Monday, October 15, 2012

Heartland 50 Trip Report

It both baffles and thrills me to know that some of you, dear readers, have actually enjoyed tracking my training progress for this super fun race which took place yesterday, so I thought you deserved a trip report. I had basically stuck to my training plan for twelve weeks, which must have been a good plan because I felt supremely prepared to finish the distance and possibly even post a decent time.

I was scheduled to work Friday but ended up getting the day off because . . . umm . . . I got laid off. Nothing I could do about that, though, so I just used the extra time to rest and pack drop bags. I had all my stuff arranged by the door so as soon as Mrs. DMG got home from work in the morning, I could load everything up and take off for Kansas. About midnight, just as I had used and then packed the last item, my toothbrush, Cristina called to tell me she hurt her back and was being taken to the emergency room. And that was pretty much that.

There is no consolation prize. There is no other ultra I could go and sign up for in the next few weeks which would be a substitute for Heartland. Heartland is the race I dreamed of and prepared for. It is the one Autumn race, out of many great possibilities, that I most wanted to run. I have a little time now to decide what my next project will be.

It has not been a bad experience, the Heartland. I had great fun and learned a ton during my training. I also acquired some nice gear that will make my winter running more comfortable including a lightweight vest, a proper running jacket, and especially the really kick-ass headlamp Mrs. DMG gave me for our ten-year anniversary. My old headlamp, while great for reading Chekhov short stories inside a tent, was not quite adequate for running technical trails at night under a thick canopy. Now I'm fixed up physically and gear-wise for some serious winter fun!

I'm obviously disappointed that I wasn't able to race, but I don't feel bad about it. If anything, it actually feels good to be needed around the house, which I definitely am and will be for a while. The Heartland is just a race. I'll catch it next year.

This is as close to Cassoday, Kansas as I ever got. I have to say, distance running takes a fraction of the gear that kayaking does. The yellow duffel and the two drop bags on top contain all the running gear I own. The rest is camping stuff for a night at El Dorado State Park, which will have to wait till next year.

Editor's Note: I am actually on a "rolling layoff" meaning I will be required to work some weeks and denied the priveledge of working on other weeks. I won't go into it. I also can't go into Mrs. DMG's injury because it occured at her work, other than to say it appears to be serious but not catastrophic. She is doing much better now than she was 48 hours ago but will need help getting around for a while. For all those who claim to love life, I hope they get it good and hard. Me, I've had quite enough of it lately.


Martijn said...

Do you know those magicians, those stage magicians I mean, who pull strings of brightly coloured silk handkerchiefs out of their pockets? That's how I feel lately with my communication: I have to drag those reluctant words out of me. It's the Black Dog again, worse than ever, and his week the flu on top of it. So I don't know what to say, that's what I meant.

I know I say that far too often, not knowing what to say, but I mean it every time. It's a bit less lame (I hope) than just how I like your writing and am frustrated for you for all the shit God flings at you lately: He's not very well behaved at times and deserves a good spanking. 'You're a very naughty boy!' bam! bam! bam! 'Yes! You! Are!' bam, bam.

I'm sorry Mrs. DMG's injured (I wish her well) and I'm sorry you missed your run and I am furious what the Company is doing to you.

The dog says woof! Greetings Dave and hang in. You will run that run!

Dave Renfro said...

Thanks, Martijn! Thanks to your good wishes and the prayers from several other people, along with valium and two cortisone shots, the Mrs. is doing much better. Still pretty gimpy, though. As far as the layoff goes, I'll be glad when it's over with for all the extra time I got to spend with my family and for the crazy-ass runs like I'm going to take tomorrow. My finances will be a rolling catastrophe with or without the layoff. Being broke is an accurate reflection of my values.

You rock!


Jen T said...

Ooooh Dave, I'm so sorry you had to miss the race. I know anyone would be heartbroken at losing an opportunity to run for 12 hours across flat Kansas, with nary a turn, hill or landmark to break up the monotony. Proud of you for making the right call and leaving the duffel bags in the doorway.

Hey, maybe this is what you get for scheduling your first 50-miler up north instead of down here where we could cheer you on....Rocky Raccoon anyone?

Dave Renfro said...

Hi, Jen. Yeah, I was especially disappointed knowing the race began during a sustained downpour with 30MPH winds, which would have been right up my alley! Oh, well. The important thing is that Cristina is doing much better, almost miraculously so.

Rocky Raccoon is on my maybe someday list, only because it is close to you and mom and a few blog friends of mine. Otherwise, I'd rather just do a long-ass self supported run at Huntsville State Park next time we visit. Running laps with 600 other people sharing the trail just doesn't sound like the funnest Ultra to me, but I'm sure they put on a good race.

My Tontitown Park debacle was mostly a way to run off some stress without ever being more than a minute form my car, just in case Cristina needed me to come home. I'm paying for it now with a slightly swollen achilles, which was no doubt aggrivated by running my first ever 5k this Saturday, also on flat pavement. It was a fundraiser for Tucker Elementary where David Dinan's kids go to school. I ran 10 miles on trails today and suffered, bringing me to 40 miles this week.

Did I mention I did it all in new shoes? And that I was disqualified in the 5k for failing to complete the entire course? It hasn't been my week. Next weekend is the Styx and Stones 30k, a fat-ass race at Devil's Den. That should be pretty fun!

Call me sometime when you're not slammed. Love you, Jen!