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.