This race hammered what strength I had left in my body down to virtually nothing.
I knew deep down inside that I should've sat this one out and rested, but I hated to miss the 1st year Rock Creek 100 mile event near Chattanooga TN. I had just ran the Blind Pig 100 four weeks ago on 4/13, then Fort Clinch 50 Miler on 4/25, then the Oconee Park 50K just twelve days before this race. What made it even worse is that I ran the Blind Pig 100 on virtually no training in 2014. I was actually stupid to go, but I had a number in the race so that meant I had a fighting chance. Actually, this was the perfect storm of stupidity.
It was a blast to hang out with the regular goons before the race. Race morning came quick and I felt great until about mile 10 (haha). My legs were so fatigued from the previous races and the bottom of my feet were on fire from all of the prior blisters and peeling. I took a nasty fall around mile 20 and slammed by hip into a rock, then nearly repeated the fall again at mile 30.
I somehow managed to continue on for 46 miles in a constant state of deterioration until finally dropping out of the race just minutes before the sweepers came into the aid station. I collapsed into a chair beside the fire and had never been so happy to be finished with a race.
About 1 hour before reaching this aid station I was running on a gravel road and decided that I really needed to take a break and lay down for a while. Maybe a short nap would help me feel better. After quickly drifting off to sleep, I was suddenly awaken to the sound of a ambulance and four fire trucks speeding down the road. It was all I could do to just roll over into a ditch off the road and avoid becoming some of the largest road kill on record in Tennessee.
After I managed to scrape myself up out of the woods, all I could do was try and smile and hobble into my final aid station of the race. It was over and I knew it.
I was happy to be finished with the agony in my body at the time, but I was dreading the thought of dealing with the feelings of dropping after I got home. However, I've been surprised to not have any negative feelings about it at all. It was a race that I simply wasn't prepared for so I can't beat myself up over not finishing it. Lesson learned - at least for now. Haha again :]
So my plan is to take a break from racing over the summer and let my body rest. I've averaged over 1 ultra marathon per month for the last five years and its simply time for a forced rest period.
Golf is actually sounding really fun right now, but I'll be back to ultras later on.
I did want to say congratulations to so many friends who finished the race. Weezy, Christian, Kat, Gordon, Jason F., and Joel. Great running on some tough trails!