Monday, October 10, 2016

Well That Didn't Go As Planned

A few days before the 26th running of the Arkansas Traveller 100 I posted this to my Facebook page.
Hit me hard if I ever do that again.

The stress of this race started a few weeks before.  Walter our elderly gentleman German Shepherd Dog is on the last chapter of his life.  Chris decided that we couldn't use Walter with a pet sitter, so he was going to go either stay home (I would kill him) or take Walter.  I have a firm, hard, solid rule about no dogs.  The first year out there, allowing one dog got us eight dogs and all the chaos and poop they generate.  I LOVE dogs!  But the race isn't about your dog!
So Wally went with.  Wally knew a few people who were going to be out there, Shea and Vance, so at least Chris would have help keeping him cared for.

After it was all over Chris said never again.  He was very stressed by it all.  Later he said to give him a month to get over it.
Wally and Shea

Crew and pacers this year:
Kyle Hicks - Crew Chief
Chris Beason - Pacer & Crew
Jeff Beason - Pacer & Crew
Elaine Gimblet - Pacer

Kyle Hicks at the pre-race meeting with me.
Last year's challenges had been my focus for this summer's training block.  I stood on the starting line confident in my training and working out the challenges from last year (blisters, aid station management)
Chris, Kyle, Me - we are ready to rock & roll.

And we are off!
Browns Creek outbound, 5.2 miles, 1 minute to get the trekking poles off my pack.
I had to mess with the heel of my shoe at Flatside, mile 8.6.  Less than 1 minute.
Browns Creek inbound, mile 11.9, in and out 

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For the first 16.4 miles I was very near last year's schedule.  This really added to my confidence.
Coming in to Lake Sylvia Aid Station, 2 minutes behind last year's schedule.
I did have to take my shoes off.  UGH.  I added some more lamb's wool to pad certain places on my feet.  This was the last time I took my shoes off, or had to mess with my feet.  So I think I did figure out the feet.  Time in aid station, 8 minutes.
Things starting to go bad - can't breath!
Between Lake Sylvia and Cross-Roads is way to early in the race to have things start to go sideways.  But when it does.....  I couldn't breath.  This turned out to be a bad breathing day.  Uphills, were impossible to power-hike.  I need to power-hike as fast as I can to make it.  At this point I could still run down hills, so that is what I did.  Walk uphill as fast as my lungs would let me.  Run downhill.

By the time I got to Pumpkin Patch, mile 22.1, I was struggling, panicking and my head was not in a good place.  Chris and Vance calmed me down and got me out of the aid station.  Time in aid station 2:46 minutes.  At this point it was time to start using the ice hat and ice bandana.

After this, except for Lake Winona, mile 31.9, all aid station stops were in and out under a minute, only the time used to re-ice both hat and bandana.  The aid station volunteers were so perfect.  I would take both off coming into the aid station.  They would fill up with ice while I would drink Mt Dew and Gingerale on the rocks, then out I would go.

Making progress, really thinking I might be able to snap out of it.

This spider was pacing me uphill - and beating me
Club Flamingo, mile 39.4, in and out in under 3 minutes.  I left my hat and bandana because it was cooling off and I would want them for the morning.  This was the best place to leave them.  I searched for a flashlight, which was in the next box not this one.  So with no light, off I went.  

Deep in the not breathing cave.  Really scared for my race.
At Bahama Mama, mile 43.2, a dear aid station volunteer gave me a flashlight.  I'm so glad you can get a flashlight at Walmart for under 3 bucks, I didn't have to feel guilty about taking her light.  I did promise to give it back, she told me to keep it.  I will pay it forward.  A volunteer walked me out of Bahama Mama praying with me and helping me get my head right.  Breathing was still so labored.  I was at this point 45 minutes behind last year's pace.

I got into Powerline Aid Station, mile 48, maybe at 8:15 with a cutoff of 8:30.  I was done.  Kevin King, Susan McCourt, Eddy Light, came over from the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station where they were volunteering to see what the heck was going on.  They knew I should have been at Powerline long ago.   I told Kevin I couldn't go on because I couldn't get out and back before the next several cut offs.  He reminded me that I couldn't quit.  I needed to go on till I hit a cut off if that was going to happen.  Okay almost came out of my mouth when I felt what can only be called a "snap" in my left calf.  I think I heard it too, but at mile 48 and arguing, I don't know for certain.  But I could no longer put weight on my left leg.  My race was over.

I went back with Chris, Kyle and Jeff to the race start/finish and was checked out by medical.  Rehydrated and then Chris, my husband, took me to the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station where I spent the rest of the race.
Grinding it out.
This is what I posted to my Facebook page on Oct 6, 2016

Kyle HicksJeff BeasonChris Burkett BeasonElaine Moss Gimblet
Thank you for being the most amazing support a girl with a dream could possibly have. You all just nailed it, what great pit stop aid you gave.
My heart is full with all you gave to me.
Jeff will be running it himself next year.
Kyle's path is still being defined. 
I look forward to working with Chris again next year to get this done, Kyle too if he isn't pacing or running it himself :O
Last year Elaine wasn't given much to work with, this year I didn't even get to her. I already have her booked for next year.
100 in under 30 is doable for me. I will do this.
Kevin King, Thank you for being out there. Thank you for the proper amount of "bullying". You were right.
"God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless."
Chester W. Nimitz
I forgot that, Kevin you reminded me.
Thank you Eddy LightSusan McCourt and Kevin for going to find out what was wrong. It meant the world seeing you out there. You saw me at my very worst and you love me anyway.
I have more support, more love, then any one person can ask for. I am most blessed. Thank you all for being in my life.
Chrissy Ferguson read PoDog's post again. I can't say it better. Not only do you share in so many ways, but you shared the very best of what trail running is all about with all of us. Through that we all get to love on and share with each other. You and Stan are priceless treasures.
Carrie DuPriestMichael DuPriest, PT Paul TurnerRobert Vogler
Thank you for gluing me back together.
I can walk about wearing Chacos. There is something about the foot shape that I can walk without straining my calf. When I can run again my goal is to be more fit than I am today.
Yes, I'm sad, so sad, but I count my blessings and it is fuel for next time. I did so many things right, things that I got wrong last year. Things just went wrong this year! LOL Next year I will know more, make different mistakes but with enough dedication, training, clean eating, and that wee bit of luck 100 under 30 will happen.
None of this would be in my life if my non-runner husband, Chris, didn't support his crazy runner wife. He would be much happier I think if I didn't get 100 under my skin. He supports me anyway.
It is lovely how trail running, ultra running, running, brings out the ability to count blessings, feel gratitude and just love life!

Much improved over last year.  I think I have figured out not to have the big piggies blister now. 
My current cardio 
It is a week later, a week and two days.  I'm still unable to run.  I can walk as long as I don't try to stride out.  My goals are to be stronger and lose weight while I'm resting and healing.

If I don't find another 100 that is Lisa friendly soon after I can run again, I will set my sights on Arkansas Traveller 100 - 2017 edition.

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