That's who I am when I finish an Ultra. The reflection on these insanely hard feats physically warms my skin and I glow for days. Not finishing- well, i felt like shit and like crying, and like defeated with wrinkles and regret for eating birthday cake..my own birthday cake, even!
I DNF'd on Saturday at the San Juan Solstice 50 mile in Lake City, CO. I did not drop, I was pulled for not making the first cut off at Williams creek. Mile 16, roughly- 5:20 in to a mentally prepared 16 hour day- done.
I left with my friends Friday morning to drive to CO. We rented a sweet house a mile form the start/finish. It was a 7.5 hour drive. We pulled into Lake City, checked into the race, went to the pre-race meeting, headed to the house, and packed drop bags, took them back to the armory where all the race shit was happening, enjoyed a fish taco dinner, 2 Sierra Nevada's, and bed.
3:45am the first alarm goes off in the house...mine. Up and prepare for battle. I had only run about 25 miles in the weeks before San Juan. My foot is jacked up- shit just hurts,and I am currently ignoring it. Also, smart. But, I woke up feeling rested, fresh, and pretty excited about the long day ahead of me. I actually had a feeling I was going to do really well.
Given the late snow accumulation, the 7 creek crossings were high, rushing, cold,and a little "like woah" a couple times. We were in thigh deep water, My skirt was soaked to my waist to give you an idea of the vigor of some of these crossings. Runners were holding each others hands and helping others get across just to run a few hundred feet to another crossing. But, this might have slowed an already slow climber down even more (cough cough, me). The nice thing about the water was it numbed my busted heel. And we climbed...from 8,600 ft to about 13,200. Boom...and it was like a force field holding me back, like 2 magnets- Me and the altitude. My heart was beating fast, I was out of breath, my legs were like molasses, and I had fallen way behind the pack I traveled the first 7 miles with. I began to feel better as the course descended into William Creek aid station, but that was it- i was too late. I think I would have squeaked in if I didn't think I got off trail, and hiked back up about a .25 mile only to find out I was going the right fucking way after all. But, I didn't squeak in, and I didn't make the cut off, and I packed all those drop bags so perfectly for nothing. And, I planned my hydration and pace methodically for nothing. And, I cried like a baby to the volunteer.
And, that was that. I went to the finish and watched my amazing friends come through late in the evening. I wanted to feel that good pain as we sat around the table late Saturday night. Damn, it stung. It stings. I guess it just wasnt my day.
It wasn't just the altitude. It wasn't just my foot. My head got out of this race really early on. Frankly, I had an unpleasant conversation with my husband the night before that left me feeling kinda blue as I was fighting up there on the ridge of the first big climb. I was essentially all alone in this vast land of amazingness and instead of embracing it, my head got out of it. It just wasn't my day.
I just got back from a 6 mile run in Little Cottonwood. I was alone with my music and ran hard and faster than I ever have up there, filled with rage and disappointment. But, some peace came as I finished. I'm in search of more peace with this...and redemption...Speedgoat50k on the horizon.
|Sad didn't make cut off Selfie|