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Canandaigua 50’s Race Report<br>
October 6, 2007<br><br>
Executive Summary:<br><br>
50 miles – 1 Loop around Canandaigua Lake (road race with 1-1/2 mile trail)<br>
Weather: HHH – Temp/humidity at race start 70/68+, Midday 86/70+, afternoon 75/85+<br><br>
Goals:<br>
-Finish<br>
-Secondary goal 10 hours<br>
-Reach goal sub 10 hour<br><br>
Results:<br>
-Time 9:34:19<br>
-16th overall<br><br><b>Prologue</b><br><br>
<Flashback to Green Lakes Endurance Run, 5 weeks prior to Canandaigua. Dave’s back spasms as he crosses the finish line. He limps painfully over to a low stone wall and lies down. The RD asks him if he’s alright.><br><br>
<Flashback to the Rochester Marathon, 3 weeks prior to Canandaigua. Dave is standing on the side of the canal path trying to stretch his back after only 13 miles. He pops several pills and shuffles on.><br><br>
<Flashback to Chenango Valley Campground, 2 weeks prior to Canandaigua. Dave is sitting in the cabin after only running 6 of the planned 16 miles of his long run. It hurts to run, it hurts to walk, it hurts to sit. The temperature is in the 80’s.><br><br>
<Flashback to Green Lakes State Park. After a chiropractic adjustment 4 days prior and a massage 2 days prior, Dave pops several pills and limps through 10 miles with the marathon training group. Sunday evening he can barely walk and sleep does not come. Dave checks the long range forecast and it calls for temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s with humidity to match. Dave calls to schedule another massage.><br><br><b>Act I</b><br><br>
What have I gotten myself into? The thought rolled over and over in my sleep deprived brain. The longest run of my life and my back was in its worst shape ever. I’ve had back trouble for years, but nothing like this. Come to think of it I really haven’t had a problem with my back since I started running a little over two years ago. Damn it. Why now? I was uncomfortable. I was miserable. I was dejected. I was scared.<br><br>
To add insult to injury (literally) the forecast for the coming weekend was about as bad as it could be for a penguin (my running style and temperature requirements). Mid to upper eighties with matching humidity. Where are we? Panama? I tried to put global warming out of my mind and concentrate on other things…like my aching back, my total rookie status, blisters, dehydration, cramps, nausea, getting lost, missed long runs, forgetting my high school locker combination or my pants, but nothing seemed to calm my nerves or soothe my back.<br>
The week prior I spent every free minute calculating paces and finish times. But the impending weather and the uncertainty about my ailing back made for an exercise in futility and only served to rattle my already shaken confidence so I threw out the 10:45 pace pipe dream and concentrated on finding the finish. On the medical front I experienced every illness known to humankind. I suffered through bouts of dysentery, shingles, typhoid, bubonic plague and the clap to name a few. At one point I even had a touch of hemorrhagic fever. I got another massage and ran a paltry 10 miles the days leading up to the main event. My taper had kicked butt. I was as unprepared as I could be.<br><br><b>Act II</b><br><br>
The alarm went off at 5:00 AM and I sprung out of bed. I had actually been able to sleep about 6 hours on the lumpy hotel issue bed. I got dressed, taped the feet and starting packing. Trish got up without me having to badger her and I ran the first load out to the truck. I stepped outside at 6:00 AM and was hit in the face with the thick moisture laden air. I looked at the forecast at the front desk (against my better judgment) and my worst fears (well maybe not my worst fear, probably my third, the first being the state of my back, the second, death) had materialized. Mid to upper eights, humidity in the 75-85% range, and a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Alright!!! Lightning too!<br><br>
I finished packing the truck and we made our way to Dunkin Donuts for the necessary caffeine. My lower back, left hamstring and what I’m told is my left hip flexor were all extremely tight so I made a pre-emptive strike and popped three ibuprofens. When we arrived at the start it was a balmy 72 degrees. I met up with my friend Paul who was also running his first 50 miler and we shot a couple of “before” pictures. I also met up with Tim and we chatted for a few minutes as the time flew by and the RD called, “Five minutes”. I was off in Never Never Land. I don’t really remember any of his pre-race dissertation until he said, “Timers ready”. And we were off. 50 miles of unknown territory. 50 miles of heat and humidity that on a normal day would in all likelihood result in a rest day. 50 miles on a back that had given me a month of grief and resulted in a paltry 133 miles the preceding 4 weeks.<br><br>
The first ten miles were covered in an hour and a half. To fast. Way too fast I thought as I cruised through the aid station without stopping, Trish handing me fresh water bottles on the move. I thought about my PRT “Friday Five” and made an effort to slow the pace. I had four more ten milers to run. I was eating and drinking steadily and my stomach was behaving. My back on the other hand was uncooperative. I was really questioning my ability to run another 40 miles with the discomfort I was feeling. Just absorbing the pain was already tiring my left leg. 40 miles, no way. Then I thought of all the people who had supported me and believed in me even when I was filled with doubt. I smiled. I popped a couple of Tylenol and kept hoofing. I made a conscious effort to smile as much as possible. I thought of having the ability and the opportunity to even try something like this. I smiled. I thought about my daughter when she said, “That’s just nuts!” I smiled again.<br><br>
Huffing and puffing I walked Bopple Hill as fast as I could while still reserving some legs for the nice big down that was to follow. Half way up I saw a sign that said Little Swineford Farm. I smiled. I got to the top of Bopple Hill and I smiled. Again.<br><br>
I hit the trail section at 22 miles after a quick change of water bottles and immediately slowed. The grass was high and the trail consisted of cobbles and a lot of 1-2” stones. It was also stifling hot. This was the first time I noticed the oppressive heat. My heart rate shot up and I backed off on the pace. The weeds and brush on either side of the trail prevented any air movement and the sun felt like angry fire on my shoulders. I slowed as I went by another runner who was having stomach issues. I asked if he was okay and continued on. It felt like the longest mile of my short running career as I finally got to the end of the trail section and back to the road. I talked with Trish as she drove along beside me and recall remarking that there wasn’t much return on the investment I had made in the trail section.<br><br>
