Wednesday, September 14, 2011

70 miles..... Lots of memories


We started at 4pm....... I tried to really familiarize myself with the course because I knew the next loop would be in the dark. It was a great course. Not technical, few hills and a couple of mud puddles. I was pumped. It had started to rain by the time I got back to the start/finish.

Team UltraPrincess was ready with my nutrition, headlamp, battery packs, etc. I took this opportunity to put some mole skin on my heel as I was feeling a hot spot.

The memory that really stands out during this loop was the naked runners. That's right; naked runners. I knew that they were doing a "naked run" but I never expected that they would be running along the official course.

A group of people were heading towards me and I didn't think much of it as I really focus on the ground when I am running trails (You never know what sort of things are waiting for you to trip on)... As the runners approach I start seeing several penises flapping around in my peripheral vision. Uuuuuuuugh.... Akward! Several minutes later I came across another 'Au Natural' group (some were clothed). This time there were breasts bouncing along with the flapping members.

I had never seen naked runners before. It was called the "Run Woodstock" weekend............


Headed out in the rain (coming down harder). This time in darkness........ I somehow managed to take a wrong path and almost got myself lost. Back-tracked, found some people.... was off in the right direction. getting lost sucked. I ran into one guy who went 2 miles off course..... I didn't feel like such an idiot after that.

More and more puddles forming by the minute but I was still enjoying myself. There was one muddy hill a mile or so from the end of the lap that had now become a mucky, "better have your shoes on tight" swamp. Tried to navigate around them with no luck. So I ran through it..... Had so much fun. Felt like a little kid.

Matthew and Dr. Ana were waiting for me as I came in.... Was great to see them (they weren't able to be there for the start). Got me fueled with soup and set me up for the next lap.

This lap not only left me covered in mud, it also left me with at least 2 dozen mosquito bites.


For what ever reason, it seemed so much darker. I have poor night vision to begin with..... I found the loop quite difficult to navigate. It was raining very hard and the puddles were only avoidable if you tried to make your way through thorny bushes.

My feet were totally soaked..... the water squishing between my toes. My moleskin patch got wet and eventually started curling down, and rubbing against my wet, fragile skin.

I was hunched over messing with it, when a guy stopped to ask if I was alright.... Told him I was chafing pretty bad. He gave me his tube of Vaseline. I don't know who he was but I am Soooooo grateful. I ended up ripping the moleskin off my foot and slapping the Vaseline on. Made a world of difference. Thank you to that stranger :D

During this lap, a bat flew into my face scaring the shit poop out of me. Soon after, I was running across a bridge and a fish jumped out of the water right under me. I shrieked and jumped.......... Then started laughing at myself, what a wuss I am.

I had a great time trudging through the shoe-sucking mud and water. There was nothing I could do so I made the best of it. My feet were really starting to hurt but I ignored the pain because I was still in a really good frame of mind.

Once in transition I peeled off my shoes and socks. Dried my poor, gross, blistered, pruned piggies, and slathered on Vaseline and bodyglide. So nice to have fresh gaiters, socks, and shoes. I was off..........

Lap 4

My feet didn't stay dry for more than a few minutes. Puddles were unavoidable at this point. I basically slipped and slided my way through this lap. My feet were in excruciating pain. I was still determined to finish. It had been raining for so long, and was coming down so hard, it was ridiculous........ had to laugh at the situation. Could tell that a lot of runners were disheartened.

It was (finally) becoming lighter out and I could see so much better. Thought to myself.... Only 2 more laps..... The rain had stopped and the puddles weren't as deep, but my feet were still soaked.

In the back of my mind, my ever-decreasing pace was disconcerting.

Walked into the start/ finish. I Learned that 40% of the 100 mile runners had dropped. Team Ultraprincess gave me lots of encouragement. In order to finish, I had to run 18 minute miles for the last 32 miles. Sounds easy enough (what I told myself).

Lap 5

Navigating through and around puddles...... I knew I was going too slow. My feet were starting to scream at me. I put on my ipod in hopes that music would help me keep my mind off the pain.

I knew that I couldn't keep up the pace. I also knew that I would have been taken off the course upon completion of this lap........ But that idea sounded so much better than dropping on my own.

The tipping point was when I tripped and fell..... I made my decision just before I got to the aid station. Once there, a volunteer called the race director and gave him my number letting him know that I was dropping. Oddly enough, I felt a huge sense of relief.

Couldn't figure out how to notify Andrew (I had his phone and he mine) so I stopped and restarted my runkeeper program hoping that when he checked in he would figure it out. I text messaged, and emailed myself telling him that I was dropping and for him to meet me at the first aid station. He got the message and was on his way.

