Okay, I’m writing this “race report” because this is technically a running blog (At least that’s what it says when I google myself. Not that I’ve ever done that. Stop judging me. We haven’t even started yet.), and I’ve been told it’s sort of a requirement. Fine. I will write something, but I’m not promising anything.
I wanted to run Javelina for a couple of reasons. First, I’d DNF’d it twice because I just didn’t want to keep running (I had made up concocted way better excuses at the time, trust me), and second, I needed a loooooooooong run in preparation for my 72 Hour race at Across the Years in December. A hundred mile trail run seemed like just the ticket – I suck at trail running, so there was no chance of getting overzealous. I just had to avoid falling into a cactus, getting eaten by a Javelina (do they actually eat people?), or getting lost and having my carcass discovered by a group of Boy Scouts a month after the race while trying to get their Flora/Fauna badge.
My only goal besides the survival stipulations mentioned above, was to finish. Because I couldn’t taper for the run, I was going into it on 150+ mile weeks and a bad attitude. I knew I was going to have to take it easy and pay attention to my heart rate, but I was in no mood to keep track of my pace. I just wanted to GET THROUGH THIS ALIVE. A long training run that left me messed up for three weeks was stupid, and I am often the Queen of Stupid. I had to be chill. And smarter than my IQ.
Hubz dropped me off on race morning and then headed back to the hotel for a little more sleep, a hot breakfast, and a tire change (We’d gotten a flat on the way to Phoenix and had to order two new tires. Hubz pointed out this was turning into a very expensive training run. I told him to stuff it in his pie hole.). The plan was for me to crew myself until the night hours and then Hubz would be there to make sure I returned from each loop. I am the mother of his children and the maker of his meals.
The first four loops of 15 miles (run washing machine style) went by just as you would expect – hot, dusty, whiny – normal. I was running consistently, averaging just above and below 3 hours for each loop, depending on which direction I was running. I can climb okay, so my clockwise loops were slightly faster than my counterclockwise loops where we had to run a 4-ish mile stretch down a very rocky hill. Seriously, going down that hill each time, I looked like I’d never been outside of a library. I stubbed my toe over and over again, slid around like I was learning how to ski, and almost took out a couple of innocents when I got too close and almost went airborne. I was a danger to myself and everyone around me. If I scared the crap out of you during this time, please accept my apology. I have no excuse other than I am unfit for downhill trail running.
Loop 5 was our first with a headlamp. Grooves. I hate running with a headlamp, but I hate being in the dark by myself, unless you count the snakes, tarantulas and coyotes, even more. All was well until about mile 9 (of the loop) when I noticed my headlamp was going out. Great. I tried to casually tuck in between two dudes to vampire some of their light without them noticing, but it was weird. One of them (thanks Scott Newton!) offered me his handheld, probably because he thought having me lurking behind them was less preferable than the possibility of never seeing his flashlight again. I was in business! I was not going to be caught unaware by a zombie, after all. Hallelujah! I finished Loop 5 in 2:50, feeling like I’d cheated death and I was the (wo)Man!
So, of course I promptly got lost on Loop 6. Right at the freakin’ beginning. On a loop I’d already run twice before! Seriously. After wandering around aimlessly (Actually, that’s not true because I was wandering very purposefully. Just not on the right trail.), I heard two very nice guys politely yelling at me that I was a moron. Okay, that is not what they were yelling, but I’m pretty sure that was what they were thinking. They explained how I was lost and didn’t even make fun of me. After going almost all the way back to the start, I was able to finally get back on the trail and start Loop 6. Again.
Anyway, four miles of silent tantrum-throwing later, I finally gave myself a kick in the keister and started running again and eventually finished the stupid loop in a time 1.5 hours longer than any of my other loops. Lesson #1: Don’t get lost, dummy. Lesson #2: If you do get lost, dummy, don’t waste a bunch of time being a big fat baby about it. Sheesh. Hasn’t your mother taught you anything?
The last 10 mile loop of Javelina is the Tonto Loop that consists of the first part of the “odd” number loops and then a new section that takes you (sort of) straight back to H(J)eadquarters. Because I had proven I couldn’t be trusted to get myself around the last loop safely, Hubz spontaneously decided he would pace me. After a brief marital squabble over which port-a-potty we were supposed to meet in front of (I was right, of course), we headed out to put this race to bed. I just wanted to be done, and spent much of the first few miles asking the eternal ultrarunning question: Why am I doing this? No answer came, so I just kept running.
Despite the fact that I kept trying to turn off onto the wrong trail (“What the hell is wrong with you?!” Hubz asked after my fifth attempt to turn down an unmarked trail, “Do you have a brain tumor?”“No! But if I do, you’re going to feel really bad!”), we made it to the finish, snarfed down a couple of grilled cheese(s)(?), and went to back to the hotel. Hubz’s last words before I drifted off to sleep: “If you decide to do another trail run, I’m getting you chipped.”
He’s a good egg.
Gels consumed: 0
Cups of Ginger Ale consumed: 32
Cups of Coke consumed: 15
Cups of Gatorade consumed 21
Cherry Sours consumed: 30
PayDays consumed: 4
NutButter packets consumed: 8
Random crap at the aid station consumed: no idea
Fights with Hubz: 2 or 15, depending on who you ask