I'll skip the full blow by blow this time and just write up some of the highlights and low points.
- Ridiculously beautiful course: Words can't really describe how awesome this course was. Seeing the sun rise (and later set) over beautiful Lake Tahoe from the surrounding mountains at 8,500 feet was incredible. Much of the course provided a great view of the lake from up high, and even when you didn't have a view, it was still a beautiful forest.
- Danny and Dylan's entertainment: The boys made the weekend very fun. Brome sang to me a lot of the time he was pacing, which was excellent.
- Good 50 miles: It was one tough race, but I had a pretty solid 50 mile finish. I really fell apart at mile 44 with overheating, dehydrating, effect of altitude, etc., but I ran the first 50 in just over 10 hours, which would have been good for about 7th place if I'd been running the 50.
- Cuddling with Brome and watching the sunset: Brome and I sat down for a few minutes and watched the sun setting over Lake Tahoe. Very romantic.
- Getting back out there after 50: I felt terrible when I came into 50 miles and had been ready to quit for a long time. I decided to hang out for a bit to see if I could bring myself back to life. I started by dumping ice water on my head. Overheating: check. Then I slowly drank some sprite and water. Dehydration: check. Next I got my first solid food down in over 7 hours. No calories: check. Finally I walked around for a bit and stretched out a bit. Dead, exhausted legs: check (more or less). I gave Jen a call to talk over the decision on whether I should continue. She was very supportive (as always), and I decided to give it a shot. I yelled to Danny, "Let's go!" He started to get ready to pack up and leave, so I said "No, let's get out there! I didn't get all dressed up for nothing!" It took about 50 minutes, but I was able to bring myself back from the dead and get back out on the course. Michael Jordan didn't have a comeback like that.
- Altitude: Man, running 100 miles at over 8,000 feet without acclimating is tough! Probably should have expected that.
- Stomach: The problems this time were actually different from my usual issues. I felt good until mile 43 when I hit the high point of the course at 9,000 feet. I think my stomach problems were more altitude related this time. It felt completely different from what I usually have. I spent a long time trying to get my stomach back (over 8 hours), but I just couldn't do it. It was worse when I ran, and eventually it just got too painful to run.
So all in all I gave it my best shot, and I'm pretty happy with what I did despite not finishing. It was my first time running in the big mountains at elevation, and I managed a really strong 50 and pushed as best I could after that to keep going.
It was truly a humbling experience. I have a lot of respect for the big mountian 100s out west. While I didn't finish, I really did enjoy the amazingly beautiful course and had a lot of fun hanging out with Danny and Dylan.
I may post some more in a bit, but that's all for now! Thanks for all the support, everyone.