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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:31 PM   #21
mvirtue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedysktr View Post
heck yeah, he will!!! I sense a whole contingent from the Mich vicinity for next year, s-dog, the geebo, hell yeah, we got us a skatelog convoy.
But would you pull us along for 87 miles
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:54 PM   #22
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I believe he would.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 12:43 AM   #23
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Default Awesome job, Jessica! And on your birthday, no less!

Jessica, I am in awe of your abilities! I know I can't keep up with you on our trails down here. I'm just wondering where you found the hills to train for Atlanta. Or did you find another way to train the legs to endure on Sunday?

Great job!

Don

P.S., I'm looking for any tips you can provide so I can move up from my 52-mile finish to the 87-miler next year.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 12:49 AM   #24
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speedy wrote:
Quote:
whole contingent from the Mich vicinity for next year, s-dog, the geebo,

Do I commit to the race before or after I hear all of the scary hill and 6 inches of pavement missing stories? Or better yet, the RR crossing at the bottom of a hill.

Just curious. Wondering when I should be committed or find a nice rubberized room...

Just think of the fun! 'Course, you and Jess would be well into your second pitcher of margaritas before I made it in.

Geri
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:55 AM   #25
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The downhill across the RR tracks was nothing.

The painfull parts for me were from mile 80 in. Basically worn out, 1 hr over what I had trained to endure, and hitting first chipseal, and then unmitigated (and unmonitored) Atlanta traffic. Speedy, Jess: where you on your own too after you left the chipseal, and turned down the concrete ramp into Atlanta proper? Or did they just give an escort to the fast folks, and the rest of us should have practiced playing in traffic?


Give me the rural roads any day. Even with the hills. The predators there are simpler.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:58 AM   #26
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Well A2A lived up to its reputation for unexpected challenges and opportunities....

We started out with a plan: me, Jessica and two other friends from Florida Luke and John Altwater were going to try and stay together. I was voted in to do the lead out of the 4 of us (as I don't have a problem starting fast) and pick the pack looking to a pace somewhere in the 5:45 range..

We got two last minute developments...first,as most of you know, was that Speedy fell during indoor practice a few days before the race and bruised his ribs. He was having trouble breathing pain free, which seemed to come and go in intensity. So on Sat night he decided to be less aggressive then his original plan and join are group as he was very uncertain about is ability to skate/finish. The second thing was when we got up Sun morning the ground was unexpectedly wet...a quick front had blown through with a shower that hadn't dried. Nothing like Duluth, but the course did turn out to be intermittently damp for the first half until the sun really came out and the wind that blew the front through meant we had a head wind most of the way...

We took off as planned but things got messed up quickly...John A who was bringing up the rear got caught in traffic at the line and didn't get on our group which I wasn't aware of at all. Then more and bigger trouble...as we raced downhill out of town we were the second pack behind the 40 person or so lead pack. We were just following them and as they were not absolutely hammering at this point and it was downhill Speedy and I were discussing jumping up to latch on for a ride. He comes around to take the lead and as he does I start to hear shouts and people yelling "YOU MISSED A TURN" ... ..the lead pack had followed the lead motorcycle that missed the left turn to take you out of Athens! .. .I look back and see everyone turning a 1/4 mile or so behind us.. ..my mind just screams "AGHHHHHHH" and I start to slow down to spin around....then I start to turn and realize Jessica and Luke have already turned, there is no John A and now SPEEDY is 75-100 yards or so further down still going with the pack just realizing something is wrong... ....I'm yelling but he can't hear me....best I can tell we were the last people through who missed the turn everyone else is heading out on the course getting into their packs.... now what do I do???? I look down and I see Speedy starting to turn and what looks like the rest of the pack slowing up to turn around…I make a quick but VERY wrong choice… It looked like Speedy would be with the front pack as they turned and came back so I went with Jessica and Luke. I was expecting that they would catch us back quickly and Speedy could jump back in with us if he wanted or stay with that group if he felt OK. I thought we would regroup in a mile or so as I sure the lead group would have no problem catching us back.... as it turned out, the lead group didn't turn around right away as they were in a state of confusion and continued on for a few more miles down the wrong direction...Speedy turned but was solo trying to catch….I had taken off leading Luke and Jessica inadvertently leaving Speedy stranded.....I didn’t realize I had completely screwed him till after the race…I assumed they had turned and he was with a group., I was so focused on catching back up to a good pack that I didn’t look back to check….SORRY Speedy…that was a big F&%$ up….

