As the distances lengthen, the reward becomes greater. But let's not forget the risk which seems to have played a heavy hand this year.

Right off the bat, I had an injury which led to a less than stellar performance at the Miwok 100K and then I followed that up with a disaster of a race at the Cool Moon 50 when I basically showed a lack of respect for the distance and the conditions.

But as these things go, you have to take the bad with the good and there are usually some good lessons to be learned from races like Cool Moon.

I look at the Javelina Jundred as a successful race and I attribute a good portion of that success due to the lessons I learned from my failure at the Cool Moon 50.

Going into Javelina, and knowing I would have my wife crewing for me, we sat down in the hotel room prior to the race and we talked about how she could help me.

I went so far as to make a list for her because I kind of felt like at some point in the day, I would get stupid and I wouldn't be able to effectively communicate my needs. But with a list, we could run through it which would take a dumbed-down version of me out of the equation.

The Javelina Jundred consists of six full loops of 15.3 miles and a final loop of nine miles. And if you're paying attention, that comes out to be more than 100 miles which I discovered about 92 miles into the race.

The rules for the day:

1. Take the first two loops easy and walk all of the hills --

I think some people like to bank time in the early miles but my biggest enemy on a long distance run is me. Relatively speaking, I can run fast and I can do a lot of damage which won't come back to haunt me until hours later.

With that in mind, I planned on dialing down the first two loops. After that, I felt like the mileage would have settled into my body preventing me from doing any real damage.

It worked well and by the time I hit the third loop, any sort of spunkiness was gone.

2. Keep heart rate under 150 BPMs --

Sort of along the same lines as item #1, I know I can go a long way at 150 BPMs but it gets a little dicey when I'm playing above that number. I knew once I got through the first two loops, this wouldn't be as hard to control and it wasn't.

There were a few spikes but nothing out of control and when I slowed, my heart rate came down immediately which was a good indicator that I was in complete control.

3. Take in 1000mg of sodium an hour --

I sweat like a pig and one of my biggest fears was cramping. With a slow pace, I was confident I wouldn't have issues with cramping due to muscle fatigue but I was a little nervous about cramping due to an electrolyte imbalance.

Fortunately, it wasn't hot and surprisingly, I didn't cramp at all the entire day. In fact, I didn't even cramp after the race which is almost unheard of.

4. Consume 300 calories of Perpetuem and one gel per hour --

Someone once said that Kona is an eating contest and I think the same applies to ultrarunning.

I have to admit, I was a little concerned about fueling a hundred miles on 'race' nutrition. Time and time again, I have tried to work real food into the equation without much success. After a bunch of botched training runs with real food, I went back to what I know worked for me and I sort of crossed my fingers because I was unsure as to how I would handle such a long day with just race fuel.

But as the saying goes: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." and race fuel worked well for me.

I got derailed around mile eighty but I think it might have been a miscalculation of intake due to brain fuzz but for eighty of the hundred, I was rock solid.

5. Stay on top of hydration and track urination frequency --

Going hand in hand with nutrition, staying on top of hydration seemed equally important. I didn't have a defined strategy but I kept track of my urination frequency.

I started the race hyper hydrated and for the first six hours, I peed every hour. After that, it seemed like it was every two hours and if it got to be more than that, I just downed more water.

Even though I was plenty stocked with fluids in my Camelbak and in my handheld, when I arrived at an aid station, I grabbed a cup of Gu Brew and downed it.

6. Ginger candy for belly issues --

During the Cool Moon 50, I really struggled with stomach issues. Somewhere during the day, someone turned me on to ginger candy. Ginger calms the stomach, I was told. Given how far down the rabbit hole I had gone, I was willing to try anything and that stuff worked like magic.

As soon as I got back from Cool Moon, I went on Amazon and I purchased some ginger candy. When I say some, it was a Costco-sized amount but given how much my stomach hurt at Cool Moon, I figured I might need 10 or 500 pieces.

Although my stomach was fairly calm for most the day, there were times when I could feel it getting cranky and I would pop one of those ginger candies into my mouth and like magic, all was well again. I'm a believer!

7. Detailed instructions for my crew, aka The Mrs. --

The night before the race, the Mrs. and I went over what I wanted and on sheet of paper, I had specific instructions:

[In my backpack, I had two small bottles, each containing two hours worth of Perpetuem powder.]

a. On each loop, check my bottles and swap one or both if they do not contain a full amount.

[In my backpack, I had two small tubes, each containing 16 Metasalt caps.]

b. On each loop, swap any tubes not containing a full amount of caps.

[In my hand, I carried one 24oz bottle of Perpetuem already mixed with water.]

c. On each loop, swap the bottle with a new bottle.

There were some other instructions which didn't occur on every loop. For example, the race started in the dark and I had my headlamp. After the first loop, I gave her my headlamp.

On my second loop, the sun was high enough and I wanted to swap my visor for the hat with the curtains.

My gear bag also contained a number of items which I might have wanted and we discussed that in advance as well.

My wife is awesome. And really, I could just stop there but she was on top of everything and very little thinking was required on my part.

I rolled into the crew area and dressed in her freaking Wonder Woman outfit, she and I did our swap. I am certain, I could not have done this without her -- my brain was pretty foggy as the day went on. With both of us being first timers, we rocked that sh*t. :)

8. Looking the part --

For the last three years, I've grown my hair out and just prior to Kona, I've gone in for a cut and color. Since I wasn't in Kona this year, I felt like I was missing out on my annual tradition and I decided I would get the 'do for Javelina.

