Monday, October 6, 2008

First Grindstone Report

The following is a short report from Grinder Jay Finkle (posted with permission):


my first and foremost impression was, it was a climber's course. it was uphill both ways. (actually, the turn around was at 4,400+ feet and the start was on the valley floor, so the return must have had some downhill.) at least it seemed like it was.

my second impression was, the footing was more technical and rockier than i thought it would be. this course had miles on end of the rough stuff. in the later miles when i was exhausted, the climbing and the rocky trails were a big challenge.

my third impression was how the sleep deprivation played a role in the race. i don't hardly hallucinate anymore because i'll just go ahead and give in and take a nap if i need to. i was planning on taking one or even two naps for this race if i wanted too. but i ended up just spacing out my caffeine and did not take any naps. around mile 65 on saturday afternoon i was getting a little loopy headed and, sure enough, i went off course for 15 minutes. the trail was well marked, i just wasn't paying attention. (i heard lots of people went off course, but i attribute that to the mostly night time running and not thinking straight. the course markings were excellent and plentiful.) when the second nightfall came, i started seeing faces in the rocks and sticks on the trail. if i looked way up the trail, i would see cabins with people on the porches and llamas and cows and horses in the yards. i knew all of this was imaginary, so i made myself only look at the trail about 10 yards ahead. not too close or too far away. this kept the images under control. still, when i would stop to pee the bushes and plants would move and vibrate.

the whole event was first rate. i can't think of any complaints. it was neat seeing some huge mountains in the distance and knowing you were crossing them. on the return trip, it was discouraging seeing some huge mountains in the distance and knowing you were crossing them. all of the entrants seemed to be well prepared and in the best shape they could be in. the hype must have made them wary of the race. vicky kendall outran me. actually, she outclimbed me. almost everyone had a good race.

one secret to doing well on this course will be how far you can get before the second nightfall. when the sun went down the second time, darkness and sleepiness and steep technical trail all combine to make your forward progress slow down.

i say this after every race and i am saying it gain after this one, "now i know i need to train harder so i can do better next year".



1 comment:

Rick Gray said...

Jay, It is funny how on an out-and-back course, you know the downhills will become uphills at some point. It sounds like Grindstone is such a race. Hills, lack of sleep and seeing things all mix together for a memorable experience. Way to go all you Grinders. You all certainly deserve your finisher buckles. Congratulations to you Jay and all of the others. Rick