When I gave my notice at work over a week ago, I told them I would not be available to work all weekend at Wasatch Back. I like to make my departures as devastating as possible, and didn't feel like the last few days of my employment would be best served lifting heavy tents out of a 100 foot trailer and doing trash runs from 3 am to 3 am the following day. Now that I had Saturday and Sunday free, I signed up for Logan Peak's wait list at the last second and got in. Ryan, Jon, and Sami also signed up and made it in.
I really haven't been running much the past month, but I figured I'd give it a go on the off chance that I would miraculously have a great day, pass all my friends, and score a new PR. A girl can dream can't she? Well, it didn't go super well. However, as part of Failure Club, it was a great learning opportunity Here are a few gems of wisdom I gleaned during the process of failing miserably.
Lesson One: Don't ask stupid questions...I guess.A friend had signed up for the race who said she couldn't do it. She offered her race entry on Facebook and I asked her if the RD would let her do that. She didn't know, so I emailed him. That was a mistake. I learned the hard way that you should never engage an RD in conversation the week before his or her race as they are likely to bite your head off and tell you that you taste like shit as they do it. I should have known better. I mean, managing an event with upwards of 100 to 105 people is really hard. Coming from a company that managed 27 of these events with 65,000 - 80,000 participants, I can verify that yes, asking about transfer policies the week before an event you had to quit your job in order to run is not a smart decision. I was going to ask why the RD never rents port-a-potties at the start line too, but instead I sucked it up and stood in line with 105 other people to use two park bathroom stalls covered in shit.
Be Here Now." Damn, inspirational, jerk! Well, I guess it helped. It was really beautiful. There's a section you run through that is literally a giant meadow full of Mule's Ear sunflowers. The weather was cool (a miracle) and it was a pretty course. I kept moving forward knowing eventually I would hobble my way into the finish, where I had two beers waiting for me.
Lesson Three: Discarded gel packets that fall out of people's packs are like little trail prizes.I found a Honey Stinger gel on the trail, unopened. I ate it. You know what? It was really good.
Lesson Four: Even though you're pretty sure the tank is empty, check back every few minutes. You'd be surprised.Honestly, I couldn't run the downhill into the last aid station. But I kept checking. I'd push a little, suffer dizziness and pain in all of my limbs, and start walking again. But, once I got to the aid station, I just said "Fuck It." This was my favorite part: a 4.5 mile technical downhill that freaks everyone out. I had added a playlist to my iPod called "Fucking Fast Downhill" which I turned on and then just took off. I didn't break. I sang out loud to my music. I passed a bunch of people. I screamed each time I almost stumbled. And, for some reason, I was able to do it. Maybe I was just smelling the beer, I mean, barn? Who knows. I had skipped the summit approach and made the race a 22-24 mile event. It hurt like hell. I can barely walk. But it's over.
Congratulations to Sami on kicking butt at her very first Ultra, Jon and Ryan for running a 28 mile mountain race faster than I have ever run a flat road marathon, Jim and Joel for looking strong and having fun, and Aric for coming back to racing with a vengeance.