Saturday, September 3, 2011

Silverton Day 2

Boy, what a dumb name for a blog post. Nothing intriguing about that!

My day started in semi-darkness, 6:15 am. I woke up with an angry achilles, which is not too unusual. It didn't feel too bad by the time I started walking the course. The course in harder in one direction because the uphill is longer and has some very steep places. From 6 to 9, I walk jogged the hard direction taking 23 to 25 minutes per one mile lap. Then at 9 am, they changed directions and thing were easier, especially on above mentioned achilles.

Most of us have little table areas lining the course inside the aid station tent. It is fun to look at the tables first thing in the morning. Most of us have everything we need for the day neatly laid out so we can quickly find it.

What's it all about Alfie? You know, each of us here is going through some sort of personal struggle and transformation. It is not really about finishing 100 miles to get a buckle. It is about your daily struggle to keep going to your own personal limits.

I am still impressed at how mature most of the runners are. My age of 52 is about average with very few below age 45, some up into their 70s. We do have a couple of 10 year old boys running too. Two people from Hawaii age 61 and 63 are prolific ultra runners (I was able to look them up at Ultra signup). Yesterday they made 35 miles, staying awhile longer than me. I was impressed with that. Today it looks like they only made 30 miles. Which proves to me that this course is tough. I realize what a hurdle those remaining 35 miles for the buckle are.

Back to me. My achilles did pretty well today, but I was slower than yesterday. After about 7 hours my quads were starting to show signs of wasting. I could breathe much better today. I mean I didn't feel like puking when I got to the top of the course. At 3 pm, the course direction change loomed. I dreaded having to go in the "hard" direction again and actually doubted that I could make it up some of the really steep places. My 24th lap today was the last in the "easy" (haha, still 235 feet up and down each time). I realized I was pooped. I decided that when I got to the tent, I'd ask for a veggie patty and go eat it at my table while I contemplated my situation. To have a chance for a 100 mile buckle, I needed to do at least 8 more miles today. I had done 9 hours so far and 8 more miles would take more than 3.5 hours. And these would be in the "hard" direction. I knew I couldn't do it.

I came into the tent and approached the aid table. I suddenly felt tears well up inside me, emotional break down imminent. Then, I asked for a veggie patty. They said they were out but could run out and get some for me. I said no. I realized I was done. so I wondered through the tent and out the other side to the port-pottie. The portas were way too full and smelly. As I entered, I started sobbing. There I am in a smelly porta, tired, feet hurt, no food and feeling the depths of despair. This course is too freaking hard (lack of oxygen aside).

After that, I sanitized my hands and sat down at my table to eat a sandwich and drink another shake.

One of the guys came over and talked to me. He didn't try to talk me out and was glad I'll be back tomorrow. I plan to try 20 miles tomorrow to get an even 75 miles. Another gal who was in the 6 day race had stopped her race at 100 miles saying she completely understood not wanting to go overboard with it. (and she was a person who could sprint the downhills.) I totally believe that if you can't hang it together mentally, you should get off the course. Endocrines are done for the day.

Then I drove into town and bought myself two meals (veggie burger and salad).

Today was memorable. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

I've been around this course 55 times. Thats 12,925 feet of climbing.