Short summary of my experience in this year's Wasatch front 100 mile...
Don't go to an altitude run the day before when you live at 1000 feet. Having been at Hardrock 5 times, I should have known better, but Deb and I didn't have time to take from work or the new additions in out life (our two young granddaughters), but we were entered and decided to just make it a whirlwind weekend... Arrive Friday afternoon in time for the checkin, go to bed, get up at 3:30 for the 5 am start, put our luggage on the buses to the finish, finish the run, go to the awards, go to bed, get up at 6:30 am for a ride to the airport to get home.
What a weekend it was! The run went sortof how I expected it to....we like to start slowly to get into the LD "groove". Get into fat burning mode and then as the crowd thins a bit, start to move as best as you can. Well, the slow start was unavoidable as we found ourselves in the back of the "conga" line up to Chinscraper, maybe about 10 runners from the back of the pack. As we got over the top and onto the downhill into Francis Peak, we split up and did our own thing. By about mile 25, I was cruising pretty comfortably...until I went off course for a bit following a runner instead of watching the markings. Anita (the runner I followed) wanted to continue on, but I convinced her we were off and to turn back until we saw the next marker. Sure enough, we went off but it was only about a half mile. As I go back, who do I run into at where I went off but Deb! Cool! But on the next climb, she told me to go on. I am a better climber than she, while she will run better during the hotter part of the day, so I was expecting to see her again later on.
The section up to Lamb's was very nice, but sunny and getting warm. At Lamb's I was about only an hour behind what I hoped to be there, so got dressed for the night with the help of Stan Jensen (nice to finally meet you, Stan).
Now comes the undoing....the climb up out of Lamb's was a tough one and is where the altitude was starting to affect me. I had a headache (mild) most of the day, but the climb out of Lamb's made it severe. Then after that climb, you have to climb from Upper Big Water to Desolation (another long, steep climb). A few Tylenol helped the headache, but the nausea from the effort kept me from drinking my Sustained Energy (Hammer Nutrition). All I wanted when I got to the top was soup...but the soup wasn't going down well either, so I had some Coke, which hit the spot. From this point on (about mile 60) I was only able to drink one or two cups of Coke at the aid stations. Occasionally I tried some soup, but that was making my stomach sick, so didn't do much of that...only occasionally do get some sodium. This, of course, made the going get slower and slower...I couldn't climb at all because of the altitude sickness and I had to move really slow because I was basically burning fat, which is no big deal because I train my body to burn fat. The only thing that kept me going forward was my experience in running these things. I never forgot the motto "It almost always never gets worse" and just trudge on...The song in my head most of the day was Simon and Garfunkle's "Feeling Groovy" ("Slow down, you move too fast!")
Anyway, it was more fun than not and the views were incredible. I met a lot of new ultra friends, spent a good part of the day with Hans and finally finished one of the toughest 100's after dropping in 2002. I doubt if I'll go back because I focus most of my training on Hardrock and we use all of our vacation time for that run in order to do it right!
One other thing I did was take a lot of pictures, so if you want to get a flavor of what the 2005 Wasatch was like, check out the link below....It was cold, windy and cloudy the first morning, which turned to warm and sunny during the day, which became very cold at night (some said in the low 20's) and got (to me) very, very warm the 2nd day. I finished in 122nd place in 34:16. After the race I felt ok...very tired and not much foot damage at all (one small water blister on top of one toe). I wear the Montrail Vitesse, which work just great for my feet.
Another fun day (and a half) in the mountains!
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