mile 61. (The race director said 4WD might be necessary to get to earlier aid stations, but it turned out it would have been doable in the 2WD rental.) Nielsen ran (walked, mostly) with me to mile 89, then gf ran the long-feeling 11 miles to the finish. I of course was hoping to break 24 hours, but I finished in 25:56. That's a new PR by 36 minutes, so I'm happy about that. My stomach problems were definitely less bad than at Wasatch, but I'd really like to be able to eliminate them completely. Eliminate gels completely and try real food, since that seemed to work OK for my first handful of 100's? That's the plan. I'll probably carry dates and hope for lots of broth at Western States.

After the race I recovered just fine. Sort of ridiculously well, perhaps. Meaning I probably had gas left in the tank and could have broken 24 hours. But at the time I really felt like I was spent--I couldn't eat anything, and on hills the the cold air and cold water and cold body prevented me from taking anything but the shallowest of breaths--I had to stop and pant, and running made me burp and get hiccups that wouldn't go away until I took warm broth at the next aid station. Nielsen entertained me with stories, but I couldn't do much talking of my own. Yet, as always, the sun came up, I finished the race, and I soon felt fine enough to go drive all over Utah and hike a slot canyon. Now all I feel is a little bit of "thickness" in my calves, but I otherwise feel recovered, if sleepy from taking a redeye.

I knew I'd be fine when the race ended, so I used to try and overcome this. I used a conservative acquaintance from grad school to put $25 on the line to the "anti-charity" known as the National Rifle Association. Perhaps if I'd put $500 on the line, I would have cared more about the children at midnight despite the vomiting and the weakness, but $25 wasn't enough. Basically, I'm mentally weak and now I need to give $50 to the Brady Campaign to make up for it. And run sub-24 at Western States.

1 comment:

  1. "less bad than at Wasatch" So no laying face down on the pavement puking? Does it even count as a finish if you don't get to experience that?

    Nice job on the PR!