Who in their right mind would run one hundred miles? Some weirdo with a multicolored Mohawk, that's who.

But taking it a step further, I've felt like the one thing holding me back was the lack of facial hair. Freaking bearded hippies rule the trails and I am convinced the difference between success and failure is whether or not I look the part.

The trouble is that facial hair makes me itchier than itchy on my neck but with surgical precision, I shaved the underside and I managed to channel my inner George Michael. The beard part, not that getting naked in public hopped up on ecstasy part.

I'm sure I've forgotten something in my hazy state but those were the important points and it was that kind of 'strategery' (Will Ferrell Bush-ism) that has served me well in Ironman and it served me well for Javelina.

How the day unfolded:

As I stated above, the first two loops went like I had planned and it was somewhat humbling as people of all shapes and sizes went blazing past me.

After getting through the second loop, I felt completely in control and I was confident I had enough fatigue in my body that I couldn't hurt myself. Unlike my approach for the first two loops, moving forward, I decided whether or not to run the ascents.

On the descents, I started banking time. I wasn't reckless about it and I still kept an eye on heart rate but I opened up my stride and I clicked over some fast miles on a few of the descents.

On each loop, I seemed to get a little slower but I stuck to my heart rate guideline and the loss was perfectly acceptable to me.

Shortly after completing my fourth loop, I had set a new high water mark for distance. In fact, everything after 62 miles was a record because the Miwok 100K was the farthest I've ever run.

I have to be honest -- the entire day went really well and far beyond what I had imagined. The first 30 were unbelievably effortless and the next two loops after that were almost as easy. I crossed 50 miles around 9 hours and 62 miles around 11.5 hours.

Getting above 62 miles while still running well was a great feeling and the setbacks of the season were erased.

When I finished my fifth loop, around 77 miles, I 'felt' strong and still very much in control. According to the Mrs. though, after the fact, I looked fatigued.

When I rolled through the crew area, my buddy Tom, his wife and their kids were there. It was really cool to see them even though it was for only a brief moment.

Wonder Woman and I did our bottle swap and I was out on my sixth loop.

It wasn't long after that something got off with my nutrition. I'd been tweaking the amount of calories throughout the day to find that right balance, it was a lot trickier than Ironman but I managed to keep things under control until mile 80. And then things went south.

I really don't know what happened, it could be that I just derailed or maybe I took in too many calories by mistake. Whatever the case, I was off the tracks and so much so that I decided to halt the intake and walk a mile. I thought by doing so I could reduce the stress on my stomach and get my nutrition back on track. And while that part worked, what I didn't expect is pain in my hip flexors which became unbearably obvious.

After a mile, I started to run again but it hurt -- a lot. Knowing full well that running at any speed was better than walking; I used a run-walk approach to complete my final full loop.  Just prior to finishing that loop, my Garmin died...

When I got back in, with my last partial loop remaining, I picked up my pacer, aka the Mrs., and I explained the situation.

For the next 9 miles, we did some running and walking and we made the final turn onto a much easier trail which descended approximately three plus miles to the finish. Unlike the previous terrain, this was mostly hard pack and it was mild in comparison.

I declared that I didn't want to do something silly like sprint to the finish but when I saw the string of headlamp lights behind us, I did more running than walking. It was painful but since we were upfront, we could have easily been a target and the idea of getting picked off didn't appeal to me. So we moved a little more quickly than the previous miles. Of course, we cranked out 12:00+ minute miles but everyone was going in slow motion and we were the fastest people in the slow group. ;)

In the final stretch, the course got a little confusing or perhaps being on my feet for 21 hours had taken its toll on me. Regardless, I thought we took a wrong turn so I had us backtrack until we bumped into some people behind us who knew the way. Circling back and opening up the gap on them, we ran back into the start-finish area and the Mrs. and I crossed together...

101 miles covered in 21:08:43. There were 511 starters, 289 finishers and a finish rate of 56.6%. I finished 28th overall.

More importantly...


(I initially took a picture of the front and then realized there was something on the back.  Unfortunately, I didn't have access to teh same background...)

Other photos for your amusement...

I like this sign a lot better than the 'Baby on Board' sign...

When I signed up, they allowed me to choose the name on the front of my bib...

As I made my way into Fountain Hills, I realized I was on the Ironman course...

I passed this sign and I couldn't resist...

When I checked into the hotel, the guy at the desk informed me that I was upgraded to their 'club' status and he gave me a 'welcome kit' aka a paper bag which contained my 'welcome' goodies...

... because that's the kind of sh*t you get when you stay at the top notch places I stay.  In all fairness, they were really, really nice people and the accommodations were fine.  The 'club' status goodie was just hysterical.

I've been trying to convince the Mrs. that we should consider Arizona as a possible retirement destination.  I love the desert and really, what's not to love...

After the race, the Mrs. and I went into Scottsdale to dine at a place we discovered while we were visiting when we did IMAZ.  They have good Mexican food...

And finally, I got a glimpse of this guy in the reflection in the back window.  He sort of looks like a character in a MadMax movie...

^^^ That guy ran 100 miles.