At the risk of being called a Front'er...one who puts up the iron curtain and avoids telling you all of the bubbly, ugly, smelly, brewing trouble in my cauldron...I get out the gore right away.
It wasn't an easy race.
There were dark and dreary moments despite the HOT 83-85 degree weather.
Chunks and liquids were hurled right out in the open.
Walking too place, lots of walking.
Hills were exposed to the sun, switchbacks were present.
It was ugly at times.
However, true to form, thanks to the way our BRAINS operate, good times were had by all.
Inspiration was everywhere!
70 years olds finished 50 milers with smiles on their faces.
In fact, there wasn't one fifty miler that didn't have a smile on their face. Practically, the whole time. Maybe they were "front'n" but it was weird and eerie, they all seemed SO happy to be out there in the heat, water on hand or on back, tossing back salt tabs like candy and chatting it up with each other and the volunteers.
My husband rose 50 notches in my book of notches...which actually takes quite a lot. My book is pretty full and running out of pages since we've been together almost(29 years...in a few months). Anyway, he was pretty calm the whole time. Here's a quick review of his fueling stops/miles in increments of 10 miles:
Start: He's happy of course! It's a chilly thirty-something degrees but most runners are in shorts since they've read the weather report for weeks.
10 Mile Mark:
Smiles all around. He cruises through, stops for a clothing change, sheds his heart rate monitor and we exchange his fuel bottle. He eats a BONK BREAKER and washes it down with regular water. Kisses take place and he's off.On his way!
Mile 15 was a miss for us since I was watching a friend run the trail marathon!
Mile 20 was the one on the hill, set under some oak trees for shade and lots of long grass. Steve ate another Bonk Breaker, drank water and we exchanged bottles. Pretty low key, he was still smiling.
Mile 30 was before this dam in Escondido. It's like a desert out there and this is where my car thermometer read 85 degrees. The runners running up this trail weren't talking, weren't running and were pretty ticked off. I heard a few choice mutters as I cheered them on:
"Hmm, this is where this race gets interesting."
"OMG, do you have any water and can you pour it over my whole body?"
"How hot is it right now? If feels like someone is slapping my neck."
Steve started to have ISSUES here. He was cramping from the hills and switchbacks and he wasn't eating or drinking anything. He kept walking as I passed him some roll on BIOFREEZE which seemed to work until the next aide station.
No smiles here.
Pure hell. No tears but plenty of barfing and drama. We surrounded him and tried to get him to eat solid foods. He drank coconut water and various sodas and then promptly threw them up. I played BAD COP and tried to keep him walking since that was our agreement and MY PART in this whole ting...the nasty who kept him walking. I would hold up his water bottles and food and sort of wave it around, catch his eye and then start walking backwards...sort of the proverbial carrot thing. IT worked.
We sent him off at mile with a prayer and some advice...hoping he'd listen or COULD listen.
More darkness. More cramping and more loss of liquids from more than one hole. No smiles but still, a determination in his step.
This stop was hidden right before the last hill so we never got to it. I heard that this is where it all turned around for him. He ate some watermelon, drank and go his second wind. THIS is what I had been hoping for since mile 30. He's notorious for a second wind. This one just took 20 miles to come.
The finish. The waiting was excruciating. His body first appeared as he left the tree clumps past the dairy. HE WAS RUNNING. Actually running. I ran out and couldn't stop myself from jumping up and down and crying. 8 1/2 months following meniscus surgery, he pulls this off and FINISHES. What an ending.
Has the training been easy. No. Do I need to share the details? NO, let's dwell on the positives. Sometimes NOT FRONT'N is the best thing to do...it's often best to recognize the RESULT and celebrate the beauty of the present moment, not the past.
The HAPPY ENDING?
35 finisher out of 70 finishers. First in age group 50-59!! 10:43 finish time.
You were all a part of THIS. We cannon thank you enough for being our friends. We truly *love* you all.
Happy Running, TODO ES POSIBLE.