I checked my hands. They were puffy. I remembered Lloyd’s words of wisdom and declined the offer of electrolytes from the volunteers as I rolled through the Sunnyside aide station. It was aptly named. It was sunny. It was hot.<br><br>
I had left my buddy on the big down before the trail section and was running easily as I had yet to be passed by anyone. The back and left leg were loosening up (finally) and I had passed quite a few people on the way to 26.2 including two guys who had led the pack out of the start. One had been stomach guy on the trail section and the other was enduring cramps that had slowed him to a gimpy hobble. I got to the marathon mark at exactly four hours and thirty minutes into the race. Still to fast and unless I wanted to end up like the last two guys I had gone by I would have to slow down. I did some calculating and arrived at the conclusion that if I just slowed down a little I could finish this thing in 9-1/2 hours. I was elated. The elation lasted until mile 34.<br><br><b>Act III</b><br><br>
I wasn’t smiling anymore. I got short with Trish when I told her not to leap frog so far ahead. I could feel the heat taking its toll, baking me from the inside out. Nine and a half hours was an unrealistic goal given my current state and the 15 miles yet to go. I started beating up on myself just because I didn’t think the road was doing a good enough job. I thought about Meredith. Just keep moving she had said. I kept moving. I had made a pact with myself before the start of the race that I would not complain aloud about the conditions or my physical state. Now I had to deal with the voices in my head that were loud and clear. I kept moving. I walked more than I ran. The clouds matched my mood. The thunder rumbled in the distance. I kept moving. Trish told me that I was in 15th place and that it was 87 degrees. I gave her the thumbs up. I smiled and the rain came.<br><br>
The thunder, the lightning, the wind, the driving rain, the heat, the exhaustion. I have never felt more raw. More exposed. More alive. I started running and I smiled. I walked the ups and kept an 8:45-9:20’ish pace on the downs. Through the driving rain, I ran by an aid station with volunteers in sombreros who offered me a margarita. I smiled and kept moving. The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun blazed forth taking any thoughts of the respite provide by the rain with it as the humidity topped out and steam rose from the asphalt. I hit the mile 40 marker on the road, raised my arms and let out a whoop. I ran another mile then exchanged my water bottle, ditched the Perpetuem bottle and waist pack and told Trish, “Let’s finish this thing”. The rain and lightning had started again. I kept moving. I hit mile 45. I hit The Wall.<br><br>
Trish kept after me, “You should be running”. I know. I would run a few hundred yards then be reduced to walking. It was a good walk. I was still able to maintain a sub 15:00 min pace. Five miles. Come on Dave. I checked my Forerunner. One hour until the 9:30 mark. One hour to go 5 miles. I could see over The Wall. After some quick calculations, I resigned myself to walk for 2 miles. My power walk was still good for sub 15:00 mile/minute pace. It was on a rolling section of the course so I figured I wouldn’t lose to much time. Then I would go for a 10 minute pace the last three. I walked. I could feel my energy level diving so I emptied a gel flask within a mile then started to run. It was an ugly run. It was uncomfortable. My heart rate shot up. It was only a 9:40 pace. I shuffled. I walked. I wasn’t going to make 9:30. At 1-1/2 miles out, the second place women passed me. I kept moving.<br><br>
I hit the last mile. I get a fresh water bottle from Trish and run the last downhill mile. My quads protest, but my back feels fine. 8:30, 8:40, 8:35. Come on. I hit the bottom of the hill. Quarter of a mile up to the finish. I shuffle. My heart rate skyrockets. I back off. Walk for a few hundred feet. I pass a 50k’er and start running up the last part of the hill. I round the corner and can hear the cheering. I cross the line. I’m done. 9:34:19. For the first time that day I bend over and put my hands on my knees and stop moving forward. I have just gone 50 miles. I smile.<br><br><b>Epilogue</b><br><br>
As I write this the pain is fading to a memory. I have one very small blister on the third toe of my right foot and my lower legs are a little tight after I’ve been sitting but overall I feel fine. I finished 16th overall out of 50 starters and 6 out of 14 in my age group. Thirteen folks did not finish.<br><br>
I want to thank anyone who has given me any advice and answered my silly questions. Your collective wisdom helped this neophyte more than you will know. Thanks go out to Linda and Lloyd. You guys kept it light. A special thanks goes out to Meredith. Her support, positive attitude and belief in me carried me through some rough spots out there. Thanks Meri!<br><br>
Finally, I could not have done this if were not for the love and support of my wife Trish. She kicked me when I needed it, offered encouragement along the way, performed like an Indy pit crew, and generally kept me on track out there. Thanks Honey. I love you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b125/dg13092/100_7916.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b125/dg13092/100_7936.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b125/dg13092/100_7940.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b125/dg13092/100_7946.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b125/dg13092/100_7947.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b125/dg13092/100_7952.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b125/dg13092/100_7954.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Great RR! Awesome job on your race <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> I'd think any 50 miler would be proud of that time, even if he were a seasoned veteran. I don't know, I just think it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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haaaa!!!! I know that all too well <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
Way to go on your first 50 miler! i cannot wait to see you in a little over a month. You look pretty darn happy in those pictures.
 

