OCTOBER 12 DAYS 138.5 MILES
September 22 Days 215.2 Miles
August 26 Days 253.6 Miles
July 26 Days 245.6 Miles
June 12 Days 170.4 Miles
May 26 Days 206.4 Miles
April 26 Days 233.4 Miles
March 24 Days 183.8 Miles
February 24 Days 196.6 Miles
January 27 Days 251.8 Miles
Total 2017 225 Days 2095.3 Miles
This week 14.4 Miles, 2 hours 55 minutes 51 seconds, Pace average 12:13. 1758 calories
Saturday October 21st – Day Off.
Sunday October 22nd – Day Off
Monday October 23rd – 4.8 Miles in 57:58 pace average 12:05. 4 sets of 6 chin-ups.
Tuesday October 24th – 4.8 Miles in 58:43 pace average 12:14. 5 sets of 65 push-ups, 15 minutes of Planks.
Wednesday October 25th – Day Off
Thursday October 26th – 4.8 Miles in 59:10 pace average 12:19. 3 sets of 25 squats.
Friday October 27th – Date Night with my Wife!
Still in my slow recovery. Start building up mileage this next week.
This week 14.4 Miles, 2 hours 56 minutes 12 seconds, Pace average 12:15. 1677 calories
Saturday October 14th – Day Off
Sunday October 15th – Day Off
Monday October 16th – 4.8 Miles in 59:02 pace average 12:18.
Tuesday October 17th – 4.8 Miles in 58:54 pace average 12:16. 5 sets of 65 push-ups, 15 minutes of Planks
Wednesday October 18th – Day Off
Thursday October 19th – 4.8 Miles in 58:15 pace average 12:08. 3 sets of 6 chin-ups.
Friday October 20th – Date Night with my Wife!
Back to work. Slowly get back up to speed. I have 12 weeks to prepare for the Louisiana Marathon. My personal fastest marathon was at this race in 2015.
This week 82.51 Miles, 19 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds, Pace average 14:12. 7006 calories
Saturday October 7th – Start of the New Zealand Centurion Qualifier
Sunday October 8th – 82.51 miles in 19:30:30 pace average 14:12.
Monday October 9th – Touring New Zealand
Tuesday October 10th – Toured New Zealand, Caught late flight, Arrived in Dallas all on the same day.
Wednesday October 11th – Day Off
Thursday October 12th – Day Off
Friday October 13th – Date Night with my Wife!
I actually feel good. I still have this sinus infection. Looking forward to training again this next week. I think it is a good sign that recovery was so quick. Tells me I was race ready. No burn out post race is good. Start to prepare for my late winter and spring marathon season.
I wrote this on the plane coming home from New Zealand. The sting of disappointment was still flowing through my veins. Muscles are more sore after failure. Even the food does not taste as good. I don’t like it.
I will start with what I knew pre race. The race was on a synthetic track. In lane one. 400 meters each lap. I found Centurion success on the track in Australia. I was well trained. I had a great taper and was fully rested. I am well experienced with Centurion walks. I have travelled internationally four times and found success at each race. I slept more pre race than I ever have. I had developed a sinus infection almost exactly one week before the race. I was on an antibiotic. I was better but not recovered.
What I know during the race. I started out strong. My intended pace was to walk each lap in 3 minutes 20 seconds. I was a little ahead of my intended pace. I felt very good. At the first direction change at four hours the judge told me I had a left lean. At the eight hour direction change I was out of gas. I drank a Coke and got a nice boost. Only thing hurting was my left big toe. I will lose that toe nail. I have always had this problem in long races. When tired my toe bends upward. Hits the top of my shoe. Boom kills the nail. I just walk through the pain. I ate good and drank regularly during the race. By the twelve hour mark it had been raining for two hours. I was struggling to hold a sub 3 minute 50 second pace. After two hours in the rain I put on my rain jacket. Our race judge told us no break in the rain was expected all night. At eighteen hours I was still on pace to make centurion. I would have to maintain 3 minute 55 second splits to just beat the 24 hour clock. I was able to hold that pace till hour nineteen. Just into my next hour I was shocked to see 4 minutes 10 seconds on my watch after a lap. Same hard fought effort but slower result. I had nothing left physically to walk any faster. If I could not hold pace there was a zero chance I could pick up any lost time.
What happened next is something I have never done before. Never considered before. I pulled the plug. Five hours is a long time to play the fall behind pace, catch up pace game. I Walked a very slow stiff lap and told the timing tent I was done. I just could not go on. Not for five hours. After I quit so did my body. I suffered from mild hypothermia, body aches and cramps. I laid on the floor completely spent and violently shaking. With medical advice my Wife was able to get me to a point where I could at least leave for a warm bed. Knowing what I know now. The smart move would have been to pull out earlier in the race. Tough call when you have so much invested in training and a strong desire for success. I need to learn how to read the warning signs. Some races you are not going to be able to finish. Save your body for another day. There will always be another race. Something you can only learn through experience.
So what happened? Could the sinus infection have been my undoing? I have leaned at several long races over the years. Never as early as in this race. Is leaning our bodies way of telling us something is not right? I had not recovered from my sinus infection. While better it had not run its course. Post race it has been the worst ever. Making the fourteen hour flight home almost unbearable. Without a doubt the race did not help it. I had no energy after eight hours. The back of my legs felt unusually tight and I had no drive. I never got cold even when wet. I tend to race hot. The rain had little affect on my race. Even wet socks caused no blisters. I did have bad shaffing between my thighs.
