It was a long, cold, rough day for me.
I tried to run the race I wanted to, instead of the one I should have run.
At the Rice Lake mile 22 turn around, I sat down on a bench at the aid station. Vishal Shani was there too and gave me the "hey, great job man". I said "I am considering dropping here and now".
I can handle that feeling at mile 40. Maybe mile 30. But at mile 20, that feeling sucks.
Mile 20 to mile 40 is one long stretch before you turn around at 40 and come back to the finish. I spent the whole 20-40 looking over my shoulder expecting Zach to be there (not really, but makes for a good story).
Zach had a long day too, but he had good reason. 100 miles on your legs 4 weeks before is really tough.
My stomach gave me problems most of the day, and my heart and head were really not into it.
I made the decision at the Rice Lake turnaround to get up and start the long trek to the Emma Carlin mile 40 turn around. I saw Scott Meyers, and told him how I was feeling. He gave me a priceless piece of sound advice "Just slow down, man". Best advice of the day for me. I did.
At that point I made a decision. I decided this was a race I had to "just finish". I actually felt an obligation to the readers of this blog to not be such a quitter, and to suck it up and just get it done.
I actually said to myself "stop being such a self centered ass, and finish this race". I know there are a lot of people who would be thrilled to run a sub 10 hour 50 mile, so I figured I had to do that. I thought that might even be out of the question at one point, but quickly found the "ultra shuffle", and did that for the next 20 miles.
Mile 40 to the finish was pretty bad for me. I have never been passed by that many people. I had already checked my ego, so I was okay with that. I even stepped off the trail and directed traffic "The finish line is that way".
Coming off Bald Bluff at mile 45 or so, I was pretty much at metaphorical bottom, but I could feel the finish. Just then Dave Ruttum came from the opposite direction and said "hey, I came back to run you in". He could tell I was having a crappy day earlier. Those last 4 miles were a joy, as Dave helped me remember why we do these.
And for those of you who don't know who Dave is, he finished in 6:41, 4th place. He then proceeded to go out on the course 4 miles and back 4 miles as a "cool down".
Dave, you are the man.
I came in at 9:44:55, and I had to work for every second of it. Last year was half the effort, go figure.
Other notable finishes
Brother Grub (aka Pinche Flaco) pulled out a 7:23 and maintained his 3 year streak of 11th place.
The Paint King (Dehart) did 7:37
Christine "chicked" a lot of guys with a 7:41
Wayne Nelson finished another 50 Miler (I think his first was last year at Surf the Murph)
John Gustafson finished his "training run" really strong in 9:32
Full results here
Might do a longer report to explain what the heck happened.
As of now, I am officially pulling the plug on Kettle 100 in 4 weeks.
My head is not in it. I have stomach issues I can't solve. I am burned out.
It is hard to say I am burned out with only 2 races this year, but it is what it is.
I want to enjoy this sport, and I did not have fun yesterday (although, I did laugh when it started hailing on us).
I need to take care of some things before I get back on the long trails. May do some normal stuff, but right now I have no commitments. I am going to chill for a while.
Thanks for reading