Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Check that off the bucket list

After reasonable success at my first 50 miler (http://seema-thefloridachronicles.blogspot.com/2013/03/diagnosis-decisions-discoveries.html), I had decided to try for a second.  Once again, given my cardiovascular limitations, I was looking for something relatively flat with a very generous time limit.  The Wild Sebastian seemed to fill the bill .  And so I put together a training program and I trained, which has been documented here.  I was feeling ready (in truth, much more ready than I felt for the first one).  The week before, we headed to Windurra for another schooling jumper show.  It was a bit of chilly day, but Keegan felt ready to go.  Sadly, I was a little underpowered and that just isn't good on a Marc Donovon course.  If my horse were less good, he would have stopped.  Instead, being the superstar he is, he jumped and I was totally unseated.  In the seconds between realizing that falling was imminent and hitting the ground, it is true that I thought "I had better not get hurt, the 50 is next week."  And while I ended up with an impressive bruise, no real harm done.  The total damage was this bruise (on the inside of my thigh where Keegan clipped me lightly while working hard to not step on me), a mildly strained intracostal muscle, and a very mildly bruised tailbone.  I got back up and with some excellent coaching from Caitlin Silliman redid the course and got it right, which was great fun.  Rachel also rode Solo and he was a star.  Caitlin said several times how cute she thinks he is.  And that boy can really, really jump.  I hit yoga Sunday morning and would like to report, you really need your intracostal muscles for yoga, so it was a pretty modified practice.  I also took Keegan for a lovely hack.  Then back to work, with a couple of easy rides during the week and then Thursday, off to Baltimore for an AJMC editorial board meeting and oncology conference.  I had heard early that morning that Scott Mackler had died and was glad to be able to see Mark Fendrick in Baltimore before he headed up for the funeral.  Scott was an amazing person and beyond inspiring RIP Scott Mackler. The meeting went through Friday, so I flew down Friday evening drove an hour and a half to my hotel, hugely enjoyed outdoor dining on the beach at my hotel's Sand Bar before hitting the sack.  I got up relatively early and headed over to the start.  I put together my drop bag (which would stay at the start/finish line) chatted with folks a bit and then it was time to head out.  I did the first 25 miles with Laura Wild, which made time pass quickly.  Her husband Steve Hammer was one of the researchers associated with the race (doing research on foot injury and physiology) and she is a paralegal.  They live locally to the race, so she was able to tell me a lot about the park and the race history.

The sand made for tough, slow going.  Harder than hills really.  And Laura said it was better because there had been some rain and so there were some bits that were more packed.  Still, when I completed the first loop and stopped to change socks, I was amazed at how much sand was in my shoes and how totally grubby my feet were.  I changed socks and headed out.  It had gotten warm (mid-80s) and there was more sun than in the forecast.  I started feeling less well shortly after starting the second loop.  I knew I needed to eat something.  At aid station 3 (about mile 36), I tried some broth with rice in it, but it came back up pretty quickly.  I decided to go on.  One of the aid station volunteers (I think it may have been Dave Krupski) told me how much he had barfed at badwater (and that he held a 100 mile record, I think he meant for WS, which is why I think he might have been Dave Krupski), and walked me out onto the course telling me I would feel better soon, which I did, but not a whole lot.  At aid station 4, they gave me some baby food stuff and some ginger tea.  I actually napped for 10 minutes and headed out.  I was feeling better so ate a sport bean, leading to my immediately losing everything in my stomach.  Oh well.  By this time, nausea was the least of my worries.  I was getting tired and my feet were starting to hurt.  I kept plodding.  At aid station 5, I was able to keep down a fairly large cup of hot chocolate (approximately mile 43) and another at the return through aid station 3 (mile 45.6).  I didn't even stop at the last aid station, as it was only 1.6 miles from the finish.  I finished and sat down for a few seconds, but basically wanted to get back to the hotel into a shower and bed as soon as possible.  I stripped off once back and realized my feet were totally filthy, but also not in great shape.  Once cleaned up, I realized I had by orders of magnitude, the worst blisters of my life.  But I'd completed another 50 and also upped my maniac level from 1 star to 3 I'm number 2694 and added never entering another event involving sugar sand to the "experience is something you get until just after you need it" list. I got into bed and slept soundly for the 7 hours I had left before getting up for my flight home.  I do want to thank the race organizers.  This is an effort of love for them and they give back by getting kids involved in the outdoors through the Florida Outdoor Center using proceed from the race to help fund participation for kids.  I also really want to thank the folks at the aid stations.  They were great and I wouldn't have been able to finish without them.  A really wonderful story of an aid station volunteer going above and beyond appeared in another blog.  A great race report as well.  Sunday morning, I got up, realized that neither my loafers nor my running shoes were going to happen and just put on socks to get to the car and then into the airport where I went straight to the Crocs shop and bought a pair of crocs.  The flight home was uneventful and after train into the city, then to Wilmington and the short drive home, I spent the rest of the day watching football and eating, as well as hearing that Jordan and Keebler had another success, this time at the Equiventures fall one-day event.  There are photos taken by Palmer Photo that you can sign in and see since I haven't had time to buy one yet to post. They appear to have had a bit more rain than we did.  Cyndi spent Sunday with Ed at his first marathon, where he had an excellent finish.  So, all in all a successful weekend.  I'm going to have some downtime (total downtime until my feet feel better, than non-running downtime for a month or so).  My next endeavor is 108 days of yoga, which I will start sometime in the next week or so.


L.Williams said...

Ugh 50 miles! My boyfriend ran an Ultra a couple years ago, so boring for me waiting for him to finish lol.

Seema Sonnad said...

I think it is easier to run it. I'm really impressed with the folks who man the aid stations.