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It's very impressive that you went all that distance, but you should check out this invention called the car. You could probably cut 8 hours off the time it took you.
 

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Very Impressive! Great job.<br>
And you scored a bunch of VRAA points...so you got that going for ya...which is nice! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Dave, I am so impressed! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
And your smile speaks volumes about your accomplishment. You rock. You really really rock.<br><br>
Congratulations!<br><br>
(tell Trish I said hi, and she's awesome)
 

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Don't listen to Scratch, you did great DG1, heck you finished under 10. all those adversities stopped 13 others and yet you kept going. the mentality of the "ultra" athlete is different than anyone else on earth. just when everything seems to be overwhelming and would stop most folks we harness the problems and let them pull us to the next point. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy">
 

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wow, never before have I even been intrigued by the <i>ultra</i> but hearing how you mentally beat this race, I am now intrigued. Congrats to you on your first!!
 

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I loved your race report, dg - it felt like I was out there going through the same things you were going through (well, not really, but you get the idea).<br><br>
Congrats on doing so well on your first 50M with all the adversity you'd been going through. I'd say you can soak this one up for quite awhile
 

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WOW!!!<br><br>
Way to kick ass. I can't even imagine attempting that!!<br><br>
BTW, what is a penguin style run??
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Everyone!!!<br><br>
My legs are feeling much better today I realized as I just walked downstairs without a problem and my back is in very good shape right now <knock on wood>.<br><br>
Speedy - I laughed when I saw that sign in the photo too. I ran a little faster by the house because that pitbull ran right up to the edge of the road barking and growling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
Antag - <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiTuaZvmgaI" target="_blank">Penguins</a><br><br>
Meri - Can't wait for JFK! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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All right... great RR<br><br>
You rock!
 

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Oh, so that's what you've been up to. What a busy bee you've become!!<br><br><br>
Congrats on a terrific race.<br><br>
I can't even begin to imagine.
 

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I came over here from the VRAA forum (we're on the same team). Congratulations on a <i>hhuugge</i> accomplishment! Your report was very entertaining, too. Best wishes for getting your back problems under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks everyone!<br><br>
Recovering well. Legs feel good and the back has been okay since the race. <crosses fingers>
 

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Congrats Dave, on going farther than ever before! Nice report and wonderful pics. You ran all the way around that lake? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/notworthy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"> I like the runs where you actually go somewhere instead of multiple loops.<br><br>
Did I really advise you to pass on electrolytes with puffy hands? Doesn't sound right, to me. For me, that's a signal that the fluids I've ingested are not being absorbed into the bloodstream. Truthfully, I've always operated on the assumption that puffy hands = need for sodium/electrolytes. I can't take credit for your success.<br><br>
A local ultrarunner, whose opinion I trust, has always told that there is no absolutes when it comes to ultra-sense. Puffy hands included. He says that puffy can mean either.<br><br>
The good news is that you're discovering what works for you. What's important is that you're aware and monitoring your body. As you know, a little prevention goes a long way and can be the difference in your outcome.<br><br>
Again, congrats on a fine run on a brutal day. JFK should be easier and I anticipate an improvement. One of these days I will come to run a WNY ultra.<br><br>
Cheers! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/occasion14.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="occasion5">
 
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