Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fat Dog 120 - 19 Dawn of a New Day

Tale 19 - Dawn of a New Day
I am only EIGHT "short" miles from the finish line.
I've got plenty of time to get there - I can actually finish this race!
There's only a couple of problems with that..
1) Daylight is coming, and if it's anything like the previous morning, I need to finish this race - fast!
2) What lies between me and the finish line is a few thousand false peaks. Yes, a few thousand. In 8 miles. No exaggerations here.
I don't know how to describe how I felt at this point. Exhausted I suppose. I ate one bite out of everything I had in my pack, but that's about all I could handle. Steve gave me some trail mix, which had some delicious m&m's.
Here's example #999 of how incredible pacers are: We have been running/hiking all night long, I obviously don't feel that great, and Steve is on the top of a mountain picking m&m's out of trail mix because it's the only thing I can choke down.
By the way, I ate about two more and couldn't stomach them anymore - so the rest ended up in my pack (sorry Steve). I wish I had a photo of the food I ended up with. Half eaten piece of pizza shoved haphazardly in the pack. A few nibbled shot blocks. Just gross..
Anyhow, I stuff in my music for one last round of motivation and stumble up and down the false peaks. I think stumble is pretty accurate at this point. Steve is wandering behind me taking stance so if I fall someone is there to catch me.
We make it over the false peaks to the final descent. I know this descent well, I've done it several times in training. I now know I have enough time to finish this race.

As I start the descent I have this unforgettable moment where it feels like all of the energy drained from my body in an instant. 
I am running on empty. I feel like I'm one step away from just passing out right on the trail. I'm worried I won't even be able to stay standing long enough to finish.
Now, you would think that knowing you're close to the finish line would spark some sort of motivation. But there was nothing. I remember Steve asking if I wanted to run, and all I could do was just zombie along the trail. As we finish the descent to the last couple miles around Lightening Lake I remember telling Steve - hold me up if we get over that finish line because I'm pretty sure I'm going to collapse.
I was maybe TWO MILES away from finishing my first ever 120 mile race, and I had no emotion, no motivation. Nothing.
We continue on around the lake - I can see the finish line. Still pretty sure I'm dying.
Then all of a sudden we hear cheering from across the lake - it's my mommy! They know it's us!
Suddenly I become a new person. I take off running like I need to be at the finish line right this instant! We rounded the final corner to my mom telling me people have put bets on my finishing time, and I guess that was enough to get me to sprint to the finish line with a speed nobody, including me, thought I had in me at that point.
Both Chris and Steve were there to hold me up as I crossed the finish line - but it turns out I didn't need holding up at all!
I could even have run a few more miles... I think I even said that after crossing the line!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

No comments:

Post a Comment