Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vineman Race Report First Iron Distance Race

So going into this race I was pretty confident in the training that I had done. Everything had gone well. No injuries or anything like that. The biggest thing I was nervous about was the distances. Big surprise I know.   The furthest I had swam (that I was keeping track)  was 1 mile. The furthest I had cycled was about 70 miles. The run I wasn't worried about. Because earlier this year I had completed a 100 mile foot race that lasted 23 hours. So I knew that no matter how tired I was that I could keep moving and finish the race. We packed up and headed out on Thursday the 25th of July. It was a long rode trip. 

With a mud slide on I-80 that added an hour and a half to our 12.5 hour trip. Car sickness and all that fun stuff that comes with traveling with kids. On Friday morning at breakfast we found Zach who is a good friend of my little brothers from high school. He was there with his mom and little brother. I went with them to go do a practice swim at the Russian river at Johnson's beach. On the way there we saw lots of cyclists that were riding the course. When we got to Johnson's beach there were lots of people there going the same thing we were. 

--> We put our wetsuits on and swam a few hundred meters up and then back. When we turned around we could touch the ground which was reassuring.  Cause even though I had worked real hard on the swim, it was still the event that I was the most nervous about. I had a fear of not even making the cutoff and pleading with them and trying to convince them that I was a real fast runner and to let me continue. Anyways the practice swim went well, the water felt great and lots of shallow spots. After that I got the bike out and did a short bike and a run. I realized that morning that I didn't have warm enough clothing for the bike. It was like 50 degrees in the morning. Which is about 20 degrees cooler than I prefer riding. So we made an emergency trip to big 5 to get a black under armor shirt. Later that day we went to the expo.

Got our numbers and time chips. Watched the prerace video. And got outta there. I never like spending too much time at the expos. We also had to set out our T-2 transition stuff at Windsor High  school. It's was the first race that I had done where the two transitions happened in different locations. It was kind of hard deciding which off the little things I would need at which location. 
 We went out for a nice big pasta dinner at Olive Garden

 and went back to the hotel to try to get some sleep. Went to bed pretty early, so it took quite a while for the kids to calm down. Finally they did I and I was able to get some sleep to. I always get so nervous for any race that I'm in. Wether it's a 5k or a marathon. This race was no different. Anyways got some sleep, woke up at 3:55 am. Had some eggs and a has brown that I had saved from the hotel breakfast the previous morning. It didn't taste very good. But it was good enough. I had woken up with a little bit of a cough, like I was getting a cold. Wasn't too excited about that. Got all my stuff together and grabbed some cough drops to help out with this little cough. I had 3 water bottles on the bike. One up front that was easy to refill through the top and one I filled with Gatorade, and one I filled with this nasty tasting stuff called EFS. Which was full of electrolytes. So I loaded up my stuff into Zach Pendeltons car. Who is good friends with my little brother and who came out and paced us for a while during the 50 miler last October. So his little brother drove us to the start line at Johnson's beach. We got out of the car and it was pretty cold. The humidity was so thick that you could see the water falling in the air but it wasn't raining. Lots of athletes there. The race was very organized. They guided us down to the transition area, where we got all our bike stuff set up.

