Saturday, July 16, 2011


I have to admit I totally left blog-land, AND meaningful running for that matter the last few months. I've been engulfed in so many negative thoughts & feelings that I felt it best not to spill it into this running blog/diary. But maybe it's good therapy to let out some of what's been going on, so here goes:

In my last post in early May, I was to have an upper GI performed by my 2nd gastroenterologist. A procedure in a long list of procedures. He found a hiatal hernia & gastritus - both I had known about, and a couple new things to me: duodenitus & a duodenal bulb. However, the pain still felt like it was in a different location. Despite the diagnosis & level of fitness, my goal race (Massanutten 100) was very close at hand & I decided to give it a try anyway. Here's what I remember about that attempt:

race -- known as one of the toughest trail 100 races east of the Mississippi. I agree. Mountains did not seem as big or steep as the ones at Grindstone, but exponentially much tougher footing (RELENTLESS rocks). Great organization & most informative website I've ever seen.

nice map available:

4:00 a.m. start -- CRAZY. Can't understand the reasoning behind RD's wanting to deprive you of sleep before a big race when getting sleep the night before is so important. Heck, I'm so hyped that 3 to 4 a.m. is usually the only time I get good sleep anyway & to not have that makes it a little tougher.

an easy section of trail at the start:

course -- fog & haze & night obscured most of the overlooks. Course markings - super. Aid stations - the BEST. Race personnel & volunteers - efforts were above & beyond.

a clear view here:

high humidity -- started to have light rain at the start, then quit & got hot. Felt like it was on the verge of rain the whole day, but didn't till the night -- too late then. Passed several runners bent over. I stopped & cooled off at the streams.

beautiful streams:

swatting flies -- takes alot of precious energy in a long race. Covering myself with bug repellent in the heat of the day made me nauseous.

bad thoughts -- for the first time, I was discouraged to the point of not wanting to continue pursuing 100's altogether (heaven forbid) when my back started going out not long after I had passed the halfway point of the race. My back was not the highest on my list of reasons I thought I might DNF, especially with my abdominal ailments. My back had not given me problems in over a year, so it was a surprise to get that initial twinge, which signaled the beginning of the end.

RD Kevin Sayers:

Would I try it again? yes

The race is in Virginia & I was able to stay with my brother & family -- I should have been visiting alot more over the years. Even if I don't complete the 100 miles, the overall experience I had is well worth repeating (the best parts, that is). Would I recommend this race? -- yes, an excellent event.

So what's up next? well . . .

Since Massanutten, it's been numerous Dr. & hospital visits, and, I've been taking medicines that are not conducive to running whatsoever. Plus heat has played a big role as usual. It seems like this summer is even hotter than the usual very hot summers here -- the two days earlier this week when the dew point hovered at a suffocating 80 degrees were the hottest days I've ever encountered. So next & foremost is to get healthy & continue postponing any running. Each new medicine or procedure revives hope of relief so I have not given up on this, yet. My legs are aching to do something & now, to start reading stories on the ultralist & blogs really get the juices going. So maybe this Fall I can get moving again. Fingers crossed . . . . .