Thursday, June 2, 2011

36 Miles

Saturday Mr.K and I ran an awesome race in the mountains.  Mr. K was in the 50 mile race so he started at 6:00 a.m.  I started at 8:30 a.m. in the 50K (which ended up being 36 miles instead of 31 because of rerouting due to crazy amounts of snow.)  It started out on this beautiful trail that follows and crosses a small stream several times.

 It was so beautiful, I kept stopping to take pictures.
 Then the path turned into a stream.
Here is my first sighting of snow and yes, that is a little stream we had to cross.
Eventually the trail turned into a waterfall that we had to literally climb.  I found this pic on the race website.
Then it got steeper and crazier.  I didn't stop to take a picture but I wish I would have.  When we got to the top of the waterfall, we were greeted with this.  It is hard to tell how steep it is from the picture, but believe me, it was steep!
This is looking back towards where we started (see civilization?)
I hit the first aid station around mile 5 or 6.  I refilled my water bottles, ate some potato chips and peanut M&Ms and chatted with the volunteers.  They said that the next 6 or 7 miles were through snow so I put on my YakTrax and headed out.  There were patches of snow but I didn't really need them on.  I finally took them off but I didn't want to put them back in my pocket because they were so muddy.  Luckily the trail turned into a stream again so I was able to wash them off.  More importantly, I was able to wash my hands since I can't handle having my hands dirty.  :)
Farther down the trail I heard engines and all of a sudden wild boys on motorcycles came roaring toward me.  It was quite a jolt out of the nirvana state of mind that I was in.  When they got across the meadow from me, I took their picture and waved.  I think they thought I was a dork.  (Sorry that I don't have a zoom on my iphone camera.)
I got back into my running bliss.  About 30 minutes later the thought crossed my mind that I hadn't seen anyone since the motorcycle guys.  Then I thought about how I hadn't seen the pink and blue ribbons that marked the trail lately and couldn't remember the last time I had.  That was a little alarming.  I kept on running, trying to quash the nervous feeling that I was alone in the middle of the mountains on the wrong trail.  Then I thought about the fact that I was running downhill and that if I was indeed going the wrong way then I would have to run back up to get to the right trail.  I was feeling unnerved and was about to turn around when...
Whew!!!  I was on the right trail!  (Which soon turned into a stream.)
I made it through that and finally arrived at the next aid station.  I changed into my new compression knee socks, refilled my water bottles, asked for a foot massage, was turned down, ate some yummy food and started on the next 6.3 miles.  I had to stop and take pictures of the amazing flora and fauna.

This aid station was the best one by far.  They rang cow bells when they saw a runner coming in.  They grabbed the water bottles right off my belt, filled them and put them back on while I chowed more M&Ms and some boiled and salted potatoes.  They even had Santana playing for added ambiance.  (Thanks to the race website for these 2 pictures.)
I was having so much fun that the guy in the yellow coat said he was going to start charging me rent.  I had to hit the trail.
On the way down off of that mountain, I was running fast through the mud and snow.  I started giggling because I kind of like that feeling of being out of control.  Then it got really muddy and I ate it.  I didn't get hurt but my hands were covered in mud.  Shutter.  Fortunately, there was water running down the trail so I was able to wash them enough to go on.

The weather started turning gray and I felt a few little drops of rain. 
Another 6 miles got me to another aid station and Mr. K!  
I forgot to mention that he had been pulling all nighters at work and had gotten sick.  He had to go to the Insta-care Friday morning where they gave him a prescription and probably some sound advice like "Get some rest."  When I found him he had gone 32.5 miles and couldn't go anymore.  He had missed the 3:30 p.m. cutoff time at that aid station and so he wasn't allowed to continue with the last 20.5 miles.  He was too sick to go on anyway.  Poor him!
I had a cup of hot chocolate and a couple of orange slices, refilled my water bottles, kissed Mr. K and took off for my last 7.5 miles.  Did I mention how amazingly beautiful it was?

Things were going well and I was marveling that I had come so far and still felt so great.  As I went on though, I started feeling a little bit nauseous.  I guess hot chocolate and orange slices aren't good for my stomach after all.  I kept running until I couldn't anymore.  I walked for a while.  Several people passed me and asked if I was ok.  Nope.  I kept walking until I saw a flat rock off of the side of the trail that looked just right for sitting on while I vomited.  I sat there for quite a while but nothing happened so I decided I had better get going again.  I finally got to the point where it was all downhill to the finish line.
I stopped a few more times to puke but alas, nothing.  I would just like to mention here that I would rather be in pain than nauseated.  A couple miles from the finish line I ran into one of the race directors.  He asked how I was and I lied and said I was ok.  This may be TMI so skip to the end if it is.  I had goosebumps and a cold sweat going on and I thought I was going to puke right in front of him.  That would have been awesome.  Luckily for him I made it around a corner before I lost it.  I didn't even stop to puke I just leaned to the side while I kept going.  After I puked 3 times I felt like a million bucks.  I started running fast (you know that is relative of course) and finally crossed the finish line where Mr. K was waiting for me.  After I got my medal, he asked me if I wanted to meet Caballo Blanco.  (from the book Born to Run.)  Turns out that he ran with him for a lot of the race and got to visit with him.  Can you believe it?  Since I am a dork I asked him if I could have my picture taken with him.  I will do another post someday with the pictures I have with famous people.  Did I mention that I am a dork?

I love running!

Just call me Starr.


Jennifer said...

Wow! You met Caballo Blanco? That's so stinking awesome! Thanks for sharing your running adventures!