Looking for hand-holds on the slippery granite boulders and struggling to climb up the dried out waterfall, which I thought was a joke in the course description.
Turning off my headlamp a little past dawn, and looking up at the sky over the desert hills and seeing the pink and orange glowing against the rocks, going from the small oval light of the headlamp to the fire of a desert sunrise.
Watching the thick mist and fog come in, covering the black and white skeletons of fire-damaged trees and feeling the drops as I passed under the pines.
Rice Krispie treats, two of them, three miles apart, and the salted peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Talking about how crazy ultra-cyclists are with a woman named Andi who had just completed the Furnace Creek 508.
Aid station volunteers urging me to catch the 5th place guy, saying he was only 2 minutes down the hill, then pushing hard to catch him on the switchbacks, coming within a few yards, and watching his back steadily disappear, and being fine with that.
Singing along with Kanye.
Feeling a blister form on the inside of my foot, a huge one, then feeling the pain and release as it popped in my shoe.
Seeing my daughter run towards me, kissing my wife, my youngest daughter and my son a few yards before the finish line, wanting to stop and hug them, then being pushed to the line by my wife who was watching the clock and wanted me to finish in under 10 hours.
Hugging my sister, Sharlie, at the finish line, with her oxygen tank, knowing she struggles to breathe at altitude, and being so grateful for my family -- my mom, her husband Ric, Sharlie and Ryan, and of course Sanam, Sophia, Beckett and Kaya. The feeling of running to the finish, towards my family, after doing something difficult and to be surrounded by people that inspire me is just a little too hard to put into words.
It's hard sitting down to write a race report, especially for a race where everything went right. I enjoy writing about the puking, the pain, the bloody blisters, the mental anguish, but for some reason, at the Lost Boys 50 Mile Trail Race, everything went according to plan.
I thought so many times about what I would write in a race report, and I think that helped during the day, probably what a cameraman feels like with the filter of the lens between the action and the eye, and there was so much to write, but now, sitting here, after the post-race high (and nothing is more exhilarating than the last few miles of an ultra), I can't bring myself to write a detailed report about the race, other than to say that it was run so smoothly that the race organizers, Kara Scarbrough, Paul Escola, and Jeremy Scarbrough, along with all of the awesome volunteers at the aid stations deserve some major credit.
My coach, Tim, had a great deal to do with how the race went for me. I initially decided to use a coach after hurting my knee and was worried that I was going to miss the Lost Boys race. After a thorough scouring of the internet, I decided on Tim mainly because he writes things like this, and he makes furniture out of fallen timber. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with Tim a couple of days before the race and my hand was sore from writing down the wealth of information and advice that he gave me for this particular race, and there were four or five things that directly stemmed from that conversation that had a huge impact on my race. If you need a coach, I highly recommend you contact him.
I tried to take some pictures of the race, but most didn't come out, so I am borrowing some from Kelly Gaines, who came out from Chicago to run her first 50 miler with her husband, Brian. I think they both discovered that there are mountains in San Diego.
|Running towards the mountains on the only flat section of the course|
|I'm smiling because it's the final turn|
|My daughter running towards me and the ambulance waiting just past the finish|
|My family at the finish, it was a long day for all of us|
|My fuel for the race|
|Elevation profile; lots of climbing|