A quick update on my Western States experience... First off - I'm OK!
We had great weather and all was going to plan. I ran the section from Squaw Valley to Robinson Flat exactly as I wanted to. We had no snow and just a few muddy sections to traverse in this section. I really drank a lot of water over this section with about 6 bottles consumed. When I got to Robinson Flat Michelle, Rob, and Steve were all set up with my food and new chilled water bottles and Perpetuem. I grabbed a PB&J and went on my way. No time for love at these AS's. I had a brief spell of low energy past Robinson Flat but continued on and started feeling really good. My medical checks all went well hitting my weight bang on at each check. As I descended into Deadwood I was really enjoying myself feeling confident as I wound down into the canyon. I was really looking forward to a swim in the river before starting the climb up Devil's Thumb. I peeled my pack off when I got to the river and stuck my water bottles in the river to help cool them down. I went in shoes and all up to my neck and soaked for about two min. I started my climb up Devil's Thumb feeling refreshed and up for the challenge ahead. The climb went great with a slow but steady grunt up the switchbacks. Everything was going great until I got about 3/4 of the way up. I got a bad case of the dry heaves and seemed to loose my legs suddenly. I was woozy and if I didn't sit down on a log along side the trail I would have fallen down. I popped a peppermint candy in my mouth and started moving west again. The candy only made things worse and the heaves came again. I did some compression breathing as I trudged toward the top. I met some volunteers 1/4 mile from the AS and at the time didn't think I could make it to the top however I pressed on. I went to the medical check and my weight was right on 148. I told them about my nausea and I had begun to shiver which is a natural consequence of stopping for any length of time. The med tent wrapped me in blankets and fed me some soup broth. It took about 15 min. but I was able to start feeling much better and decided to continue on. Just before I left Karen Wiggens made it to the summit and was in real bad shape. Her quads were toast and she could barely walk. Her weight was 8 pounds over her weigh-in but she argued the point that she was at normal weight. We both chose to go on together. After going only about 1/4 mile it was obvious that Karen could not carry on. Karen turned around and headed back to the AS. I continued on and came to a climb. As soon as I started to climb again my legs started to buckle and I got woozy and got the heaves again. I knew my crew (Michelle, Rob, and Steve) were just 7 miles away at Michigan bluff but I really felt that I would not be able to make the climb to Michigan Bluff. It was a tough call but I decided to turn around and head back to the AS at Devil's Thumb. It was an emotional moment for me when the AS Chief cut my wristband off and took my timing chip. I do not regret my decision and can only look toward the future for other opportunities and this wonderful ultra experience.
It may have been the altitude. It may have been the flu like symptoms I had two weeks ago. It may have been the fact that I've been very lucky to not ever experience nausea or bonking during an ultra race.
I thank my crew and all of you who followed along on this journey. I'm sorry I cheated Steve out of his pacing duties and my crew out of a victory lap with me as I entered the finish area. There will be another time and another place for this.
Special thanks to our friends Jimmy & Suzy for being such gracious hosts at their cabin on Lake Donner and at their home in Verdi to our whole crew!
I'll get some pictures up when we return from vacation. We saw Karen Wiggens and her husband George today and her quads were in really bad shape still however she was walking around very slowly. It's amazing that her bad knee and cardiac laser ablation procedure were not the reason for her drop. I think the knee and the heart surgery did come into the formula due to limitations on her training in recent weeks. She's got a busy running schedule ahead and I don't think she's going to let this drop get in the way of continuing to enjoy ultra running.
We witnessed a heartbreaking finish today with a woman entering the track under 30 hours but she only had two min. to make the finish line with an average of about 4 min. to make the run from where you enter the track. The entire crowd at the school was aware that she was not going to make it under 30 but everyone stood up and cheered her in. At one point a large crowd started chanting her name. She was in bad shape all hunched over to one side but continued to run in past the finish line. The RD gave her a medal and the crowd roared with approval.
We spent the night trying to sleep in the car and also watched some of the front runners finish at the school. Since I originally intended to be running through the night we did not have hotel reservations and as you can imagine the Inn's were full in Auburn. We have checked into our hotel and we are going to try to get some sleep now.
I'm back! I'm back!
2 days ago