Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

959run report again: Steve Pattillo

Expand Messages
  • Stevan Pattillo
    Jul 16, 2004
      Well let's begin with the good news. My Mother , several co-workers
      and lots of close friends, non-runners all, are all really, really
      proud of me for stopping and not going on and hurting myself. They
      are truly beside themselves with pride, which must make it very
      crowded wherever they are. Super. So anyway I didn't make it to the
      finish. I thought I really wanted to make it to the finish. The gap
      between wanting and doing was never so wide before. I was slow-ish
      from the start. I couldn't seem to relax and run. It seemed very
      early on that I was going to be a lot slower than I had planned. I
      kept telling myself that I wouldn't stop until I was timed-out.
      Up-hills were marginally better than the down-hills. However, I
      couldn't seem to recover from each climb. This began to wear on me
      mentally as well as physically. A short way up in Grouse Basin I
      realized that I wasn't going to be able to keep going. I returned to
      Grouse and dropped. I had a great race report outlined in my head. I
      even had statistics to include so as to broaden the appeal.
      The day of the run started well. I was awake at 4:00am and decided
      to stay home and eat rather than going to the 'nooga for pancakes and
      indifferent coffee. Lance Goss was there and we both ate and chatted
      a bit until it was time to head down the street to the gym. I checked
      in and tried to relax and wait. The start finally came and I jogged,
      slowly, up and down to South Mineral and splashed across. On a good
      day the first bits are picturesque. This didn't have the hallmarks of
      a "good day". The miles seemed to pass slowly and finally we topped
      out and headed into the saddle above Cataract Basin. Here, I
      encountered a smallish snowfield. I slipped, twisted, stumbled, and
      somehow made my way across it and an adjoining area of rock without
      falling. I had vivid images of broken bones and vast areas of scraped
      flesh. This was when I found out that I couldn't run. I couldn't move
      my feet fast. I could only jog. Oh boy!
      Up from KT and on down Swamp. I chose the middle grassy "links" as
      I wasn't confident that I could keep my feet under me on the snow to
      the right. This is where I lost sight of Lance and Andrea Feucht.
      Chapman was it's usual friendly, buggy self. I moved out after
      talking with Carolyn and Eric. The climb up Blix's road to Oscars
      Pass was a grind broken near the top by the sight of what looked like
      a 15 meter glass sail plane slipping along the ridge toward Ophir.
      Surreal: It was totally unexpected. Totally out of place. I slouched
      down into Telluride. Pat McKenzie was there again this year. I
      rested, ate, and talked with him. Soon I pressed on up and out of
      town toward Virginias. I passed Nancy Halpin again. She seemed to be
      doing better on the downs and I assumed she would catch me before
      Ouray. The climb didn't seem as bad as in years past. It was long
      just not as steep. After Mendota I really started to drag. The final
      scramble was a trial. On top all was calm. The aid station crew were
      in good form. Soon, Roberta Orr arrived. We ate some and put on
      pants for the long slide down that first pitch. I got really cold
      here and took a minute to bundle up before attempting the next two
      pitches. . Once on the road Rho-berta jogged off toward Governors. I
      picked my way down the last one above the parking lot and tried to be
      positive about my progress so far. I was about 90 minutes slower than
      2001 and was trying my best to be philosophical. It wasn't working.
      The best I could cultivate was an air of relaxed resignation. There
      was no Zen angle in this at all. I tried to "become" the trail, "be
      one" with the road. No way I was going to "become" the trail. I might
      fall off the trail. I might fall off the road. I wasn't going to
      achieve Satori today. Nope. Close, but no banana.
      I ate and rested in Ouray. I was able to trade two 9 volt
      batteries for four AA ones. I never realized how similar the package
      containing two square 9 volt batteries was to a package of four
      cylindrical AA batteries. I felt like a dope. I was not in the
      curious mood I try to adopt when being enlightened by life and all
      it's intricate marvels. It made me wonder if the two AA batteries I
      had waiting at Cunningham were indeed AA's. I met Matt M. going out
      of town and he quickly walked off and left me stumbling down to the
      river. I had expected the water level to be lower. No big deal. They
      can call it a river all they want to; it still looks like a creek to
      me. At the tunnel Cathy L. helped me change the bad battery in my
      headlamp. That was another little surprise. The battery wasn't new
      after all. Oh well, up, up, and away. Nancy H. and pacer, I think,
      passed me early on the lower shelf part of the trail. Someone not
      too far up the Bear Creek Trail ahead of me kept stopping and heaving
      every twenty minutes or so. I wondered how long that would go on. I
      mean, after you throw up erasers you ate in the second grade there
      isn't really a lot left to toss. I am always amazed by the tenacity
      of fellow runners. Engineer aid station came and went. Uli Kamm was
      there. He was having stomach problems. It didn't seem to be affecting
      his progress. I never saw him again as he walked off and left me.
      About mid-way up the basin toward the road I got off trail to the
      right. The night was clear and I could see where I was heading so I
      didn't make a strong effort to move left. I slowly angled over and in
      doing so I seemed to climb every bit of vertical real estate in the
      area. The Milky Way was out and it was a real treat. I reached the
      road and headed on down. After a while Cathy L. and Jim B. passed me.
      Both looked frisky and awake. I reached that beautiful bauhaus-like
      minimalist BLM toilet near Animas Forks at about 6:30am. Much
      relieved, I ambled on down into Grouse. I sat and ate. I sorted
      through my drop-bag and pondered my situation. Things were not
      looking all that rosy at this point. I was still three or so hours
      ahead of the cut-offs but still wasn't recovering. I rested and ate.
      I thought about napping a bit but John Cappis came in and I thought
      this might be my last, best chance to make it to the finish. John is
      very tough. He has completed more hundred mile trail runs than I will
      ever attempt. I left Grouse ahead of John at shortly before 8:00am. I
      checked out and started up the seven switchbacks above the road. A
      short way into the grassy part of the basin I started the pattern of
      taking a few steps and sitting down for a minute. This went on for a
      while until I just turned around and started that long shuffle back
      to Grouse.
      None of us take failure lightly. It seems that in our play we take
      it even less well than in our professional lives. The people that
      enter the Hardrock are successful people. They succeed at what they
      attempt. This run and those like it are another area that they can
      show themselves that they can succeed at whatever they turn their
      efforts to. I like to include myself in that group. Like that old
      joke where the famous sky diver is asked why he jumps out of
      perfectly good airplanes with only a bed sheet on his back. Was it
      the adrenalin rush? Was it the conquest of his deepest fears? Nope,
      he did it because he liked the people that skydive. Well I wonder why
      I do this when I seem to make it to the finish on a rather random
      basis. I thought about it some on that trail back to Grouse. Maybe it
      is because I like the people that do the Hardrock.
      Oh yeah. Statistics: I blew my nose sixty-four times and went to
      the bathroom eleven times. It would have been a really great race
      report. Next year for sure!

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]