I'm retired from racing. Really.

Rocky Raccoon 100

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Location:

Greenville,SC,

Member Since:

Feb 24, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

I also maintain a blogspot running blog. Check it out. 

5k- 16:01, 1/2 marathon- 1:11:37, marathon- 2:34:16, 50k- 3:58, 100 mile- 15:19

Former World Record holder in 100 x 5k relay 

Ultra history:

8-100 mile, 1-100k, 9-50 mile, 2-40 mile, 14-50k-ish

12 wins, 5 CR's, plus four 2nd, five 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th, 9th, 16th, 20th, 28th, 38th, and 62nd place, with 1 DNF 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Goals 

None for now

Long-Term Running Goals:

Unretire at some point

Run a sub-6 hr 50 miler

Win a 100 mile ultramarathon

Personal:

I have five cute kids. And I have some rockin short green racing shorts- I wear them mainly because it embarrasses my wife so much. I like ultimate frisbee, trail running, reading, and cheering for the Denver Broncos!   And I have the absolute best wife in the world.  And I used to run for the now-disbanded national Team Pearl Izumi- Ultra!

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 12.00 Year: 517.50
Fastwitch Lifetime Miles: 82.50
Trail N1 Lifetime Miles: 86.50
Road N1 Lifetime Miles: 31.00
Stinson Lifetime Miles: 541.50
Trail M2 2 Black Lifetime Miles: 418.50
Trail M2 3 Lifetime Miles: 495.60
Trail N2 2 Orange Lifetime Miles: 418.00
Road M2 3 Orange Lifetime Miles: 333.50
Road N2 Purple Lifetime Miles: 248.50
Race: Rocky Raccoon 100 (100 Miles) 19:37:54, Place overall: 28, Place in age division: 5
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesCrosstraining milesTotal Miles
100.000.000.000.000.00100.00

Rocky Raccoon 100.  Sorry on making everyone wait so long for this report.

I first planned on this race about 18 months ago.  I am going to run the Bear 100 this year, and decided starting with an "easier" 100 would be wise.  Paul and Cody volunteered to crew/pace me, so we made reservations last August.  I did 2 50-milers in preparation and my training was going great… right up until I injured my hips just before Christmas. As a result, in the last 6 weeks before the race, I averaged around 10 miles running per week, but did a ton of cross training and hip exercises.  Even one week before the race, I couldn't run more than a few miles due to hip pain, but was still going to race.  Davy decided to join us last minute, and we enjoyed his company. 

The course is 5, 20-mile loops around Lake Raven in the gorgeous, pine-forested Huntsville State Park in Texas, with 5 aid stations per loop.  It is 100% dirt, mostly singletrack, and "relatively" flat, though small rolling hills are everywhere.  It isn't rocky, but there are innumerable tree roots that present the main tripping hazard.  There was lots of rain the week of the race which resulted in a few muddy spots, but nothing that really slowed me down.  If anything, it added a little excitement and enjoyment.  Race day weather was absolutely perfect, with a high of 60 deg and low of 40 deg.  Sunny, minimal wind.  Perfect, especially compared to Cache Valley winter. 

My primary goal was simply to finish the race and to learn as much about 100 mile races as possible.  Goal 2 was to break 20 hours.  Prior to the injury, I had aspirations of 17-18 hours, but that seemed doubtful given my injury and lack of recent training.  Being a nerd, I made split projections for each aid station, with a "fast" pace, a "medium" pace, and an "oh-crap-slow" pace.  Above all, I knew I wanted to start slow-- there was no such thing as too slow of a start.  I was hoping for a 3:00-3:15 first lap, then slowing down about 15 min each lap thereafter.  I ended up very close to the “oh-crap-slow” pace for the first 3 laps.  I surprisingly slept rather well the night before, and was more excited than nervous.  At the start, I met a few famous ultrarunners, including Jamie Donaldson and the Coury brothers, then was ready to go. 

We finally started, and I had to force myself a number of times to slow down, but still felt like I was going too fast.  I had hoped to run the first lap with Davy, but he took off fast and I quickly lost him in the dark.  My time at the first aid station was within one minute of the desired split, though, so that was good.  Cody and Paul were waiting to exchange my water bottle- they did a good job of preparing before each station so that I could minimize stopped time.  In fact, other than bathroom breaks, I only sat down 3 times (change shoes and put on pants) and often spent less than 1 minute at each station.  I usually exchanged my empty water bottle and gel flask for full ones and was off.  Paul and Cody were great and really helped, and my fueling system of only EFS gu, Gatorade/Heed, and S-caps worked fine. 

