If you were running or watching Western States you probably know I dropped. Not quite the result I was looking for.
Why did this happen? I don’t know and to be honest I’m not dwelling on it, it happened. I tried to get around it to the best of my ability and came up short.
To start with I felt great leading up to race day. I had what I would call nervous bowels for a few days before, but I was nervous. Was I sick? I don’t think so I was eating and felt good.
Race day my HR was good and my effort level was mellow. I was following my plan to keep my effort down and follow my HR monitor. I started eating and drinking on the Escarpment climb according to my plan without issue.
I just passed Cougar Rock (12ish miles) and felt the need to burp. Well, barf is what I got. Soon after I had to go #2 and it was diarrhea. Of course this coincided with nausea and no desire to eat.
Knowing I now had no fuel or water in me I went to work on fixing that. I slowed down my running and started to walk more and take in ginger.
At Red Star Ridge I slowly took in a Boost, which came up soon after. This was the turning point; I was far from the next aid station and starting to lose energy.
By Duncan I was a mess. I sat down and tried to collect myself and fuel up. BIG THANKS to Jesse Baragan for all his help and encouragement at Duncan. I left Duncan not much better fueled but the chair was scaring me and I had not desire to eat.
By this time the story is familiar to anyone who runs. Low calories with effort= BONK. By the time I started the climb to Robinson Flat I was a mess.
I tired in vain to refuel at Robinson Flat, no luck. Prior to the cut-off I asked to drop.
A unique day, my 6yr old daughter had never seen me cry. I’m not embarrassed to say I did a lot of it that day at Robinson Flat.
The positive side, yes there is one, this was an incredible experience, I would do it all again. Want to experience something incredible. Stand at the Escarpment at dawn as this race goes by. Incredible energy and incredible views.
To everyone who helped me along as they came across my shuddering mass, THANK YOU! Every look and kind gesture was up lifting and welcome.
A District Attorney I work with sent me this quote in an e-mail this morning after he heard I dropped, I thought I would share. It really hit the experience home for me:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
The Big Dance ended early for me, but there will be another Dance.