Goal 1 – Finish the race! Always my number one goal.
Goal 2 – Beat my time from last year.
So here’s the short of it all. It all ended in the agony of defeat as the old Wide World of Sports once said.
My demise began on the Friday before the race. I usually watch what I eat that close to a race (I use the word race liberally). Not this time. I was hungry alright! So Julie and I usually have a lunch date on Friday and Saturday. So, since I had to drive to Fleet Feet in Jones Valley, I decided to eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant – Little Rosie’s Cantina at Whitesberg and Airport road. Ordered a chicken burrito smothered in cheese – awesome!
After eating that wonderful meal we headed to Fleet Feet, picked up my race bib and headed back home. Then dinner time rolled around. Got a hankering for Village Pizza. You know, they say to carb up before race day!
Went to bed feeling like a million bucks! Had one of the best nights of sleep ever, before a race (again using this term liberally.) Woke up at 4 am. as the race starts a little after 6:30 am. or so. Packed the car – you’d be surprised what you need to carry for all the “what ifs”. Left on time and arrived on time.
Once again, all the skinny people have shown up! When I run ultra’s apparently you weed out all those not really interested in running and mostly suffering. I’m really just an ultra hack because I don’t appear to be as serious as some that show up.
Today I will be running with Jonathan, a guy that is part of my church. I enjoy running with him and I have convinced him to enter this race. I have given him all my running secrets and he is ready to go.
The starting gun mis-fires at the start but we start anyway – little did I know this was a sign of things to come.
Jonathan, who is 20 years my junior, choses to run at my pace despite my protest. He usually has a faster pace than I do. But he insists! So off we go running in the woods for what we know will be over 7 hours. That’s right 7 hours.
The first several miles I couldn’t feel any better. I’m sucking down my GU gels (provides calories and caffeine) and chasing it down with Gatorade. Then it happens around mile 15, keep in mind that’s just he halfway point. I hear a rumbly in my tummy! I’m getting nauseated. I can now hear the Gatorade sloshing in my stomach. It’s important to stay hydrated when you run long distances and I seem to have overdone it. Now I’m in 2 races, one against trying to actually finish and the other against my stomach. Eventually the inevitable happened. Without getting too graphic, the volcano spewed. I was no longer carrying the bulk of the Gatorade inside me. But you still have to stay hydrated so I had to replenish what I lost with more Gatorade, water, and gels, if I had any hope of completing my goal of finishing. I had already written off the second goal. It just wasn’t going to be my day.
Ever tried to run 15 miles with an upset stomach. If you haven’t let me tell you it isn’t pretty. The volcano erupted no less than 6 times that day. But I eventually FINISHED, and let me tell you I was finished!
While Jonathan finished with a great first ultra time (I eventually convinced him to leave me as I was sometimes having to walk to settle my stomach) I finished about 25 minutes slower than I had hoped.
Oh well, maybe next year.
But for now, that’s behind me and this weekend I’ll be running the Rocket City Marathon!
Woohooo, it’s only 26.2 miles and I get to run throughout downtown Huntsville while all the cars have to stop! 🙂