We got back on the course and I realized we were WAY behind the packs we would want to be in ...I figured the pack we wanted to be in was the one right behind us that had made the correct turn...they were probably 3/4 mile ahead of us at that point....so the chase was on....

For the next 5 miles or so we played catch and pass the pack...I don't know how many we went by ...I just kept looking at the skaters trying to judge who would be good group to stay with...finally we reached a reasonable pack and we merged in but we were still leading...they had picked up there pace to match ours ...As I was starting to feel burnt as I had done most of the leading in the chase so I got us in a rotation with them and I saw we were gaining on another bigger pack in front of us ...we were able to reel them in and form a pack of about 20-25 skaters...and we found John A in that pack, he had made the correct turn! ...I was like OK we are finally where we want to be ...we just got there the hard way...

For the next 10 miles or so we just settled in with the group, which was pretty good and going at a good pace. I got out of the lead rotation to recover from the chase. The only thing that was bugging me was "where's Speedy"...in fact we really hadn't been passed by any of the leaders. I was like “what is going on?” “what happened…didn’t they turn around?” “Did they take a short cut back on the course and were ahead of us?” Finally we started to see some packs come through but no Speedy ...I was getting worried and started to think about dropping back to find him...I was afraid he might of tried to hang with one of the packs that came though and got shed and ended up on his own.....but finally a pack came up and there he was! I was relieved to see him but had no idea how hard he had to work to get back to us…he continued on with that pack but dropped back to ours a few miles later as his mostly solo chase had taken its toll…it took 20 some miles but we were all finally together....

By comparison the next 20 some miles were uneventful ...we cruised in the pack working together ...and we only lost a few people at the 38 finish so we really were in a good situation and the miles were going by quickly...even had time for the whole pack to sing Jessica a quick Happy Birthday at about mile 45!

At about mile 51 or so things started to get crazy again. We got overtaken by a pack of people who were doing the 52 mile race and consequently had only about 16 mile in their legs. Our packs merged briefly and this caused several surges and drop backs. Finally we let them go at about mile 53 but in the process our pack got split into 2 or 3 groups. I had chased down one split to get a regroup but then I was starting to feel the effects of it getting hot...the overcast weather had went away and the temp had climbed into the 80's... Speedy and Jessica had made it in the first group while me, Luke and John A. and one other guy got split off the back. I found out later that Speedy and Jessica never knew the split happened until a few miles down the road when they started to look for us...

So our reduced pack soldiered on but I was starting to fade from the heat. It’s a problem I have and know the symptoms well. Its not a hydration thing, it’s an issue I have not sweating enough to keep myself cool...I have to pour water on myself to keep my body temperature down in hot weather. I had picked up water at checkpoint 4 (mile 54) to use to pour on myself but it got knocked out of my fanny pack on a downhill push....we picked up another pack of 6-8 skaters as we made the way through the neighborhoods up to Silver hill but I was shot ...as we went up one of the hills around mile 65 or so I faded off the back and couldn't even get word to Luke and John A. ..It was frustrating but I knew it was time to just work on finishing..

Up ahead Speedy, Jessica kept going with the remnants of our original pack...as Speedy was starting to feel better he did a lot of leading and the pack cruised into the end at 5:49...a great time especially considering that the winning times were down at least 20-30 minutes from normal (4:50men, 5:23 women) due to the head wind and wetness ...Jessica kicked butt ending up at 3rd woman OVERALL!!!

I continued on albeit slowly to checkpoint 5 where I stopped to douse myself with water and recover a bit... after about a 10 minute stop I continued on still not feeling good but just plugging away...I made it though to checkpoint 6 and again doused myself with cold water and finally started to come back to life...I got caught by a good group of 6 or so right after that and jumped in and was able to hang with them and even take turns leading...it enabled me to at least feel decent for the last couple miles...I came in at 6:26....I wanted to be faster but was just glad to finish.