In summary. I had never thought of a Centurion race as being hard. That is till I had a hard Centurion race. I had early and often Centurion success. I realize now I was very lucky. These races are hard. They are very hard. You must be trained. You must properly recover from training. You must be mentally strong. You must be healthy. You must be rested. You are going to need a little outside luck (weather, course, no blisters, good support). If there is a break down in any of these your Centurion will be in jeopardy.
I was not healthy. My sinus infection left me weak. This weakness showed up early as a lean. Leaning starts to have an affect on your bio mechanics. You are working harder. Makes holding the pace harder. Working harder burns through your energy supply. A chain reaction that leads to failure. Success was doomed.
Going forward. For several years now I have raced and tracked Centurion races all over the world. I have walked with and met many Centurions. We have a good network for staying in touch. Many I am able to follow some of their training. It is a great Sisterhood/Brotherhood. I was always amazed when any Centurion walker pulled the plug on a new qualifier with enough time left to finish. I just could not imagine a scenario where I would not be able to finish late in the race. It has been the messages and personal notes received from these racers that has brought me the most comfort. As bad as this stings. As disappointed as I am. I now know much more about the race. I know much more about the people that attempt the race. This knowledge will make me better. It will make me more compassionate.
I am not quitting my goal. I still want to earn a number at every Centurion qualifier. New Zealand 2018. Maybe. I have a busy race year planned for 2018. A January marathon in Louisiana. 50K at Cowtown in February. March and April Marathons in Oklahoma. A return to the FANS 24 hour United States Centurion qualifier in June. If that all goes to suit me I will turn my eyes toward Auckland. Going to be fun.
The New Zealand Centurion Qualifier. October 7th – 8th at the AUT Millennium Stadium: Mairangi Bay, Auckland. This was the 20th Sri Chinmoy 6-12-24 hour track races. A very nice facility with a great support staff. Everyone ready to help and always with a smile. When you travel to Auckland you just expect rain and high wind. We were not disappointed. Rained for 14 hours. Half that time sideways. Lucky that the first third of the race started dry.
It was an honor to walk again with my Dutch friends. Antoine Hunting, Arie Kandelaars, Marco Bloemerts, Gertrude Achterberg, Trudy Geldhof. That list of walkers plus myself have a total of 16 Centurion badges. We were joined in the walk by New Zealander Damien Wood.
The race was on the 400 meter track. Many people have said, There is no way I could walk around and around a track. My last two Centurion races had features I did not like. One a long hill. One had paving stones. The track is a flat and consistent surface. I was looking forward to the track. My game plan was the same one I have had the most success with. A 13:30 pace. On the track that is around 3 minute 20 second per lap. I started a little faster than that. I felt great. At the four hour direction change I was already leaning to the left. I have been taking an antibiotic for a week for a sinus infection. I guess that might have left me a little weak. For a fact after eight hours I had no gas in the tank.
Well now I have seen the other side of a Centurion race. I have been VERY lucky to have done five Centurion races. Now I have seen the side where you have to swallow your pride and bale. One challenge in any long race is figuring splits in your head. I knew I needed 3:55 splits to make centurion the last six hours. When I crossed the mat with a 4:10 I knew I didn’t have a 3:40 in me. Can’t play that game for five hours. I pulled the plug at 82 miles. Where did I go wrong. Training was good. Slept each night before the race. Mentally tough. I have experience. It was not my day. It was an honor to watch my Dutch Friends Marco, Arie and Gertrude walk a tough race. They earned their New Zealand Centurion badge. Congratulations! So sad to watch Antoine, Trudy and Damien like myself struggle.
After I threw in the towel. To say I was in a bad way is a gross understatement. I had mild hypothermia. Thanks to Phillip Sharp. He saved me a trip to the hospital. Thanks to my wife Brenda. She feed me porridge like I was a little Baby violently shaking on the floor. My granddaughter is going to love that photo. Back at our B&B now. Can’t sleep. Can’t eat. I am VERY disappointed. To be honest I never considered failure. You have to be trained, you have to be healthy, you have to be positive to walk a Centurion. Just was not my day.
What’s next? Think I will take up ping pong.
Photo by Tracy Benjamin
The Bad. Me not Gertrude or Arie.
Photo by Phillip Sharp
Photo by Philip Sharp
This week 22.4 Miles, 4 hours 31 minutes 40 seconds, Pace average 12:08. 2826 calories
Saturday September 30th – 4.8 miles in 59:24 pace average 12:22
Sunday October 1st – 8 miles in 1:36:43 pace average 12:05
Monday October 2nd – 4.8 miles in 56:48 pace average 11:50.
Tuesday October 3rd – 4.8 miles in 58:46 pace average 12:15. Before leaving for the Airport
Wednesday October 4th – Lost this day over the international date line.
Thursday October 5th – Arrived in Auckland, New Zealand
Friday October 6th – Touring the North Island.
Looking very forward to my Centurion attempt here in Auckland tomorrow. The forecast is dry at the start. Excited.