My race report, the Mount Diablo Marathon in Clayton California 2007.
HA… What a difference a year makes… Last year I started 14 ultramarathons, I did not finished 2 of them and completed 12. This year I decided I was going to go back to the mountain that made me cry last year, literally. I was going to take my pride back…. I was going back and this time I was going to do the 50 miler… Twice the distance, twice the elevation gain… 14,000 feet … Woohoo!!!
I wasn’t sure if I was going to sign up since I had been training for the Ironman, but one talk with Janet and I was convinced. I was going to do it… Hell yeah baby!! A started to prepare a couple of days before including getting all the night gear I was going to use and shoes. I have been using the same shoe style, this year, however, they changed the style and they run a little smaller… I did not know that at the time and it took me a whole 5 miles in the race to realize that they were just a little smaller… small enough so my toes were hitting the end of the shoe. Needless to say, I have an array of black toenails now, a number large enough to start my own toenail necklace.. (just kidding).
In any event, Janet Kim and I met at the starting line.. Janet my best ultraruning buddy and . Kimberly, (Trail Runner M.D) another ultra-crazy buddy of mine. They were amazing, there is not way I could have finished this race without their support. They are awesome…
Anyhow… for about 14 hours we ran this monster, or attempted to run since many places were absolutely un-runable… The steepness was so hard we could barely walk it upright… and the descents… OH my God… my poor toes… At mile 13 or so, for not particular reason I twisted my ankle… It is amazing what can go through your head in a split second. I thought, “Damn, my race is over… oh Man.. how am I going to get back to the starting line”. I sat down for a few moments, and then started to walk and then jog and then I found myself running again. It was a great feeling that would last for a few miles. Just before reaching a aid station, I twisted it again, and this time it was sooo painful that my vision blurred from the pain, but miraculously the pain went away and I kept running. When we reached another aid station, a park ranger gave me some medical tape, so I taped both of my ankles to get more stiffness. I also got one big blister…. But somehow the pain went away… it was like "where did it go?". Funny, as soon as I finished the race I felt it, and I knew my toes were going to feel it for a few days.
The pain of having my toenails blacken, my ankle twisted and my stomach not very happy, are a small price to pay for amazing experience that this race gave me. Kimberly said “One of the great things about ultras is that the good parts (friends, beautiful sweeping views from the top of Mt Diablo, red-winged blackbirds, the night sky) stay for a long time, and the pain fades quickly” And that is sooo true… I had a blast and I loved every minute of it.
The best part of the whole race... the experience with two great friends... Wohooo!!!
I walk in a body that can run 50 miles with 14,000 feet of elevation gain… People think I am crazy, people don’t believe that somebody would put himself/herself thought that pain… and for what? For a coaster / medal? Bragging rights? Nope, for me I do it because I can, because tomorrow I might not be able to do it. Because I have experienced not being able to run or walk and I cannot imagine my life without being able to do so. Every morning when I wake up and put both of my feet on the floor I think how blessed I am, how wonderful life is that is allowing me to see one more day, one more sunset, one more day to share with my friends, one more day to run.
When you read this, think about all the wonderful things Life has blessed you with, a family, friends, loved ones, the ability to walk and run… I am certainly blessed… OOOHHHYYYYEEAA!!!!
I will be doing IMcDA in 49 days, then I will probably do another 50miler and most likely a 100 miler before the year is over..