This race was more of a roller coaster of emotion more than any other I have been involved in…I can’t really figure out what I feel about it…on one hand there was highs of skating hard to lead Luke, Jessica and myself back up into a good race position after the wrong turn…but the lows of regret to find out that the same high was simultaneously (albeit inadvertently) screwing my best friend.. I had the high of watching a friend (Jessica) reach a potential I saw months ago that I’m not even sure she knew she had…while feeling the frustration of my own struggles at the end …I think I am going to have to let this one sit for awhile before I figure out what I think about it….
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Old October 4th, 2006, 02:47 AM   #27
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All I feel like saying right now is that I never took it anyway shape or form like Gless felt. No matter how you slice it, clearly there was no intention of mistreatment, rather all thoughts and actions were based on serving the best interest of friends while sacrificing personal achievement. How gallant is that?
More later.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 03:31 AM   #28
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Gless that was a great account of what a pace line is like. Thank you for sharing it and for the leadership you gave our forum friends in keeping them on track. Jess, you really know how to have a memorable birthday! Way to go! Luke, Jon J., Jon B and Napalm, Don all the Sunshine State skaters, you made this old man's day. Thanks and ...

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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:10 PM   #29
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A few weeks back, I discovered that one of my A2A cups had been broken and would have been thrown out had I not dug it out of the garbage and glued it back together. Then, when I was emptying my skate bag Monday evening, out popped my new cup and off came the handle. Once again, I reached down and picked up the pieces and put it all together-the glue was still out from the last repair.

I was thinking about coffee cups as I lay in bed Saturday night, trying to breathe. The physical and mental roller coaster I had been on for the last few weeks had come to a stop. The ride was by no means over, but my train was dead on the tracks. The pain in my chest was making it difficult to move or breathe. The thought of strapping on my skates in the morning seemed far away and almost ridiculous, if not physically impossible-at that hour it had grown difficult to move my left arm. I lay there thinking what it would be like to have to watch everyone do the race and searching for solace in the possibility of taking some nice pics and video. The image of my cup pyramid kept popping into my head as did the certainty that I would not be racing in the morning and I would see DNS (did not start) next to my name instead of some time amount. Would I have the strength to wear a smile for my friends as they traversed this ardous journey? Would I have the endurance to wear it all day and be happy for them or would the facade unravel at some point and depth of my anger be revealed? I try to sleep with the hope that I just need sleep and my body will be functional in the morning. The time ticks by and anger swells because I am so exhausted and the one possible chance I have of making it to the line is trickling away. My eyes open, it's 1am, sleep dammit. My eyes open, it's 2am. They close. They opened again at 3am thankfully closing again and finally at 4am I raise myself. It's not enough, the pain is still there. Fumbling for more drugs I turn on the shower and at this point I just start thinking about doing the next thing. Then the next thing, but nothing beyond, I'm afraid if I look too far forward, I'll see my self sitting in the car. Get dressed. Stop. Eat. Stop. Get in the car. Stop. Then a miracle occurred. As we rolled to the start I hear the song Breathe (It's 2AM) by Anna Nalick. It's a song about just getting through the moment, but it's hitting me on two levels, I do need to get through each moment, but I'm having trouble just breathing.
Here are the lyrics, but it's the refrain that echoes in my head still:

2 Am and she calls me cause I'm still awake
Can you help me unravel my latest mistake
I don't love him and winter just wasn't my season.
Yea we walk through the doors so accusing their eyes
Like they have any right at all to criticize
Hypocrites you're all here for the very same reason.

Cause you can't jump the track
We're like cars on a cable and life's like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button girl
So just cradle your head in your hands.
And breathe, just breathe, whoa breathe just breathe

May he turned 21 on the base of Fort Bliss
Just today he sat down to the flask in his fist
Ain't been sober since maybe October of last year
Here in town you can tell he's been down for while
But my God it's so beautiful when the boy smiles
Wanna hold him but maybe I'll just sing about it

Cause you can't jump the track
We're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button boys so cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe, whoa breath just breathe


There's a light at the end of this tunnel
you shout cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
And these mistakes you've made
You'll just make them again if you'll only try turnin' around

2Am and I'm still awake writing this song
If i get it all down on paper it's no longer inside of me threaten' the life it belongs to.
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary screamin' out aloud
And I know that you'll use them however you want to.


But you can't jump the track
We're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass glued to the table,
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand...yeah breath
Just breathe, ohho breathe


.... So I decide to just breathe. Get my skates on. Stop. Skate. Stop. Get to the starting line. Stop. Start, get as far as I can, do the best you can, just breathe.