 Got our body markings, made one last trip to the porta pottys and put on our wetsuits. The hour passed very quickly and it was time to start the race. I was in the first wave -35 and under with the elites and pros. I was nervous but excited to get the race underway. We had just a couple minutes to tread water before it started. I was about middle of the pack to start. It was ptty crazy at the beginning. I kept hitting people. It didn't hurt but wasn't really something I was totally comfortable with. In my other triathlons I would just let people pass me and swim on my own. But I just kept swimming and dealing with the people on both sides of me in front and in back. The swim was - two out and back loops. So .6 miles up and then back then do it again. I had some comfort in knowing that if I get too tired I could just swim to the side or stand up. I was able to swim all the way to the first turn around which I was pretty happy with. At that point the water was about two feet deep so you pretty much had no choice but to walk for about 10 meters. Then it was time to head back. I was a quarter of the way done with the swim. Hit a few shallow spots that I wasn't even able to do a full swim stroke but just kept swimming thru it. Every once and a while moss would get caught in my mouth. Kinda gross. I pushed all the way to the half way point without stopping and was pretty happy about being half way done with the swim. I was thinking this was going way better than my half iron man swim went. Way better. I wasn't the same swimmer as I was last year. All those 5:30 am swim classes were paying off. With no rest at the halfway point I headed back upstream. Sometimes people passed me. By I found myself passing people quite a bit. Which I was lovin. Made it all the way up to the other turn around without stopping. I was 3/4 of the way done with the swim. I walked around the extremely shallow part and headed back downstream. I love swimming in the wetsuit. I can keep a pretty constant pace with barely even using my legs. Crossed under the last bridge and could see the end. I swam till the very end. I got out of the water literally bursting with joy that I just swam 2.4 miles with no problem. I had come a long ways from a year and a half ago not even bring able to swim once across the pool without being completely exhausted. So when I exited the water the crowd was real quiet. I let out this loud victory yell as loud as I could. The crowd went crazy and cheered for me all the way up the ramp. I think I even yelled I am a swimmer or something like that. As I was running to transition I was a little off balance. Seething about swimming for that long then breaking into a run made my balance off a bit. Luckily I didn't fall over though. I quickly made my way to where the "strippers" we're waiting. I sat down. They stripped the wet suit off. Helped me to my feet and I not over to find my bike in the rack. I was on the front row so u thought it would be easy to find. But I got a little disoriented and stood for like 20 seconds not finding my bike. After I found it I started to get ready for the bike. I was oozing with heat so I started second guessing wearing the under armor shirt that I had bought. I decided to wear it cause I knew it was only like 50 degrees out there. I mounted my bike and I began the 112 mile bike ride. The first few miles I was smiling big. I the past it has been because I was so glad the horrible swim was over with. This time I was smiling so big cause I was so happy at how the swim went. I even beat Zach out of the water. In the first few miles I was so glad to have that extra shirt on. It was cold and humid out there. The course was beautiful. Lots of rolling hills. Wineries around every corner. So much green. The bike portion went exactly like I thought it would go. I train at about 17 mph and that's ptty much what I did the entire race. People passed me constantly. It felt like all 1000 people in the race passed me. Each person that would pass me I would look at their bike and how big their calves were. Both were ridiculous. Every 15 miles or so there was an aid station. I was very grateful for my aerobar water bottle that I was able to just dump the fresh water into. I ate lots of bananas and clif bars. About every mile I'd see someone with a flat tire. I kept hoping that it wouldn't be me. Around mile 40 or so I hit my "so low you wanna cry or die " stage. My butt hurt and it was hard to imagine riding 70 more miles. But I just kept chugging along. After the first 56 mile loop i started to get hot. But I didn't know what to do with my long sleeve shirt so I just kept wearing it. I also figured it was great sunscreen, with my fair complexion I need all the help I can get. I had to pee for about 3 hours but I didn't want to stop at any of the aid stations cause the was always a line. My garmin died at about mile 102. Which I wasn't too happy a out cause I never run without my watch. The last 10 miles were hot and hard. My butt was so sore. All I wanted was to get off that bike and start running. After 7 long hours I reached Windsor high school for transition. This was also the first time I got to see April and the kids. Which was so great to see their smiling faces. I put on my running shoes, applied a thick layer of sunscreen, took some electrolyte pills and headed out on the 26.2 mile run. Saw the family one more time and started off on my journey. It felt so good to be off that bike. I was flying by people for the first few miles. I had no idea how fast I was going without a watch but it was fun. The run course was a 3 loop out and back. After each lap you get a wrist band. If the whole race passed my on the bike I was going to catch a lot of them on the run. I didn't feel like eating guy's anymore. S I started drinking coke at every aid station. They also had juicy California peaches that really hit the spot. The first lap felt like it took a long time bt Hink I was around a 7:40 min pace. I saw Zach at about mile 2 so he was probably about an hr ahead of me. So I knew I wouldn't catch him. After the first lap I saw my family. Once again after I saw them I got all choked up like a little girl and had to hold back the tears. The 2nd lap was very long. I was slowing down and had to go to the bathroom. It was also starting to cool off which felt so good. That chilly humid breeze was perfect. Saw the family again at lap two. So much fun seeing them. The last lap was tough. I knew I could do it. But I was slowing down a lot. It was fun running the last four miles knowing I had my two wristbands and I was on the home stretch. After over 12 hours of racing it was time to sprint across the finish line.  I let out a yell threw up my arms and ran across the finish line. They gave me my finishers medal.  Zach was there to congratulate me.  I grabbed some food and went and found my family.   April could see me getting choked up when I saw them.  What can I say.  I’m kind of a baby.  But seriously that’s one of my favorite parts of racing.  Is seeing my loved ones when I cross the finish line.  What an amazing day.  I can now check off an ironman from my bucket list.  A few short years ago this race was completely inconceivable.  But here I was at the finish line after a long hard day.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Buffalo 100 Mile Run Race Report

