Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Twin Cities Marathon Recap

This past weekend I completed my 10th career marathon and 6th this year. It was supposed to be my goal fall marathon, but everything that could go wrong seemed to.

I drove up to Saint Paul from Chicago on Friday. I elected to stay near the expo and finish line. The course is a point to point starting in Minneapolis and ending at the capitol in Saint Paul. Even though I arrived in the early evening I elected to hold off on going to the expo and instead getting some food and taking it easy. I had been sick in the week leading up to the marathon and was feeling marginally better. I had barely run and was feeling pretty drained. I did some reading on my kindle and watched a bit of TV and called it an early night.

The next morning I got to the expo minutes before it opened and joined the crowd waiting to enter. Once it opened I was able to pick up my packet with minimal wait. The expo was pretty typical and I would compare it in size to that of the Shamrock Shuffle. I walked up and down the aisles, but didn't find anything to my liking. For lunch I headed to Surly Brewing to meet up with the R/iver R/unners aka my track night friends. I had a couple beers. This may have been a bad idea as I felt a little out of it by the time I left and fell asleep for a nap when I got back to the room. A got some Italian carry out for dinner and made it to bed at a reasonable time.

The next morning I got up with plenty of time to head to the race start. My stomach wasn't happy as has turned into routine now. I took care of business as much as I could and then took some immodium and headed out the door. I walked out of the hotel with a group of ladies and decided to follow them to the start. I had intended to catch the light rail over, but the ladies led me to a nearby hotel where there were free shuttles. After a short wait in the lobby we were on a bus and on our way to the start area. I arrived an hour ahead of the start and had time to use the facilities twice more before the race started. There were plenty of port-o-potties there. The start area was in the shadow of the future home of the Minnesota Vikings. Finally I dropped off my extra layers at gear check, a UPS truck, and went to my start corral.

Things were pretty informal at the start. I just walked into the corral and found a good spot to line up.There were some announcements, the national anthem and then we were off. We wound through the downtown area where we had some twist and turns early on. It felt a bit crowded in the early going. I know at some point I had stepped into a pothole a bit awkwardly. I shook it off and kept going. I felt the urge to pee more than anything. I finally stopped at a port-o-potty just before the 3 mile mark. Other than this brief delay I was running pretty much on track for where I wanted to be. My pacing was good.

The race winds around several lakes. The course isn't quite easy for those of us used to running around Chicago. There are several rollers of hills that can be taxing if not approached properly. The course was also scenic and featured pretty good crowd support. I saw some familiar sights at several spots on the course, including a couple of people dressed as yetis. By mile 8 my ankle started to ache. The step in the pothole earlier wasn't so innocent. At mile 10 I was starting to struggle as my form began to suffer and my energy wane. I wound up powering through the halfway mark in about 1:40 before deciding to drop off the pace. I knew this wasn't going to be my day and that I just needed to get through it in one piece.

Even as I slowed my pace after the halfway mark I continued to struggle more and more. I definitely wasn't over being sick as my lack of energy was evident. As I would find out later when I checked my Garmin stats, my heart rate had been elevated as well. I contemplated phoning it in and walking to the finish, but couldn't bring myself to do it. I knew the real challenge was yet to come from miles 20-23 where the course gained 200 feet. I finally took a short walk break at mile 18 and did so about every half mile from that point on. I was motivated by wanting to just get done and off my feet as well as the desire to continue my streak of sub 4 hour finishes.

The home stretch was mostly downhill and featured a giant American flag being held up from the ladders of two firetrucks. Barriers were erected on each side of the final half mile or so since there had been a previous threat from Black Lives Matters protesters who said they would obstruct the course and prevent the runners from finishing. The threat never materialized as the protests remained peaceful and I never even noticed by a majority of the runners. I finally crossed the finish in 3:55:29 meaning my second half split was around 2:15. All said it was only my 4th slowest marathon so still impressive given being sick and twisting my ankle. It was still deeply disappointing given all the hard work I put in this summer. I'm capable of a massive PR, but it will have to wait until another day.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Oktoberfest 5K and Lung Run 10K

After behaving all all summer when it came to racing I wound up running 2 in a 36 hour stretch. We'll just ignore the fact that breaking my no racing rule was a marathon back in July. To be fair though, my training did call for a race on Saturday and that was the only reason I did the Lung Run.

