Tony and I arrived late to the Start (I had plugged in the WRONG address) and my sweet friend; Nancy had to stay on the phone with me to get us there. Scott Johnson was my crew on bike, which was a perfect setup.
We made up good time, and everything was going swimmingly… up until the stomach cramps hit (sharp pangs that prevented me from running faster than a shuffle. The stomach issues were new for me. I needed ginger ale, and there wasn’t a gas station in sight, and due to my ill planning, I didn’t pack any with me.
My calves also thought it was a good idea to act up. I’d like to call the miles between 18-22 “My walk through self-doubt and questioning my sanity or lack thereof” and wondering if I could still call myself an ultrarunner after all of this was said and done. I was ready to drop by that point and tell Tony that I was ready to go to the beach.
All of this was happening before Mile 22. Thanks to the wonderful folks and friends at the Mile 22 Aid Station, they encouraged me to see how I felt at the next aid station. Thank you, Kelly, Steven, Nancy, and Karen!
By Mile 23 (yeah, that didn’t last long), I was done but would push to the next aid station as Nancy says, “Get to the next aid station and we’ll reassess.” I sat on a bench took some deep breaths and pushed along. I managed to do a little bit of running, and my stomach seemed to finally settle. I made it to the next aid station around Mile 26. You were right Steven; it was three ¾ miles to the next aid station!
I filled up on some fresh Gatorade and decided to keep going. The next aid station wasn’t for another 10 miles, but I had Scott at hand assisting me, so that wasn’t an issue, but my pace had dropped considerably. I would have to put in some running intervals to get me to the finish, which was NOT happening. I had to stop at a busy intersection and wait for that beloved pedestrian walking light to appear, but in the interim, my right quad decided to seize while I was standing there. I stretched and massaged it and proceeded to hobble across the street. I continued and saw a detour where the trail bridge was under construction. I had to cross a busy four-lane road and somehow managed to make it to the other side.
I checked my time. At the pace I was going, I would not have made it to the next aid station in time. I decided to call Nancy after crossing Mile Marker 29. This was not the finish I had in mind, but ending it sooner than later felt like my best option. Thank you to all the volunteers and friends that helped and encouraged me along the way!
With all that said, I’m taking a break from races, but not from running. My heart’s not in it, so for now, I’ll be at the gym.