This week, I’m cheating a little bit. I’m eyeballs deep with work which seems to be sucking up all of my time, as well as any original ideas within my frazzled brain.
So for this week’s post, I thought I’d share a story with you that I’d originally written for my own blog. So it’s only 1/2 cheating… since I actually did write it myself!
If you’ve been racing for a while, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to relate to my tale of woe. If you’re new to racing, you’ll soon learn that, well, nothing’s sacred in running. And also? There’s a solid chance that however terrible your experience, there’s a runner out there who’s been there before and can totally relate!
So here you go. The story of what was, without question, one of my least pleasant race experiences!!
Originally Titled: You win some, you lose some.
And then there’s Comfortably Numb 2013: The Death March.
Earlier in the week, I signed up to run Comfy Numb as a last minute replacement to the Test of Metal. I hadn’t run this race in probably 6 years, so I was looking forward to re-visiting it and besting my not-so-fast times from previous years.
Never one to shy away from looking ridiculous.
I’d had some good runs leading up to it, and was feeling happy and relaxed about doing it. I had no goals per se, just go out and enjoy.
Race morning I woke up a little tired but nothing out of the ordinary. Ate some breakfast, grabbed a coffee, watched some cartoons and was on my way.
3, 2, 1 Go! And we’re off. The race starts straight uphill, but I like to climb so no worries there. I settled into a nice little train of people for about the first 6K. Once we crossed the bridge (or as I like to think of it, the point of no return) I started to feel little off. No big deal, I thought, this happens all the time. I drank a bit, ate something and slowed a bit.
Then the doubts started creeping in. I mentally looked back on what I’d consumed the day before, wondering if that was the cause of my discomfort. I couldn’t get into a rhythm and for the first time in about 8 years, I really, really wanted to quit.
This was my mental image of myself between kilometers 6-10.
BUT. That’s the thing about Comfortably Numb. It’s a 25k point-to-point trail and at this part of the trail, I figured it would take me as long to turn around as it would to keep going (oh hello, terrible race math. Thanks for nothing.)
Luckily for me and unluckily for her, Marie-Anne had sprained her ankle at I caught up to her at about 11k (I know this because that’s about when I turned off Strava because seriously? I didn’t want to know anymore). And that was pretty much the last run step I took as things went rapidly downhill from there for me.
Thankfully, Marie-Anne stayed by my side as my stomach turned itself inside out in a variety of disgusting ways for the next 14K of misery. We chatted, commiserated, and looked forward to seeing that finish arch… 5 hours after we started. Never in a million years would I have ever guessed the two of us would tie for DFL at a race.
Got myself to the clinic, and 3 litres of IV fluids + heavy doses of Gravol + 12 hours of sleep means I finally feel human again. My eyes are swollen but the upside is I don’t have any blisters and my legs don’t hurt. There’s always an upside, right?
My ever-lasting gratitude to:
My in-laws for taking control of the situation at home and thus allowing me to care for myself.
Marie-Anne for staying with me. If not, chances are I’d still be out there, sleeping under a tree with my race number as a blankie.
Jenny + Liz for encouraging me via text and checking up on me.
Best text conversation ever.
Bob for waiting for us.
Chris Colpitts and crew for not taking down the finish arch till we stumbled under it.
The staff at the Emerg in Pemberton for taking care of me and not making fun of me. Why is it that when I’m sick it’s always super-hot-doctor guy on duty?