Monday, June 25, 2012

Bighorn 100 DNF

Where do I start?  So many excuses to stuff into only 30 miles;)

I experienced a weird combination of ailments that left me exhausted and cramped within a few miles.  It started with exhausting travel. Brandi and I traveled to Ohio for our post-wedding celebration.  Upon arrival, I swelled up like a balloon with edema, gaining 10 lbs of water weight and holding it.  The heat and humidity were overwhelming.  We spent every day of the week working and preparing for the party.  I managed a few decent runs, but felt really wiped out after.  I think I picked up some kind of low grade flu toward the end of the trip with fever and some light body aches.  Another day of flying and driving rounded out the trip.

Finally, we got to Wyoming and our awesome cabin in Burgess Junction.  The thin air was cool and delicious after that Ohio swamp.  Moose were everywhere- even in our front yard.  Still, I could not shake this overwhelming fatigue.  Lingering pains in my left shin and right hip flexor caused me lots of concern.

Swamp Donkeys.
At the outset of the race, I could tell something was very wrong.  I developed cramping in lots of weird places- hands, shoulders, biceps, etc- all within the first 5 miles.  My bottles felt like they were 10 lbs. I stayed near the leader, Mike Foote, and pushed on in a chase group with Dan Olmstead and Jared Scott, among others.  When we hit the top of the first big climb, I was still optimistic and welcomed the chance to open my stride.  Within a few miles, I was walking the flats and staggering.  The cramping had infected my major leg muscles and I was experiencing full seizure which required stopping and stretching for minutes at a time.  I fell back to 8th or so by the Dry Fork Aid- managing only a 9 minute mile down that fast dirt road to the aid.  All the while, I continued pounding TONS of fluid and calories, thinking I would shake this terrible funk.

B sent me on my way with fresh bottles and calories.  I rallied a bit in the next miles before sinking into a deep low point.  Now the quads were seized.  I mean full on baseball-above-the-knee seized.  The right quad began pulling sharply on my questionable right hip flexor sharply.  By bear camp, I could barely lift my right leg.  Coming down The Wall, I tripped continuously over rocks because my right leg just would not lift. It felt like my hip flexor was pulling out of my pelvis.  I made the call to limp in and bag it at the Footbridge.  I was in around 9th, at the time.  Michelle Lance and her wonderful daughters Charlie and Robbie (yep) were so kind to give me a lift all the way up to Devils Canyon Road to Brandi.  Needless to say, she was surprised to see me showing up in a car instead of by trail.  Michelle's strong husband Kelly finished in the top 10.  Great people.  I hope to repay their kindness someday.

I am happy with making the tough call to drop.  I spared myself much of the damage that was happening in my hip.  I am improving and will be back to my 100 training soon.  I am not second-guessing my training or preparation for this race.  I am in much better shape than ever.  It was the logistics of the travel that did me in.  Live and Learn.  I am really impressed with the terrain and organization of the race.  A well-oiled machine.  I would like to try again some day.

I am hungry for redemption and will walk that path soon...


  1. Sounds like my run at Pocatello last year (last day of the honeymoon and 2,000 miles of driving in a week). Rest up, you will get it at Cascade Crest.

  2. I've been away from your blog lately, but i just caught up! Bummer for the bighorn 100 man, but I know you'll come back strong! Hope your race series goes well this weekend!