I don't even want to write about the Levis Trow 100 because that means I have to remember it. It wasn't pretty. First off, I'll tell you about the laps: seven to complete the 100 miles. Each lap was about 15 miles, with a little over 1300 feet of climbing. There were a few miles of flowy singletrack at the beginning to get the legs warmed up, then it went right into the good stuff. Mostly singletrack, bumpy, technical... challenging.
On the first lap I felt pretty great. I was cruising along at my 12 hour pace and doing well on the technical stuff. I was very pleased to do all of Toad Road, and backwards from how I've run it before. Backwards it's really interesting and just the right amount of difficulty for me right now. In the beginning of this lap, I was passed by a guy on the closest competing duo. However, I settled into my race pace and focused. A little over halfway through, I caught up and passed the guy.
Between the first and second laps, while Cale was out, I was really sleepy and tried to get in a nap. I was feeling a little gloomy, because the anticipation was gone, replaced by dread. I was talking with the guy who I was racing against and we agreed that we were most certainly in for it. The course was merciless and bumpy, and it was hot out. The second lap, there's not much to say for it. I was slower, tired, and walking some of the technical stuff, mostly obstacles that needed strength to climb up and over. It was pretty pathetic and I found out later that I had lost about four minutes to second place, though we were still ahead by a minute or two.
By this time everyone looked haggard. Most of the solo guys were looking ROUGH, and some had pulled themselves out after three or four laps. I really wanted to call it quits at two laps, because I didn't want to suffer more. I was losing coordination, too, and didn't want to wreck. I talked to the other duo teams (there were four others) and came up with gentleman's agreement. Three teams were all in favor of calling it quits and going to the nearby lake to take a swim. Don't think this agreement was a way of wussing out. Do you realize how hard it is to track down the members of all these teams and get everyone to agree to the terms? It's one of the most complicated ways of wussing out, I'll tell you that. Finally there was just one more team to strike a bargain with!... and they weren't feeling it. They had come from a ways away and wanted to suffer, suffer, suffer on the trails. LE SIGH.
So we kept at it.
Between laps two and three, I drank a lot of water to ensure I didn't become dehydrated. The third lap was... worse than I thought it could be. Due to all the water, bladder and stomach bounced as one through the first few miles of trail. Ooohhh, it was miserable. I kept waiting for a second wind but it never, ever came. The 25 mile group was out on the trails now, too, and I was getting passed like mad. Unfortunately, I also got passed by second place and watched him go with no hope of keeping it a close race for Cale's last lap.
I ended the lap by limping in with a guy I found on the side of the trail, resting. I think he was a solo rider. It helped to have someone in front to set the pace; though it was slow, it was steady. We talked a little, too. I wasn't out of breath, just exhausted. It was funny, you could look at racers and quickly tell which were in the 100 miler. When you ran into one on the trail, you'd most likely exchange some encouraging words. That's not too unusual, but during this race you could tell people meant it. You saw some miserable looking racer with haunted eyes clawing out just a few more miles, and you knew that's what your face looked like, too. Traumatic.
One of the better things to come out of the day was the winning combo of Hammer Gel and Triscuit crackers. I can't handle a mouth full of the Hammer Gel texture, so I snuck it in as a jam.
I saved the best for last, though. Holly got me these new gloves! As a warning, the grippy material on the palms gets really slippery when wet. During the third lap it rained, and I so desperately wanted to shift with my thumb, but it kept slipping off. I could shift only when I concentrated during a smooth section. Note: don't wear these gloves when it's wet out. Wear them at all other times, though.
Cale and I camped for a second night, and that night our camp was not so lucky. A big storm blew through and our already ailing race tent kicked the bucket. (This is not how it's supposed to look.)
We gave some of the legs to someone whose tent had a faulty leg or two, and we intend to scrap the rest. After Saturday's performance I'm considering scrapping my own legs, too. I'm not sure what it was... I know it was a very hard course and the heat was taking its toll, but I felt like I was more pathetic than was warranted. I think the lack of sleep due to the hot apartment and my recent cold may have been behind it. Or perhaps a mysterious lack of fitness. We may never know.