I've run Oktoberfest on an annual basis so I signed up again like the routine is has become. I had hoped to have a solid showing to see how my fitness has improved since finally cracking 20 back in July. It turned out to not be the best of nights. Heavy storms rolled through the area Thursday afternoon and night. It was drizzling up until race time. It was warm and extremely humid with a solid wind on top of it. I do horrible in humid weather. The course was also all torn up and muddy. Long story short, I turned in a solid, but not great effort for myself of 20:43. I started the race right where I needed to, but faded over the 2nd half as I had trouble regulating body temperature and overheated. It was by no means a goal race so the only goal was really to make it out injury free which I did.

Saturday morning was the Lung Run 10K starting at Montrose Beach. I actually ran the 3 miles from my home to the start as a warm up. The weather was much cooler in the morning, but extremely windy. More rain overnight also did not help the trail conditions. I knew going in that I was a shoo-in for a new PR, but didn't know by how much since it had been 2 years since I really raced a 10K.

I started near the front of the pack since I saw that puddles would cause an immediate narrowing of the course. I was behind about 15 runners at the start, but began passing people almost immediately. About a half mile in I surged past a group of 4 guys and found myself in 5th place. I could still see the lead runners, but they were pretty far ahead already. This meant I now had to take the brunt of the wind myself instead of using other runners as a shield. After another mile I was passed by a female runner. I wouldn't be passed again until over 5 miles into the race.

The course was a bit tough given the wind and the mud, but we were also sharing the path with the CES training groups and normal Saturday morning traffic since the race started later at 8:30AM. I'm sure this cost me some time, but I'm not going to fret about it too much. I fell into a steady rhythm and was running pretty well. I had a slight positive split since I think I lacked a little motivation to really push it in the 2nd half. The runners in front of me were too far away to try and reel in. I wound up finishing in 41:55 and 7th place overall. This was a PR by over 5 minutes for me.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Checking in on Training

It's been awhile since my last post. I've been pretty busy between crazy projects at work and running like a maniac. There has also been a complete lack of racing which is completely foreign for me.

So what's been up? I started August with a bit of an injury scare. My hamstring tightened up and became extremely inflamed. I wound up having to scale back to barely running for a week. I did just enough to keep the streak alive and became very familiar with squats and other exercises to keep up a good workout. I carefully rebuilt my mileage and laid off the speed and was able to close out the month with my highest mileage week ever at 71 miles.

As part of my peak mileage week I also ran my longest ever training run at 22 miles. This run is important in the Pfitz plan since if it is run correctly it should take about the same amount of time as you would for the marathon. This means starting slow a building up until you are running 10% slower than your planned marathon pace. I finished the run in 3:07:30 which would represent another huge improvement if I do finish the marathon in that time. I've had other workouts that seem to indicate the time could be possible, but I'll be ecstatic with anything below 3:15 so I can automatically qualify for Chicago next year. I still think it'd take a miracle to get the 3:03:30 that it would probably take to get me into Boston for my age group.

I've put in crazy mileage this year. I've already blown past the mileage I put in last year. One can hope it will only pay off big time. I'll need the resilience and ability to run on beat up legs to get me through the fall schedule. I'll be running 5 marathons+ in 8 weeks. I say + since one of them will be my first ultra, a 50 miler. I'll basically be going for broke at Twin Cities since the 50 miler is 2 weeks later. I won't be able to recover in time for any of the other races to run for a good time.

I've also started looking ahead to next year. I know that I have to survive this fall, but I've become determined to earn a jacket and a spot in the oldest marathon. Unfortunately my budget will be a bit smaller for travel after all the expenses this year between Disney, Colorado, Vegas, and buying a condo. I may have to settle on more road trip races next year. I already signed up for back to back marathons in Kentucky Derby and Flying Pig to cross off 2 more states. The following weekend I head out with family for a cruise so I'll get to recover in style. I still need to pick a goal spring marathon. It'll probably be in March or April. I wish I could find a cheap way to do Phoenix since that would offer a fast course and cool, dry weather.

