|Spoiler alert: I made it to the start|
|Already miserable at merely mile 4|
The course had been re-routed from a gorgeous out and back course, to five 10.4 mile loops, with several miles on plain old dirt/mud roads that paralleled I-70. Stoke level was not high, but I kept a smile on my face. For the first two miles of the race, I felt fine. By mile three, my stomach was in knots, energy levels were even lower than expected, and negative thoughts were already creeping into my head. I thought to myself each loop isn’t very long, just get one done and go from there. While running along, I kept checking my GPS and the numbers confirmed what I was feeling: my form was going to crap, my cadence and pace were getting slower and slower. I was really bummed when my watch said I was at mile 10 and I was no where near the end of lap one. Apparently a bunch of runners did a “extra credit” loop and added an extra 4ish miles.
I’ve had some tough runs before, but this was different. It just felt so pointless from the start, I knew I didn’t really have it in me. My lack of energy, stomach pain, zero desire to eat, and all-time low motivation left me deflated. I debated quitting the entire time; it was the classic scenario of an angel on one shoulder, and a demon on the other. As I finally approached end of lap one (all 15 miles of it), I decided I was going to keep going. My daughter had been excited about this race for weeks, my friends were running, I just couldn’t let them all down. I met Jenny and Ella, and I quickly changed my mind. The puke bug had bitten Ella too, and both of them were miserable. Goal #1 in these events is always to have fun, and make sure everyone around me is having fun. No one was having fun. So, after shedding a few pathetic tears, for the first time ever, I quit. But, the “fun” was just getting started.
Jenny took me and Ella back to the hotel, and then she went back to the race to crew for Scott and Lindsay. Rather than running, I spent the next two hours cleaning up vomit as Ella annihilated our hotel room. This illness wasn’t from overly ripe strawberries, Ella definitely had the bug too, and it was a nasty one. We decided to head for home early before we were banned from that hotel forever.
|Scott as joyful as ever|
Ella slept sweetly for much of the drive home, only one small puking incident. But then Jenny’s stomach started going into knots too. Going down a hill in Flaming Gorge Jenny ordered me to pull the truck over. I maybe braked a little hard, and stirred up Ella’s stomach. Jenny hopped out and started heaving as Ella projectile vomited (I didn’t know that really could happen) all the way to the front seat. God only knows where all that puke came from. I vainly tried to wipe it all up, but I’ll admit I let Tayo lick a little bit of it up. As I observed this whole fiasco, I had to quietly laugh a little at the utter ridiculousness of it all.
We rallied again, got clean clothes on, and soldiered on through a classic South Pass blizzard to home.
The Desert Rats Double Marathon was a misadventure; nothing really went according to plan and fun was limited. However, I’m really thankful that we made home in one piece with spirits still intact. It’s not a cliche to say it could have been a lot worse. And Scott and Lindsay crushed their first 50k’s! (Update: Lindsay won the women’s 50k race!)
However, I am pissed about the truck though, those puke stains aren’t going to clean themselves… and I wasn’t planning on cleaning it again for another year.