Wednesday, 15 March 2017

ultra (run 4 life) trois

Mile 20. After walking and talking with Davin (a race volunteer) for a while, and having taken whey protein and plenty of electrolyte water, I began to get my legs and my head back. The trail was leveling out after the long ascent. Only then did I realize how hard I had hit the wall. As you approach your physical limitations, you risk losing mental focus and becoming cognitively impaired. Had I been out here alone I could have been in serious trouble, out of water, tired and dehydrated. You cannot see changes in your condition as quickly as your friends can. If you get disoriented and the trail is not well marked, you never know, you could end up lost in the woods for days. Both internal and external conditions can change faster than one might imagine. Apparently my speech had become kinda lethargic and was now picking up, but I wouldn't have known without Davin telling me. I am pretty certain that had he not noticed something was wrong and pressed me a mile back, I wouldn't have asked for help. My mind was doing me a disservice! telling me to stay strong and persevere to the next aid station.

I thanked Davin profusely and he went on to help another runner who needed him. I got inspired by all the runners passing by with words of encouragement. Then I was able to help an older man who needed a strip of K-Tape for the pinched nerve in his neck. I brought some in my wristband. I would see him and Davin again, eating BBQ in the village at the end of the race, and we would be all smiles and gratitude.

The trail leveled out, thank god, and we came up on the mile 21 aid station, only ten miles to go! The sun came out (despite forecast for afternoon rain) and I grabbed some tasty broth and an energy bar and sat myself down in the grass for several minutes to catch some rays and thank my lucky stars (with a prayer) that I had survived the wall!
finish line 2017 wtc50k
The next 5 miles was like one long even cut in the side of this mountain, overlooking lush foothills and the canyon. They call this area 'Auburn Lakes Trails' and what with the sun peeking out of the cloud cover this afternoon, the river far below us, it was magical! All our climbing paid off. The pain I felt earlier was replaced by an inner calm, and a woman named Lydia stopped to give me her own special cocktail, two Advils and a Tylenol. She said 'they tell you to stay away from the NSAID's while running, but i say fuck it' and we both shouted 'fuck it!' together in one burst of comradery before she flew on past me up the single track. I was gonna take my time getting home.