Born to Run 2017
It goes without saying this event is seriously fun, every year, and every year there’s more stuff going on. This year was definitely characterized by the heat though! It was unusually warm with temps getting close to 100 in parts of the course. The course itself was a little different as well. The pink loop (first loop) was a little bit longer and had more elevation gain than the past years. There were some aggressive bulls in the area that loop went through previously and the ranch owner Mr. Chamberlain wanted to keep everyone safe, so Luis obliged and took us through some different parts of the ranch. And it was a very beautiful section!
I got there Friday morning and set up camp with the usual band of misfits that have become great friends over the past few years. It’s like a reunion for us every year, and always something to look forward to. We spent most of the day lounging in the shade and hydrating (loose term). I actually was drinking water and electrolytes though, hoping to have a good run the next day. I was a little nervous because this was my first ultra since my surgery last June. I had run up to 20 miles in my training before the race so I was reasonably certain I could handle the distance, but nothing is predictable in an Ultra.
Aside from someone falling on me during the night, I slept pretty good. Got up, got some coffee and hung out for a bit until the start. After taking the Caballo oath we were off. The running was good and we got some fantastic views as the sun began to come up over the hills. That first loop was fairly uneventful, good running. I did start to feel some irritation on my left big toe though (ingrown toenail). After coming through camp I refilled my soft flask with Tailwind and headed back out trying to spend as little time in camp as possible.
The yellow loop didn’t change this year, and it was as awesome as ever. The running was still good but my toe was bothering me a little more and I knew I would need to stop in camp and deal with the issue before the third lap. When I took my sock off to start my half assed surgery I realized I also had a decent size blister on that same toe (I think both issues were related to each other). It took me a few minutes to dig out the toenail, but it felt a little better. (Thanks again Pat for loaning me the toenail clippers!).
Here’s where I made my big mistake, but I’ll say why: I had it in my mind that I would run the first two loops at a comfortable pace, then drop some weight and try to run the last loop “light” and fast(ish). So, thinking that I had hydrated enough on the first two loops I dropped my Endurance Pack and grabbed a single hand held (filled up with Tailwind again).
The first 3-4 miles felt pretty good, but the heat was getting pretty unruly. At Wild Bills aid station I threw some ice in my bottle, dunked my hat in ice water, then wrapped some ice in a bandana and tied that around my neck. I heard about that trick a while back, and it did seem to work pretty well. A little while after the climb out of that aid station I started to feel pretty rough. In a combination of dehydration, heat, and the dust I felt like my lungs were on fire and I couldn’t take a full breath. Not a good thing when you’re trying to run…
At this point, having to slow down I knew I was nowhere near PB pace so I felt no need to push it and risk blowing up even worse. So I plodded along, mostly walking and trying to trot a little when the terrain allowed. Maybe 3/4 of a mile outside of the other aid station I ran out of water, so I walked until the aid station was in sight. After filling up with ice water there it was only about 2 miles to the finish. Up a hill, then down a hill so I was able to jog it in to the finish.6 hours and a couple minutes, not what I had hoped for but it was a great event, a great learning experience and I only suffered because of the mistakes I made. After getting back I tried to get as much fluid back in me as I could. I also stopped by the Doterra booth to see if they had something to help, which they graciously did, big thank you to them! I wasn’t ‘normal’ yet, but I felt better. I didn’t realize how bad of shape I was in until it dawned on me that I hadn’t peed since the second loop, and I noticed that around 4pm! Then at about 4:30pm I finally had my appetite back and got some solid food in. I hadn’t eaten anything since my PBJ at 5am, and a few slices of watermelon. After all of that I’m feeling fortunate that I got in when I did and didn’t do any more damage. *I’m writing this on the Tuesday after and I feel pretty much back to normal.*
This was the third year in a row that Chris Ruiz and I put on our grappling exhibition to raise some money for charities he and I support. But, I was in no shape to do a full on match like we normally do so we did some demo’s instead, and we both went against some challengers from the audience. (Luckily those were quick bouts!) Thanks again to everyone for coming out to watch that and for your donations!
-Don’t get cocky with hydration! The extra weight is worth it.
-The long sleeve shirt probably saved me from being even worse off, very glad I chose that and stayed covered. Thank you Jeremy RunningDad!
-Tailwind does give you calories, but I think I’ll go back to real food for the majority of my calorie intake.
-Robo-foot can handle the distance! Time to keep working towards 100’s.
-The strength training I have been doing proved to be an asset. I felt strong despite the dehydration, and it I am recovering very quickly. Runners, don’t be afraid to pick up some weights!!
-The race director, Luis Escobar and all his crew and family who make this event possible!
-My wife for always supporting me!
-My mom who spent the weekend watching the kids so that I could go!
-Coach Kyle for keeping me ready to run!
-Josh Sprague, and the Orange Mud crew/fellow ambassadors!
–RunFar, thank you for bring me onto the team and for your support!
-All the other participants at BTR, you make this what it is, and it is truly something special!
Strava: link to activity