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DJtrippyT

Take it Outside ll: Electric Boogaloo (djtrippyT)

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Okay full race report. There was too much to tell so I’m hitting the highlights. 

 

We started by being loaded into two school buses and being taken 15 miles to a state park. Thirty seconds off the bus I went to take a photo of a rusted out Volkswagen bus on the property, stepped in ankle deep mud, and ruined my new shoes, so I got that out of the way early. 

 

My strategy for the race race was to try to get alternating checkpoints, btw; I thought this would give me the best chance of covering the whole course in the 8 hours. 

 

First leg: 2 mile road/trail run with two checkpoints. I kept up on the road but lost the pack on the trail and got lost at a trail junction; I knew I had missed the first checkpoint and I didn’t want to press on for the second. Just as I went to turn back I heard voices up the spur trail I had been lost in and found two teams looking for the second checkpoint; we all found it together so that was dumb luck for me. They all ran off and I started power-hiking out. I went about 200 yards and realized i’d dropped my map and had to back track. Just as I found it the rest of the pack thundered by so I was off the back again. 

 

On the way way back to the kayaks I found the first checkpoint buried in the woods; I found out later only two other teams found it so I was proud of that. 

 

Second leg was kayaks - six miles.  As I was loading up  a lady race official came up to me and said “is it true you’re doing it solo? Wow, you’re really brave”. YIKES. I found out later there were only five solos and only one other solo woman. (I met her; she was super nice.) There were still two teams behind me when I pushed off but they overtook me pretty quick. 

 

The water was REALLY fast and it was NOT flat like the race description said; there were a ton of riffly rapids but nothing I couldn’t handle. I found the first checkpoint but couldn’t control the kayak enough to get to it; the second one I found but because I was solo I had to drag the whole kayak up onto a landing, get out and get the checkpoint, and then get back in, which I did with all the grace of a fat kid getting on a pony. 

 

I got within half a mile of the end of the kayak and I was SO PROUD of myself and then I hit the biggest rapid yet and I got dumped. Everything went everywhere and I was hanging on for dear life to my gear bag (my phone was in there). Fortunately I had my feet under me and I was against some rocks so I got the kayak up on the rocks, flipped it to dump the water (incredibly difficult), got my shit together and got re-launched. The whole time I’m doing this I can see the two teams ahead of me struggling in the next rapid; I’m thinking, Goddamit I’m SO close to catching up. And now I know the next rapid is a mess so I can be careful. 

 

I was careful but it didn’t help. I got through the first segment and then got turned broadside and instantly swamped. Only this time I couldn’t get my footing and there was no where to get out so I started to struggle to shore, fighting the current and the kayak (inconveniently filled with water and under the surface like a dead weight) all the way. Every few feet I would slip and get swept a few feet more, get up, and go on. Thank god one of the race organizers was taking photos just at this rapid, saw me, and came down to shore to help. He got one end of the kayak and I had the other, and then the current whipped my end around and I lost my grip and got swept another 50 feet down before I got to shore. I don’t mean to reach for melodrama here but I was really scared. 

 

Race dude and I walk the last 1/4 to the transition area - I was so close! - and even though I technically should have been disqualified they told me I could keep going if I wanted, so I did. Third leg was the trekking portion and while I was getting my shit together to trek two separate people came up to me and gave me a variation of “is it true you’re a solo? Holy shit you’re brave” thing. This was starting to scare me more than make me feel badass. 

 

Trekking leg leg was uneventful just incredibly hot and hard and STEEP and I got lost at the beginning. I had bought trekking poles te day before and they were a lifesaver. I saw a lot of other racers - this part was a crisscrossing network of trails  and by now everyone was all spread out- and everyone was super nice and supportive. 

 

Fun fact: the same day there was a 100 mile ultra run going on, and they were using the same trails we were. I saw at least twenty of them. One guy trotted past me - they were running barely faster than I was walking - got about twenty yards ahead of me, and then stopped and stared puking on the side of the trail. Another guy came up, patted him on the shoulder, and said, “I know, buddy. I was there twenty minutes ago. It’s alright.” And then they ran off together. HOLY SHIT. 

