Monday, November 19, 2012

Crooked Road - 24 Hours of Fun???

What a race!

The Crooked Road 24 was a really great 24 hour race!  Great course, great volunteers and great food! But what a day of ups and downs for me!

It all started at about 8:45.  Not the race . . . that started at 8:00 am.  No . . . at about 8:45 or so it felt like someone stabbed me in my back with a knife!  Oh crap!  Immediately I knew what was going on.  One of my pesky little kidney stones decided it needed to break away from it's happy home in my kidney and make a journey to freedom!  I've known I have a bunch of these little hellions in my kidney for a long time, but they seem happy up there and haven't often made a 'break-away.'

Of course I didn't bring pain medicine, nausea medicine or my strainer to a race.  Heck . . . it's been over a year since my last kidney stone episode.

The good news is that doctors want you to walk to help the stone move . . . . and I was doing my normal walk / run interval.  So this should be okay.  I did check with Sharon Scott and Karen Cowher and Karen thought she had some prescription pain meds but at that point the pain was pretty manageable.  Nowhere near as bad as my last episode!  Pain would come and go but never got higher than maybe a 7-8 . . . and often less.

I just kept moving . . . and started really forcing fluids!  What??? No cranberry juice at an aid station???  :-)

Honestly it wasn't all that bad.  I didn't get nauseous and the pain was never crazy bad.  And about 11:30 or so I must have passed the stone because the pain ended.  I hope that little sucker is happy in the porta-potty!  I'm guessing he wished he had stayed in my kidney!!  Serves the little bastard right!

Photo by Lauren Wilkins
Photo by Ricky Scott
So all morning I did keep forward motion, but not very fast (as if I'm EVER a fast mover!) and by noon I was well behind where I had hoped to be.  I couldn't get that time back, so I just tried to keep at it.

Weather was an issue again this year.  Not during the daylight . . . that was awesome!  But once the sun set, the temps fell below freezing pretty quickly, just sucked the fun out of the night running for me and a lot of other folks.

But the Crooked Road folks planned well!  They had an awesome huge fire built in an old oil barrel and everyone just gathered around when they got cold!  Plus, they had awesome soup again this year!  Heck . . . it's worth coming to Crooked Road for the soup alone!!

I had honestly hoped to stay out there all 24 hours.  But I just didn't.  I took an hour nap around 10 pm and when I finally got to 50 miles at about 3 am I just lost motivation and gave in to the pain and tiredness.  I climbed in my tent and slept 2 1/2 more hours.  Then got up and out of my comfy warm sleeping bag and went back out into the night until the 8 am finish.  Ended the 24 hours at about 55+ miles I believe.  Certainly not my 62 mile goal but it was within my grasp if I had just toughed it out.

It amazes me how supportive the entire ultra community is.  I had so much fun, turning laps with so many great people.  I'm sure I'll miss mentioning several, but:
  • Lauren Wilkins came out with me twice.  She always brightens my day!, 
  • Johnny Nolen did a couple of laps with me too!  Together we solved about 1/2 of the world's problems!  Plus, he introduced me to a new business lead!!  Awesome!
  • Enjoyed spending some time with Mike Flores . . . such a nice guy!
  • Paul Heckert and I had a Bloody 11w reunion and plotted out Vol State strategy!  
  • Tom Gabell just had a bad, bad day but good for me as I got to do some laps with him!
  • Who doesn't enjoy spending some time with Iris Sutcliffe??
  • Sondra Jarvis and I got to run a few laps together Sunday morning!  Lot's of fun!  She also lifted my spirits when I needed it!
  • Enjoyed meeting and running with Daniel Matthews . . . a fairly new ultra runner who really, really toughed it out and overcame some NASTY blisters to finish his first 100k!
  • Got to meet and spend some laps with Brent Lynch . . . another Rocky Mount, VA runner and another really nice guy . . . plus one heck of a runner!
  • I didn't get to run much with Mo Percy . . . she was just running too fast!  She just had an awesome day finishing as 2nd Female with 79.3 miles!!  24-hour PR too!

Mo at the end.   Photo by Lauren Wilkins

Me with Crazy Gene Meade and Mo Percy - Photo by Lauren Wilkins


  1. Good grief man! You passed a stone DURING THE RACE?! Thanks a lot! Now I can never complain about anything I experience during a race ever again. Because, ya know, Frank passed a frickin' stone during a 24 hour ultra! Sheesh!

    If you don't have a trail name, may I humbly suggest "The Rock". Don't worry, when I tell Dwayne Johnson why, he'll let you use it.

  2. It was great seeing you and getting to chat. Congratulations on your "mile(kidney)stone" !!


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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.