Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blue lips and fingernails are no fun. A DNF report.

Yesterday morning, I woke up at midnight.  I've had some problems sleeping lately, where I've been waking up 3 hours early and not been able to get back to sleep.  Waking up too early is called terminal isomnia which is funny because it sounds like insomnia that can kill you.

So anyway.  I was supposed to get up at 3 am, so I woke up at midnight.  I took a benedryl.  I took another one.  I took a hot bath. I lay down and stared at the ceiling for hours.  Finally, at 2:45 I gave up and started getting ready for the Jemez Mountain Trail Run 50K.

Baboo was doing this one with me, as he is with all my runs this year.  He and I started out at a pretty good pace.  I covered the first 3ish trail miles at a pretty good pace.  This is, by the way, a superbly planned and executed trail run.  They take good care of their runners. Despite trying to kill them with the course, they take care of them.

And then, well, then we got to the base of the first climb.

The next 2-3 miles were pretty awful.  They went up...and up...and up...over 3 miles, it became increasingly steep.  It took us 2 hours from start until we reached the 6 mile aid station at the peak of the first climb.

My fingers were swelling, and my nails turning grey.  I was panting, and hauling myself uphill at about a 30+ minute pace.  I had a pounding headache and my heart was pumping like crazy.  And remember, I live at 6000 feet.  But by the time I got up to 8800 feet, I could trot or run on flats and downhills, but when I had to use the big muscles to go up--wasn't happening.
I knew things weren't going to get any better, or easier, so reluctantly I told Baboo, I'm done.  I kissed him goodbye and decided to continue on the half marathon course.  Before I left, though, I had some Nutella on a graham cracker.  Well, wouldn't you?  You know who puts Nutella at a trail ultra aid station?   The best aid station volunteers in the world, that's who.

So, I turned right, instead of left, and headed down on the half marathon trail:

  See this part way over on the right?  
Yeah. I forgot about that.
The downhill, but the way, is not as nice as it looks.  There is no shade, and lots of loose ground and bare boulders to go over.  Plus, I forgot that after you reach the bottom, there is yet MORE climbing.  And due to lack of training, my legs were toasted.  I kept repeating to myself Don't forget how much this sucks.  Don't you forget about how much this sucks and sign up to do it next year.  DON'T DO IT.  don't you do it.  

I finished the half marathon, but of course I'm not listed as a finisher because that's not the one I started.  

One thing that was fun: The half marathon actually started at 8, and I had started at 6.  About 2 miles from the finish, the front runners caught up to me.  So the moral of the story is, you can give me a 2-hour head start and still beat me.  :)

Baboo, went on to finish this in just under 10 hours.  

And, yes, (sigh)  I'll probably try to clear up my DNF next year.  I'll have to run up and down the 10,000 mountain near my house to do it, but I have to do something.  I hate have DNFs. I always go back and clear them.  

Take a tank of oxygen.



  1. Congrats on finishing the half, my trail runs are flat compared to yours and I consider them my hill workouts.

  2. Congrats on the 1/2!

  3. Anonymous12:00 PM

    you are one tuff cookie young lady...DAMN that sounded painful..but I understand the DNF MUST be dealt eyar you will get it sorted!

  4. Yikes, sounds scary. You'll whack the DNF next time, but remember DNF is better than DNS is better than "didn't get my butt off the couch". :)

    Saw this today and tho it doesn't have solutions yet, thought it might be of interest to you:

  5. It was nice seeing you at the Pinkies aid station! First ultra for me and probably the only one. Am planning to come back too next year. No Valles Caldera for you this year?

  6. Max, I'll be at Valles this year. I think I'm doing the full, but honestly, I can't remember now. That reminds me, I need to do some more hiking...

  7. Cool, see you guys there in 18 days! I would like to think that the Valles Caldera is going to feel "easy" after last weekend run (am still sore), but I know I'll hate that hill at mile 20 or so :)
    Recover well!

  8. I am sorry to hear about your DNF, but DAMN! 10,000'?! That is nuts. I was a hot mess at 6,000' at Bizz Johnson marathon last year.

    They must breed them tougher in New Mexico. :)

    You will get your revenge next year. After the year you have had every time you tie up your running shoes is a victory. Congrats on getting out there.


Comments containing links to commercial websites from people with invisible profiles are deleted immediately. Spammers are immediately deleted.

...and I, I have a goal.

Dear Diary, For the first time in 7 years I have a goal. It takes a lot to get me motivated.  I am the demotivation queen.  The princess...