Okay so let’s start from the beginning why I even had the desire to run a 100 mile race. Back in 2010 when I was attempting to run my first marathon I read a book called born to run. And in the book they talked about this thing called and ultramarathon, which I had never before heard of. When I found out that humans could run further than a marathon, distances of 50 or 100 miles or even more I said I have got to try that. So that first year after running my first marathon I also ran my first 50 miler. I didn’t know exactly when I would be able to run 100 mile race so I just put it off for the next few years accomplishing other goals. So I finally signed up for this race and decided to give it a go. Going into this race there were a lot of things to be nervous about besides the distance. First of all it was all on trails, and I never run trails. Also it’s so early in the year I had to do all of my training on treadmills which is different from running outside. I was able to do all of my runs on the treadmill including one 50 mile run which took about seven hours at the gym. Which was pretty crazy itself. I started doing all my runs outside about three weeks before the race, trying to run off-road as much as possible to see how my racing flats would do on the gravel and dirt. So I was pretty nervous going into the race especially since the furthest distance I would have ran would be half the distance I would be going during the race, which is something I’ve never done before. So the day finally came, it was time to do this, run 100 miles. The forecast for the race was not looking good snow and 20° weather during the

Driving to the Race from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.

The race start time was noon so I ate a big breakfast with my family, waited a few hours and headed out. Stopped off for a bean burrito at Carl’s Jr. took some ibuprofen and drove out to the island.

 I showed up at the finisher tent and got all my stuff together. I got out of my car and I was already freezing. I had two drop bags with all my stuff in them. Gu’s, headlamp, extra shoes, extra socks, granola bars, ibuprofen, everything I could possibly need. It was getting closer to race time. I was looking around at all the other crazies that were about to do this with me. Most of the people doing it were real outdoorsy people with long hair and beards and really tan faces.
Pre-Race from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.

Getting ready to start.

It was five minutes to noon so we headed out to the start line, it was really cold with the wind blowing iin our faces. I lined up at the start I was next to Karl Meltzer. Who is kind of a local running legend and usually wins this race every year by about five hours. So the race started and I started off pretty fast. I thought, well let’s see how long I can hang with these guys.