I couldn't sit at the aid station because I wouldn't have been able to stand back up. So I made my way to the road so that he could spot me.

All the pain I had been suppressing suddenly became acute. I started to get dizzy and felt the blood dropping out of my face. My legs had seized and I couldn't bend to lay down on the ground. I leaned up against a parked car (so sorry to the owner of the car). I knew that I was going to pass out soon so I started yelling "Help Me, Can someone help me?". A woman came to my rescue.... she got someone to get a chair and waited with me. I started dry heaving and finally threw up. Someone brought me water to rinse out my mouth, some cookies and M&M's to get my sugar levels up. Thanks so much to those people that helped me.

I had asked Andrew to come alone so that I could break down if needed (I am not really comfortable showing emotion). By the time he arrived, I was feeling a bit better but couldn't walk. He carried me to the truck and buckled me in. He told me how proud he was that I dropped. I cried, but was at peace with not finishing (FYI: I have never dropped before).

It was the right decision and I am glad I had the courage to make it.

1 hour after the race.

3 hours after race...... my feet have plumped back up.

4 hours after race.......... they haven't stopped plumping. Yipes.

Day after race...... My kankle has a kankle.

Today I am still swollen, but it's much improved :D

Gotta wait for my feet and legs to come back.

p.s. I did receive a medal for completing the 100k distance. It doesn't make me giddy but, I am glad I don't have to return my race shirt or write DNF on it (did have to throw out the 100 Mile bumper sticker).


Matty O said...

HOLY CRAP! Great job regardless of hitting the goal or not, that is INSANE!

What is up with your foot? did you spraign it or fracture a bone? Never seen something swell up that much from just running before.

Unbelievable. Great job!

Jen Feeny said...

Holy sh*t! That is no joke! I am so proud of you for making it as far as you did, especially when you look at the aftermath! Yikes! Rest up girl, and take care of those tootsies!!!

Lisa said...

I got choked up reading your post. I have never had to drop before and can only imagine the emotion that goes along with that. After reading about your post-race condition, you absolutely made the right decision to stop when you did.

I hope, once you're more recovered, that you can celebrate your accomplishment and look forward to the next adventure :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Wow, not gonna lie, this gave me chills and choked me up a little. Seriously, I am in awe, 70 miles is amazing, I know it wasnt the final goal, you should still be proud of this accomplishment

and, oh ya, Congrats on your Pukie Award

BabyWilt said...

Oh my goodness woman, those feet, how did you stay on them for as long as you did. WOW!!! Respect xx

Caroline said...

wow...this post got me...yep need to tissue...I admire you for what you did and for being wise and making a difficult decision...your ankle/feet look like mine did after I gave birth the first time. it was scary at first but it did go down...
take good care

Fruit Fly said...

Wow! This sounds so grueling. I mean given the conditions you listed I'm not sure I would have made it even one lap. I'm very impressed. Sounds like you hung in a lot longer than a lot of other 100 milers, too!

VERY impressive cankles! VERY!!

Congratulations! I think you were amazing!

Unknown said...

Thanks everyone!!

I have no idea why my feet swelled so much.... Possibly an allergy to something that I ran through or something in the mud?! It was very painful........ Thought they were going to blow up. They are slowly getting back to normal.

I am going to lose about 4 toenails.... Is it possible that the pruning of the feet could have made the skin pull away from the nail? I've got some lesions and blisters that are still healing....... But, the prognosis is good :D

Unknown said...

BDD: . I've never puked before, during, or after a run......... I'm proud to accept my first "Pukie Award".

Unknown said...

Wow! You did amazing and those pictures are insane! You are definitely one tough cookie! Seriously! Thanks for sharing your experience, i know it is gonna help me when i embark on my first ultra in December (50, not 100).

Deloris said...

Great job out there Stacey! Even though you didn't finish you still worked hard. Good job staying out there for as long as you did.

Anonymous said...

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Neon Blonde Runner said...

Amazing girl. Hope your feet feel better!

juli said...

Oh! Your poor feet!!! Hope you are enjoying your R&R!

Questionably Texan said...

Wow, I can't imagine trying to run that far with wet feet! I watched a bunch of people drop from my race, and you could tell that it was a difficult decision for everyone, but that it was usually the right one to make. Sorry the race didn't turn out how you had wanted, but it seems like you made the right choice!

That Pink Girl said...

Oh bless your heart, your poor feet! Scary stuff. You made the BRAVE decision. I love that your man carried you, what devotion. :0)
Glad you are resting.