|before the start|
Loop 2 started and things were the same. to my surprise, I passed pompilio at mile 27 at the bottom of cairns. he didn't look good. I knew something wasn't right. I saw Kelly on top of Boyles bump going the opposite way and she looked good and said she was having fun. I was so relieved to hear that especially since this was her longest run to date. at around mile 38 (ice cream hill) Lorenzo and I were beginning to feel the heat. Things started to slow down and my stomach went south. I couldn't tell if I was dehydrated or off on electrolytes. I experimented and took a salt pill. we remained together until mile 45 aid station. I started feeling a tad better and I left before him. I ran a pretty solid section into the lodge and came in at 9:06 clock time. Kelly was there and I saw Lorenzo come in not too far behind me.
|Coming into mile 55|
I left for my third loop not knowing that I wouldn't run with anybody again for the rest of the race. I kept looking over my shoulder but little did know that it was pointless. loop three was an interesting loop. I never felt like death but I never had a high like I normally do at some points during this race. my stomach still hurt and I was getting frustrated because I still couldn't figure out if I needed more water or less water or more salt or less salt. I have a very simple routine with gu's and I don't stray from it. this was a very slow loop for me but my legs still felt great. I was able to run anytime I wanted but my stomach would always cut those runs short and I would have to walk it off for a minute. once the stomach felt better I would do it all over again. my original gameplan was to have my handheld flashlight at the lodge and pick it up at 75. on loop 1 I made a smart decision knowing it was going to be a slower year and saved my headlamp for mile 70 incase I couldn't make it to the lodge in the daylight. thank god I did that because on top of cairns it got dark, very dark. it was a new moon so I had zero help from the moon. I flipped on the headlamp for the first time ever and saw my first tarantula of the race on a rock right where I was about to put my hand to pull myself up one of the ledges. coming into the lodge my stomach got even worse.
I left for loop four at around 14:50. about 30 minutes slower then last year and almost 1 1/2 hours slower then 2012. this year the heat kicked my ass. my stomach was so jacked up that I was on the verge of throwing up and I have never thrown up during a race. I was yawning and my eyes were heavy. all I could think about was how bad I wanted to sleep. But quitting wasn't an option. I have never quit a race even though I have felt much worse then this. I was in first and I had a 500 mile jacket waiting for me after this final loop. I stayed focused and turned things around after a couple miles. I started feeling better and saw 2nd place right after that. I knew my lead was over an hour but that means nothing in a 100. I started feeling good enough to know that if I kept it up there would be no way he would catch me. I laid down some good miles and it wasn't all that bad. I was able to run all the runnable stuff really well and my energy levels were great. at the start of loop 4 I made my new goal sub 21 and stayed focused on that. I made new goals for each aid station. my new handheld flashlight and head lamp were working great. I could see markers glowing a mile away. I came into nachos at 19 hours and which was about 5 minutes off if I wanted a sub 21. every other year at this race, the last 10 miles sucked. I struggled big time to run the runnable stuff and the sections felt like eternity. this year my stomach settled down and my legs felt great. at this point I had zero hot spots on my feet and zero chaffage. I dread this section big time but this year it wasn't all that bad. I ran pretty much everything that should be run and came in with a normal split. I saw Kelly again at mile 95 for the final time. she was happy to see I was feeling good (unlike last year) and I told her I would see her at the finish. I've been thinking about this moment for years. This is the fourth year in a row that I've been after a major goal at this race and/or the win. I've come up short every year placing 3rd. This final section was special though. I was feeling great so running was very enjoyable and I had a 1st place trophy and a 500 mile jacket waiting on me. I missed 21 hours and came in at 21:08 and was happy to be done.