I did not yog thee. I DNF thee. I finally contracted Maya's stomach flu, and if not for the fact that Geronimo came to life and I was giving him and Jason a ride to the race, and for my burning disgust with the Suffer Seeker and American Hero for the way they backed out, I never would have gotten out of bed. Rising up at 1:15a.m., I sat on the couch for an hour, analyzing my shooting stomach pains, dull headache, full body aches, raw skin, and overwhelming exhaustion and tried to force myself to the conclusion that I was in fact not sick. I couldn't muster the energy to walk 20 feet and get a glass of water, so the task of driving 150 miles and then running 50 more seemed a bit daunting. But I'm glad I tried.
I got to spend 16 silent miles fully focused on my misery and wrapping my head around the specific aspects of discomfort that makes one decide to quit instead of soldiering on. After quitting, I enjoyed analyzing my reaction, and specifically how in ultra, quitting after 16 miles feels like going out the door for a run in the morning and quitting after one block. I reminded myself a few times that 16 miles on trail with a few thousand feet of climbing is actually a nice weekend long run. It felt like zero. It felt like less than zero, if that's possible. It felt like a complete abortion.
I got to see Rob Krar's dominant victory, crossing the finish line in front of about 10 spectators in the finish area who provided him with a few scattered claps, everyone assuming that he was a middle of the packer in the 50k. He crossed the line, dropped his head, softly muttered "Oh shit", then found a partially shaded area in the dirt and collapsed. Slowly a few whispers came on, "Did he just destroy the course record? I think he might have. Who is that?" Stunning effort, 50 minute victory in a Montrail race, a course record on a very hot day when everyone else melted, and it went completely unacknowledged. So fitting for ultra.
I got to see Geronimo suffer like I never have before in ultra. He tried Muscle Milk for the first time at mile 42 and was a puking mess for the rest of the race and the first half of the car ride home. We were truly a sorry bunch, but the humor of our reduced condition wasn't lost on me, and I reminded him a few times that at some point, we would realize that this was fun. Jason was a hero for chauffeuring us home.
Maya spent 10 days with the stomach flu, spraying it from both ends, including a few horrific events in the middle of the night. I would joke about it, but it was entirely true that the smell of diarrhea and vomit was burned into my nostrils. It stayed with me everywhere I went, and it was particularly strange to continually experience the subconscious urge to recoil in disgust from the stench every time I went to hug and hold Maya. Glad that's over.
Scene from yesterday afternoon. I was babysitting Maya and her two older cousins, girls 3 1/2 and 6 1/2. The 6 1/2 year old announces that she has to go to the bathroom, as if this required some kind of response out of me. Somewhat surprised, I say, "Okayyy, can you handle everything on your own?". Her response, and I quote, "Wellll, I haven't quite figured out the wiping part yet." I immediately knew that I would never forget that sentence, and would never let her forget it either.
Scene from yesterday evening. Situation in my home reminded me of a Jeff Foxworthy punchline... You know you're a redneck (or in my case, you know you have a 2 year old) when your clogged kitchen sink drain backs up and spews out all over the floor, and it actually makes it cleaner!