Monday, August 01, 2016

bonk #WR50

the volcano abides.
"hey, how did your race go?!"
"not so great. i had to drop down to the marathon distance."
"um...there's no marathon distance at white river."
"now you tell me..."
some days you're the wind shield. some days you're the guy who starts his race report with a metaphor.

today, i'm that guy.

the stomach trouble started very early (mile 15), and i decided it was because i downed a gel at about mile 13. i've sworn off gels, mostly, on the theory that they make me want to puke.

still, feeling a little depleted by the long first climb at white river, surely i could get away with one harmless huma.


by the time i got to the corral pass aid station (mile 16.9) i was in full-on damage control mode. 
stomach: bad.
fuel levels: bad.
running form: bad.
overall status: bad.

i ate as much real food as i could handle at the AS, telling myself it would flip me upright over the next couple miles. that the bad was temporary and the good was still ahead. that soon i would be floating along in the zone whilst the miles flew by.


didn't happen.

the next 11 miles were an exercise in almost-but-not-quite puking, nearly tripping over all the rocks and roots, and a shameful failure to enjoy a perfect running day.

but the first 15 miles, man...the course was spectacular, temperatures were in the 60s, and i was cruising along easily with friends. life was good.


question without an answer: why was i carrying gels at all?
answer: because i'm an idiot (how 'bout that, there was an answer after all).

by the time i got to the aid station at buck creek (mile 27.2), there was no question what would happen next. spotting some nice people around a clip board, i walked over and said, "i resign."

i must've looked pretty sour, because none of them tried to talk me out of it.

and just like that, i registered my first DNF.
over the next several minutes i walked back to my car, cleaned myself up, and changed clothes.

not long after that my friend ian and i plopped ourselves down in chairs by the finish line and waited to cheer on our friends. 

eventually this bad day became a good day because lots of our friends were running and all of them finished.

in the big scheme of things, that's all that matters (well, that, and "NO MORE GELS EVER").

congrats, friends.
white river 50 mile


pearl-izumi trail n2, v3

song stuck in my head while i was still feeling good: 
"when i stop dreaming" ~ don henley


J said...

[insert a bunch of cheerful morale rebuilding stuff here]
Other days, Michael--there will be other days.

John M.

spaceneedl said...

thanks, john. i know you're right. but standing here right this second, i'd REALLY like a do-over.

J said...

Yeah -- two of my DNFs were at 46 miles into a 50. One was a mechanical failure--shoes fell apart in the lava fields and barefootin' on in would not work. The other was just the just an emptiness that I could not fill enough to allow me to continue. The former was completed ten years later; the latter still enters my mind every now and then. It did get me to pay more attention to this and that--mostly long tempo runs and nutrition.

Take care.

spaceneedl said...

part of the problem this day was cavalier mental preparation. in retrospect, that's the part that bothers me the most. lesson learned. i will be far more mindful in the future. thanks again, friend.

dpc said...

MCM - you live to fight - and run - another day. You still da man.
What you've done, and continue to do, is amazing. You may not think so, but it is.
And nice job cheering on the others. Their days were better be/cs of it.
It's a tough pill to swallow. But hey life would be boring if success followed success etc.

I'm nursing a badly sprained ankle and can only gingerly run the roads. No trails for now. See you in a week or two.

spaceneedl said...

thanks, doug. i appreciate the kind words.

what happened to your ankle??

dpc said...

MCM - hurt my ankle running trails at Battle Ground State Park. Long history (40 yrs?) of ankle sprains. Both are very shaky by this point. It'll get better.
Also falling a lot. Tough getting old.
You run w/ the group? Was it a relay last night?

spaceneedl said...

sorry to hear it, doug. rest well, recover are missed on our runs. we did do a relay thing last night. kind of like long hill-repeat loops. killer. hope to see you soon.

dpc said...

MCM - turns out I have a high ankle sprain; worse then the garden variety, and longer to heal. It involves the ligaments which join the lower leg bones. Impact sports (ex:running) don't help. Still need more recovery, then hope to be back.
Enjoy our election process and the enlightened discourse offered by our RNC friends.
Be well. See you soon. DPC.

spaceneedl said...

dang! not cool. you'll definitely want to have that heal properly, especially given your past ankle troubles.

i will enjoy our election process as long as the good guys win. grateful to live in a blue city/county/state. :-)