Well, mission incomplete. I’m a little bit devastated, but it wasn’t in the cards for the Colossal Vail 50/50 this weekend.
The weekend started out great. My running buddy and I headed out to Vail, a city about 25 minutes southeast of Tucson, early enough to get our bibs at Fleet Feet.
After that, we got some pre-race carb loading in at the Tamale Company. Their vegan tamales were AMAZING!
Saturday morning I woke myself up around 3:30 am with a debiliting leg spasm in my calf. After working through the immediate pain, I rolled the knot for a few minutes until I fell back asleep.
We woke up and got ready, and as I went to grab my hydration bladder from the mini-fridge, I realized it had somehow made its way to the freezer tray. Not only was it frozen solid, by it was also stuck to the freezer tray. Susana (my running partner and roomie) started pouring water on the bladder, trying to melt it off enough so we could get it out of the fridge. Finally, I was able to free it and we tried to melt it in the shower and sink.
After awhile, we were able to dump the ice from the bladder and refill it with more water. It was time to go.
It was super easy to find our way to the parking area as well as to the starting/staging area. We marked our drop bags and turned them in, and attached our timing chips to our shoes. Then, it was just about time to line up at the start.
The profits from the race go to preserving and maintaining the Arizona Trail, an 800 mile long trail that goes from Utah to Arizona.
We started just after 6:30am, and quickly encountered a very steep hill. After making it up, we got several nice miles of running out of the way, and before long we arrived at the first aid station at 4.9 miles. We moved through this stop quickly, and continued on towards the next aid station at mile 11.
Mile 12 is where we got off track. We slowed down quite a bit, hitting several hills. We were about half a mile off our goal pace, but the difference between our projected plan and reality continued to expand as he hit more and more intense ups.
The next aid station was around mile 17, and required a good two miles of up. Not just up, but UP, UP. I settled into a quick power hike and made it to the aid station. I fueled up waiting for my partner in crime to get there as well. When she reached the aid station, she explained that she had thrown up on the hill and was still feeling a bit queasy.
We headed back towards the 22 mile marker, realizing that we were much more behind schedule than anticipated. We had a very short time frame to make it to the first cutoff, and I started worrying that we might be too far off to make the last cutoff at 5:30pm.
We made it to the first cutoff at mile 29.9 with a bit of time to spare, but it was questionable if we were going to make it to the next cutoff at mile 39.9 in time.
As we started heading out, it quickly became apparent that there was virtually no chance for us to make the 39.9 mile cutoff. Disparingly, we decided to head back toto adds the finish for the “50k” distance which was really just under 35 miles.
I have been training so hard for so many months, and crossing that finish line short of my goal brought me to tears. I’m still not okay with it.
I have decided to use it as another long training run, and plan to register for the McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50 miler for an attempt at redemption. More to come over the next few weeks, and hopefully I can finish what I started.