Upcoming Races:
September 17th - Oktoberfest 5K
September 19th - Lung Run 10K
September 24th - Sprint and Stride 5k at work
October 4th - Twin Cities Marathon
October 17th - DPRT 50 Miler
November 1st - Milwaukee Running Festival Marathon
November 15th - Rock and Roll Las Vegas Marathon
November 22nd - Route 66 Marathon

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Aspen Valley Marathon Recap

While trying to plan my races for the year I decided I needed to visit my family that moved out to Colorado a few years back.I hadn't been out there yet and figured that I can add a race and kill two birds with one stone.After weighing the options as well as the proximity to my family I settled on the Aspen Valley Marathon. I also wound up deciding to get there and get it over with rather than trying to adapt to the altitude.

I flew out for my race on Friday and landed in Denver bright and early. From there I took a shuttle to Vail. Then my cousin's coworker picked me up and then my cousin took me to his home. His girlfriend then took me to my aunt's place. Finally my aunt took me to the airport to rent a car to make the rest of my journey down to Aspen. It was a long day to say the least.I made it to town with about an hour to spare for packet pick up. Aspen itself was very walkable and full of characters from what I could tell. I wound up just getting my packet, a quick dinner, and then crashing.

Race morning came much too early. I was definitely sleep deprived. Luckily this wasn't a goal race.I got to the race site a bit early and walked around to stay loose. Oddly the race didn't have any port-o-potties at the start, but instead relied on a public restroom. I know there were only about 250 runners, but 2 stalls isn't going to cut it. Being there early enough helped and I took care of business with plenty of time. I also met and chatted with some fellow Marathon Maniacs at the start, including 1 who was pacing for 3:40 aka the fastest pacer for this race.

Quiet start area

Now this course likes to advertise itself as fast. The race shirt itself even bills the race a Boston Qualifier. This isn't without reason since the course has a net loss in elevation of nearly 1500 feet. The problem is the race starts at an elevation of nearly 8000 feet. Unless you're adapted to the altitude, you won't do nearly as well. I came in the day before so you can see where this is going.

Nice downhill for 20 miles

Soon the race started and we raced our way through downtown Aspen. I hung in behind the 3:40 pacer who may have shot out a little quick himself. I struggled to breath for the first mile or so and figured this was going to be a long day. After a bit we hit the Rio Grande Trail and I settled into a comfortable pace. By about mile 3 I was actually running quite relaxed with my heart rate and cadence both slowed down to training run efforts. Perhaps it was the scenery or running along the river that calmed me.

I eventually fell in with a group of runners for the next 8 miles. We broke off from other nearby runners, but couldn't lose each other. I finally started talking with the others and found out that one of the girls was shooting for a BQ after failing a few weeks prior and the guy was running his first marathon with only a long run of 16 miles under his belt. They were from Fort Collins and shocked that I was holding my own so well on my first high altitude run. I eventually lost them around mile 11 as I surged a bit and they faded.

Around mile 14 I felt a familiar rumbling in my tummy. One of the aspects of being at high altitude is that it can also upset the stomach. You would think by now that I would learn to take Imodium before a marathon, but haven't quite grasped that lesson yet. The downside of this race was that the aid stations were pretty far apart i.e. only 2 in first 7.5 miles and not all of them had restrooms. I had to wait until mile 16 to use the facilities. I wound up losing around 4 minutes here, but felt much relieved after.

Once back on the course I really picked up steam for a bit. I guess I was a bit determined to get back that 4 minutes I had lost. I passed a lot of runners and eventually re-passed the group I was running with before. They had broken apart as the girl was struggling and knew a BQ was out of site. The guy was still going pretty strong when I caught him, but soon started to fade. I also caught and passed the 3:40 pacer for the time being.

After the first 20 miles the course turns into rolling hills. I managed to keep strong until mile 22 when I finally decided I didn't like running uphill anymore. At that elevation I was getting winded just climbing stairs, so running up a hill felt like having a heart attack. I eased off and went with a walk/run approach from there to the finish. The temperature also had been rising and we no longer had the shade from trees on the path.

The final stretch of the race involved running into downtown Basalt. There were more people around here and I picked my pace back up. I also was nearly hit by cars twice in this stretch. First a guy making a right out of a parking lot kept looking left and never looked right to pull out. He decided to pull out when I was within feet of his car. I screamed at him and fellow onlookers couldn't believe it either. I also managed to capture this all on my GoPro. Then when nearly to the finish there were people directed traffic and apparently weren't paying attention since they directed a car to cross the intersection right in front of me. I did make it to the finish without any further incident.