 

I did 6.2 miles on the trek and got back to the transition area. I had a 90 minute window to get to the finish line before the cutoff. One of the race people told me lots of people were skipping the mountain bike segment due to time and heading straight for the finish line, which at that point was my plan too. Then she told me that *by road* it was 17 miles. Crap. I went for it, but two miles in I was walking my heavy-ass bike up a giant hill (there was a team ahead of me walking their bikes, too, so no shame there) and I stopped at the top of the hill and took stock. I had promised myself I wouldn’t do anything stupid and I knew I wasn’t going to make nearly 17 miles - on my road bike I probably could have done it but not on the heavy bike. And if I went five miles and completely bonked there wasn’t going to be anyone to help me. But if I went back to the transition area I could throw myself on their mercy and withdraw and get a ride back in one of the race trucks, so that was what I did. It was a letdown to be sure. 

 

On the ride back the girl girl I rode with told me there had been two other withdrawals and gave me another version of the “wow you did it solo” thing which at this point was making me feel embarrassed. She dropped me at the finish where the post race party was already going. I had to check in and confirm my withdrawal and after they made the note one of the guys handed me a finisher’s medal and I said no, I dropped out I don’t get one and he said “Are we at the finish line? Are you here? Then you finished” and I cried a little. I may actually be crying now. Don’t tell people. 

 

I never got my post-race Waffle House - I was literally too tired to get out of the car once I’d loaded up - but I drove through McDonalds and got a fruit slushie and gave myself the worst brain freeze of my life by slurping it to quickly. 

 

So that’s it. I’m officially the Girl Who Lived

 

(barely)

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Just some notes in case anyone is curious about how an adventure race works or what I’d do different if I did another one which just the thought makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit but you never know. 

 

- my pack was way to heavy. WAY too heavy. I think it was 14 pounds all told. I had packed changes of clothes thinking it was like a triathalon, where you switch shoes  and shorts and whatever but it’s not like that at all. So I had all this stuff I didn’t use. Other people’s packs were half mine. 

 

-next time I would put Gatorade in my hydration bladder so I could carry less food. Energy gels amd bars weigh a metric fuckton and I hardly ate half of what I brought. 

 

- I would also eat more than a power bar for breakfast

 

- the big takeaway for next time is that the course is not at all linear. You begin and end at the same place but the course is actually laid out in all kinds of crazy directions with spur trails, river crossings, places where the course backtracks for a bit then shoots off in another direction, etc. If anyone wants I’ll scan a bit of the map and post it 

 

- I didn’t do enough navigation but what I did really helped. I had two times that I was lost and I was able to re-orient myself with my navigation (once when I realized the river I was following was on my left when it should have been on my right), I was able to place myself on the map by reading the typography, and once I even helped another team looking for a checkpoint during the trek because they were convinced they  were east of the river and I said no, your wrong. We’re west. Look here we’re on this ridge and the trail junction is behind you, not ahead. They were all impressed. I was hopeless otherwise. 

 

- SO MUCH POISON IVY. Thank god I wore long socks

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Glad you are the girl who lived! Congrats on  doing so well on an extremely tough race. The guy is right- You are tough- which is why they gave you a finisher's medal

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I’m sitting in my house and I’ve been so focused on this project for weeks that I literally have no idea what to do with myself. 

 

Not gonna miss those four hour training sessions though. 

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7 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

That race sounded epic as did your race report. I’d love to try one.

Remind me never to become an ultra runner.

 

You would actually have an easier time than I did finding an event because most of them are held in the Midwest. There’s only a handful in the south. 

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You would actually have an easier time than I did finding an event because most of them are held in the Midwest. There’s only a handful in the south. 


I’ve never paid attention to them before, but yours sounded cool. I know there are at least a couple of races around here with a canoeing stage, which is pretty tame and boring compared to tumbling down a rapids.

