In 2007 I knew exactly where I went wrong and right when I quit at 77 miles. I knew what needed correction and worked hard on those issues. I was not confident in my 2008 preparation although I traind more and my times were a little faster. I had no clue it would be the result of packing it in at 24 miles.

The whole week prior was issue after issue. I had back spasms, a tight hip and other pain I tried to work through. These are not excuses because I thought I was tough enough to work through them, but I was wrong. From the start of the day, I was not doing well. I woke through the night with diarrhea. (Sorry for that detail) I was worried, as I did not now why. I was really congested in the chest. Even though I had plenty of support from fellow runners and my crew, I left the motel later than I should. Felt I rushed through preparation once at Gooseberry. The race start was hard. I was ready to stop as I was sore and felt fatigued as I crossed the start line.

I trogged along (A Phillip term) through the first aid station in about 2 hours and 30 minutes. My back was tight and I had a few spasms. I continued but slowed to Beaver Bay still making my planned time. My breathing was tight and I was doing what I could to make my back comfortable. I was ready to quit but my crew and the great station workers convinced me to continue.

By the time I got to Silver Bay, I could not long climb a hill using my right leg without pain in the back which can only be described as a knife stab and twisting motion. Now I have never been stabbed so it may not be that bad, or could be worse. I saw Molly Cochran at Silver bay and she was just returned from the Hospital from a bee sting. I almost was going to continue with Molly but did a test push with my leg and the back was painful. I knew the right decision was before me.

This is not a spine pain, but the lower right. Almost like Sciatic Nerve. But lower toward the hip. I am beginning to wonder if this is not all tied to the knee issue. The entire right leg seems to be going bad. Knee is sore, hip is sore, and lower back. May look not a few weeks of focus on starching and balanced weight lifting. Anyone out there have a routine they like for balanced weight lifting for the lower body? But then could be the upper body needs it also.

I did stop by later aid stations during the race. It was great to see Chris at the 50-mile point. It was about 9 hours and he looked like had had not been running. At 6-9 AM at Sugarloaf, I saw Julie Berg just after sun-up, she was looking solid. Christian came into that station ready to quit. I watched that aid station crew work the magic earlier and revive the runner and they continued. Christian was sure he wanted to quit. But after about 30 minutes, they had him up and going! I went to Cramer road and saw Carl. He looked like I did last year. I told him I regretted the past 364 days my decision not to go on and he had more time than I did and the best crew in the world. I was happy he continued. Many others went through and were so strong. I am anxious to read many posts as I think this year had some pretty interesting challenges.

Rambling aside, this seemed to be a hard race for many this year. Could be the air? Could be many things but one final thought, I am not sure if I will try again, I say that with sad thoughts as I really want to achieve this just once. A next attempt would be a third, and I view my third attempt as my last chance. A personal thing. So next year, I am committed to one thing with regard to Superior. I will work a station or I will have lost at least 40 of the pounds I carried this year and enter. That is the only option.

I feel bad for others who were placed in the same position as I was, call it a day or continue. Phil worked so hard and was going strong when I was with him. Hear Adam had a major injury. Les and I started with and I will not stop attitude but something swallowed us both. Molly and the bee attack, ouch.

But life goes on…

Carry on my friends.



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11 responses to “Clueless…

  1. Diane

    I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to finish; I know you worked hard for this one.

  2. SteveQ

    Did I see you after the race? I can’t remember.Sometimes things just don’t work out and there aren’t good reasons why. Recover and start fresh.

  3. RunWesty

    I agree with Steve, master clear and start fresh. Some days things just aren’t right, you made the right call. Now sit back, relax, and then start your planning for next year.

  4. phillip

    No need to feel bad for me; I certainly don’t. As Les said, after running over 200 Ultras, including all of the Big Names, none have a starting 50 miles as tough as Sawtooth’s.I enjoyed my attempt and will work on the one issue that of all the things I should have a problem with this shouldn’t be it: Eatting. My new formula, proven in practice, failed under the pressure of Gitchee Gumee.For the second year that’s been a problem. I think next I’ll just eat chocolate cake the whole way and see how that works.

  5. Karen G

    Sorry about the outcome but the fun in mostly in the planning anyways. I never thought I would DNF but you never know. If these were easy everybody would do them- well maybe. It was fun to have done some training with you.

  6. MN Ultra Runner

    Good effort Londell, sounds like you’ve already got your head right and going in the right direction for next year.

  7. keith

    Sounds like you had a rough go of it. I hope it strengthens your resolve to finish this race next year! See you out on the trail, soon!

  8. Matthew Patten

    Londell,Sorry to hear things did not work out.So many things have to come together to get through these things.I guess it is all about removing the pieces which derail you. The more you remove, the better chance you have.Regroup, restart, refocus. Life is short, take advantage of what you have. Your glass is half full. One day it will be completely full

  9. Kel

    There is no failure, only feedback. It takes a certain amount of mojo just to toe the line at Sawtooth – you should be proud :)See you on the trails…

  10. Wayne

    Hey Londell, I’m impressed you gave it a shot knowing things weren’t working very well at the start. No need to hang your head. Heal up, do some fun runs, and I’ll see you out there again soon.

  11. scott

    Londell – you have sure made a couple of tough attacks at this race, that’s nothing to be disappointed about. At least from those of us who haven’t had the guts to try it yet!

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