There was a handful of competition with a few foreigners in my race. Using my new "cycling" uphill technique, I comfortably made my way through the switchbacks...4 minutes faster than last year! Things were going good. It was going to be a hot day, so unlike last year, I came prepared (or so I thought), with my Ultimate Direction 10 oz handheld for extra water a long the way. I also had my sports bra loaded down with GU Energy gels and a few salt tabs. Unfortunately, I soon found out...that would not be enough for today. A few miles from the summit, I BONKED...HARD!!!.
I found myself literally crawling the last mile, using the rocks to hold myself up and choke down the vomit. I didn't want the race officials or medical personnel to see me struggling and make me stop. My face felt white as a ghost when I ran into Dan Vega towards the top. He quickly could tell something was very wrong as I mumbled I would be fine with some real food. Understanding, he urged me to keep pushing forward. We did and we both took a break at the top (Dan sustained an injury that was holding him back from the exceptional day he was having :( )
I stuffed my face abnormally with food at that aid station. If I were to have a chance at making it back down, I needed some energy and I needed it quick (whether that meant cramping, bloating, or vomiting..on the way down). Women passed by me ( I was 10th place leaving the top), ...I couldn't believe I had to stop and was trying not to panic. I felt the surge of sugar and the need to get going.
My downhill would be more successful than my climb. I managed a 1 second personal best on the down from last year, even with falling several times! I have only fallen ONCE in my ENTIRE life at a trail race, prior to this one. I finished in 4:56:09 (over 10 minutes off my last years time) UHG!...That was good enough for 5th place this year (I would have finished second with last years time- the one I was hoping to kill this year)...and RUNNER-UP 2nd place in the Nation for USA. I think the "rough" day was brought on by lack of training, sleep, and overall inadequate preparation. As I said at first though, I was VERY happy to be out there again, and I am feeling pretty good now. I am looking forward to building up training these next few weeks before Run Rabbit Run 100 miler! Thanks to all who support me and my dreams!