Sunday, August 22, 2010

Notes from a Slothlike Ultrarunner - Part 3 of 4

PCTR Montana de Oro 50K--Aug 15, 2010

On my second trip back to the aid station, I grabbed my second set of running outfits, socks, shoes, cap, everything. I wanted to be comfortable in a new set of dry clothes. My friends Julie and Liz greeted me and volunteered to fill out my pack with my special drink. I was glad she was there to help me as I was rushing to change. I was confused I didn't know what to do first. When I got to the restroom to change,I took a moment to gather myself and breathe. I was in a daze. I stood there wasting time, thinking all the wet clothes that I have to take off. Which comes off first, the cap, the shirt or the shoes? I couldn't decide, my brain cells obliterated. The floor was muddy sandy, I didn't know how I was supposed to stand without getting my clean clothes dirty in the process. It must be hunger. After sucking the leftover gel I had in my pocket, the blood sugar jump started my brain, I managed to move quicker. As I was changing, I realized how much effort it was to lift my tired tree stump legs. Clothes stuck to me like glue, arms, back muscles cramp and I was achy all over. Time was ticking, and I needed to move quickly. In the midst of my changing my shirt I heard my Garmin beeped. Darn, I accidentally stopped my time. I'll just reset it for the next half. Just then the alert came on again battery power 3% left. Oh come on, what else can go wrong? Then the unthinkable happened. The door handle jiggled. Note to self: Always lock the door behind you. As I stood there half naked frozen, the screech of the door confirmed that the door was indeed unlocked. I yelled out in slow motion like in the movies, "Nooooooooooo!" It was too late. The look on the lady's face was as if she saw a rattle snake in there and fortunately she quickly shut the door. I consoled myself, "She's a runner, I am sure she has seen everything."

Why does this kind of thing happen to me? In Big Sur, it was a guy who walked into my porta potty. But that's for another story. That was about the jolt I needed in order to move quicker . I grabbed my shoes and walked out of there barefoot. Got back to my camping chair to wash out the fine powdery soil that went through my socks deeply embedded between my toes. I sunk in my chair, took another moment to settle down from what transpired. I stuck my dirty feet in my ice chest. The cold ice on my tired feet felt nice. While enjoying the moment, I take notice of the couple who sat next to me.  At first glance, I wondered about the special specs the man was wearing: one with lens and one without. For all I know I thought it was meant to be that way.  Then when he turned to the side I noticed the gash on his cheekbones.  Another casualty of the trail. He was okay, he can fix his glasses.  He is after all, an optician. Then he turned to me to ask which race I was doing, it dawned on me that I've wasted enough time. I apologized, I had to run, literally.  He understood.   When I looked up, I saw the runners that Claudia and I passed on the 25K are now moving to go back up to Valencia. I realized that by this time, I was close to the 20 minutes I've wasted. Deflated I thought, "Let them go." I grabbed more goodies, but nothing looked exciting. I forced down PB& J, I knew I had to eat if I wanted to finish. Fatigue was setting in at this point and the thought of doing this all over again made it worse. I played mind tricks and tried not to think about how much more I had to run to complete 31 miles. I broke it into sections, just get to the hill, then the aid station. I trudge on.

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