49% Race Report – Jackalope Jam

How did I end up continuing my hate relationship with the Jackalope Jam? The first 2 years it was on a course with ruts and I ended up with amazing bad blisters. Even though the second year I planned only to run a marathon, the damage was done. I was smart enough not to sign up the third year. They had moved the race to a treeless course under the April Texas sun. The 4th year? This year? I wanted to run a timed event. This one was in Texas (no airfare required). They moved it to February, so maybe the heat would not be a problem. I didn\’t know that I would get into Snowdrop, so Jackalope was a second choice. I had a discount code. Bammo, click submit, many months ago.

Fast forward: I had an amazing 50 mile race in October in nice cold Kansas. I had an amazing Snowdrop, completing the 100 miles. So I had high expectations for Jackalope. The video of the course looked ok. I got a hotel room. My training and overall physical shape is good: high hopes for getting 100k.

Before the race began:

I sounded great didn\’t I?

After more than 8:39 hours of racing, I got 32 miles.

Here is my video after day 1.

The wheels came off. Somehow, I think I was using much more energy jumping around between ruts in the road to avoid other people and rocks. The afternoon turned out hot, into the 80s, so maybe I didn\’t hydrate enough. There was no big issues with blisters. But after 28 miles, I gave up the jogging. I felt lousy. I didn\’t want to eat, a sure sign of heat related issues. So I walked up to my B goal of halfway to 100k.

I went to my hotel and showered. I found myself very much wanting to eat my burritos and fruit. As the evening progressed, I realized that I didn\’t have any reason physically not to continue the race in the morning. What I didn\’t have was a driving motivation to continue. In fact, I was viewing another 31 miles on that course as 8+ plus hours of hell. More ruts, more people. Smelly, too full porta potties. Another 90 people on a crummy course meant I couldn\’t pick the easiest parts of the road. The belt buckle wasn\’t very shiny. Essentially, I had no thing I wanted to work for. Instead I thought I\’d just be pissed off all day.  I laid in bed from 3 am to 4 am trying to decide what to do. Finally I realized that I didn\’t have 51% yes. It was a close decision, but I was at least 51% no.

Now I run ultras at all because of how it feels when you get one done. But the motivation to finish has to be there the whole time. Being pissed off won\’t buy me what I\’m looking for.

So I didn\’t go back to the race. I came home. There are more races on my schedule and one more day to this weekend.

There is something about me that wants to do more in life than be employed and then die. Ultra running, or even marathoning, gives that to me. But I also have other dreams. Maybe finishing ultras is a way to satisfy my dreaming nature until it is time to quit my job. The question of exactly when to quit my job is on my mind alot. The time is soon.