Sometimes, things we cannot control prevent us from accomplishing things we want to accomplish, and things we are capable of doing.
I signed up for the Mahlon Mayhem, determined to do the 100k as a training run for October's Javelina Jundred. I figured I'd take it easy, enjoy the day, have a good time, and get some good miles in. Unfortunately, my body disagreed.
Over a week and a half ago, I first noticed horrible stomach pains. The next day, I felt even worse and went home sick from worse. I could only sleep or couldn't sleep because of the pain, but found anything else (including eating, drinking, walking, running) near impossible. I went to the doctor and they did a ton of tests but were unable to determine anything. The next step is a catscan or sonogram of my abdominal area.
I was really hoping my stomach would feel better, well enough to run. I woke up at 1am before the race feeling absolutely nauseous. I wondered if I'd be able to run. I ate a simple bagel with a little butter for breakfast at 4am, and mostly felt tired.
Unfortunately, the stomach troubles started fairly early, maybe mile 3 or 4 or 6 - something like that. It was stabbing stomach pain, excruciating, sometimes queasiness. I tried to eat, but the only things I ate during the race were a few saletines, some gummi bears, and one gel. Nothing else sounded appetizing.
My friend Shannon was also feeling awful - she has some terrible little tumor-like bumps on the bottom of her feet and was in ridiculous pain so we stuck together - walking a lot, telling stories of ridiculous ex-boyfriends, races, coworkers, dreams of life. We pushed each other when we both wanted to just lie down at the side of the trail.
The course itself was great. It was a 7.5 mile loop (though those with GPS told me it was 8miles). You start out on single-track, lots of ups and downs and rocks but most of it was fairly runnable (with some lovely hills in there for us feeling-crappy runners to enjoy). Then you get to a rail trail and run out for maybe 2 miles - it was pretty, and at one point, Shannon and I saw a snake. Others apparently saw bears. Then you turn around at a mini-aid station (water, heed, pretzels, random other things) and head back on the rail trail another 2 miles. You're back on single track, hills, mud, prettiness. And then you get back to the main aid station, with an amazing buffet that only Rick is capable of - pretzels, oranges, watermelon, pbj, crackers, cookies, gummi bears, M&Ms, etc.
I felt so horrible that each step was agony. Shannon convinced me, "We'll do the 75k. Don't drop down to the 50k." By the fourth loop, she was in so much pain (as was I) that we mutually agreed to do the 50k.
When we finished, we were both relieved. My stomach continued to hurt and I felt more sad than anything. I don't know what's going on with my stomach, but I hope it's nothing serious. At least I got 50k in, some good time on a beautiful day on lovely trails getting to know Shannon even more (she's usually ahead of me), so it was a wonderful day after all.