Monday, February 5, 2018

100 miles with the flu? Long Haul 100 DNF

I was so organized and
prepared for anything!
Long Haul course map
Race: Long Haul 100 Mile Ultramarathon
Date: January 13-14th, 2018
Finish Time: 14:31 hours
Distance: 100k
Elevation gain: 112 ft
Just under 6 months of training with a hefty goal of running 100 miles in under 24 hours. I trained hard and focused a lot on my nutrition. I was diligent with speed work (which I hate), lost 10 pounds in the midst of the holiday season, and had an amazing solid game plan with a prepared crew and pacer. I did everything I needed to set myself up for achieving my sub 24 hour 100 mile ultra marathon... I wasn't real nervous, mostly anxious and excited. I was feeling pretty confident that my goal was attainable... then I saw the temperature was going to be lows in the 30s. Here in Florida we just don't see those temps often. I bought several new warm running clothes, hand warmers, beanies, gloves ect to prepare for this race. Ok, even with the super cold temps coming, I think I'm still ready. I had a game plan.
All of us at the Start line, Jason & I were the runners,
everyone else was part of our amazing crew/pacer team!

Mom and I at the beginning... and so it begins!
I ended up getting the flu Wednesday evening, it hit hard and fast. Lasted a solid 2 days completely dehydrating me and wiping me out. Friday was my first day out of bed (or off the bathroom floor) and we loaded up to head to Tampa for my 100 mile race. I was so ready for this race. Physically prepared, mentally equipped, I had no doubt I was going to achieve my goal of a 24-hour finish... but as no one could prepare for or predict I got the flu. I tried to push it out, and make it happen anyway but it was a real struggle from the start of the race. I survived only off of a combination of Tylenol, DayQuil, and Pepto-Bismol.
My friend Terry was so awesome, I never knew
what to expect as we passed through our tent!

They did such an awesome job setting up our area. We
ended up having the "best tent" out there!

Our wonderful crew having some fun, eating,
and trying to stay warm!
I remember stopping and walking at mile 12 feeling like I had been hit by a freight train. So run down and weak. I powered through maintaining my goal pace for a while. Mile 22 was really hard, I could no longer keep anything down, mentally I was SO frustrated. This was MY race. The race I was so excited about running! I powered through and kept up the good fight! Around mile 50 I started to really slow down, walking more than I wanted to try and keep what little fuel I had consumed in me! I had to make a decision to continue trying to make it to the Finish or drop out of the race. I knew as the night hours came on it was only going to get colder and colder and my body was going to continue shutting down making it harder and harder to continue eating and staying hydrated. I was already struggling to run due to dry heaving/puking.
The best aid station on course. Andy Barrett runs this
station and they have everything you could ever want.
He even joined me for a few miles encouraging me.

As the sun went down, it started getting REALLY cold.
With my health so compromised, and after
so much debate I decided it was in my best interest to call it a day. One of the single most difficult decisions I have made. I do not regret this decision but that doesn't make it easier. I'm very disheartened that my perfect race could not be run due to circumstances I could not change.

Trying to warm up, and cheering for Jason as he passed through.

I tried to drop to the 100k, but this race does not allow drops. I chose the DNF at 62.02 miles. My crew, family and friends told me afterword they all agreed I made the right decision. I was not in good enough health to continue my journey and risked the flu turning into something much worse. I didn't take a single picture during the race. I was so focused on not throwing up I never even grabbed my phone.  6 months of training, restricted calories, tons of logistics to plan and an amazing crew assembled... then the flu. I guess I will get well, continue training and kick butt at another race soon.

I will achieve that sub 24 hour finish!!!

My crew hung disco-balls... see my last 100 mile race blog to
read about the back story there... but this was awesome.
This was the only picture I actually took the
entire race. I felt like it was my "walk of shame".
This was leading back to the start/finish as I was
quitting the race. My final stretch. :( 

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