Dirty Dozen 2016

It's July, so it must be that time of the year again.  Time for Brazen Racing's annual all day running party!  Known as the Dirty Dozen and Dirty Half Dozen, it has a 12 hour and 6 hour endurance run, plus 5k and 10k races in the morning and afternoon, and BBQ for the 12hr and 6hr participants.  Some folks I've known have done the 12 hour endurance run, and then either the 5k or 10k in the morning and again in the afternoon, walking away with several race medals for the day.

Shot with my X-T1, the image looks a bit trippy because I had to crank up the saturation in order to bring out some colors.  The arch might look a bit cartoonish, but it also goes well with Brazen Racing's philosophy of fun being one of the motivating factors for getting out there and running or hiking.

Two years ago, I made an attempt to tackle the 12 hour race with the goal of hitting 50k.  I failed that year, only making it 23 miles in about 7 hours.  I was not properly trained, and did not fuel wisely.

Over the past year I did a few things differently. First off I definitely worked on my fueling.  My fuel of choice now is HoneyMaxx, which is mostly honey based with just a little bit of maltodextrin to keep the mix in powdered form. It also has electrolytes and ginger to help with digestion.  

Out on the course with my X-T1.  Probably miles 15 - 18 for me.  Thanks to WJY for the photo!

Another thing I did over the past year was to turn my body into a fat burning machine, so that meant training at a lower intensity for a longer period of time.  The lower training intensity helped facilitate the fat burning.  So since my body was used to burning fat for fuel instead of glycogen I could run a race longer without having to take in much fuel, provided that during the race I kept my heart rate at a somewhat lower level than normal.

Of course, the one downside is that I sacrifice speed work, and that means my race times are generally slower. 

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The course itself is a 3.37 mile loop with minor rolling hills and one aid station at about mile 1.5 and another aid station at the start / finish location.  Though later in the day, those minor rolling hills can turn into a leg-trashing experience, which I discovered as the day went on.

Shot with my iPhone SE.

On a clear day though, like we had on race day, the views are plentiful.  You can see all way to the north bay and west bay.  The single track above is really sweet, but only available during the Dirty Dozen.  Brazen Racing's other two races at this location don't utilize this portion due to  the large number of folks who show up to those races.  Because of the way the Dirty Dozen is set up, the runners tend to thin out a bit, making this portion usable.

Brazen Racing's aid stations are pretty well-stocked, even when it isn't an all day running fest.  If not for these folks and their enthusiasm, this course and the heat would have beat us up...

The aid station put up this sign at about mile 20 for me, which was probably between 11am and 12 noon.  Sorry, LeBron!  You may be one of the best basketball players on the planet, but you probably would be cramping if you put yourself through what we did...

Shot with an iPhone SE.

And what would a Brazen Racing race be without a mascot?  She came out and greeted us during the late afternoon.  Gotta hand it to her, because it's about 80 degrees or so when this shot was taken and she walked about a little over a quarter mile on the course to meet us.  I have an idea who might be in the costume, but her secret is safe with me!

Photo courtesy of WJY, one of Brazen Racing's many volunteer photographers.

The above shot was taking a little earlier in the day, but around this time I was starting to feel my arches get sore.  And this was maybe 23 miles into the course.  Because of the way the course is set up, 9 loops will put you just short of 50K.  9 loops will get you about 30.7 miles or so.  So I had to do one more loop...

Photo taken with the Fuji X-T1.

No, you're not seeing double.  There really are two arches out there in the start finish area.  One is for the morning and afternoon 5K/10K runners and the other one is for the 12hr and 6hr runners.

I ended up stopping at about 5:40pm.  So that was 10 hours and 40 minutes of running and walking for a total of 33.7 miles.  On that day, I finally became an ultra runner.  One week after the race, my arches are still sore, but the pain was worth it.  One and done is what I promised myself, though we'll see what my friends talk me into doing next year.

For this particular race, I must have fueled properly.  For breakfast, I ate a bagel with almond butter and honey.  During the race itself, I had two packets of HoneyMaxx, one Payday bar, and a little over one can of Coca Cola, mostly for the caffeine.  That's less than 1000 calories.  And my Sunnto Ambit3 and Fitbit Charge HR say I burned over 6000 calories that day.  So perhaps my body is now fully in a state of ketosis, relying on fat for fuel.

If I want to do this again, I'll have to work on strengthening my feet and ankles.  (Oh, did I just say that?  What am I getting myself into?)

Gear used:  iPhone SE, Fuji X-T1 with 16-55mm f2.8 and 35mm f2 lenses.