At the finish line we got our medals. I got a fist bump from the 3:40 pacer who congratulated me on a job well done. I also got a wonderful cold and wet towel to wipe down with. I guess I missed it in my initial post race haze, but there was also champagne at the finish line. I wound up heading straight for the beer line and got an Orange Shandy from Aspen Brewing Company. Definitely the refreshment I needed. The race also had a salad bar, but who eats salad after a marathon?

I liked the race other than the few bumps with the bathrooms and near misses. The course was absolutely stunning. I'm glad I had my GoPro on me and took clips throughout the race. The people were all also super friendly. I don't think I've ever talked so much to fellow runners as I did during this race. After spending several days with the family it was determined that I had to make this race an annual thing, an excuse to come back and visit. 

As for the final results - I finished in 3:45:48 and 33rd out of 226 finishers. If you course correct for the conditions and altitude, this time would be the equivalent of around a 3:25-3:30 in Chicago. I'm extremely pleased with that result given that much of the race was spent running conservatively. All that downhill did do a number on my quads and toes though. This now gives me 8 marathons in as many states in the last 10 months.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Strike Out ALS 5K 2015 Edition

This was my 4th time running the Strike Out ALS 5K. I almost didn't run it though. I've  been so committed to keeping up with my marathon training schedule that I've been hesitant to alter it in any way. A week before the race I decided to register and just run a double for the day to get my miles in. The race holds special meaning for me too since I lost my uncle to ALS 4 years ago.

I did the pre-race packet pick up at Roadrunner Sports the Saturday before the race. This was quick and easy since they have parking there and everything. I also decided to pick up a pair of racing flats to break in for my eventual goal marathon. After trying out some new stuff I got a pair of the new release Vazee Pace from New Balance. The shoes are super light and comfy with a 6mm heel drop and a good feel that leads to faster stride turnover. I wound up running the 5K in them.

 Race day was a bit different for me this time around. Since I signed up last minute I hadn't roped my friends into running with me. I got down to US Cellular field early and relaxed for a bit. The weather had cooled off and felt pretty good. I had run 10 miles in the morning and had melted then so this was a nice change. I dropped my bag off at gear check and went for a short jog to loosen up a bit. I noticed that in addition to the cooling off the wind had also picked up and might make things difficult.

Soon enough I was heading into the start corral for some announcements including the reciting of Lou Gehrig's famous retirement speech. Unfortunately and ill-placed generator plus the wind was blowing fumes into the faces of those of us near the front. I was ready to get moving so I could breath again. After the all clear it was off went.

Mile 1:
I got sucked into the fast start of the lead runners. It just felt so natural, but a quarter of a mile in I slowed to a more manageable pace before I got myself into real trouble. It was crazy only seeing 8 runners in front of me. I wound up passing another after he fell off after the fast start. We ran and zig zagged south through the stadium parking lots towards Pershing before turning back north. Once we turned north we were slammed by a pretty strong wind. I managed to cross the mile marker in 6:12 which is my fastest timed mile ever.

Mile 2:
We continued north past where we started to the north edge of the lots, then turned east, then south briefly and then back north. The wind was just relentless and started wearing on me. I did manage to pass another runner who was also struggling with the wind. Finally towards the end of the mile we turned back south. The wind did its damage though and this mile was done in 6:40.

Mile 3:
We were now zig zagging south before finally entering the stadium for a lap around the field. This is always a lot of fun, but running on the gravel can slow you down a little too. I also had to deal with a photographer who decided that the right spot for picture was right in the optimal running route so I had to dance around him. Right near the exit for the stadium I was passed by 2 runners. Once I got out of the tunnel I checked my time and knew I still had some fight left so I tried to push the pace and kept up with the 2 runners. I hit the mile 3 marker at 19:25 for a 6:33 mile.

Mile 3.1:
I knew I had to really book it for the finish if I was going to crack 20. I picked up the pace even more. After one last turn I had 10 seconds left to make it and found myself in an all out sprint. I wound up neck and neck with the other 2 runners who had passed me. I stopped my watch a little after the finish line at 19:59.9. The official results have me at 20:00 even. If there ever was a time you wanted race results reported down to the tenth of a second this was it.