**Warning- some of the following is PG rated—you have been warned, so proceed at your own risk**

The first few laps were really a blur.  I enjoyed talking to so many wonderful, friendly people—I think I talked to people from at least 20 states (though not one from Texas, interestingly enough).  I got to know some of them fairly well, and would play leap frog with a few of them literally dozens of times over the next 20 hours.  The first loop went fast; the second loop was a bit slower as I battled a bit of an upset stomach, though I managed to never puke.  It was on this loop that I fell for the only time, though had a nice landing in some soft sand.  Unfortunately, I really struggled with intestinal issues from miles 15 till 65, stopping 25 times to go number 2.  Not an exaggeration, 25 times.  Absolutely ridiculous- I was frustrated after 10, then just accepted it.  It is safe to say this added at least 60 minutes and up to 90+ minutes to my time, something I will definitely resolve in the future.  Lap 1 was 3:11, lap 2 was 3:32.  Other than quad pain the whole race, I felt relatively good.  Davy ran great, too, such that he was ahead of me all the way through mile 30, and stayed close the whole race such that we kept seeing each other at various locations on the course. 

Lap 3 was a definite highpoint.  A fair portion of the race often has two way traffic, which was a bit annoying at times, particularly at night when some runners would blind you with their lights.  However, there is a 6 mile leg in the middle of the loop that is one way and was my absolute favorite part of the course.  It was very isolated and just plain fun, with great singletrack and some decent hills.  It was on this loop that I passed the 50 mile mark, officially making this the longest run of my life—and I was only half way!  I felt great during this portion of the course and flew along the trails.  I had no doubt by this point that, barring any disasters, I would finish the race.  I could tell my shoe cushion was less responsive and resulting in some Achilles and arch pain, so I switched shoes at mile 55 (to an identical pair).  The two pair of Pearl Izumi Pace shoes I wore the whole time worked perfect, combined with only one pair of Drymax Maximum Protection socks.  No blisters or hot spots at all, other than one on top of a middle toe that I didn't even know was there until afterwards.  I will never run an ultra in anything but Drymax again- and no, I'm not getting paid to say that.  Lap 3 was 3:54.

I had really been counting down to mile 60, since that is where pacers can start.  Paul paced me for lap 4 and did a great job.  I enjoyed his company and his presence helped motivate me, and I assigned him the duty of saying “Good job” to other runners, saving me a bit of energy.  By this point the field was well spread out, but I found extra motivation in the few nearby runners as we leapfrogged each other.  It was fun to experience nightfall with Paul, though having to run under headlamps distinctly slowed the pace.  My quad pain had increased such that I could no longer run any down hills after mile 75, though flats and up hills were still ok.  If anything, I was surprised my quads had lasted so far given my lack of running/pounding in recent weeks to keep my legs strong.  Paul handed me off to Cody after a 4:18 loop.   

After throwing on some more warm clothes, Cody and I started the final loop.  The going was slow and tenuous, but he did his best to be a good sport and humor all my whining and just keep me moving along.  I was still enjoying the run, though, and was excited to finish soon.  At one point, a distant group of coyotes serenaded us with some strange songs, and the frogs in the lake were also noisy at times.  The pace continued to slow through mile 97, at which point my legs could no longer run.  It was just physically impossible.  We death slogged the rest of the way, though our fuzzy math told us that sub-20 seemed likely.  We finally reached the final 100 yard finishing stretch, and I eagerly started my sprint to the finish (actually more of an awkward shuffle).  That lasted about 20 yards before my legs informed me that I had started my kick too soon, and they couldn't keep up.  We walked again, then I was finally able to shuffle the final 30 yards across the finish line with a 4:49 lap. 

My final time was 19:37:54, placing me 28th out of 344 starters.  It felt so good to finish, and Joe Prusaitis, the RD, soon arrived to give me my sub-24 hour finisher buckle.  I was herded into the warm finishers’ tent where I enjoyed the company of a few other guys while Cody and Paul got me clothes and food.  I wanted to stay till Davy finished, but my body began shutting down and I got incredibly cold and kept shivering.  I decided to head back to the hotel for a nice shower, and was excited to see Davy arrive shortly thereafter.  He ran an amazing race!  Paul and Cody were nice enough to get us Wendy's burgers at 4 am, and we finally turned off the light at 4:45 am, exactly 24 hours (to the minute) from when my alarm went off the day before.  Then a short, restless sleep and a plane ride home to the family. 

Words really can't explain what it feels like to finish the 100- great feeling.  And words also can't describe my appreciation for all the people who helped along the way- the RD, all the amazing aid station volunteers, the many participants who provided so much advice and encouragement, Davy for his advice, and especially Cody and Paul for all their help.  And a special thanks goes to my wife for allowing me to leave her for a weekend to run some crazy race.  Thanks, everyone.  Thank you. 

