Well, I did it. I finished the 360 Minutes of Muscatatuck and I'm already looking forward to my next race in 6 weeks. I was up at 4:30 eating my Kashi and coffee as I do every morning going through my regular routine. The great thing was that the course actually popped out of the woods briefly less than 10 yards from my tent so my camp was my pit area. At 5:45 I made my way to the starting area. I was so nervous that my hr was already at 111 or so and the race hadn't even started.
The first 3 laps were pretty uneventful. I hooked up in a group of 5 or so and we kept each other moving at a comfortable pace to begin the race. I felt pretty strong still at this point and was averaging just under hour loops. By the end of the third loop our little group had broke up and I was on my own. It was on this 4th loop that I finally switched to the Perpetuem. It would also lead to an agonizing low for me as time went on. At the end of the 4th loop I was suffering and ran about 14 minutes over my loop/hr pace coming in at 4:08.
The fifth loop was a two headed monster for me. I was struggling and my stomach was tight and bloated. Nothing sounded good to me but I knew I had to drink. I resorted to water and hitting gatorade (which I hate) at the exchange points. The Perpetuem had wore out its welcome. I blame it for some stomach issues in the past as well. I believe it is a good product but this last experience just did me in. The thought of it makes me ill. Anyway, as I hit my pit area again, I tried something drastic. Nothng else was working at this point. I dumped a Red Bull in my bottle and topped it off with water. It was from this point on that I started getting stronger. I made it through this "low". What went from doubting weather I could finish the 5th loop turned into wondering if I left myself enough time to finish another segment?
Somewhere as I was aproaching the start/finish area, it changed. I found something down deep. It was this phenomena that intrigued me about this sport and now I was doing it. Somehow I tapped into that reserve I didn't know I had. I crossed the line and had left myself about 28 minutes to complete the 1.6 mile segment. Sounds easy. But this segment was no picnic. Some long climbs, steep decents and very technical. I would have to run it as fast as I had all day. I took off like a wildman. If I was walking a climb, it was a powerwalk. When I could run, it was a run. I said nothing, I felt nothing and thought nothing except getting in this last segment. As I came down the final stretch I was pounding ground. The blood had soaked throughout my shirt from the rubbed nip area. I must have been a sight. I turned the corner and started shouting "600!", my number to make sure I got checked in. I crossed the line and looked at the clock.......5 minutes to spare! I was ecstatic. It was this last 1.6 miles that has changed me. I crave for it now even though I sit here typing stiff as a board.
All in all I think I completed 25.6 miles. Not gonna win me many races, but good for my first event. I want to thank you who have followed along and offered up support and/or advice. It was all apreciated. I couldn't have done it without you.
Short run and lots of resting and rehydrating on the agenda for tomorrow.