I wanted to not pull a Matt Carpenter by putting it all out there in late June just to find the tank hadn't refilled by Pb. Knowing how hard it would be to not all-out race SJS, I figured I could force the issue by spending uber time in the mountains preceding the race. Interesting philosophy; I was miserably sore when I woke up on Saturday morning. With no desire to push on trashed legs, I quickly settled in way back of the leaders. I estimate I was in 50th place by the time we hit the trails at mile 2.5.
Everyone around me settled down eventually, and I rolled into the Williams Aid station feeling better than I did at the start. I had 'gotten ahead' on nutrition, having put down some gels to go along with a very concentrated mixture of Hammer Perpetuem. Up the Carson climb, I found a VERY comfortable pace, but it still found me reeling in runner(hiker) after runner.
Once on the divide, I began to wonder how things were shaking out and even considered seeing what was under the hood. Around mile 28, a spectator informed me I was in 8th place. I could see 3 or 4 shapes up over the next ridge. How did THAT happen? About the same time I decided to throw down a little bit, my nutrition began to fall apart. I realized my Perpetuem mixture was beginning to haunt me - just the thought of another sip made me nauseous, while I began to crave plain ol H20 like crazy.
At the Yurt aid, I attempted to catch up and put down a large quantity of water. Things seemed to be more under control until I realized that none of the water I drank was going anywhere - it was still sloshing around in my gut. Probably needed some salt! The steep downhill from mile 35 to the Slum aid station saw me give back a good half-dozen places as my stomach began cramping bad enough to force me into walking.
When I pulled into Slum, I took a HUGE pull straight from a Morton's shaker and washed it down with as much water as I could handle - which wasn't much, considering how much was sitting in my stomach at the time. Within a mile from Slum, I discovered two things. #1 - yes, I was correct in assuming I was sodium deficient. The major bloating and such I had experienced went away, and suddenly I found myself able to sweat again. #2 - I was now way too rich in sodium and thirstier than I can ever remember being. I had just jettisoned my second water bottle at Slum and had sucked the one I had dry within the first mile after Slum. WTH. I walked/staggered nearly every step from mile 41 to the Vickers aid, losing a few more places in the process. If there had been an easy way to DNF here, I would've done it in a heartbeat. I would've drank water from a rancid pond had there been one. I would've even drank a PBR.
I pulled into Vickers at the same time as past champ David Phillips. He was having a rough day as well. We spent a good five minutes at Vickers, just trying to catch up on hydration, food, and life in general. I bounced back a little bit in the remaining few miles, but the damage had been done. I staggered to the finish in 14th place, 10:31 after I started. My goal of not trashing myself had not been met - I felt pretty awful upon crossing the line.
In the ensuing week, I've bounced back fairly well. I took Sunday and Wednesday off. Got a pretty good (for me) effort in on Quandary Thursday, getting up in 65 and change. Spent nearly 10 hours above treeline on Friday as I got in three thirteeners most of the Tenmile Traverse before bailing at Peak 4 due to weather.
|Quandary's reclusive north face|
|Treeline in McCullough Gulch|
|Peak 10, looking south towards 9, 8, 7, etc|
|Not your standard mountaineering route|
|Peak 8, looking east to Breck|
|I think this must've been the view south from Peak 5 or so. Pacific should be the pointy one to the right and further off than the other pointy one, Peak 10.|
|After 7 hours, my reward finally sat in front of me - the fun scramble from Peak 4 to Peak 1. Shortly after this picture was taken, it got dark and thunder-y real quickly, and I bailed east just past the low point of the ridge|