Friday, September 17, 2010

The Road to Badwater–Pt 8 Darwin - 100 Mile Mark

This is part 8 of a series highlighting an ultra-marathon run by my friend Gregg Geredes.  Gregg came in 5th place and was th 1st rookie to fi270_badwater[1]nish!  135 miles: 28:28:29.
This achievement was done to raise money for the Diplomatic Security Foundation. Click here to find out more.

Darwin to 100 mile mark (90 – 100) – feeling the distance
I started out the next down hill a little less aggressive than the previous one. I was getting pretty tired by now and asked for my I-shuffle to give me some extra motivation. I have a 135-mile playlist on my I-shuffle, about 12 hours of songs, this was the first time I used my I-shuffle. Mike was the lucky one to suffer through my singing (screaming) while we ran through the desert at a 7:30 – 8:30 pace, not quite as fast as the last downhill, but still a good pace.

This was a difficult time for me. It was before dawn and your mind is making its last attempt to get you to sleep before the sunrise. At 6:00 a.m. I reached the 100-mile mark and was slowing down considerably, both physically and mentally exhausted. My crew sensing my ‘funk’ turned up the motivation level another notch. As you come up to the 100-mile mark (a white line on the road) there are rock cliffs on either side about 20 feet up. My crew climbed up either side and cheered me on. This is another one of the many times they were proving their personal investment in this race. From the beginning they had maintained a winning attitude – How do we get OUR runner to run his best race.

Badwater_100
Photo: Coming up to 100 mile-mark, crew on top of cliffs

At the 100-mile mark I stopped by our van and shoved my head into the ice bath cooler. I had been doing this anytime I was starting to get run down and/or tired, and it really helped, somehow by just sticking my head in, it helped me release tension and fatigue. However by now the cooler was getting a little nasty from my ice baths and from crew members soaking there feet – Yah I didn’t find out that fact until after the race, ‘thanks team’ – didn’t matter. It came to be known as the ‘Bad’ water cooler.
I had reached the 100-mile mark in 20 hours exactly. This was good; I figured that as long as the wheels didn’t come completely off the wagon I should be able to break 30 hours. Only 35 miles to go, but this was all new territory for me.

Janet sensed my mental situation was rough and told Dave to offer me some meds. I took two Bayer aspirin. They would be the only meds I took during the entire race. I don’t know if the pills helped at all, but the placebo effect was everything. I have a Great wife, who knows her husband.
  • Lesson: Music is a wonderful gift
  • Lesson: A good crew will help you finish; a great crew will do everything to make sure the team finishes beyond expectations
  • Lesson: We all sometimes need to put our head in ice
  • Lesson: Reaching your milestones is a good feeling, but maintain your distant goal
  • Lesson: Life is about exploring new territory
  • Lesson: Behind every great man is a better woman

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