Overall, I am very happy with the race.  I finished, which is what I set out to do.  It would always be nice to run faster, but that is for future races.  Between my hip injury, reduced training, and especially my intestinal issues, I should be able to improve my time by several hours next time.  Other than general muscle soreness, I don't think I'll have any long term problems from this race, and I'm very excited that my hips held up [better than my quads].  All my gear worked perfectly.  I was able to meet so many nice people and spend a day in a beautiful location with great weather doing one of the things I love best.  What more could a guy want? 

There are a few photos on my family blog.

Next up:  More trail races, including the Bear 100 in September.  Possibly run either Bighorn 100 in June or Grand Mesa 100 in July, as well.  Lots of trail running this summer. 

Lessons learned for the future:

There is no such thing as too much toilet paper (nuff said!)

Gu and gatorade/HEED fueling works fine for me (with a few bananas and coke thrown in)

Having a prepared crew really minimizes downtime at aid stations- simple bottle/flask exchanges are best

Pacers rock

Drymax socks also rock

Pace Miles: 44.50Pace 2 Miles: 55.50
Weight: 0.00
Comments
From Paul on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 13:30:10 from 65.103.252.214

Nice job. Love the report.

From jun on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 13:33:36 from 66.239.250.209

Great job on your first 100 mile finish. I'm curious to hear the details.

From Steve on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 14:30:09 from 72.165.228.4

Dang! Nice run!

From Dale on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 14:49:36 from 69.10.215.11

Congrats on your first 100 mile race. You're nuts, but in a good way. Way under 20 hours too....crazy fast for that distance on foot. Hurry up with that race report!

From jtshad on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 14:57:04 from 204.134.132.225

Great time, can't wait for the report.

From Twinkies on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 20:51:39 from 72.37.244.84

Sub 20 for your first 100 miler. Very impressive.

From Superfly on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 22:50:07 from 208.117.127.110

U R KILLING US! I need that report on my desk first thing in the morning or else:)

From Bryce on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 23:12:42 from 174.52.190.220

Congrats Jon, Nice run!

From David Nelson on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 23:13:33 from 24.22.231.57

Actually, I don't blame you if that's all you remember. It was 100 miles.

(Really: Good to hear the hips didn't stop you, can't wait to read all about it.)

From redrooster on Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 23:18:23 from 67.40.119.216

geez that is some novel you are working on. it better be as good as I am expecting. I am sure it will be. great job.

From crockett on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 00:38:14 from 71.36.68.210

My RR100 report is at: http://www.crockettclan.org/blog/?p=169

But if Jon doesn't get his novel up, I'll post the juicy details, fiction and non-fiction.

From Jon on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 08:36:59 from 75.169.152.237

Report is almost done, I'm going to add picture and post it right after work today. Should be up at 5:30-6:00 pm.

From Holt on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 09:37:40 from 204.113.55.41

Glad you were able to finish and I'm sure it was one WONDERFUL experience!

From SlowJoe on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 20:02:01 from 71.21.119.111

Insane. Nice going, Jon. Really amazing what the human body can endure.

From jun on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 20:04:49 from 97.126.237.192

Great race report. Just loved it. Congrats again on a fantastic finish. Not sure if you knew this but Karl Meltzer had you picked to finish top 5. I don't think he knew about your hip injury. Take out the variables that really impacted your race (intestinal being #1) and I think he would have nailed it right no the nose.

From redrooster on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 20:30:33 from 67.40.119.216

Jon, great job and way to PR with an amazing 25 star race!! Even Paul is going to be jealous of that!!! OK, let's work on fixing that hip and maybe losing one or two stars for the next one...

From Vis on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 20:41:21 from 208.88.8.22

Very cool accomplishment. I'm really jealous of the belt buckle.

From Nic on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 21:17:20 from 72.253.160.40

Great race. I bet the feeling of finishing a 100 miler is amazing. Too bad about the hip injuries before the race and the bathroom breaks during. You should celebrate and come to Kauai and I'll take you on a amazing run on the Kalalau trail.

From marci on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 21:41:01 from 75.169.145.105

Way to go babe! you would be happy to know that i actually read your entire race report and i think your nuts. :) But i am proud of you. Next time you better take me with ya though.

From Predog on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 22:41:16 from 174.27.206.250

Wow. I am at a loss for words. Reading your report *almost* makes me want to run one of those...someday...in the very far distant future. What an accomplishment though! You're an inspiration to all of us. Keep up the good work. I'm almost in shape enough to keep up with you guys on a long run again.

From Superfly on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 22:57:02 from 208.117.127.110

Good job again Jon. I love the report. 25 potty stops. Thats a PR in it's self. Enjoy your high for a while. Your one of the only people on here that will ever get to live through an event like that. I'll bet it was just amazing to cross that line. I'm proud of ya man. Keep it up... if you do one of those others this summer maybe I'll have to come join the Jon Pace Crew.

