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.