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14 hours ago, DJtrippyT said:

The water was REALLY fast and it was NOT flat like the race description said; there were a ton of riffly rapids but nothing I couldn’t handle. I found the first checkpoint but couldn’t control the kayak enough to get to it; the second one I found but because I was solo I had to drag the whole kayak up onto a landing, get out and get the checkpoint, and then get back in, which I did with all the grace of a fat kid getting on a pony. 

 

I got within half a mile of the end of the kayak and I was SO PROUD of myself and then I hit the biggest rapid yet and I got dumped. Everything went everywhere and I was hanging on for dear life to my gear bag (my phone was in there). Fortunately I had my feet under me and I was against some rocks so I got the kayak up on the rocks, flipped it to dump the water (incredibly difficult), got my shit together and got re-launched. The whole time I’m doing this I can see the two teams ahead of me struggling in the next rapid; I’m thinking, Goddamit I’m SO close to catching up. And now I know the next rapid is a mess so I can be careful. 

 

I was careful but it didn’t help. I got through the first segment and then got turned broadside and instantly swamped. Only this time I couldn’t get my footing and there was no where to get out so I started to struggle to shore, fighting the current and the kayak (inconveniently filled with water and under the surface like a dead weight) all the way. Every few feet I would slip and get swept a few feet more, get up, and go on. Thank god one of the race organizers was taking photos just at this rapid, saw me, and came down to shore to help. He got one end of the kayak and I had the other, and then the current whipped my end around and I lost my grip and got swept another 50 feet down before I got to shore. I don’t mean to reach for melodrama here but I was really scared. 

 

Yeah, sounds like perfect kayaking. If you're trying out for the Olympics or something!!

 

14 hours ago, DJtrippyT said:

Fun fact: the same day there was a 100 mile ultra run going on, and they were using the same trails we were. I saw at least twenty of them. One guy trotted past me - they were running barely faster than I was walking - got about twenty yards ahead of me, and then stopped and stared puking on the side of the trail. Another guy came up, patted him on the shoulder, and said, “I know, buddy. I was there twenty minutes ago. It’s alright.” And then they ran off together. HOLY SHIT. 

 

Perfect description of ultrarunning.

 

14 hours ago, DJtrippyT said:

I did 6.2 miles on the trek and got back to the transition area. I had a 90 minute window to get to the finish line before the cutoff. One of the race people told me lots of people were skipping the mountain bike segment due to time and heading straight for the finish line, which at that point was my plan too. Then she told me that *by road* it was 17 miles. Crap. I went for it, but two miles in I was walking my heavy-ass bike up a giant hill (there was a team ahead of me walking their bikes, too, so no shame there) and I stopped at the top of the hill and took stock. I had promised myself I wouldn’t do anything stupid and I knew I wasn’t going to make nearly 17 miles - on my road bike I probably could have done it but not on the heavy bike. And if I went five miles and completely bonked there wasn’t going to be anyone to help me. But if I went back to the transition area I could throw myself on their mercy and withdraw and get a ride back in one of the race trucks, so that was what I did. It was a letdown to be sure. 

 

Really smart decision, but I understand how hard it must have been.

 

14 hours ago, DJtrippyT said:

I never got my post-race Waffle House - I was literally too tired to get out of the car once I’d loaded up - but I drove through McDonalds and got a fruit slushie and gave myself the worst brain freeze of my life by slurping it to quickly.

 

I'm a little sad about the Waffle House, but understand. You should give yourself a raincheck!

 

I'm really proud of you. You trained super hard and had a huge adventure. I'm sorry some of it was full-on legit scary, but it's cool that you tried something way outside your comfort zone and pushed so hard. You are awesome!!

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18 hours ago, DJtrippyT said:

I’m officially the Badass Girl Who Did The Race Solo And Lived

Fixed that for you. There is absolutely no reason to feel bad or be embarassed about it. You gave it your best, lived to tell the tale and learned how to do it better next time. Remember, there are many people who are afraid to even sign up for a 5k or Spartan race and then afraid to show up for it. I'm sure it's the "fresh from the race" disappointment talking, as the post-race blues go away you'll wrap your head around what you did and realize how awesome you are.

