Ultra running is like childbirth. You prepare for months. When you’re in the middle of it you think it’s painful and never to be done again. But as soon as it’s over, you only remember the good. You start to think maybe there will be a next time.
The 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail 50-miler had everything. Beautiful views. Best in the business aid stations. Climbs. Rocks. Altitude. Altitude sickness. Thunder and lightening.
We did remarkably well and not so great.
On the remarkably well side, neither of us really got tired. In fact, our legs were fine all the way until the end. We enjoyed ourselves. Took photos. Appreciated the views. Talked to the volunteers. Chatted with other runners. Plowed through the thunder and lightening. It was quite a remarkable day.
On the not so great side, I got sick. For about 30 miles. Which sucked. It’s never happened to me before. But this time I was hit with altitude sickness. It was like being car sick while running. Often, I couldn’t run at all. I wanted to just throw up.
I vowed never to run there again. I gave thanks for picking Eastern States 100 (at sea level) over Leadville (at high altitude). For about five minutes, I thought about dropping out. I think we lost about an hour because of my stomach.
But now, a few days later, it’s all good. I think I’ll probably do it again.
More importantly, I got to run the whole thing with Scott. It was his first 50-miler. And he was amazing. Such a strong runner. Such a great partner. I felt badly that I held him back. That he had to take care of me and not the other way around. He ran behind me, otherwise he would have inadvertently left without me.
After 14 hours and change, we crossed that finish line together. 1000 miles of training that traversed over 100,000 ft of climbing. We did it all together. Beginning to end.
So our time wasn’t great (half hour off what I did last time) but it wasn’t horrible. We were middle of the pack. And like Luis Escobar says, “It’s ultra running. Nobody cares about your time.”
Two days later Scott sent me a link to another 50M. Like childbirth, we’ve forgotten the bad and are only thinking about the good.