Just got back from crewing a friend in the Race Across the West...860 mile solo bike race from Oceanside CA to Durango CO. My friend won the solo race in 2d 15h 55m. It was the most impressive display of mental and physical toughness I have ever personally witnessed. Running through desert heat consistently above 100F, in fact reaching 114F in the Anza Borrega desert ...it cooled down to 100F by midnight or so....my friend did this event like a machine, with a total sleep of 2 hours made up of catnaps. By the second day he was in a zone of focus like I've never seen. It was a privledge to be a part of this.
Here is a water handoff in the first day of the race:
I ran opportunistically during the days while we were leapfrogging my friend. I was coming off a rest as my right calf has an injury- the same injury as I had in December- medial gastroc just at the head where it joins the soleus. Not sure how this happened...felt perfectly fine through Memorial Day, at the end of an 82 mile week, where I felt absolutely indestructible; the last run was on Sunday before Memorial day when I did a fast hill run and was up on my toes running up 10-15% grades. Felt fine! Next day I got on a plane to Japan for a business trip; the first hint of trouble was in Japan stepping off the plane after 15 or so hours immobile on the darned flight over....very tight calves and felt a knot. Rested last week; it felt better this week while crewing, but I was aware of the calf...right up to the point where i made a sprint handoff of a water bottle at a leapfrog stop in Arizona on Wednesday...and zapped the calf. Still, I ran on it on thursday in Navaho land and again once I reached Durango - where I had a good 2.5 hour run in Horse Gulch, an amazing little trail system a mile from my hotel. But while running down off a bluff I tripped and suddenly was on the ground with my long pants torn, knee bruised; hands OK protected by my carry-bottles; and a toe that at first felt broken but feels better now: