The SLUGs (St. Louis Ultrarunner Group) are some of the best people you will ever want to meet and this was the FIRST race I've ever been in where I didn't see one (not even the top pull tab..) Gu/Gel packet or any litter at all on the path.
I started off feeling quite good...considering I was only 2 weeks post-Leadville 100. For 2 hours, I was truckin' right along...and then this pain in my butt (piriformis?) and hamstring flared up worse than ever. OMG...it got so bad that I felt like I was pulling my right leg forward each step by hiking my hip and rotating my hip forward. The back of my leg--all the way down to my foot was numb and tingling and yet it apparently was NOT numb as I cold still feel a sharp, deep pain in that same area.
Just when I decided I would either quit or just walk as long as I could, I broke the "cardinal rule" and took 2 small regular aspirins to see what would happen. NOTHING. No pain relief at all. So, like a dummy, after about an hour, I took 2 more. THAT helped...for a few hours. I think, had I not been the first-place female and 3rd or 4th overall, I might have found it easier to just quit. I know I still made a stupid decision, but I did it.
The middle of the day warmed up and I was cramping in my calves...and no amount of s!caps or decrease in intensity (was just walking for almost 3 loops) seemed to help relieve the cramping. Once the sun started to move to the east a bit, I started to come alive a bit...and by 6pm, I was feeling pretty good.
After my last loop, I was actually almost sprinting the 1/4-mi "out-n-backs" until the finish.
I was not keeping track of my place throughout the afternoon and evening and did not know what my total mileage was although I never saw a woman pass me, so I was pretty sure that somehow I had managed to stay in first.
Much to my amazement, I ended up with 69.35 miles which was good for 1st female and 4th overall.
We were so lucky to have a day that was sunny and nice, yet cooler than normal!
Met a LOT of VERY nice people and got to chat with some great friends that I hadn't seen in a while.
After my struggle at Leadville, with my asthma and my continued problems with asthma (think the start of the fall harvest is the problem right now), I never imagined that I'd ever win another race! Am i lucky or what!?
Anyway, this is a great race, with GREAT volunteers, great runners, the BEST RDs (Victoria and David White) and a very nice venue. If you like loop courses...where you get to chat with folks and see them again and again, I highly recommend this race!!!
In Health and Happiness, Tracy--The Marvelous Mud Hen!