- I signed up for Javelina Jundred on October 3. The event was on October 26. I signed up for Javelina after I DNFd (did not finish) at Wasatch 100 on September 26. My motivation to sign up was to get a 100 mile finish in 2019 and partly to get Western States lottery qualifier. I was considering the event then Becca and Ricky gave me the final nudge. I appreciate their motivation a lot.
- I DNFd at Wasatch because I was not prepared. I had a hip injury (an aggravated TFL) in July and was not able to train for about 5 weeks. I felt 95% healed for Wasatch. But, my mindset going into Wasatch was something like “give it your best shot, see beautiful mountains, hopefully finish”. This mindset may not get someone to the finish line of an easier 100-mile event. That left me no chance for finishing Wasatch – a super challenging course. Running for more than 24 hours is physically demanding and requires a stronger mindset.
- I ran about 1,300 miles (140,000 feet of climbing) prior to Javelina. I did yoga twice per week and bootcamp twice per week. Being injured in July cost me about 180 miles. My hip was 99% okay for Javelina. I took ibuprofen throughout the run to make sure the hip was not a factor.
- I flew to Phoenix on Friday and drove straight to packet pickup. I got number 842 – my lucky number! Then I drove to the start of the event to get familiar with the roads for the early drive in the morning. I drove to the hotel and they told me they were over booked and did not have a room for me. But, they booked me at a hotel down the street at no cost. The hotel was great – had a full fridge and kitchen. I slept okay and woke up at 3:45 AM to drive to the start by 5:00 AM.
- Becca helped me get to the Trail Crasher tents around 5:40 AM, just before the 6:00 AM start. I appreciate her taking the time to check her phone because I’m sure she was busy preparing for the start of her run. I said hi to some friends here. Many were getting their packs ready to run and preparing mentally. I finished drinking a 1 liter bottle of water than went to the restroom. I jogged over to the start line at 5:59 AM and got in the crazy start queue. There were a lot of people.
Javelina Jundred – October 26 – 27, 2019
- Lap 1: The start was crazy. So many people. Some dressed in costumes. The mindset at the start is exciting but calm – just starting a 100 mile run, no rush. The trail narrowed to single track quickly. The “runners” walked for about 1 mile before people could pass on wider parts of trail. Besides the opening walk, my opening pace was probably too fast. I think that’s what contributed to my fall around mile 9.5, just before the mile 10 aid station. I fell at the bottom of a roller in “soft” decomposing granite. It is embarrassing to fall. A girl offered to help me up but then retracted the offer after seeing my bloody hands. A guy behind me said, “Wash your hands when you get to the aid station. And your knee. And your other knee. And your left elbow.” A nice aid station lady cleaned up my knee and offered me a bandage. I was so dirty, sweaty and bloody, I declined – no way it would stick. The fall changed my mindset from less racing to more survival. I think that helped me set a better pace. The course is generally 5 20-mile loops. From the start, it was uphill to mile 10, then downhill to mile 20, the end of the loop. The clockwise loops (1, 3, and 5) were more rocky going up and flatter and runnable going down. On loop 1, miles 15-20 were a bit different running through some dusty foothills. I was glad to only run that bit once. I drank a 2-liter bladder of water and took calorie packets every hour at 20 minutes into the hour. I expected to fill my own water and replace food packets on my own all day. But at the end of lap 1 (4:30 PM), Cinda, Tyler, Nartaya, and Alicia all offered to help. I truly appreciated their help. I left my pack with them, went through the “lap-loop” then picked up my pack on the exit. They helped me all day (and night)!
- Lap 2: It started warming up. It never got too hot. But, I started putting ice in my buff during this lap. The uphill bit was rolling. I met a fellow Buckeye named Chris from Orange County and we chatted about the Buckeyes for about 5 miles. He was a strong runner. I filled my bladder at mile 30 then again at mile 40. The downhill was choppy / technical. I ate packets of food (caffeinated Huma and Gu) every hour at 20 minutes past the hour. I finished lap 2 around 3:40 PM.
- Lap 3: I started lap 3 with Erik. He was running his first 100-mile run. It was good to talk with someone for a few hours. He took a picture of me at around mile 42. He sent it Rosario so she could share it with Ruby for me. I don’t have Ruby’s number memorized. This lap is where the sun set. I put on my belt light around mile 48. Erik was texting and doing FaceTime calls with international friends, so funny. The temperature cooled off by the mile 50 aid station and I picked up the pace to pass Eric and ran down the hill to mile 60, end of lap 3! I finished around 9:05 PM. I drank 2 bladders, ate every hour (X:20!). I could no longer eat Gu, stuck to Huma.
- Lap 4: Lap 4 was entirely dark. I added an extra headlight in addition to my belt light here. But, the headlight started going dim after an hour. Ugh. I only had 3 spare batteries. Each light required 3. I decided to use both dimming lights as long as possible then put in the new batteries for the rest of the lap. The lights lasted half way. I put in new batteries at mile 70 for the choppy decent. That was okay butmore lights would have been better. Many people has some powerful 6 light running vests. They overpowered my dimming single light when we passed and I lost night vision for a bit. Lesson learned = don’t be the guy with the dimmest light on an out-and-back course. It was around mile 1:30 AM when I wondered why I was doing this. I was running loops in the Sonoran Desert, my body hurt, it was very cold, I was tied, and I had 5 hours until sunrise. I only wanted to be at Yoga class stretching out and resting. Kept running. Finished lap 4 around 3:00 AM. Drank 2 bladders, ate every hour! For the final lap, I put on my Girl Scout bandanna that Ruby wrote on for encouragement. I love it!
- Lap 5: Mixed emotions on lap 5. The first 10 mile up that choppy trail were hard for me. I slowed to a 20 minute per mile pace at some points. I was very cold. I drank soup at the aid stations and sat next to camp fires in attempt to warm up. I was under dressed. The sun started coming up around mile 88. It was still very cold but I knew the heat would come soon. The mile 90 aid station had pancakes. I had 2 pancakes with a lot of Aunt Jemima syrup. I was not in a hurry because I was many hours ahead of cutoff. I was very tired here from that last rocky climb. But when I left the mile 90 aid station, it began to warm up and I got some energy on the smoother downhill. I was able to run again. When I got to the final aid station (mile 96), my watch said 26:00:00. I wondered if I could run 3.8 miles in less than an hour. Though it was getting warm, I gave it a shot. I chugged almost the entire final bit and finished in 26:51:49! Alicia ran ahead and took my picture crossing the finish line and I got a buckle.
- I rested for a few hours at the Trail Crasher tents. It felt very good to be done. I took a cold shower and rinsed the blood off my knees and hands. Talking with San Diego runners and Trail Crashers was the best part of this event!
- I wrote most of this on November 6. For a few days I thought that was my last 100-mile run. After wearing the buckle a few days, I decided that a few hours of pain are worth it to wear the buckle all year (or longer)!
- Went to work on Monday. Finally got to go to yoga at lunch time!
- I had some minor post ultra blues during the first week. It’s the feeling of “now what am I am I going to do on weekend? When will I see my awesome running friends? Will I have to clean my house now? What’s next?” But I signed up for another 50k by Friday and will start penciling in events for 2020 soon. On November 9, I will have 2 tickets for the Western States Lottery. We’ll see!