We were doing about a seven minute pace which is way too fast for an ultramarathon for somebody Like me. The beginning of the race have some pretty good climbs and some tough wind blowing but I kept pushing it up the hills staying with the lead pack. I didn’t even stop to walk until the sixth mile or so. Two or three guys had pulled ahead of me but I was still pushing it and going way faster than I should have that I was okay with it. I figured let’s get some good speed in the beginning because later in the race I’m going to be tired either way. I ran with one guy I named the ponytail Mexican for a few miles finally he died off and I kept moving. I came to the first aid station and just blew right through it when everyone else stopped. After that aid station I hit some nice down hills. I was cruising and having a lot of fun I was in like fourth-place I even hit a 7 minute mile. There was a smile on my face, I knew it wouldn’t last but I enjoyed it while I could. I finish the loop and a short out and back and I was at mile 13 and the wind and snow really picked up at this point. It was blowing hard and real hard to run against. I was talking to someone for a while but then I couldn’t hear anything . Pushed on for a few more miles getting a little more tired, crossed the start line aid station at mile 19. I headed out to the other side of the island. This is about the point where I started to run out of steam.
Mile 20 update from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.
Switching over to survival mode. Also came across a spot of wet cold mud which was really hard to get through. I had to keep my feet dry I didn’t have socks on and it was cold out there. I hadn’t been eating a whole lot of real food just some Gu’s and Gatorade. Made it to the lower Frary aid station, at about mile 27. This was the point where in 50 more miles I would be meeting up with Jimmy Joe. That seems so far away, and it was. The next 6 miles were pretty miserable, my stomach was not feeling good at all and I was real tired, I decided to call this the cryin’, dyin’ stage. It happens in every ultramarathon that I do. It’s the point where you start to question your sanity and start to agree with everybody that said you were crazy to do this. There wasn’t much running at all during this point. A lot of people were passing me and I did not feel good. After six long miles I made it to the ranch aid station. Mile 33. Only 67 left ugh! I was able to eat a little bit of food but nothing that set really well on my stomach. The thing with ultramarathons is, the eating is almost more important than the running, you have to really figure out how to keep your stomach under control. Six more tough miles back to the lower Frairy aid station. On the way I took one more gu and I almost threw it up, so I knew I could no longer eat those and would have to eat something else and drink something for caffeine. When I got to the aid station the nice volunteer offered me a wide variety of food I ended up drinking some chicken broth and ate a canned baked potato. And chased it down with some Coke. This combination of food was heaven sent. It completely settled my stomach and I had a few miles of just awesomeness after that. I also switched from sunglasses to headlamp at this aid station. The sun headset and it was getting dark. I knew that this was when the real adventure was about to start. It was cold and windy already and with the sundown it was getting bone chilling cold. And without my sunglasses to protect my eyes and the wind and snow blowing in them it was real tough. It was past 8 o’clock by now so I knew my little brother Jimmy Joe was on the island somewhere.
10pm update. Jimmy Joe waiting in his car. from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.
He was going to be my pacer once again and the gate To get in to the island closed at 8 PM. So that was giving me some energy knowing I was getting closer to running with him. I made it to mile 45 and had to head around Buffalo point. This was a real hard part of the race, the trail was hard to see, it was hardly even a trail at all, but Luckily they had it marked well with reflectors. But I was all alone with no one in sight. It was a complete blizzard blowing straight into at me. My eyes were burning from the cold and snow. They were even starting to blur. Kind of like how it feels when the eye doctor dialates your eyes for an eye exam. I made it around the mountain and hit one more aid station, the volunteer there told me great job on making it through the first half. He said “remember the first 50 is physical the second 50 is mental, don’t tell yourself you can’t do it”. Which was so true. I had to constantly keep telling myself that I could do this. I made it back to the start/finish aid station where Jimmy Joe was waiting for me. He had been there for hours. Talk about the best little brother in the world. I ate some more potatoes, chicken broth and Coke which were sitting so well on my stomach I was just loving them. I told him to go take a nap and that I would be back at this point in 19 miles, probably like four hours or so. The next 19 miles I don’t really remember a lot of, my GPS died at 56 miles and it was dark and freezing cold. With the wind chill it was easily in the teens. The snow kept coming and going. I just kept trudging forward. 4 ½ long, hard, cold hours later I made it back to the finishing tent at mile 69. Jimmy Joe was there and it was so good to see him. He had originally planned on meeting up with me at mile 77 but I convinced him to start sooner.

My eyes were glossed over from the cold.

Mile 69 Uodate from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.

