Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Gold Coast 100 & More

Well by 9PM Saturday night i pretty much had a house full of Ultra Runners, with our last two (Horrie & Clarkey) both coming in on delayed flights. Had gnocchi and bolognaise sauce for dinner at the usual pre race time of somewhere between 6 & 7 as many of the later arrivals were either eating beforehand or zapping food in the microwave. After a big feed (the 800 grams of gnocchi not being quite sufficient for the three of us, meaning we put on a smallish pizza as a snack to finish), it was just a case of working out just where everyone wanted to spend the night (heaps of floorspace and numerous camping mattresses meaning people had a choice) and i was off to bed by 10:30 odd with alarms set to wake us at 4.
Strangely for me i didn't have a good sleep (when racing and staying away from my own bed usually wake up every hour and didn't even do that good as i doubt i got to sleep before 2, whereas as home i'm usually out like a light and sleep like a log), very unlike me to be honest.
Waking just before alarm time (that is usual), i ducked downstairs quickly and made my usual breakfast as i knew the kitchen would be abuzz with extra people soon enough. Left the house just after 5 (Richard bringing a hire car was a lifesaver) and was at the start by 5:20, heaps of people milling around and time for bit of a chat.
Quick race instructions from Ian and we were off, the leaders taking off at sub 8 hour pace but from what i could gather the group i was in were on 8 Hour pace (way too fast early on). By Burleigh Heads we had strung along a little but still moving fast (favourite quote from Paul Every at this point "if you pop into the loo you'll have a few follow you", people knew i knew the course backwards and did seem to be following my every little bit of shortest possible distance running, although in hindsight the "popping into loo" was prophetic).
Had my first water at the 7.5K aid station.
Still moving nicely against the freshening wind from the south i knew it would be much harder when doing it the next 3 laps and was glad that the blue arrows i'd seen the previous day were actually part of the course marking.
Had another drink at the turnaround (sports drink seemingly chocolately sludge seemed a bit strange to me) and then finally running back with a tail wind. Had another drink at Tallebudgera Creek aid station and then the stomach appeared to protest, felt very uncomfortable and ultimately went into the toilets at Burleigh Heads with this feeling it could be "one of these days".
Second lap meant i got to see more of the 50K and 25K runners (starting later than us) and hence more familiar faces (including the legendary Gerry Riley, many years ago the first Australian to hit 100 Marathons).
By the time the second lap was over i'd made another 2 toilet stops and knew that finishing and running a non-embarassing time were going to be my main priorities rather than being at the sharp end of the field.
With the wind picking up heading South i was stuck with the worst weather conditions for me, at about 6 foot and 10 and a bit Stone a headwind simply pushes me backwinds and i'm just not aerodynamic (despite my jokes about having to run around in the shower to get wet a decent wind finds me every time).
By the 7.5K Burleigh Heads Aid station (Coolrunners Prewannabee, Tanky and Dolly) i'd got to the point i couldn't resist a quick beer (rather than waiting till the 92.5K Mark !), but was a little taken aback to be passed by the first woman, Kerrie.
Probably spent a little bit too much time at that aid station, about as relaxed as i get during a race), but was hoping that being passed (especially by a runner with a crew - definitely something that always gets me fired up and essentially the running equivalent of "White line fever") would mean i'd finally get some decent running going. Unfortunately again toilet breaks stopped that momentum, but in between i was feeling some of that familiar racing "mongrel", certainly the favourite part being hitting the Gold Coast Highway heading south with the traffic heading towards me (essentially exactly how i train), although at George St, Burleigh Heads, did manage to get a car turning left that refused to give way (not ideal but just enough to add a little fire to my belly).
