I thought I was more BadA$$ than that.
The morning, and days after make it no easier.
- I melted on lap 3 and could not go out for the 4th lap.
- My running partner for the day Woody won the event.
- Another running friend, Becca, won overall female and THE ONLY female to finish.
- 10 runners finished the 50k “plus” (34.4 miles).
I’ve got to be honest, I view myself as member of the group of runners who does not give up, who fights to the end. So what went wrong (again)? I overlook my DNF at the Boogie 50 miler in June because I simply did not want to be there. But with Medoc I wanted to be in that race…I wanted to do well. I wanted to be running no matter the conditions.
It was in the middle of the 3rd lap that I began to fall apart. The course, a single track trail with many rolling hills, rocks, roots, bridges and a number of good climbs consisted on two sections an 5+ mile loop and a 3 mile loop. The two sections of the course had you running a figure eight, with an aide station at the transition point.
This race was hot and muggy from the first steps that we took at 0800 local time. Local weather had temperatures in the mid 90s with a heat index hovering between 105 to 112 fahrenheit.
Woody and I ran together from the starter’s gun. We had ran a solid pace and were making good time through the first two laps. During our third lap we had settled into a consistent run/walk routine, walking the uphills/the stair climbs and running the flats and downhills. Over the course of the day we had slowed but even in the midday furnace and muggy confines of MEDOC Mountain we were still progressing at a good clip. Making our way past the transition point on lap 1 and 2, I was able to refresh, rehydrate and get cooled off some. This mid course pitstop gave me the juice and vigor to continue. On lap 3 the midpoint oasis offered no such relief. I left there feeling worse, depleted and flat.
Every climb after this point taxed me more than the previous two laps. I knew I was in trouble when I began to get dizzy after every run section. As much as I wanted to stay glued to Woody’s hip, it was a struggle to get in the final miles to finish the third lap.
When I got back to the start/finish line, after crossing a short section of black top I felt very hot. After signing the logbook with my time I was nearly out of it and only wanted to cool off and get out of the heat. Even as I dumped cold water and ice on my head I felt like my body temperature was climbing and my breathing was very labored.
Although I heard one of our awesome Race Directors telling us that we were the top two runners I just could not answer the bell for the final lap.
The 2016 edition of the MEDOC Meltdown was over for me. As I watched Woody go off on lap 4 I hurt inside and for a second thought about joining him, but by this time I had chugged down so much liquids trying to cool off that I had lost my stomach. I was resigned to sit on the end of a bench as a mixture of sweat, water and hope dripped off of me soaking a 3 foot diameter circle on the concrete below my feet.
This Ultra Stuff is hard, it’s humbling and no matter your status, your conditioning or your dreams…each race, and each outing is a new set of challenges. You either rise up to meet them or you melt under their pressure.
Videos coming soon…