Monday, September 10, 2012

Wasatch 100 Race report---(sort of)

Pop……and it was over.

Before I put this report together I had the following thoughts:
  • Should I even do one?
  • This will be the shortest report ever!
  • Who cares?
  • Save the boo-hoo story.

Well, I will take this time for me. Maybe throwing this out into the universe will help with the coping. Maybe it will help me get it out of my system. Maybe one day I can revisit it and laugh. Well, no matter what the outcome, I will do this one for myself.

Wasatch 100 is my favorite race. It is the toughest race I have ever done and I love it. This year was to be a year of great achievement. I thought I had a great game plan coming into 2012. Lined up a lot of great races, fantastic training runs, started Pilates and was very consistent with everything. This was my year! I was ready from Day 1. I am fortunate to have the best running partners on the planet- The HUMR’s.  Running with this group of people makes it so much fun and I look forward to getting out on the trails. They all played a major role this year- got me out the door, pushed me to go farther, pushed me to go faster, kept me consistent and most importantly- made it enjoyable. Thanks you all!
Leading up to the race I was sure I would finish (I was 2 for 2 heading in) and my main focus was under 28 hours. I did sub 30 last year so with the year I have had I knew it was more than possible. When I arrived at the start I was a little nervous but I have been here before. This was my superbowl, my big dance, my 2012 rolled into one race. I shared “good lucks” and “see you at finish” comments before the game was on. My plan was simple enough- get out quicker and not get stuck on the long climb. Well, I did just that. I felt great and hit Fernwood right where I wanted to be. Throughout the climb to the top and I was enjoying it. I was looking forward to different sections on the course and the AS and looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces throughout this journey. When I was up above chinscraper I was still very excited. I was ahead of where I thought I would be time wise and still felt good. I stopped at the spring and filled my bottles to ensure I would take enough in before I hit Francis Peak. I knew it would be hot and I wanted to stay ahead a bit on hydration. I holstered my bottles and was off. About a ¼ mile from the spring while enjoying some beautiful single track I felt a POP. It kinda felt like someone shot me. I immediately shot straight up and fell to the ground. The 2 runners right behind tried to avoid me but no luck on the small trail- the fell right over my legs. We all apologized for the pile up and they politely asked if I was okay. I responded- “oh ya- sorry about that.” Inside I knew I wasn’t. I got up- dusted off, wiped the blood from my knee and shin and started to assess the damage. What the hell just happened- I thought.  I walked a few steps and my right hamstring felt like it was about to cramp. I was hoping it was just a tight hamstring and that I could work it out in a mile or 2. I do believe part of me was in denial. In the back of my mind I knew I was in trouble. I had 88 more miles to go. I kept thinking- if I make it to Big Mountain and see my friends and family maybe I can rally.
The service road to Francis Peak is very runnable and I was hoping to get there and coast in. At Grobbens Corner I filled my bottles and tried to get down the road. Fellow HUMR Jim Skaggs caught me here and we discussed what was going on. He said- “maybe it’s just tight and it will loosen up”, that sounded good to me and I was hoping for the same thing so 2 votes was a good thing. Nothing he could do here to help and I watched him take off down the road.
I made in to FP and saw Rick Robinson there with my drop bag. He saw something was wrong and we talked briefly about it. He offered to drive over to Bountiful B if I wanted to continue to see if it would indeed loosen up. Why not? I had nothing to lose. My calendar was free so I wasn’t going to be wasting my time. I left FP and did everything I could to get moving again. A few miles down the road it became even more apparent something was wrong when I had a hard time getting y right foot off the ground and over rocks and trees. I was tripping everywhere. I tried to enjoy this section because I knew I was done. Runners were passing me asking if I was okay and I just let them know I was fine and wished then luck on their way. When I finally hit the Bountiful AS I was devastated. I tried to keep my emotions in check because there were so many people around. I signed the DNF paper and it was over- just like that.
On the drive down with Rick, we shared some good stories. It helped take my mind off what just happened but by the time I got home it really hit me. I was absolutely crushed. It felt like a dream. This wasn’t really happening.  Dropping out 24miles into a 100 mile race- are you serious! What about my pacers? They take time off work and I stood them up- nice……
The past few days have been pretty dark. I turned off my phone and just tried to process it all. I was so disappointed. I hurt- not my leg but my insides. How do I explain this to my kids? They think their dad is super human. They were looking so forward to running on the grass across the finish line at the Homestead. That was their time………
The road to recovery has begun- physically, mentally and emotionally. I really have no idea how this will turn out and when. I don’t deal well with failure. The disappointed I feel still after 3 days is a little overwhelming. Yes, I know part of me is most likely having a pity party but this is tough. I was ready this year. I was ready big time. I prepared all year and had some great visions of what the day would be like. I never once thought I wouldn’t finish. I was not prepared for this…….


Danni said...

Oh Aric, I was there pacing and saw you had to DNF and was wondering what happened. This is not a personal failure. Not in any way shape or form. It does not define who you are as a dad or a person or a runner. It's an injury and these things happen. I know it's incredibly disappointing, but it's one blip on the radar. I hope you can soon realize this and recover quickly from the pop.

Jon Allen said...

Man, major bummer, man. That's terrible. Hope it's nothing too serious. If it's any consolation, an injury DNF has to be at least a bit better than a wussing-out DNF, right? Get better soon.

Anti Money Laundering said...

I think optimism is always the key on whatever circumstances that may come your way.