Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Vermont 50 - My First DNF

I guess I may have spoiled it a bit with the title? Yeah, I DNFed at the Vermont 50. Le sigh. Not to worry, though, my loyal followers...  even though I had a rough time at the Vermont 50 and the Vegan Power 50k, I'm holding out on you about some of the good things that have happened with my running lately. Stay tuned!

The Vermont 50 mile is both a mountain bike and a running race that benefits Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, and some of it follows the course of the Vermont 100.

But first, let's talk about the kids races!  These were awesome!  Thanks Race Directors for putting this on!

187... GANGSTA!

Here's my 11 year old daughter running the kid's 5k. All kids, no grownups, all trails.  She declared at the end of it, "THAT WAS NO KID'S RACE!" Well, yeah, we're at a ski resort.  Always one for a bit of melodrama, she claimed she walked nearly the whole thing. With a time of 34 minutes, I think she might be exaggerating there.

The real action was in the 1 mile race.  Enjoy some photos of our 8 year old!

Here she takes an elbow to the face in the starting chute.

Apparently, somewhere around the halfway mark, SHE WAS HIT BY A MOUNTAIN BIKER!!!
Seriously, though? What kind of douche rides his bike through a pack of six year olds? Apparently, quite a few, judging by how many bikes were coming through.

But does that get her down? Nope - here's her about nine minutes after starting:

All right, but I came to race too!

I was prepared.
Mileage and cutoffs at aid stations
And actually well trained, though poorly dressed.  Those are my favorite shorts - Pony made them and now Pony is out of business. They are filthy and the piping is all brown from tannic acids because I really like swimming on my long runs.  I'm going to race in these until they are obscene. Typical American ultrarunner I suppose.
Fashion faux pas - I look horrible.

  My neighbor Deron looked much more fashionable.
Nothing goes better with black than more black.
At the start, I was so whiny. Poor, long suffering Deron, always listening to me whine in the forest. But whoa, I was REALLY whiny. I figured it would just take a few miles before I felt not-whiney.  Just go for a run! That's all I needed. But I didn't wanna.

And that's exactly what I did but hoo boy was I ever grouchy. I'm not the chattiest at races, but I'll usually talk when someone else talks to me. But not that day. I wanted none of it. What was my problem? Was it food? I'd had a hard time getting my dinner down the day before, and I hadn't wanted to even look at my muffin.

Food, must be food. So I grabbed some fig newtons at the first aid station. Ate em, kept running. But the fig newtons just made me sleeeeeeepy. Okay. I can handle that. I grabbed some more food at the second aid station, and drank two cups of mountain dew and some electrolyte beverage. That all didn't seem to help, and by the time I pulled into the aid station at 12.8 miles, I was so cranky that I apologized profusely to the volunteers.

Onward and upward.... the next section of the trail, until 18 miles, was straight uphill to the summit of Garvin Hill. We wound up on some dirt roads through horse farms and sugar maples. It was lovely, but I kept wanting to take a nap in every barn we passed. I wanted to make it stop, end it, pack it in at the next aid station.  I really just could not believe that I was this exhausted from what little running I'd done. My legs felt fine, I'd had plenty to eat, I just had no will to do much of anything.

But Mile 18 looked like this, with the mist coming through.... and you never make a decision going uphill.
Wowza - this course is beautiful!

Downhill I went, and though I quickened up, I was still feeling so very tired. I passed Deron here. His achilles was hurting, and he was down to a walk. I grabbed more food at the aid station near mile 22, and still couldn't figure out what was wrong. My hydration and food seemed spot on. My legs weren't complaining at all - they had it in them. Was I just being a lazy coward?  That's not really a problem I tend to struggle with, typically. Could it be? Was I sick?

Yup, pretty sure I was sick. I gave it one last attempt..... I ate an absolutely deeeeeeelicious coconut macaroon at the Margaritaville Aid station (26.7). If that didn't pull me out, nothing would. And it didn't. As I made my way to the next aid station, I felt like Dorothy in the field of poppies. I was pretty darned far ahead of the cutoff, but I decided I'd bag it at 31.3

Thinking about what I know.... the likely culprit might have been one of those non-polio enteroviruses that are going around.  The funny thing about these is that MOST people that get infections don't get sick. Or rather, they don't get sick enough to notice. I probably wouldn't have stayed home from work, but I definitely wasn't up to running 50 miles. Some of the weird things that can happen as a result of these NPEVs include swelling of the heart, an inflamed pancreas, and meningitis, and none of those seemed worth it for a medal.

At 31.3, for the first time ever,  I handed in my bib. Then I laid down in the grass to enjoy the view. And nod off while I waited for the cutoff and the sweeps.
Lovely colors!
I'm pretty sad about the whole thing, especially because in the days that followed I really wasn't all that sore. It was definitely the right call to quit, though. If anything, I should have packed it in earlier. The whole next day at work I wanted to crawl under my desk.

Vermont 50 - wish I could have enjoyed you, but I'm pretty sure I'll be back!