15 mins to start, I need to shit. Massive line for porta-potties. Shooting for top 3 on this race, I need to get to the starting line.
Star Spangled Banner is being played, I’m last in line with 4 people ahead of me.
My ass finally hits the seat, the gun goes off. I’m pissed they didn’t wait.
3 mins later I fly out the door, up the hill, and file in behind the racers walking on a single track trail, brush all around. Everyone is walking - I need to be running.
I hop off to the side of the trail — bushwhacking and running to pass the heard, and eventually position myself in 6th place.
10 minutes later, I try to take a sip of my bottle of chocolate nutritional drink, the tip blows off and into the shrubs. Its dark out and I cant see where it goes. The chocolatey/milky drink pours all over me. I’m wearing a white shirt. I’m sticky and pissed off. The bottle is busted.
Crunching numbers as fast as I can, I figure out my plan is screwed. I realized being down to one bottle will completely mess up my nutrition plan, as half of my calories for the race are in powdered drinks. I’m stewing, so pissed.
After 30 mins, I convince myself there has to be a way I can make it work - aid stations are stocked and they come up about every hour. I can do this.
While stopping at the first aid station, I was concerned mostly about the 300 calories I lost in the spilled drink and eat what’s on the table but forget to fill my bladder with water. I realize a few mins after the aid station I am 1.5 L down from what I need on this section -the longest stretch between all aid stations. With the lack of water I cant eat much and become dehydrated.
At aid station 2, I arrive depleted - down 600 cals, 1.5 L of water, but take time to get what I need. I convince myself I’m not a quitter and will fight this to the end.
I run for a little while longer. Start to calm down a bit. Then, I trip slightly over a rock while walking uphill, fall forward, and land on my wrist hard.
I make it to the next aid station and have the medic check it out — thinks its broken. I called it quits, go to the ER, do x-rays - not broken but sprained. Hurts like hell.
F. M. L.
It was a really bad day for me, but my expectations and attitude became my biggest problem. I’ve since learned that everything can, and probably will, go wrong during an ultramarathon. Stay cool when shit goes wrong and always have a backup plan.
Although the day was pretty aweful, it was pretty cool when the nurse stuck the i.v. in my arm — my blood was pumpin so well it shot out all over the place, covering the bed, my arm, my shirt, and the nurse. 😄