I wound up finished 8th overall out of over 400 runners and walkers and 3rd in my age group. My time was 1:04 faster than last year when I was 2nd in my age group. It's always funny how the times ebb and flow year to year for events. There was no official award ceremony, except to announce the male and female overall winners. I still got a medal though which was nice.

As I was leaving I managed to catch the final runner finishing. He was an ALS patient who decided that he too was going to finish the course. It was a great moment of bravery. Many of the runners took a break from their post race fun in order to go over to the finish and cheer him on as well.

Strike Out ALS 5K is always a well run event and for a good cause. The logistics may be inconvenient since it's always held on All Star Tuesday in the evening at US Cellular Field. The course also contains something around 23 turns I think I counted so it isn't normally a PR type course even though I managed to set an 11 second PR myself during the race.

I'm proud of the way I ran. I've been absolutely torturing my legs with mileage, piling on more miles than I've ever run before and still managed to get some speed out of them. I was tired enough that I couldn't get my heart rate up to where I normally run 5Ks at. I know I'm more fit, but I just couldn't bring myself to the pain and huffing and puffing normally experienced during a 5K. I'll have to find a 5K after all the marathon madness is over and run it on fresh legs to see what I can really do. It's nice knowing that I could probably go sub 20 without any issues and that's always a confidence booster.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Cycle Begins Again

Summertime for me has turned into marathon training season. The typical training cycle is 18 weeks which means starting in June for a fall marathon for most folks. I'm a little behind on the times and am actually wrapping up week 4 of my training plan.  My goal marathon is Twin Cities on October 4th. I'm actually running 4 marathons and an ultra this fall, but that's a different story.

The past 2 years I trained for Chicago using different methods. I first used the Hanson Marathon Method in 2013 and failed miserably at keeping up with the plan and fell short of my goal. In 2014 I tried a different approach and basically came up with my own plan roughly following the weekly mileage guidelines of Higdon intermediate while sprinkling in speed workouts from Hanson and Yasso. I did meet my initial goal last year, but some gastro-intestinal distress left me short of my full potential. I've run 6 more marathons since Chicago without following a training plan at all, basically just maintaining fitness in between and have managed to excel and get faster.

This year I decided to return to using a defined plan. I chose the Pfitzinger 18/70 plan as something that will challenge me and hopefully take me to the next level. The plan is 18 weeks long and peaks at 70 miles in a week. The mileage from the plan would be 400 more miles than during my training cycle last year. I'm hoping the additional mileage will help my body adapt and stay strong through the whole race in addition to preparing me for the rigors of a 50 mile run.

So what have I done so far? I didn't quite follow the plan exactly the first 2 weeks. I was starting just 3 weeks after my last marathon so I did a reverse taper. Week 1 wound up being 43 miles instead of the planned 53. Week 2 was 54 instead of a planned 56, which is actually damn impressive given that I did this in spite of running 17.5 miles entirely too fast during Ragnar. Week 3 I was finally in sync with training and ran 58 miles.

The current week has been a bit different. I changed my routine and am now starting to run before work. It is definitely much cooler and peaceful running 14 miles on a Tuesday morning. Yes, I ran that much on Tuesday and it was only my mid-week medium long run. I still need to do a long run of 18 on Sunday. The plan is not for the timid. I won't drop below 55 miles until I taper. If you're curious to see what the schedule looks like, someone made a calendar that is just a week off from my plan. http://www.negativesplits.net/files/longbeach09.pdf

So what is my goal for Twin Cities? That's hard to say at this point. I seem to make improvements by leaps and bounds. My last 2 marathons both featured blazing fast starts followed by 2nd half fades. With smarter pacing I would likely be somewhere between 3:20 and 3:25. I would love to make the improvement to BQ, but that would likely require a time around 3:03 for my age group. I'm not sure if I can make that jump in this time frame, but I'll definitely train hard and smart and see what happens. I need to stay healthy to make it through all my fall marathons.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ragnar Chicago 2015 Part 2

When I last left you my van was due up to be active. We did some quick decorating, putting our name on the back window - One Man Perv Per Van, and got our runner to the exchange zone to start our adventure. I was bad an accidentally missed the hand off since I ran into 2 other friends in the exchange area and spent a few minutes catching up. It was crazy how many people I knew were running Ragnar this year. After our runner was off we rallied the troops and hit the road for the next exchange. I had some time being the last runner in our van so I played navigator and played with my GoPro.

