Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sun Mountain 50k, my First DNF

Back when I first started running I remember reading a Facebook chain that said not to run if you have an upset stomach. I tested this advice on my own on slightly upset stomachs and determined that it was sound advice. 
From Tuesday night through Saturday morning I was fighting some kind of stomach thing. Vomiting, diarrhea, the whole thing. Friday I started to feel better, no vomiting, just the other fun stuff and Saturday I work up with just an upset feeling stomach. Saturday was race day. Remember that sound, tried and true advice? I threw it out the window and tried to race anyway. 
I shared a cabin with some run friend, thanks Carol for keeping me awake all night with your tossing and turning 😜, non of us slept well. I toss it up to pre-race jitters. Race morning I picked up my friend Mary and the way to the race start. We got there plenty early to take our time getting ready and lined up with the plan of running quite a bit of the race together. 
As soon as the race started and I was running for the first time in days, immediately I started cramping on both my sides. I hoped they would go away but they didn't. I struggled to keep up with Mary but we stayed pretty close until about mile 8, I got a pretty bad leg cramp. I stretched it out but we got back to it and at my 9 we hit the first aid station. I took some salt tabs and ate a gel and we were back at it. I felt a little better before the cramps came back about a quarter of a mile later. We were together until just before mile 11 when she pulled ahead of me. 
Mile 11 I knew the race was over for me. My left leg cramped up so bad that my toes curled under and I couldn't get them to uncurl. I ended up stretching out for several minutes. Every time I tried to take a step the cramping would come back. Finally I got to where I could walk again and slow jog down the mountain, it was pretty bad trail, mountain bike trail. So it wasn't the kind you could just let go and run. Lots of quick dips and twists. I made it down and then walked back up a ski trail on the course which the elevation wasn't so bad on but I felt horrible, like I was about to pass out going up it. I was passed by lot of people on that little up hill portion of the course. 
I had run this portion of the course previously, so I had a pretty good understanding as to where I was and where I needed to go. I knew that if I followed the course I would end back at the start finish area. I kept on going, I was really over heating, sweating like crazy, I knew my electrolytes were off from being sick. My head was pounding, and at about mile 13 I started seeing things. I saw a bearcat and heard a rattlesnake or two. 
 Thankfully, I knew that these things weren't real. I was more like, wtf? I also knew that things were getting pretty serious if I was seeing and hearing things. But I knew that if I just kept moving forward I would get back to where there were people. Basically everyone had passed me by this point. A young man did run with me for a bit somewhere in this section of the course. Unless I made him up... I didn't see him at the finish haha. At mile 15 the pacers caught up with me. I was sitting on a rock trying to read a map on my phone to see which way would be faster to get back. They decided that I should just keep following the course with them, they walked me back to about a quarter of a mile from the start/finish. I wandered into the finish area and couldn't find the first aid tent. I found a bench next to a building and just sat there for about 10 minutes staring at everyone walking around and having a good time. Confused as to why I couldn't find the tent. 
Finally I realized I had been staring at it the whole time I was sitting there. I got up and wandered over to it. I had to ask for a volunteer because no one was there. When I finally got their attention, they sat me down and got me ginger ale as they didn't have anything else for upset stomach. They did eventually find acupuncture wrist bands that were meant to help. I am not sure if they did. 
I just sat there was felt like forever before my friends James and Gennifer found me. It wasn't long before James realized that I might still want to be ill. He went and grabbed me the only bucket he could find. Which ended up being a huge blue barrel! haha But it was sweat of him. I made it thru 2 ginger ales before I started feeling like I could get up and move around again. 
This was my first DNF in about 100 races. It was bound to happen at some time. I am just so glad that nothing worse happened to me out there. The up side to all of that was that I was able to see all of my friends finish their races. 
Highlights: 
Stephanie's first 50k!!! Way to go Stephanie! 
Wendy's first 100k and she made it look like cake and finishing in 13 hours.
Carol's first 100k who kicked ass and sprinted into the finish! 
Mary's finish.... shouting profanity as she crossed the finish line. "That Fucking Sucked!"
Spending the weekend with amazing running friends :D
Lesson learned, if you have a stomach bug, don't try to run a 50k. 
Keep on Running! Unless you are sick. . .