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8 hours ago, Xena said:

raincheck

 

Oh I totally had it for breakfast yesterday morning. I even went to Waffle KING, which also has pancakes and is therefore objectively better. 

 

5 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

as the post-race blues go away you'll wrap your head around what you did and realize how awesome you are.

 

STAAAHHHHP

 

 

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13 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

 


I’ve never paid attention to them before, but yours sounded cool. 

 

 

You know this is easier in teams... just sayin’

 

17 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

which is why they gave you a finisher's medal

 

The medal has GLITTER on it. I may make it into a belt buckle and wear it everywhere

 

20 hours ago, Atrytone said:

Great job DJ! That sounds like an amazing experience, scary parts aside.

 

The more I think about it the more pleased I am with it. I mean four days beforehand I was convinced I shouldn’t go at all. Having you in my corner makes all the difference. 

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9 hours ago, Xena said:

description of ultrarunning.

 

I have to say except for the whole puking bit and the having to run 100 miles I was a bit envious of the ultrarunners. They had a fully-stocked rest stop/aid station every ten miles apparently - our course went through one of them - so all they had to carry was hydration. We had all these rules about no phones, no support staff, etc and they were trotting by me chatting on their phones, coordinating with their families who were waiting at the rest stops with signs cheering them on and their favorite snacks.

 

And they were all so thin! Although I guess there’s some selection bias there. If you’re running 100 miles on the regular you’re probably not double-fisting pizza and Cheetos for breakfast. 

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On 5/20/2019 at 10:13 AM, DJtrippyT said:

I have to say except for the whole puking bit and the having to run 100 miles I was a bit envious of the ultrarunners. They had a fully-stocked rest stop/aid station every ten miles apparently - our course went through one of them - so all they had to carry was hydration. We had all these rules about no phones, no support staff, etc and they were trotting by me chatting on their phones, coordinating with their families who were waiting at the rest stops with signs cheering them on and their favorite snacks.

 

And they were all so thin! Although I guess there’s some selection bias there. If you’re running 100 miles on the regular you’re probably not double-fisting pizza and Cheetos for breakfast. 

 

Trail runners tend to be sturdier than road runners. I really enjoyed the two ultra races that I did....lots of potato chips and soda were consumed.

 

Boring blathering...I kind of went down a rabbit hole for unknown reasons



Depending on the race, there can be different categories of ultrarunners within a race. The standard thing is to be fully supported, meaning phones, families, etc. The next most common thing is to be "unsupported" (there are different types of unsupported, this is the easiest kind and probably has a special name that I don't know). Within a race, it means you can't have a crew and can only use the standard aid station support that's available to everyone.

 

There is a fancier more hard core set of categories. If you are really solo-ing a course (not within a race, but out on your own), self-supported means you can cache stuff for yourself. Unsupported means you have to carry absolutely everything with you. There are a lot of detailed rules about it. In fact, probably more rules than people crazy enough to do these things.

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28 minutes ago, Xena said:

 

Trail runners tend to be sturdier than road runners. I really enjoyed the two ultra races that I did....lots of potato chips and soda were consumed.

 

Boring blathering...I kind of went down a rabbit hole for unknown reasons

 

  Hide contents

 

 


Depending on the race, there can be different categories of ultrarunners within a race. The standard thing is to be fully supported, meaning phones, families, etc. The next most common thing is to be "unsupported" (there are different types of unsupported, this is the easiest kind and probably has a special name that I don't know). Within a race, it means you can't have a crew and can only use the standard aid station support that's available to everyone.

 

There is a fancier more hard core set of categories. If you are really solo-ing a course (not within a race, but out on your own), self-supported means you can cache stuff for yourself. Unsupported means you have to carry absolutely everything with you. There are a lot of detailed rules about it. In fact, probably more rules than people crazy enough to do these things.
 

 

 

 

That’s amazing. So that must be what people who set fastest known time records on various routes do. 

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