Ragnar changed it's legs and some of its routes this year. Last year I was runner 7 and had only a 2.9 mile first leg. This year being runner 12 I got stuck with the short leg again, but it was at night. That said, our runner 7 this year had the optional exchange zone leg. There was a mile long stretch of road the vans would park along and the exchange could happen wherever the runners liked. It wound up being a blessing in disguise since it shortened the leg for our runner who was hurting and the next runner took the extra distance like a champ.

So one by one the runners went and then finally it was my turn. Suzy slapped the bracelet on my wrist and away I went. It was a little awkward at first given that I always start too fast and I was trying to get comfortable running while carrying my phone in hand which I never do. I normally use a pouch, but since I'd have to text my team with a mile to go I didn't want to be digging for it during the middle of a run. My leg went well and I finished well ahead of planned pace. I get to the exchange and see people from both vans there to greet me. There was a round of high 5s and then an immediate let's go get dinner.  We went to Noodles and Co. and it was glorious. The girls missed the show though since they headed into the restaurant while I changed out of my wet clothes in the parking lot. They suggested I used the bathroom in the restaurant, but I knew better, it was lined up with runners from all the various teams.

After dinner we prepped for our night time runs. We got our safety gear out and looked all sexy in our vests.  The girls all made it through their runs without much issue, except for Krista who had some creepy moments. Once I was up I was off and running once again. I got lost not much after when the road split and there were no signs. I slowed to check my phone for directions and let a runner catch me to figure out where to go. It didn't help that this was a section that doubled back on on the runners coming in for the exchange so all the blinky lights in the dark through me off. This was my slowest mile of the entire event. Finally I was back on track and passing runners once again. The last stretch of the run was along a lakeront trail. There was a steep downhill that I decided to just go with and started flying when a rabbit darted in front of me. I definitely let an expletive fly as it truly startled me. I soon made it to the finish where our van 1 teammates were waiting after having napped in tent city.

Van 2 decided to get out of dodge and avoid sleeping in tent city given the noise, distance from where the van was parked, etc. We headed over to North Chicago High School to see that no volunteers were there yet and everything was pretty much in lock down. A few of us camped out on the porch of the school and the rest in the van. The porch was a good move since the overhang protected us from the thunderstorm that came through during the night. One of the guys on the sidewalk was starting to get wet so he decided to get a little cozy next to me. After a few hours of sleep we grabbed some breakfast at Dunkin Donuts and prepped for our final legs.

One by one we finished our final legs. Early cloudiness and fog gave way to clearing skies and rising temperatures. My last leg was going to be midday and I knew it was going to get rough if it kept getting warmer. My route didn't have a whole lot of shade either. As a team we made up some huge ground on our last legs and I was running a bit earlier than planned, just before 12:30PM. I took the exchange from Suzy and started running from the Northwestern Campus down the lake and Sheridan. It was a lot different from my first 2 legs since I had many pedestrians to contend with. I also had to stop at a lot of lights along Sheridan. There were stretches along the lake that made it so worth it though. I had originally intended to take things easy, especially to give the van a chance to find parking at the finish, but I was feeling pretty good in spite of the heat and just ran with it. I once again destroyed my anticipated pace. It was a bit odd running this leg since we were ahead of nearly all the other open teams. I only passed 3 other runners and was passed once by someone who had to be running in the 6 min range. I managed to capture the last 5 minutes of my leg on GoPro, including when I spotted Sara and told her to move her ass since she'd miss running across the finish line as a team.

Once we crossed the finish we waited for Sara and took a team photo.

After that we headed over for some much needed beers. And since it's never too early to plan, we started discussing ideas for next year. We joked about doing Super Troopers with the "I'm freaking out, van" and the "You are freaking out, van" , but found out later someone already did that team idea. We'll come up with something. After a couple beers and one last browse through the gear shop we jumped in the van and headed back to Mo's dad's. We made a pit stop at Mariano's to use the restroom and then crawled our way back. I dozed in the backseat. My energy was gone. We reached the house, cleaned out the vans and everyone parted ways. I went home and crashed. It was a fun time and unfortunately it had to end.