Saturday was my 43th birthday. It all started very well, with the whole family singing «happy birthday» for me at 4 o’clock in the morning.
I woke up that early to run the Miwok 100km in Marin Headlands, just north of San Francisco. My training going into Miwok went pretty well, and I felt prepared to race. The race started at 5 AM, and I got into a good rhythm, running with Gary Gellin, a local (very good) ultra runner. We chatted and ran pretty fast the first 25 km or so. Then, my stomach started to cause problems for me. I stopped once, and caught up to Gary again. We ran together for a mile or two until I had to stop again. I tried to drink Tailwind sports drink, but my appetite was really bad. I forced down a gel to see if that worked, but the only effect of that was that I had to stop again. My stomach cramped and I had to walk for nearly one mile. I hoped the walk break would stabilize my stomach, but that did not really happen.. After seven or eight stops to go to the toilet, I decided that enough was enough. I stopped at the Tennese Valley aid staton at 26 miles/42km. This is my second DNF in an ultra race (the first was Ultrabirken 60km three years ago where I got lost).
I am not sure why this happened. I ate what I normally eat for breakfast; muesli, coffee, a banana and a almond butter/jelly sandwich. The only thing that was different from my normal pre race routine was that this race started very early in the morning. I normally eat breakfast two and a half hours before the start. On Saturday I woke up at 3.30 and had breakfast at 3.45. This could have been too close to the start. I hope this is what caused the problems on Saturday. If it is, there is a quick fix – just wake up earlier. I will try this approach when I run in the Grand Canyon next week. Wake up at 2.30 for breakfast and then hit the trails at 5 AM.
I have to give the Miwok 100k huge credits for beeing a very well organized race in a fantastic location. The trails are very nice, and I hope to come back and run the race again. I have unfinished business!
Apart from a bad race on Saturday, we’re having a great time in the US. We have toured the Marin Headlands, just north of San Francisco. We picked up our RV/motorhome just over a week ago. The RV is a monster to drive around, but very nice to live in when we have parked. Today we will start to drive south on the California coast. After a stop in Big Sur and in Los Angeles, we will head east towards Arizona.
A DNF is always a hard pill to swallow but you made the right decision, hope your training goes well for WSER and you’ll definitely smash it 🙂
We will be in Carson City near Lake Tahoe 7 days before your big race. Jessica (10) and Wyatt (6) will be with us (Kristin’s kids). We can come to where you are camping and go sightseeing/hiking/swimming with your «3 girls» while you train? Our Volvo will hold 7 people but we could squeeze an extra in! We will sleep in Carson City at my relatives home. Easy drive to your area! Come to Oregon if you can, but if you are too busy we will see you in Ca!
That’s fantastic! Let’s make this the plan. Looking forward to seeing you all! Sondre