Saturday morning Mark, Bruce and I accompanied the families to the Cider Mill fun run in Tolland. All the kids were able to run anywhere from 50 yards to a 5 K. Alex and Ciara foreshadowed how the 50 mile run on Sunday would be for me:
Alex before the race
The 50 yard race started, Alex and Ciara took off with the group. But then 10 yards into the race, Alex started crying and stopped. Ciara kept going but then realized her brother was crying so she stopped and started crying too. I think they were the only two to not finish the race...
After the kids races, Mark, Bruce and I cruised up to VT in the rain.
I think this is illegal
To our delight the rain stopped as we approached our campsite, so we had a nice window of dryness to set up camp. Once Keith and Jana arrived, we met up with our buddy Mike (who was doing the Mtn. Bike race) and headed over to the registration at Mt. Acutney.
Keith, Mike, Mark, Bruce, Me
Jana and Keith
After registering, we headed back to the campground for some Buongiorno pasta, homemade Savage bread, and sautéed veggies by Bruce. Some good eats! After dinner we finished getting our gear ready and enjoyed some episodes of Family Guy on Mark's laptop (campground has wireless internet.) We had great accomodations in Mark's camper (except for poor Mike who was staying in his tent at another campground.) We were stoked since it rained all night. A huge thanks to Mark!!
On race day, I woke up about 2:30 AM. I was hungry so I ate a cranberry almond CLIFF Bar. I went back to sleep and awoke to the alarm at 5:00 AM. I downed a bottle of ensure and ate a banana. After getting my gear on I went out to the woods and pooed. Always a great feeling to drop a poo before a race! Before we left the campground we stopped at the bathroom facility and I pooed again. Hmmm, a little odd to have to go again, but the lighter I am the better I thought! When we arrived at the start, I ditched into the woods where we parked and released #3 poo. Uh oh. Pre race jitters or was my belly not doing well? 2 poos not a problem, but 3? While we waited by the start line my stomach was rumbling and I had to ditch into the porta-potty and drop #4 poo. WTF? My bowels were in overdrive!
I hoped that I had cleared my system and that once the race was underway things would be fine. At the start the pace was pretty fast. Not sure what was going on, but there was a big contingent doing well below 8 min pace. Nontheless the 4 of us went with the flow and kept pace. I had trouble feeling comfortable and was looking forward to turning the corner and settling in.
Unfortunately that never quite happened. About 10 miles in I had severe stomach pains and had to relieve myself with poo #5. It took awhile to find a spot to go since we were on a downhill section with a river on one side and a steep bank on the other. That definitely generated some unpleasantries in the stomach. After reaching Skunk Hollow station (12.3 miles) I slowed down a bit to try and reign things in. But I couldn't get comfortable. This race was starting to feel excruciatingly long and painful. I couldn't stomach any food or gels and it was tough to choke down any water. About 20 miles in I faded back from Keith and Bruce and had to ditch into the woods for poo #6.
At this point I was now pretty dehydrated and pretty spent. A few points my stomach would start to settle and but then as soon as I took a sip of anything the misery cycle would reoccurr. I was also white as a ghost and freezing. I shuffled my way into the 26 mile check point and reconciled that I was toast. I had been out on the course for almost 5 hours battling the poo and was losing. Maybe I used up all my willpower in the VT100. I couldn't put together a way forward. So I dropped out. DNF. What an awful feeling to have to quit, but it simply was not my day. Oh well, I guess shit happens! :)
Luckliy, Jana was out on the course crewing, so I connected with her and she drove me back to the finish line where I showered and recovered a bit. Jana rocks!! I was then able to watch Mark, Keith and Bruce finish with great times: Mark in just over 9 hrs (a PR), Keith just under 10 and Bruce just over 10. (Mike finished the Mtn. bike in just over 9 hrs)
It sucked not to be able to finish but it was a great event and I'll just have to get the next one!