Relatively quick stop at 7.5K's but again a loo break so it was a case of good running and then losing momentum (exactly why i don't stop for drink breaks when doing 3 hour training runs !!), by which time Kerrie had got out of sight (with my aggressive style of running i do need to see my targets before chasing and running them down !). Caught up with Scott Orchard just after the 75K mark (and repassed him after yet another loo break), and found that he too was having stomach problems (he later pulled out) so just kept on pressing on as hard as i could, knowing i'd have the wind behind the last 12.5K's (and a beer at 92.5). By now it was a lovely sunny day and as far as i concerned perfect temperatures for running (i'd done the first 37.5K's in gloves) and finally i felt i was starting, way too late, to put my race together. Unfortunately still no sign of Kerrie, meaning i was chasing someone i couldn't actually see, and was seeing the gun runners coming towards me early in the lap (Paul Every running up the GCH at Burleigh Heads rather than via the path looked so much in the zone, it was obvious he was running his best race for a couple of years). Once i hit the turnaround (and finally saw for the last time a dead blue tongue lizard - which on Wednesday had looked way less flat and dead) i skolled my bottle of Mizone (had been using Coke and water most of the race after giving up on the chocolately sludge that passed for Endura !) and simply ran with the thought that all that last half would be "splash and dash" drink stops rather than long socialising ones.
Had that beer at 92.5K (knowing that couldn't do me any more harm b.i could drink it as fast as water or coke so i wasn't wasting time would cleanse my palate after all the sweet coke and bananas i'd been consuming) and then took off still with the aim of picking off a runner or two before the end. Results show that didn't occur and i ended up 8th in 9:17:40, very frustrating to me as i had two runners within 6 Minutes of me but with numerous people on the track simply couldn't spot them (it may sound a little strange but knowing myself well i'd be putting money on me chasing down and beating competitors i can see in a race situation however i do have to actually spot them).
So ultimately my Australian 100KM Championships had come closer to being a 100K training run focussed on Gold Coast Public Facilities !!, to be honest i sat down at the end and did the maths and pretty much consoled myself with the fact that without 9 Toilet Breaks i would have gone sub 9 Hours (in my mind a pass mark on this course).
After a while rain had reappeared and i was simply thankful i wasn't still out there, eventually ending up in the car to stay warm as i was looking for a couple of my houseguests to finish before driving home.
Fish & Chips, Beer, Bundy (as well as a bit of Pizza Roll and Boston Bun as appetizer) and things were finally looking up Sunday night, can't say i was totally content but relaxing with a few ultra running mates at home was a good way to end the day.
As i type this (on Wednesday night), i still don't claim to be happy with my result but will also admit i'm more content with it than any races i'd contested in January to March. Still i ask the question, what exactly was wrong with my gut (if i have stomach problems it's usually going in circles on lap races !) and how do i ensure the same doesn't happen in 4 weeks at Badwater, good questions and ones i can't answer !!!
Went for a short run and a swim Monday (and was very thankful that the shocking, wet weather we had was Monday rather than the day before) as well as a slightly longer run (and shorter swim in the surf) with my remaining houseguests on Tuesday. Seemed to prove the body was still in good shape, but to be honest still seem to have some sort of stomach bug.
Anyway now with a house to myself (seems strange had become used to other runners being there - get the feeling i may do similar next Gold Coast Race), now hopefully i'll get the chance to churn out a few more long runs in the 10 days leading up to my LA flight.


Horrie said...

I know it wasn't the result you wanted Kelvin but with all your stomach issues, it was still a good effort to go sub 9:30. And as you said, a good training run for what lays ahead. Thanks for having us all at the Kelvintorium. It was certainly a great way to spend a few days. Good luck at Badwater. We will be following your progress.

trout said...

hi kelvin i think your tummy probs are from drinking that endura crap. myself and a stack of others have had endless issues when drinking endura even days after the event you can still have the runs so i wouldnt be to concerned just keep away from endura. well done to you for staying out there

trout said...

hi kelvin i think your tummy probs are from drinking that endura crap. myself and a stack of others have had endless issues when drinking endura even days after the event you can still have the runs so i wouldnt be to concerned just keep away from endura. well done to you for staying out there

Jaykay said...

I'm still in awe of your committment to running the 100km even though you had issues with your stomach.

Great effort.

PS: Haven't made this public yet but I've decided that my first ultra is going to be the one around The Tan (sshhhh!!)