Jimmy Joe starts running with me from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.
It was really great running with him. In there I also saw the ponytail Mexican guy that I ran with it the beginning of the race, and I said what are you doing in here, and he said I’m finished. He had to drop out of the race. I told him that I would finish the race for him. As we headed out of the tent he pulled Jimmy Joe by the arm and said in a very serious voice “make sure he finishes”. As we headed out it took a long time for Jimmy Joe to get his body warm. He was running and shivering for the first three or 4 miles. We were getting into a nice pattern of running and walking over the next 10 or 15 miles. My eyes were getting real blurry by now, I told somebody at the aid station about it and they said one guy had gone completely blind in one eye. But I have a lifetime guarantee on my LASIK surgery so I figured I’d risk it and keep on going. The long road from lower frary to the ranch aid station was a tough one. There was snow on the ground but my feet were okay. We were getting closer to sunrise so they started having some different things to offer at the aid stations. We were eating quesadillas, they had bacon and waffles and tons of great stuff to eat. Everything tasted so good.
Mile 78 update from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.
As it started getting closer to morning I was quite surprised that I never got sleepy tired. My legs had been tired for the last 60 to 70 miles. But I never felt like I needed to fall asleep. At one station they said one guy was in the back and they were supposed to wake him up in 20 minutes. I thought that was pretty funny. Also at the aid stations I started seeing bib numbers hung up. Which were from people that have dropped out of the race, they had a little notes on them like IT band or something like that. It was like they were casualties of war. I came to find out later that 40 of the 90 people in the race weren’t able to finish it. The sun came up at about 91 miles.
Mile 90 update (phone died) from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.
It was a beautiful sunrise. We were so excited for the sun to warm us up but it took a few more hours before it started to get warmer. Finally by mile 95 it started to get warmer and we just had the five-mile stretch around Buffalo point. The buffaloes are roaming free all over the course. We only saw them a few times. Once at night, and once in the day. Our survival instructions were, if you see a buffalo don’t look them in the eyes and if they charge you had for rocks. There was one we saw during the night that was about 10 feet from us we did look it right in the eyes but we had our headlamps on so it couldn’t see anything. It was just blinded and we got out of there pretty quick. Then coming around Buffalo point there was one directly in our path and started coming towards us. So I went ahead of Jimmy Joe I made a big circle around it, it kept walking towards us and there were no rocks around so I was kind of scared. It started coming towards us so I just started running away and I remembered that I don’t have to run faster than the buffalo I only have to run faster than Jimmy Joe. Ha ha just kidding but not really.
The buffalo that was in our way.

 We made it the long journey around the buffalo point and stopped off at one last aid station. Had some fig newtons and we were on the home stretch. The last few miles were great. We ran more than we did over the last 20 miles. I was excited to be done with this journey. I saw the finish line. I saw my family. I stopped for a second and waited for my kids to run me across the finish line. What an amazing feeling to know that I had just completed 100 miles. It’s always such an unforgettable feeling to see your family at the end of the race. My beautiful wife was there who I am so thankful for her support through all my craziness. She is the best. My mom and dad also made it out there. Who have always supported all my racing. I got my finishers belt buckle, had some great buffalo stew, and a massage and it was over. I took 17th Place in a time of 22 hours and 49 minutes. One thing I want everybody to know is that they can do anything. There is nothing special about me, I just set a goal and did what it took to complete this goal. Most people may not have the desire to ever run a 100 mile race but hopefully I can inspire some people to get out there and do something, do a 5K do a half marathon, a marathon or triathlon do something. Get out there be healthy! You can do it. You never know what you can achieve until you try it.  As for me it's time to start training for the Vineman Ironman in July.

Finishers Buckle

 Buffalo that gave us some trouble

 Swollen hands and Feet.  But no Blisters.
 Me and my pacer Jimmy Joe

Fat Hands

 Tools of the Trade
 The potatoes that saved my stomach

 My Super Wonderful Awesome Beautiful Wife

 Playing around with my fat hands

 Enjoying some Buffalo stew.

 Zade Helping out with the Massage

This is some guy who was throwing rocks  and rattling a fence during the race.  He could have been killed.  Glad that wasn't us.