|No . . . that's not me!|
Before Saturday, I would have said the chances of Sasquatch being real are . . . well, quite low. But now . . . I'm not so sure. Maybe . . . just maybe Sasquatch lives in Uwharrie.
To understand where I'm coming from you have to understand my day Saturday . . . it's a long, boring story. Sorry. My suggestion is to skip this and go find another blog.
The Uwharrie Mountain Run
The event was the Uwharrie Mountain Run . . . a super cool event with three separate races: an 8 miler, a 20 miler and a 40 miler. Last year I had run the 20 miler (ended up being about 17.5 miles as they routed us around a difficult, muddy section since there had been days and days of huge rain). So I thought it was time to step up to the 40 miler. I mean . . . how hard can it be?
Friday night Ron Fleming, Scott Wingfield and I picked up our race packets at the pre-race pasta party. And we got our race numbers. Here is where it all started going wrong! Here is my number . . .
Those of you that know me know that I am a master at numerology when it comes to race numbers . . . years and years of careful study and detailed data analysis. Usually . . . just by looking at a number I can tell what kind of race your going to have. Almost infallible! And those of you that have studied under 'The Master' know that a '57' is one of the WORST POSSIBLE two digit numbers you could EVER get! The two slowest number possible and they are unbalanced . . . but I won't go into race numerology here!
With this race number, I should have never started this race! I should have volunteered to help instead of actually trying to run!
But no. I thought I . . . being the great, strong runner that I am . . . could overcome the numerology. Such a fool!
Started out the day at dawn . . . probably 34 degrees and raining cats and dogs! Perfect! Everyone was shivering and trying to get out of the rain. Sloppy, muddy, cold. (Photos compliments of Shannon Johnstone). Finally, 7 am and we were off!
At about the third mile I took a fall. Didn't seem to hurt anything. I'm relieved 'cause I 'm pretty sure I had broken my wrist on a fall at the Medoc Rerun after Thanksgiving. The wrist still hurts most of the time and I had feared falling. About 1/4 mile later . . . I fell again. Minor wrist pain. I was lucky! But these two falls started working on my mind!
- (Medical Update: As it turns out, my left knee is quite sore today . . . so maybe I did do some damage . . . not cartilage but outside the joint just below the kneecap on the outside. Doesn't feel serious. Also, when I'm going uphill my right knee 'clicks' loudly . . . so loud, in fact, that people around me ask what that noise is! No pain . . . just the clicking . . . feels weird though!)
|Thought I would get a picture of the ONLY bridge on the course!|
|Notice that is Jim Micheels leading us all across the creek. Unfortunately, the trail had taken a sharp left and we didn't need to cross here! But we did have to cross BACK to return to the trail!|
|Scott Wingfield just havin' some fun!|
Things continued pretty uneventful until about mile 10-11. The rain ended and I took off my rain shell and stuffed it in my backpack.
After my two falls, I was trying to really be careful about my footing. I was going downhill and really feeling good! Making good time (for me!). Then, I find myself laying on my back . . . on the trail. Head super woozy and seeing stars! WHAT THE HELL?? What happened? Where am I? Why am I lying on the trail? What the F***!
So . . . what happened? I'm not really sure! I was running . . . and then I was waking up! There was a tree across the trail just above me. Had I just not seen it? Had I run into the tree? Or had something else happened?
I don't run all that fast, so I'm sort of wondering how that tree could have knocked me cold! I mean, how fast could I have been going? What else could have happened?
I want to state flat out that I NEVER actually saw Sasquatch. There is no way I can honestly say that Sasquatch clubbed me as I passed that tree. But is it reasonable to assume I just ran into a tree and 'cold cocked' myself totally out? Could this have happened?
I don't know. I didn't see anything and I don't remember anything. You be the judge!
Guess I just sat there on the trail for 10-15 minutes . . . until my head cleared and I felt like I could stand and walk. Eventually, the cob webs cleared and I continued on down the trail.
About ~1/2 mile later I realized my gore-tex rain jacket I had stuffed into the webbing of my pack was gone! So I turned around and headed back . . . across a big stream crossing . . . back to where I fell. Where I found my jacket!
Bonus miles!! Got to love them!
By this time I was just mentally 'DONE.' I made up my mind I was going to drop at 20. From this point on, I just struggled on. No motivation . . . no fire . . . just a walk / run fest!
Saw so many friends as they were heading back to the start on their way to a 40 finish.
|Shannon Johnstone . . . just flying! And lookin' beautiful! I didn't bother taking a picture of Anthony earlier . .|
|One of the nicest guys in ultra running . . . Rick Grey at about his 28th mile!|
By about mile 18 my head had pretty much cleared . . . and I was just a little loopy. But I really loved the last 6 miles of this course. Last year, they detoured us around this section due to mud and high water, so I didn't know how nice this section really was. It had the biggest climb of the day. Tons of mud. Twisty trails . . . and the deepest stream crossing of the day. I thought this was the hardest part of the 20, but I did love it!
So I bailed at 20 miles. I'm pretty sure they would have cut me off if I hadn't told them I was done . . . but I was done. But still smiling!
But if I ever get '57' again as a race number . . . I'll pass on the race! Bet on it!
I wonder what Sasquatch is doing today . . .