I was one of the "did not finish" (DNF) yesterday. 31 people started the 50k, 6 have a time for 50k so far; the last being 7 am this morning. I succumbed to the heat.
My drive out of Houston was surprisingly easy. It is almost impossible to get around Houston without a traffic jam. But I did. I arrived at the park without getting lost. Got my number. Set up my aid station all was looking up.
We started at high noon. 98F with a slight breeze. The first lap was 3.1 miles, then 4 more laps of 7 miles each. Soon after starting I was surprised. These trails are not as easy as I thought. In fact, this is alot more work. I went slow to keep from tripping. The first lap took an hour. The second lap took us over a hill which took alot out of me. I was walking more. Even when walking, I kept having to climb little hills; much harder than the flats of Seabrook. I was using much more energy than usual; and my drinking schedule was off due to the race environment and distance between aid stations.
It was on the second lap that I was thinking of quitting. I realized this is what I always do. I thought to myself, "I need a new way of thinking if I am going to finish this race." I was praying, "please help me." I always would say, "Wow, at this pace, it will take me nearly 10 hours to finish. After dark I'll have to walk for sure. What is the point? I think I'll quit."
I finished the second lap. I sat in my chair and put on my knee brace. With all that walking and rocks, I didn't want any stability issues. I re-loaded my drinks and headed out. I was mainly walking. It is now after 3 in the afternoon. Someone behind me. I ask if she wants to pass. She said no, my pace was very good. She had been following me for awhile and wanted to keep doing that. I said I couldn't promise anything. In fact, I was feeling quite bad. Soon, I saw a stump and decided to sit down.
As soon as I sat down, I knew I was going to swoon, that is, feel light headed and want to lie down. Unfortunately, Texas is fire ant country so lying down was not an option. I did however, have to move to sitting on the ground to get my head clear. Now, runners are stopping and asking how I am. One of them who was headed back told the race director about me. One of them stayed there instead of going on. Several nurses passed by and told me to stay down.
After about 25 minutes, I felt good enough to stand and start walking back to the start. I was about a mile away. After walking a little, I met a guy who was looking for me. He said he was my rescue squad. Very nice guy, but he wasn't carrying any ice water or anything. Don't know what he thought he was going to do. We passed the guy who had been in the lead of the race. He was wobbly walking. He ended up on his hands and knees barfing and had to quit.
Well, I made it back to the start and turned in my chip. I had to sit down for quite awhile and drink pedia-lite before I could stand well enough to get to the car. Even in the car, I felt nauseous for another hour and a half or so. I sipped small amounts of liquid while driving until I felt better and could eat something.
I came home safely. Hardly any traffic again, even around NRG stadium where a football game was starting. I still didn't feel like eating, so took a shower. Realized that my water heater must not be on. Weird. I couldn't light it either. Finally ate about 9 pm. Then wasn't sleepy either. So I read a book and then tossed and turned until 2 am when I remembered I hadn't taken any melatonin. I did that and fell asleep within 30 minutes for about 5 hours.
So, what do I think about all this?
My dream of peaceful miles in a forest didn't materialize. Since the trail had so many trip hazards, I didn't look up hardly at all. I did remember the light of the world a little. I did have break through thinking. It ended too soon. Then, the water heater piled itself on top of the day as an issue.
When I add this together, I get the world in its equality. All issues are the same whether they are heat stress or water heaters. The practice of returning my mind to The Presence is all I have.
My Course in Miracles lesson for today is, "My salvation comes from me." That is, from within. Stop looking out and projecting guilt. Look within for Life, Spirit. The ego mind does not have to rule all the time. I am peaceful as I wait for the plumber to show up. I don't really care what it costs. I don't have to hate the Germans who are taking over my life on Tuesday and Wednesday. I don't have to worry about a hurricane for at least another week. I don't have to worry about the job in Pittsburgh for at least 2 weeks. These are all the same problem.
You see? All is one.