From crockett on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 23:19:34 from 71.36.68.210

Your potty split times were impressive. Way to go. Now, you have to wear that belt buckle to work! Thanks for your inspiration. I know I could not have run that fast without you, Cody, and Paul there to cheer me on.

From Fritz on Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 23:42:23 from 97.117.55.158

Great job Jon! It's amazing that your hip held up for 100 MILES! You can only get faster.

From Holt on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:23:29 from 204.113.55.41

Fun? stuff!

Way to go Jon - such an amazing accomplishment.

From Nevels on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:02:26 from 131.204.15.93

Solid run, and great report. Here's to looking forward to the next one...

From RivertonPaul on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:09:24 from 67.42.27.114

Glad your body held up. Thanks for the report.

From JimF on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:19:53 from 67.162.67.145

Awesome achievement and great report! Hope you are enjoying the recovery! You deserve it.

From Dave S on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:23:49 from 4.254.224.97

Huge accomplishment! Amazing to finish at all let alone that fast after your setbacks. Glad the hips held up. I'd like to see how you do on one where your training goes well.

From JD on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:25:50 from 70.96.78.157

Congratulations on accomplishing your goals! Great 100 miler. Love the report.

From Paul on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:00:37 from 174.23.180.177

Well, your report is nothing new to me (since I was there), but I'll comment anyway. First off, I never doubted you would finish, especially when you reached Mile 80 with no outward indicators of self-doubt. But frankly I'm amazed you did as well as you did without running much at all in the last month or so. It's a good testament to you ability and potential. It takes ALL of the stars to align in order to pop off a GREAT race. You had a few stars align, being a fast course and great weather, but you were missing experience, fitness (due to injury), and agreeable bowels. Once you get everything lined up, particularly fitness/heath and your intestinal issues, then you will really turn some heads. Great job on Saturday.

From Cal on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:27:31 from 66.133.117.3

Congratulations Jon! Cool report. Sounds like it was a great experience.

From Aaron Kennard on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:29:31 from 174.51.250.151

Inspiring report Jon, I enjoyed envisioning the death march 3 miles to the finish where the legs just could not possibly run. Its amazing that you could barely run without hip pain a week earlier and then with 1 more week of rest you were able to finish a 100 mile run. Its incredible how the body heals. Congrats on an awesome experience!

From Dustin on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:09:26 from 204.113.48.77

Way to go Jon, what an awesome experience and how nice to have Paul and Cody there to help. Great job.

From Logan Fielding on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:45:41 from 74.211.7.180

You are my hero! Clyde and I are excited for this weekend.

From Adam RW on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 23:34:04 from 155.101.152.103

Jon, It was worth the wait. Great race. I'm very impressed by the courage and strength you showed. I'd say I am surprised at what you accomplished despite what you've dealt with the last few weeks but I'm not. You are "da man" and deserve the success for all your hard work. I look forward to your next 100 mi race report. (p.s. Be careful next time you see my wife as I'm sure she is out to get you because you have definitely made this sound like something I need to try some day...)

From Jon on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 23:55:28 from 75.169.150.31

Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Jun- I knew about Karl's pick, and told him I was injured and just wanted to finish.

Rooster- 25 star race- doesn't get better than that!

Nic- I'd love to run the Kalalau trail with you sometime!

Marci- you've known I was nuts for a long time!

Joe- do Logan Peak Run this summer first- great first ultra.

Clyde- I'm already planning on more. You can crew anytime.

Davy- I think you would have run faster without us to distract you! Nice job!

Paul- yeah, the stars definitely didn't align, but I still got my primary goals. I can worry about improving next time. I do feel lucky I was able to finish with my minimal recent running, that's for sure. My legs held up better than expected. Good pacers sure helped!

Adam- I'll watch out for your wife! And like Joe, come try Logan Peak Run this year!

From c h a d on Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 18:22:53 from 166.70.238.194

What an awesome run, Jon. You have got to be so proud of your accomplishment. I know everyone else is. Sub 20 hours is amazing . . . but I think the best is yet to come.

From todd kelly on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 02:43:03 from 174.145.63.51

Awesome Jon, that is so cool. You had a great race and time congrats.

From funnerrunner on Sun, Feb 21, 2010 at 00:43:18 from 74.45.79.223

Enjoyed your story Jon! Great job!

From baldnspicy on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 01:25:31 from 72.95.177.56

You're an inspiration to us all! Incredible! Loved reading the very detailed report. Almost made me want to do a 100 miler...almost. :-)

From todd kelly on Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 19:17:20 from 75.230.23.12

Hey sorry i did not make it to the island to see you kick butt. I needed to run 18 miles today and knew that If I went out there I would have not done it because I would have been helping at the aid stop most the day. So what did you think of the trails and the back side of the island. Its a awesome run for sure isnt it?

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