This year has been nothing but dissapointment as I keep trying to regain the place where I stopped in 2000, before my back surgeries. Race after race left me with more questions than answers, more doubts than affirmations. My training began taking an upswing in midsummer and I really started to believe in myself and my capabilities. I knew I was where I wanted to be, the speed was there, but there were doubts. I kept telling myself, do the training, just do it. I believed in my plan and I began following through with it. Then the let down of St. Paul added to the doubt, but I fought back and dug out a new tool, the motor pacing. It fueled my confidence, but somewhere in there the training began wearing me down and darkness and lethargy were growing despite my outward optimism. Labor day weekend and I do massive training, then a race that really put a hurt on me. I became ill and went to Duluth handicapped by illness that seemed to be more of a wellspring of darkness and doubt. The outcome of that race left me at what I thought was the bottom, but I came home, went to the doctor and focused on the next thing, willing my body to recover and carefully choosing my workouts. In one week I went from nothing to everything. The illness was gone, the fire was raging. I had put the cup back together and I was ready to go. As my last indoor practice wound down, I felt like the edge had been sharpened perfectly and the only thing left to do was draw back the sword. That was all swept away in one moment as my ribs met maple. So you pick up the pieces and reach for the glue. I thought the darkest day was Thursday, that the pain I felt that day would be the worst and it would get better and better. Friday brought less pain and more optimism that was confirmed and fueled by clean x-rays. I would stay the course, reach for that star after all. That hope eroded throughout the day on Saturday and thoughts of a personal best were traded for the safety and camaraderie of skating with my friends. Laying in bed I saw that option replaced with the thought of struggling up and down the hills, grimmacing with every breath, alone with my pain.

The race starts and I find myself surrounded by my friends and I start to believe everything will be okay. At this pace I'm breathing labored shallow breathes, but it's working, then, in slow motion, I go from skating with my friends to pursuing them. Not catching, not catching, trying harder, not catching, not catching. Then the breathing begins to fail and I cant get enough air as I weave through the other skaters, still not catching. I'm now literally panting like a dog with an occasional grunt as I accidentally draw past the point of the pain. I feel my legs start to go as my lungs are still not keeping up with the rest of my body. I leapfrog on a few packs, but can hang with no one and find myself spiralling downward, knowing that I am falling apart in every concievable way. I hear a voice from behind. It's my part time rival/friend along with another friend from Cincy along with a dude from Flanders. They pass and beckon me to join, but I have nothing and I watch as they pull away, still pleading with me to just try and I boil over and begin swearing at them. In a split second, my summer flashes before me, here I am with nothing left, every option stripped away almost systematically. I wonder how I went from the raging fire of last week to the snuffed embers of this black moment, watching my world slip away. A voice from within says "this is it, you go now, or it's over, all of it, this is your last chance to be the athlete/person/athlete you want to be" I stood on the edge of darkness and light and the me that wants to be stepped out of the shadow and said, "let's go".

