without a doubt the hardest race i’ve ever done. i thought the tahoe rim trail 50k had been a killer, since it took me almost 10 hours to finish the 50k, but the mt. disappointment 50k had me struggling on the course for 11ish hours.
the heat was ruthless, and the stretch of 7 miles — miles 14-21 — without aid brought me to despair. about halfway, at mile 17.5, i start to panic. what do i do? turn around, go back and give up? or keep going, dying of thirst and afraid of a heat-stroke? i continued on, putting one foot in front of the other. i knew i was closer to my goal with each step, no matter how slow i was going. getting to the mile 21 aid station i lied down on the picnic table bench, drank tons of water, ate orange and watermelon, rested a bit more and went on my way. i still had to lay down quite a few times along the course, and when i found a creek i got myself soaked from head to toe. it felt GREAT! the last 5 miles were sheer torture, all up, a steep climb on narrow switchbacks when my feet were already screaming for mercy.
i was expecting to be the only one from our running gang at this race, but was really pleasantly surprised to see e-rod, greg, charlie, alexa, michael, eric kp running his first ultra, and steph. they all managed to do better than me (and the news is…?).
since tahoe rim trail headphones have been prohibited during a race, so i’m getting used to running without them. the good thing about it is that i get to talk to a lot of people i wouldn’t otherwise talk had i been listening to music. it also a great opportunity to feel one with nature, taking in not only the smells and sights, but the sounds as well.
the only thing harder than the race was driving back home. i drive the speed limit (65mph) on the freeways and that seems to annoy most of the drivers. they flash their lights, tailgate, beep, flip me off, and a host of nice stuff. i got mad about halfway with the cars flying by and took the first exit, driving from buena park to newport beach on surface streets. getting home and taking a shower, i slept like a baby. now it’s two months race-free and the 35 miler in november, in santa barbara. supposedly a hard race whose times are comparable to 50 miler times. so i’m expecting at least 12 hours to finish this race.
this morning at 6am i fly to florida, (naples), for a family reunion. we’ll be all together after 7 years or so. i’m excited. i’m thinking about not sleeping, since i leave for the airport at 4:45am, and it’s already 2:20am. 🙂