Rocky Raccoon 100M, Huntsville, Texas 1,2

Elevation: 371'        RESULTS
February 1, 2014 - My previous attempt to complete this classic hundred miler
in Texas was thwarted by an Achilles injury that threatened to explode during
my effort and leave me helpless along the trail and perhaps not even able to
fly home without medical assistance.  I bailed from the race on my second go
round the loop to avoid what would happen six weeks later during a trail race in 
Pennsylvania anyway.  Being a very runnable course and one where a sub-24
hour time could be had on the right day I returned in search of glory and the
coveted Star of Texas buckle.


After a good night's sleep in a bed, for a change, I toed the line with great
expectation.  While a bit under-trained, I was smarter about starting very
conservatively, eating enough, and being mentally patient to deal with the
misery that would ensue later.  The stage was set for a good day with mild
temps at the start with the chance of showers in the trailing miles of the event.
The first loop of 20 miles went easy enough.  Targeting 4 hours for each of the
first three laps, I was a bit quicker at 3:45, but satisfied that all systems were go
for a continued effort.  I took up with a woman from Minnesota, Shawn 
Severson (#150), for about twenty miles through the first and second laps,
who kept me honest in my tempo and conversationally entertained.  After
catching up to Melissa Woods (#159) we went back and forth at our own paces 
through the second loop.


Somewhere soon into the second loop I began feeling sick in a way that I had
experienced before - dizziness, visual impairment with spots on my eyes,
nausea, disorientation, and lack of circulation to the fingers.  Knowing that such
a state has led to my passing out and becoming entirely incapacitated for hours
I slowed to monitor the situation, walking more than usual on the flats, and
attempted to let it run its course.  My legs were good.  Energy levels were good.
But I was getting wobbly and my eyes were becoming increasingly sensitive
to light.  My friend Mary suggests it may have something to do with mold spores.
Interesting, but I can't say for sure what is going on.

I stayed the course to the end of the second lap, found a chair, and sat down
for about a half hour.  I was still on track at 40 miles in 8 hours and 3 minutes,
but I recognized I was in trouble.  Breathing deeply, I drank and ate,
switched into dry clothing, and mustered enough courage, against my better
judgement, to begin the third loop.  After about four miles I quickly realized I
should have listened to my instincts and dropped out at 40 miles.  Things got
worse.  With darkness approaching I began to experience hypothermia, to
add insult to injury.  In the long section leading to the second visit of the Dam
Nation aid station I was looking for relief but found none, no matter what.

Reaching the dam at about 51 miles I asked for help from two gentlemen there 
who were on duty for people just like me.  I withdrew from the event right
there before they dispatched me across the lake over to the start in a small
skiff.  At the dock I was greeted by three medical personal who took me up to
a triage tent and checked me out for about an hour before cutting me loose.
While they showed great concern over my obvious malaise I recovered enough
that I was able to leave of my own accord without even a clue as to what
just happened.  Legs were still good and ready to run more, but I was done.
And discouraged.  This was not what I had envisioned for the day.  To be KO'd
by sickness after all the preparation and anticipation was disappointing.

It was a good day for most of those I was hanging with.  Both Melissa and
Shawn scored their first hundred finish running through the rain during a long
night of misery.  I collected Melissa in the morning after eight and got her
dispatched to her hotel in Houston before bolting home in my car.  I felt
very good the next day, with nary a sore muscle.  Shrugging off my obvious
disappointment I embraced preparation for the twelve-hour effort I would be
lining up for near Hilton Head the next weekend.

Not the kind of race report I am thrilled to write.  There are days like this, 
unfortunately.  While it perhaps is whiny it enables me to look back and review
what I may need to adjust to have a better effort here or somewhere else the 
next time, if anything.  And so it goes.


Pre-Race fun with
Evy, Melissa, Ken, Kino, and Otto