Mandy Miller at the Rocky Raccoon 100-mile Race

posted Mar 12, 2010, 6:03 PM by   [ updated Mar 12, 2010, 6:37 PM ]

I am not one who takes to quitting very easily, but it was just not my day. It started last week I guess when I was sick but that seemed as if it had cleared but it does sap strength. No matter, the rest of the day proved tough. The course had been deluged for days so the many roots turned into ladders of roots everywhere, so footing was hard all over except for a couple of miles on the 20 mile loop – 5 loops for the 100. Starting in the cold and dark, day soon broke and was fabulous with fast loops for 1 and 2 coming in about 10 hours and change for the first 40 miles. Then came the 4 big falls within a few miles of each other – the second two falls likely broke or at least badly bruised my ribs on the left side and tore some intercostals muscles. The first fall was a huge scorpion downhill - so much dirt in my teeth they said they should have had dental floss at the aid station. LOL.

After night came that the cold set into my ribs and I became very tentative on the rooty course - not the best mindset for a fast pace. So, in the dark I was a bit edgy and was glad to not be hurt worse - those of you who know me, know I have a tough time staying upright day to day on any run. Smile. After 3 loops and 60 miles Tess and I knew that missing the 30 hour cutoff would be tight and to beat ourselves up for another 20 miles to only have to drop then... better to live and fight another day. Oh, and then there was the pack of wolves or coyotes - a sorry for another day.

By the time we dropped at 60, it was FREEEZING and in the dark, and damp, brutal chill was in our bones. When I got back to the hotel I knew, while not happy, it was the best choice for me. To go on and be hurt again might put me out for the summer. While there were times I knew I might be able to pick it up, time was still tight. I was also shaking from the cold a bit and given my history of passing out from hypothermia I thought doing so in the dark with Tess hurting and not able to move super fast to help would have been dangerous. To have left Tess in the dark was a non-issue, we had gone too far together to leave each other in the woods. All for one and one for all – we had a grand time and got along as old friends the whole way.

Now I am just nursing a banged up hand (same one as the bike crash), sore ribs, and bruised pride. I said to Andy that I am disappointed but I am a newbie at ultra racing and I have a lot to learn and I did learn a lot yesterday and have some much respect for the mountain goats who can tip toe through the tulips with such ease. You would have to drag me off an ironman course to get me to stop, but here I had run further than I ever had – 60 miles. Next time 10 more. J One thing I have is no regrets, I did all the training and I did my best. I daresay I will try again but not tomorrow. :-)

As my hero Steve Prefontaine said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." I gave it a go, there will be other races, but only one body to take care of. so there you have it, my race report.

 In the meantime, its Margaritas time in Texas - I am not that depressed!