Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fat Dog 120 - 12 Downhill Breakdown

Tale 12 - Downhill Breakdown
I am 20 odd hours into this race. I've been awake, moving, and eating for far too long.
This is the moment where I finally realize how insane I am. Now, most people hear the words 'run' and '120 miles' in the same sentence - and they don't need to try it to know you gotta be crazy to do it.
Turns out I am not one of those people.
I am not having a good time anymore. My feet hurt like hell, and I'm too exhausted to run, but I want to run because walking just hurts my feet SO much more.
I'm sick of eating, my stomach hasn't really felt great the whole race. My tongue is cracked and raw from eating so much salt to keep water in me. Lesson learned - salt pills were invented for a reason. Use them. Otherwise the pain is so, so real.

I am done with this race. What kind of person would do this? The pain really isn't worth it. How did Chris do this? I'm not like Chris - he is way stronger than me - and kind of crazy! ...this is what poor Shira had to listen to as we shuffled our way towards Cayuse.
I held out as long as I could, I really didn't want to give up. But everything hurt so much.
Wait a second... is my husband even alive? Did he make it off of flat top? If he's in the hospital would my crew tell me, or think I was better off not knowing? I hope he's at Cayuse because I really need to know he's safe. But if he is there he won't let me give up.
These thoughts had me choking back tears for a solid hour, or at least what felt like an hour. I held out as long as I could, but about 24 hours into the race I lost it. I sat down on the side of trail in tears, in pain, and not wanting to continue.

Pacers are seriously superheros. Shira is the reason I got back up off that trail and kept going. She listened to me complain about my insanity, and encouraged me not to give up. When I had clearly given up she began to agree and switched to - let's just get to that next aid station.
This is about the point where I started to hallucinate. Nothing really fantastic, but I swear I'd see someone on the side of the trail leaning on their poles and we would go by and it would just be trees.
We must have walked most of the 11 miles down to Cayuse.
The hardest part was knowing that my family would be waiting for me, and I would have to tell them I wasn't going any further. That it just wasn't worth the pain.
Early in the race, somewhere near Cathedral Park. Photo courtesy of Alex Gibbs.
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