Monday early evening, I started to feel like I was getting sick. By 11pm, I had a full blown sore throat. Fever and chills. Negative 20 degree sleeping bag and two comforters with pants, sweatshirt and stocking hat and I was still shaking. I slept all day Tuesday and Tuesday night, only getting out of bed two or three times.
Wednesday morning, my fever broke and I can tell that I am getting better. Still haven't eaten anything since Monday night but gatorade, oj and hot tea with honey.
Not the most optimal few days before a 100 miler.
MMT 100 2012
Back to the drawing board.
Flew into Reagan international airport and rented the cheapest car we could find. Got an quadruple upgrade for free to a mini van. Lowered the seats in the back and slept in the back of the van the day before the run, This was nice since I now didn’t have to worry about setting up my tent. The run started at 4am and I overslept, hoping to get up at 3am but woke up at 3:23am. Felt a little rushed to make the start but arrived in time with a few minutes to spare. The first part of the run went very well. I was climbing strong and flowing the down hills. The second part of the run was completely different and I knew that is was going to be a long, long night. Climbing up Habron, about mile 53, my stomach took a turn for the worse and from that point on, my little red wagon wheels began falling off. Projectile vomit one, on Top of Habron. Ran into camp Roosevelt and tried to regroup. Nothing sat well, I tried vegetable soup but it didn’t hold and my energy levels were beginning to plummet. Coming into Gap 1(69.1 miles) I tried hot tea, which seemed to go down nicely. I began climbing to the top of Kerns Mountain, Projectile vomit number two. On top of kerns in the middle of the night, my headlamp caught movement on the trail and startled me. After inspection of the source of rustling leaves, score….. A small baby copperhead. Very pretty snake. Arriving at the unmanned aid station, consisting of water and some cookies, I filled up my bottle with water, drank one full bottle and within twenty steps, heave number three. With my energy as low as it has been, it was a nice long walk towards the visitor center. My mental state began to change; I went from being pissed, disappointed, frustrated and began to rationalize a slower time. I was pissed I couldn’t keep any food in my stomach. I didn’t understand why this keeps happening. The disappointment of setting up a training plan, following that plan, putting in the miles and coming into this run more fit and more ready to run a good time than any of my previous 5 MMT 100’s, subsided and turned to quitters math. I was calculating justification math like I should be teaching mathematics at MIT. My legs felt strong, my feet were feeling good and I wanted to run but with no energy, I was handcuffed.
It is always wonderful to arrive at the visitors center (77.5 miles)to see great friends. I drank some lemonade, brushed my teeth and had a few sips of coffee. Fifty or so steps out of Visitors, projectile vomiting number four which made the climb up Bird knob very slow.
It was almost light enough when I arrived at the bird knob aid station (87.3 miles) This stop is famous for its Massanutten mountain Corn Chowder. I had one cup and assessed, seemed like it was going to stay down so cup number two and I was feeling optimistic until about 100 yards out of the aid station, projectile vomiting number five. This one was violent enough that 1. I got corn stuck in my nose and 2. I thought I pulled a stomach muscle, which later subsided so I guess I was just feeling the muscle convulsions around my abdomen area. Every inhale or swallow for the next few hours I got to taste throw up. Oh yeah, I’m having fun now.
Back to being frustrated as I think of the cushion and good pace to finally run a respectable time at MMT, disappear right before my eyes. Grains of sands through my poor little pathetic hour glass. Runners continue to pass me as I had to lay down and stretch my back. Muscle spasms in my upper back from the Imbalance of electrolytes and peeing red, just keeping adding to my joy and positive attitude I was feeling during these moments. EFFF this, I’m never running another 100. EVER(subject to change of course)
Coming into the picnic area(87.3 miles) I drank two cups of yoohoo figuring this was going to take the taste of corn chowder throw up from mouth and would rather throw up watered down chocolate milk. I left Picnic area with one water bottle for the next section. Big mistake. The Yoohoo stayed down. After about a mile into the this section I took a sip of water and it was the by far the best water I have ever tasted in my life. I pounded the bottle within two miles of leaving the aid station and was now out of water, during a very hot part of the run. I looked at the stream of icy, cold, flowing water and debated on filling up my bottle but chose to wait to get to the top or near the source of the flowing life saver. At the source, it didn’t look very appealing, only three or four more miles to go. Using a 5 hour energy to rinse my mouth out and keep it moist was my only solution to try and trick my body that it was not dehydrated and this continued to the end of this section. Swirl it around, spit it back in the bottle, repeat many times as the dryness of mouth felt like cardboard. Turning left on top of Scothorn gap, I stepped off the side to allow a herd of horses pass me by. The rest of the trail was covered in horseshit and thousands upon thousands of flies that swarmed my face every time I stirred them away from their delicious new entrees.
Side note: Dog owners are expected to clean up after his/her pets. It is considered rude to leave canine defecations on the trail. Why is this different for horse owners? I really wanted to take a shit in the back of the horse guys truck. An eye for an eye.
Drank four bottles of water at gap 2 and left with a full bottle. Then I walked to the uneventful finish. Gary Knipling ran by me on the road at 5k pace and as fast as he came up from behind me, he was gone, out of sight in front of me.
High hopes, smashed by nutrition and the inability to intake calories and hydration. That was the negative.
On a more positive note, finish number 6. My climbing legs felt better than any other 100 and I am optimistic about HRH. The VHTRC is an awesome running group and it always feels like a home coming when spending time with friends. The volunteers are superb, they understand runners needs and I am grateful and thankful that they are stationed throughout the course. I got to spend a ton of time on great trails, with wonderful views, surrounded by some of the best people in the world.
During this run, I would look at my watch and wonder what the people of the “real” world were doing. Right now, what is going on in Cincinnati? I wonder what they are eating? Right now people are dancing and giving toasts, laughing and celebrating the weekend. What if that was me? Did their day turn out to be perfect? Will they remember this day as I do? How would my life be different if I was not experiencing what I was experiencing right now. Right now, I am trudging myself up a climb and in the grand scheme of things, with tons of people out living their lives, I was here, trying to put one step in front of the other, moving on. Right now, contemplating life, the wins and missed opportunities. Right now, I was surviving.
Life is still great, the run will be there next year and so will I.
Wore LaSportiva wildcats and injini toe socks. No shoe or sock change the entire 100. Zero blisters
Dirty girl gators.
Patagonia black short shorts. No chafing.
Mountain hardware zip t
Two waste water bottle packs. Golite and ultimate direction.
Endurolites every other hour
Gel every odd hour.