Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ice Age Report

It was a long, cold, rough day for me.

I tried to run the race I wanted to, instead of the one I should have run.

At the Rice Lake mile 22 turn around, I sat down on a bench at the aid station. Vishal Shani was there too and gave me the "hey, great job man". I said "I am considering dropping here and now".

I can handle that feeling at mile 40. Maybe mile 30. But at mile 20, that feeling sucks.

Mile 20 to mile 40 is one long stretch before you turn around at 40 and come back to the finish. I spent the whole 20-40 looking over my shoulder expecting Zach to be there (not really, but makes for a good story).

Zach had a long day too, but he had good reason. 100 miles on your legs 4 weeks before is really tough.

My stomach gave me problems most of the day, and my heart and head were really not into it.

I made the decision at the Rice Lake turnaround to get up and start the long trek to the Emma Carlin mile 40 turn around. I saw Scott Meyers, and told him how I was feeling. He gave me a priceless piece of sound advice "Just slow down, man". Best advice of the day for me. I did.

At that point I made a decision. I decided this was a race I had to "just finish". I actually felt an obligation to the readers of this blog to not be such a quitter, and to suck it up and just get it done.

I actually said to myself "stop being such a self centered ass, and finish this race". I know there are a lot of people who would be thrilled to run a sub 10 hour 50 mile, so I figured I had to do that. I thought that might even be out of the question at one point, but quickly found the "ultra shuffle", and did that for the next 20 miles.

Mile 40 to the finish was pretty bad for me. I have never been passed by that many people. I had already checked my ego, so I was okay with that. I even stepped off the trail and directed traffic "The finish line is that way".

Coming off Bald Bluff at mile 45 or so, I was pretty much at metaphorical bottom, but I could feel the finish. Just then Dave Ruttum came from the opposite direction and said "hey, I came back to run you in". He could tell I was having a crappy day earlier. Those last 4 miles were a joy, as Dave helped me remember why we do these.

And for those of you who don't know who Dave is, he finished in 6:41, 4th place. He then proceeded to go out on the course 4 miles and back 4 miles as a "cool down".

Dave, you are the man.

I came in at 9:44:55, and I had to work for every second of it. Last year was half the effort, go figure.

Other notable finishes
Brother Grub (aka Pinche Flaco) pulled out a 7:23 and maintained his 3 year streak of 11th place.
The Paint King (Dehart) did 7:37
Christine "chicked" a lot of guys with a 7:41
Wayne Nelson finished another 50 Miler (I think his first was last year at Surf the Murph)
John Gustafson finished his "training run" really strong in 9:32

Full results here

Might do a longer report to explain what the heck happened.

As of now, I am officially pulling the plug on Kettle 100 in 4 weeks.
My head is not in it. I have stomach issues I can't solve. I am burned out.

It is hard to say I am burned out with only 2 races this year, but it is what it is.

I want to enjoy this sport, and I did not have fun yesterday (although, I did laugh when it started hailing on us).

I need to take care of some things before I get back on the long trails. May do some normal stuff, but right now I have no commitments. I am going to chill for a while.

Thanks for reading


Ginger Rockstar said...

Well, if you change your mind, you are staying at my place for KM. Do the 100k! I have lots of runners stay at my place. Heck, do the relay. That will lift your spirits. Don't give up. I won't let you. I didn't give up after i broke my hip.

Julie said...

Hi Matt,
Way to hang tough and get it done! I totally respect you for fighting a hard battle. Sorry to hear about the stomach issues. I had someone come to help me finish my second half marathon and I can't even tell you how much that meant to me. It helped me so much mentally to have someone with me. I am glad that you had this for you at the end of Ice Age! You will always be a super stud in my book! Way to go! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Most all of us have been there. The good news is we have (as you have mentioned) plenty of other important thing to tend to and enjoy. It will come around. How can't it, your freakin' Matt Patten!

Let me give you a 4 year Paint King Era at Ice Age:

2005: 9:13:16
2006: 8:39:41
2007: 10:23:30
2008: Stress fracture

What it did for me was coming to the realization that just being capable to run was a huge bonus.


Chad W said...

Matt, way to stick it out and finish! I enjoy reading about your running, training, and life in general. I hope you solve your GI issues and find your heart in the sport again. Don't stop posting!

senator said...

Life, much like running is all trial and error; and, because of its very nature we often learn more from the errors than the triumphs. Not only did you get to learn about what doesn't work and how you will respond when it all goes to crap, but still managed a respectable time in spite of it all. There will be other races, and with it the chance to apply the wisdom you have gained from this experience. Keep moving forward

Joe said...

Likely, (if you are anything like me) you'll stay in the sport because you won't be able to stay away for long.

What did you learn about yourself? How will training be different after this? More Fran, Cindy, deadlifts, power cleans, and double-unders? Throw in a long run every 3-4 weeks? Something else?

nwgdc said...

I always learn something from your posts, and I'm looking forward to learning more about Ice Age this time around.
It's odd how many times I hear people who want to make sure to "keep it fun," me included, yet the same mistake seems to happen and burn out happens.
Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to more of your posts, running-related or not!

SteveQ said...

I completely understand where your head was at during the race. Last year after the Zumbro 100, Trail Mix and Chippewa, Ice Age was brutal (and Superior the next week was worse). My race report from 2008 said it was like hitting the wall in a marathon, struggling to finish... and then walking all the way back to the start line.

Sorry to hear you now know what that's like. It took me a long time to recover mentally; skipping Kettle's a good idea (unlike my doing that as well last year!)

chris mcpeake said...

Way to stick with it when it was not really your day.
Hitting that dark place physically and mentally is so tough. Good job fighting through it. Great race report

bryan said...

Hey Matt, awesome job sticking with it.

Todd said...

I'd like to add my congrats to you for your finish. 50 miles is still 50 miles and I'm one of those people who'd be happy with a 9:40. Second fastest Matt anyway. As for Kettle, I get it. And yet - isn't there some rule somewhere that we're supposed to wait a few days before making a big decision about a future race? It's not like you're likely to do anything different training wise or anything.

Helen said...

That is so cool Dave came back out to run you in. Makes sticking with it even more worthwhile. Well done Matt. Feeling crap so early in the race is a killer but you have the mentality for it. Everything else can be worked on.

Scott said...

Maybe I need to try something other than a Larry course, but I don't know if I will ever run a 9:45 50 miler! I still say well done. When you start talking about 50 and 100 miles, I think toughing out situations like that is just part of the deal, but its a bummer that it didn't go more smoothly. This is supposed to be fun, right?

Looking forward to more posts, hang in there.