One thing at a time, pick up the pieces put them together one at a time and just breathe. All sensation stops, all I see is the yellow of their jerseys getting closer as I run them down. When I catch, all sensations explode as my body begins to rack and twist and all I feel is my shallow breathes with an increasing number of grunts and grimaces and all hear is a calm voice saying just breathe. We make it to ckpoint 1 and I see my dad and I'm just happy to be with someone as we cross onto the new pavement. The lay of the course contributed to my recovery as I watch my heart rate stabilize. The training kicks in and with no thought I take my gel. We are just skating, they know I made it to them, there's no need for words my breathing is telling the tale. We are caught by another pack and I realize I'm in danger again as the pace picks up slightly, the power of many pushing the pace. I watch the heart rate tick up and we are back into some climbing and just then we catch another pack and as we go by I see smiling faces and hear Jessica say, "there you are" and Luke hollers, "JAYYY TEEEE" and finally Gless urging me to "go go go, yeah, JT go for it" I want to smile and wave, but no words come out as I am strained once again. I want to drop in with them, but it's not an option. I am remembering last Thursday morning, spinning through the pain, focusing on the goal and I have no choice but to keep my sights on the horizon. We leave them and my attention returns to my heart rate which is getting in the danger zone and I realize that the choice wasnt in my head after all. Without regret, I let the pack go, knowing that I had to finish and had made the right choice. Ten days prior, I would have felt like this was quitting again after I had just started, but clarity intervened and I knew I had chosen wisely. As they caught me, the same welcoming voices reached from behind ready to bring me in. As I recovered, I began to relax and after awhile, I could breathe a little better in the comfort of friends. Soon I was ready to contribute and found myself in front pulling away "oops, easy there hot rod" drop back and try again. When the course levelled a little after ckpoint 3 I found I could pull a little easier and make it tolerable for the rest. Somehow, someway, my fire was beginning to burn and I found myself more and more in the front, but still dropping back to check on everyone. The only thing I didn't like was Jessica's position towards the rear. There were a couple of questionables in between her and Gless or Luke, one of which I was giving serious consideration to whittling off. He had stood up and hit the brakes on a descent, scattering the pack and it had F***ING P!$$$ed me off. I rolled up and was like "WTF?" Gless points at him and I was like, "somebody is going to find themselves skating alone if that crap happens again" Without me saying anything, moments later I realized Jessica had moved up and was in second place behind me. Here is where the stories overlap and Gless already told you this part. The lead pack of the 52 came through and I was letting them go by doubting my/our ability to run with their fresh legs. Just like that, though, we were into a series of long descents and I found it effortless to roll up on them with only occasional strokes to keep with them. I look back and do a double take because now we have swarm of people. Not only was it the lead pack of 52s but they had also brought a mess of new faces. In the confusion, I lost Gless and Luke thinking that the new bodies with us were them. Rather, the 87s that had been with the 52s when they caught us had jumped into our group likely for the same reason I had been reluctant to go in the 1st place. Now, we were all together again minus John, Luke and some others from our pack. In a split second I went through what John described earlier. I knew he never wavered from his hope that I have the best race I could have and that same wish for Jessica. I was getting stronger and stronger as the day was wearing on, I could almost breathe normal now with only occasional hitches. I hung back for a few trying to wait for them, but my waiting pace was their pursuit pace and the 52s were drifting so I figured, if Jessica can hang with me we should go. For the next 15 miles or so we just kept running into group after group, we were gaining momentum while everyone else was losing momentum. I ran into some buddies from Sk8hard and hung out for a minute then moved on. That's when I saw two yellow jerseys along with ldskater. Lenny had passed me way early and I knew for us to catch him he must be strained. Catching the two yellow jerseys fueled my fire like nothing else. I had wisely let them go and now here they were, but not for long. See you at the finish line boys. Lenny hung for awhile and then we were off again with what would end up being our finishing pack. Me, Jessica, John Garrett from Flanders the two lead women from the 52 and redshirt guy. As it turns out only 4 of the 52 lead pack got away from us and one guy finished a mere 10-15 seconds ahead of our group. I had no idea how well I was skating until I saw that little piece of info. They beat us by 12-13 minutes. We cruised in and as we got closer, I began thinking of a way to shell red shirt guy. We had a plan, but my when I tested my legs to see what I had, they fell into complete spasms. I had led most of the way from ckpoint 4 and now was paying for it. At the line when the two lead 52 gals, took off for the win, my new friend John called out "he's coming" and that meant that red shirt guy wanted my spot. John went to keep from getting passed by the sandbagger and I tried to go knowing my legs would shut down and they did. I told Jess to go and she did while I limped/staggered in. It was over. My eleventh A2A was complete and I had made it.

I had started with nothing but hope and resolve. During the race, when that voice filled my head I feel like it was a new beginning and everything I had in my legs and heart was returned to me on the condition that I give it my all. I did that. I left nothing on the road except a used empty, carcass of the me that was. I move forward still feeling this new me, reminded of the old me by the breaking of the new cup, but not missing the fact that the vessel remained whole this time, though the handle was broken. I remain focused on the fact that I will keep picking up the pieces as long as it takes.

When unseen forces conspire to feed you the one sliver of inspiration that sparks your rebirth it fuels my hope that I will always have the strength to move forward through any situation as long as I can remember to breathe, just breathe.

Last edited by speedysktr; December 5th, 2008 at 06:06 PM. Reason: took out bad link to video
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #30
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Speedy,
Thanks for sharing that. It was beautiful. Your humanity is showing. Good stuff!
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Old October 4th, 2006, 02:22 PM   #31
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Thanks, dmorg. missed you, down there.

