What happened was a complete lack of regard for my stomach, thanks to Cracker Barrel. The trip started out great and as we drove out the van was all packed and ready to go. Stopping in Flagstaff, AZ for morning breakfast was at the famous Cracker Barrel, I've eaten here before, matter of fact at this same location. So we all ordered breakfast and as it came we all dug in and although I thought it all tasted pretty good there were a couple of things that just tasted mediocre, nothing special like country cooking. Anyway, we all finished and back on the road we went. I could feel my stomach taking a long time to digest the food but figured it was simply because of the butter, grease, and what ever else they use in country cooking.
Later that night I could feel my stomach just a little upset but thought it was more nerves than anything. As we arrived in Las Vegas, NM. at a friends house and settled in things just got a little more uneasy as I had to use the restroom a few more times that customary and I knew my stomach was not happy. By now, I knew this was not nerves but from the days food and finally decided to take half of an Imodium pill, which I don't like taking because they really plug you up and that's just not good when you have bad food running through your system, it needs to come out. The night was about the same routine back and forth to the bathroom and when I woke up Friday morning I seemed to be feeling better with less problems but not fully out of the woods so I took the other half of the pill and the rest of the day I was fine.
We drove up to Angel Fire Resort Friday morning and got settled into the condo, which was great! I had been eating throughout the day and all was fine so I was much more confident that I had gotten through the shittiest of times. Dinner that night was nice and relaxing with some simply boiled chicken, rice and broccoli.
I was ready!
The race meeting and packet pick up was at the Resort hotel conference room and pretty standard with a quick briefing of safety and rules. It was announced that a mandatory 50 mile 14 hour cutoff time would be held for the 100 miles and a couple of other cut times after that. I was a little disappointed and bummed because one of the main reasons I choose this race was the 32 overall cutoff and no cut times and now we have a 50 mile 14 hour cut which in all my running I have not run a 50 in less than 15 hours, so now I was going to have to PR a 50 just to make the cut, which is something that I really don't think you want to do in a 100 mile event on a new uncharted known course, ughhh!
The next morning I was up and ready to go and feeling good, no more problems. I made it down to the start line with just a few minutes to go, chatted with the Sweet Baboo on his Western States 100 Finish! and then we were off down the road.
It was a short portion of road running to get to the trails with some asphalt through the neighborhoods, about 2.5 miles and the rest was all on trails, expect two road crossings and one of them you had to run about 1/2 mile down to get to the aid station then back on the trails. All total I would say 3 miles of asphalt in the whole route of 12.5 out and back. The first aid station came quick and I ran through it with no problems. The course soon dove onto single track and woods right after rounding the lake where this aid station was and we started climbing. Some of the climbs were challenging, others just uphill like another other race. I was chatting with another guy from the East coast and he said he picked the race basically for the same reasons and now we had to break 14 hours to keep going.
As we continued to run somewhere about mile 6 my stomach started to knot up and I thought it was because I was drinking too much too fast so I slowed up but then felt like I was getting behind on hydration so I kept sipping. Once I was at the top of the climb in a more flat area of the mountain before we start heading back down my stomach was cramping hard and I had to slow down and the guy I was running with passed me and kept on. Luckily, the downhill came and although seriously rocky and technical I was glad to be going down as it seemed to help my stomach settle. The downhill was nice and finally rolled out on to a fire road which was much more manageable to run on although still somewhat rocky and technical but still easier.
I rolled into the turn around at 3 hours 8 minutes and was pretty happy about that. Dez had just pulled up and I gave her a quick update on the course and my thoughts on time and my stomach. I grabbed a small snack at the aid station and said I should be back at the start/finish in 3:30, which would still keep me on track for 14 hour 50 miler.
As I started back up that steep rocky part it was seriously tough and had to stop and catch m breath a couple of times but worse yet I could feel my stomach just wrenching down on me. I knew by now it was still not settled from the food incident. As I made my way to the top of the climb I sat down for a couple of minutes to regroup because I knew I had about a 6 mile gradual downhill push and I could make up some time. As I started out I was simply not comfortable in my stomach but I kept run walking to help ease it up. After a couple of miles it became harder to run because with each step my stomach/lower intestines now would just cramp like someone was squeezing them but when I walked I was okay. So I switched to power walking as fast I could to maybe let it settle. I would take short runs to test it but immediately it would cramp so back to walking I went. I had cell phone service and I text Dez and told her to meet me at the 2nd aid station which was not our plan but I thought by eating some soup it would help, especially since I was about 6 hours into the race and had only eaten one snack of about 150 calories. I came into the aid station and quickly found Dez and went to the van to sit down and eat. I also grabbed some Dr. Pepper and the combination seemed to help settle things. After about 15 minutes I started walking and although I felt full I felt better. I kept walking and soon my stomach returned to the same state as before, by now I was already 2 1/2 minutes off the maximum avg pace to finish the 50 miles in 14 hours. I continued run walking as much as possible because I wanted to get back to the start/finish.
By now several of the other runners were already heading out again and one lady I had chatted with who has run numerous 50's and 100's was that this course was superior difficult for a 14 hour 50 mile cutoff and stated she told the race director that he needed to extend the cut time or overall 32 hour cut off of the race.
As I approached the start/finish area I was not 4 minutes behind the max avg. pace time and being as I wasn't in any better shape I decided to pull out. My race was done. I guess I could have continued and missed the cut off but I would have been walking for an undetermined time.
I returned to my condo and laid down for a couple hours and when I woke up I felt better. I showered up and sat around relaxing and had dinner, again still feeling better. The next morning, Sunday, I woke and still felt good. I went down and had coffee with Sweet Baboo and Misty. They finally took off to head home and I spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying my time at Angel Fire.
The rest of trip was all good and although just a little too long I returned home and prepare for Badwater 135! crewing..