I have more to say about other aspects of the day, but that was my story from my pov. Figured your eyes needed a break.

edit: The only way one can truly appreciate the magnitude of Jessica's accomplishement is to have been there before. I hate to sound so elitist, but this is one of those rare events that exposes every weakness (and strength) and brings you (at least it does for me) face to face with yourself and there is no place to hide. The hills just don't stop.

A few weeks ago, she dared to hope to hang with Gless and she shot well past that. Gless had a rough day, most of us did one way or another, but Jessica was cool as a cucumber and kept her composure, showing no weakness, only firm resolve. When our packs split and she made it when most of the rest did not I was truly impressed. I don't think we knew at that point that she was in third. There was a brief scare at the end when she thought one of the girls in our pack had in fact been an 87er, despite us asking and believing that they were 52s. So briefly, we were a little dissappointed to have lost a postition to being less than mindful, but the good news ended up coming out with her in 3rd. Unbelievable.

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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #32
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Here's my late report.

As you've probably already figured out by now, this race is a life changing experience. I already kind of had an idea it would be, but not on the level it actually was. I can't really put into words what I experienced this weekend, other than reiterating what Gless already said - emotional rollercoaster.

Since the specifics have already been laid out, I don't really need to repeat anything other than my take on them. I was told before this race that I would have to make some difficult decisions, and I did. The missed turn at the beginning of the race was just absolutely devastating to me. Not because I missed the turn, but because I lost a friend in the process. All I could think about for the first part of the race was, "where is he? where is he?" I kept telling myself that they must have turned around not too far behind us and that they would be catching up soon. Gless was pulling us along, passing so many people, trying to make up for the mistake at the beginning of the race. We were flying - he was amazing. We were rolling up and down the hills in this huge graceful pack. When we hit a particular fast downhill I couldn't help voicing my opinion of it You have no idea how relieved I was when speedy passed - it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I felt like I could relax a little more and concentrate on the race. When we caught up to him again he was obviously hurting bad and I knew right then that had he not been able to keep up with us that I would drop back. But not only did he keep up, he pulled us most of the time.

The time we were all together was absolutely blissful, the height of the moment made complete with the birthday song. I thought I would just die right then, I was so happy.

When the 52'ers caught up with us, things got very confusing again. There were a lot of people mixing up together, passing each other, running away and dropping back. I was so afraid I would get dropped, I just kept telling myself, "stick with speedy", and I did. When things finally settled down, we looked back and realized our friends were gone. Decision time again - we slowed and kept looking back over our shoulders - no sign. We weren't quite sure where we lost them. So on we went, catching up with some of the 52 milers, seeing Lenny catch up then drop back. Again, I had no idea where we lost him. Came to the railroad tracks at the bottom of a hill and they looked very menacing. No big deal though - I was ok. Got closer to Silver Hill and started our descent. It was fast, but we were all able to handle it. I think the wind against us might have been a factor. The last 20 miles or so were brutal, due to general fatigue and the rough pavement, but the pain was masked due to speedy's comic relief and pushing me to move on.

Basically the point of this story is that there is no way I could have done this without the physical and moral support of my friends. I also feel regret about some of the things that happened because I feel like I let some people down in a way, but at the same time I feel so grateful to them for the little things - the advice, the boosts of confidence... I can't help but wonder how things would have turned out if I had made a different decision here or there, but overall it just seems like things came together. I can feel the sense of accomplishment from the people that helped me get there that they knew they were part of my success.

*sniff sniff* I love you guys!
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Old October 4th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #33
Jessica
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I wanted to add that it was very nice meeting you Dev and NWGlenn. You guys rock.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #34
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JT, what an epic accounting of your A2A experience. Very inspiring to say the least. The churning waves of adversity you endured throughout the day, relentless as the very hills looming before you during the race, had me cheering for you all the way!

You post many thoughts here on SLF, sometimes encouraging, sometimes admonishing, always sincere. You talk about mental toughness, perserverence, tenacity and sacrafice. Your words mean nothing.

Your performance on that damp, windy day on the first of October reveal more about you as an athlete, and perhaps even more as a person, then four paragraphs of compelling prose, however eloquently penned. You may someday win the A2A and victory, as oft said, is sweet. But I have to bet that this feat will long be remembered, despite the adversity--or perhaps because of it--as one of your finest moments.

I raise my glass to you, my friend, and all members of 'Team SLF': fait accompli.

Tawni

My toast to speedy goes thus: May your mug be cracked but never broken...
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:21 PM   #35
skaterdog
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I love reading these first hand accounts from the returning warriors. I was reading a lengthy discussion on another board about what it would mean to take a DNF in the A2A. Some folks argued that there are times when you have to make a decision...Am I going to hurt myself by continuing? Or maybe for some folks it's just mental and physical exhaustion.

My question for Speedy, Gless, Jessica, Dev and other 87 mile finishers is how do you tell when pushing through the pain is a good thing....or maybe it's time to look for the SAG???? Or is that an option?
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:21 PM   #36
speedysktr
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Thank you, Tawni. I appreciate it. A friend just shared this quote with me:
If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. (Frank Clark)
You're right. It's not what you say, it's what you do.
My mind is still trying to get around it all. For me, success
is measured by what you do with what you have on any
given day. The time and the placement mean nothing if
you haven't won the battle of the day, no matter what it is.

I have no doubt that this will be my most memorable A2A.
If I ever do win it, this day will certainly be part of the
foundation of that success.
Thank you for taking the time to share the experience. Sorry it was so long. It truly was the kind of day that really represents what the event is about. You can see three people, three stories about the same thing that show the level of emotional impact this kind of race has. Gless and I helped Jessica by manipulating the conditions during the race so that she was able to perform in an optimal way. She rewarded us with an unwavering drive and willingness to give it her all. What more could you ask?
It's this kind of experience that sets this event apart.

S-dog- for me it isn't an option, unless I physically can't do it due to injury. I was facing that in a serious way on Saturday and then again during the race, wondering how far I would spiral down, fortunately for me my race conditions were manipulated so I could perform in an optimal way.

Thanks everyone for all of the kind words and sentiments.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:44 PM   #37
Dev Gnoll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skaterdog View Post
My question for Speedy, Gless, Jessica, Dev and other 87 mile finishers is how do you tell when pushing through the pain is a good thing....or maybe it's time to look for the SAG???? Or is that an option?

There's a difference between discomfort, pain, and damage.

There is a lot you can do to shift around the load, and move around the discomfort and pain.

DNF's suck. Big time. Been there, got the T-shirt. You only get one, and the rest will be DNS or DNR (Did Not Register). There are other impacts, too.

My logic:

IF
The very act of moving forward is damaging your body
/*fear, falls and impacts with automobiles don't count -
Only if you know every stride is leaving a mark */
AND
You can't change something in your technique to make it only pain,
AND
Something's not going to change soon in the course to
make it only pain /*a downhill for back pain, uphills or
smoother road if your feet are blistering from chipseal*/

AND
The damage you are doing to your body is more severe
than the damage a DNF will do. /* new since my DNF*/

AND NOT So close you can taste the finish
AND NOT Close to a good place to SAG /* Also new - prevents either
taking the easy way out, or continuing to damage yourself just to
quit at the next CP */


THEN
Sit down and wait for SAG.



I am still working on the logic for preventing unwarented drops from go-fast mode to just-finish mode. NYC 100K I dropped after my practice lap in the rain, and in this one I pretty much dropped somewhere between the packsplat and CP3.


BTW:
Anyone talk to Jon B and Napalm since the event? Last I saw them was before CP3. They didn't sound really happy with each other. I see they finished in 9:45 or so.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #38
speedysktr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dev Gnoll View Post
Last I saw them was before CP3. They didn't sound really happy with each other.
okay, sorry, but I started laughing when I read that. We saw them at the awards and dinner and everything was fine. hey, what happens on the road, stays on the road. gless and I had some choice words for each other a couple a weeks ago, fuhgeddaboutit. LOL!

It was awesome meeting Dev and NWGlenn as well as Unalaska. Great to see so many people from one place. Remember, bring a friend next year.

I'm with Dev on the DNF thing. It's about finishing, despite, all the things going wrong,
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Old October 4th, 2006, 08:56 PM   #39
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The more I'm reading from you alls posts and what NWGlenn has said, my hat is off to you all. I'm proud knowing you all. I'm glad to see that there are others out there who would sacrifice personal goals for the betterment of another.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #40
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Pictures!

Make sure you're in them next year - sign up early
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