Snowdrop Ultra Report

We want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly!
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Spirit Unleashed
Lynn Williams
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Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:31 pm

Someone else said this, "I don’t know how to describe the pain... the excruciating, searing pain that each footfall brought to every joint and muscle fiber in my body or the exhaustion that left me unable to walk even a single step beyond the finish line."

I can't do that. My brain says that I should stop. This happens over and over; and why I fail at 100 mile timed races.

But I am not going to throw away the 45 miles I did do. So here goes.

I have been a fantasizer about ultra miles for years. And I have tried various venues. When I heard about this one, I thought it could finally work. The course is in Houston so I could drive to it. It is essentially 3 days which should be enough. They rented cubicle tents next to the course. There was a hotel 5 miles away. I clicked submit.

During the summer, I completed a virtual race where I got in 100 miles in 64 hours. This caused me to think Snowdrop was do-able. This was a mistake because the virtual race was in summer (my element). And I ran the virtual race from home where I could get food I needed and in between miles, I could lay on the bed with ice packs. I could use my rollers to limber up. I could make shoe adjustments.

Well, anyway, training went well. On October 31, I did a 50k in fine form. In late November, I did another 30 mile run with a 10 mile walk the next day. I was sure I was ready.

On December 18, I had a terrible sore throat. I thought I had plenty of time to get over a cold before the race. On Monday 12/22, I still had a terrible sore throat and couldn't talk. I went on a mission to obtain antibiotics. Yes, I had bronchitis. But I got well very quickly. No lingering horrible cough like I saw others having.

On Monday 12/29, I drove over to the race site and picked up my packet. I also dropped off numerous race medals for the Bling for Bravery program. This caused the volunteers to gasp and thank me for my gift. I also met with a woman who had expertise in taping toes. She showed me how she does it and taped two of mine. I did the other foot myself later.

The course is 0.76 miles, mostly flat. It had been raining in Houston so the course was wet, and of course muddy with numerous people walking around it. And cold and windy. Because of the mud, many of us spent the first 8 hours walking around the mud on the grass. This made the course longer but was worth it to keep the feet dry. Then a group of Boy Scouts were put to work putting filler onto the course so we could easily walk around it. That was impressive.

Image

I got to the start ontime. Everything seemed good. Well, Team RWB is an annoying group of people if you happen to be a pacifist and non-patriot. I had to duck several times to avoid being slapped in the face by huge American flags being carried around the course.

Snowdrop Foundation funds childhood cancer research. Around the course were pictures of cute children Some said "In loving memory of _____;" these were the kids that died. Some said, "In honor of _______;" I presume these were the kids still fighting cancer. These pictures caused me to choke up. I thought about how they were probably loved. I mourned my own terrible childhood. I came to believe in a loving Father God.

For 30 miles, 8 hours, I did my walk jog. Then switched to power walking. Things felt really good. I was surprised. I walked 5 laps more than plan; and stopped to go to the hotel with 45 miles. I didn't suspect any problems. My main concern was food. As a vegetarian, I hadn't had the hot meaty meals other people had received. I was craving green.

I got in my car and drove the 5 miles to the hotel.

When I tried to get out of the car, whoa! My right leg won't straighten all the way. The tendons on the back had suddenly snapped tight and swollen. I could hardly walk at all. This did not seem good.

I went to my room. I warmed up some beans. Ate the yogurt. Took some Aleve. But mostly I laid there with a pillow under the knee. Every time I tried to get up, everything of my body hurt but also, the leg continued to be dis-functional.

Alone in my hotel room a decision was reached. I know that the leg could be very slowly warmed up and I could slowly walk all day and continue the race. It would be ungodly slow, cold, wet, muddy. Most ultra runners would do this. Alone in my hotel room, I thought that I didn't want that leg to feel the same level of bad again the next night or the following night. It wasn't worth a belt buckle to continue to destroy the knee. Did I really need to spend 2 more days walking around a muddy cold course?

Gulp! Early the next morning the knee is better, but I'm more worried about parking at the race (where I need to go to turn in my chip and pick up my gear), and morning traffic when I tried to drive home. My mind was not on trying at all. Only thinking about going home.

I think the power walking was yanking the tendons every step. That particular knee has had an ACL strain in the past. I know it is not a wholly perfect piece of work. I was surprised that walking caused this, but it was exuberant walking for 15 miles on top of 30 miles of jog/walk.

Anyone I've talked to outside of the race has told me I did the right thing. No ultra-runner has agreed however. There is a line there which I have not crossed.

My tendons did get better in a couple of days. I did realize I have a problem which limits ultra-running. Both a mental and physical limit. 45 miles is however not to be thrown away. I did it! I'm glad for that.

I've cancelled my summer expedition. That is because 2 of the 6 days were to be 39 and 43 miles on hills with time limits. I don't want to challenge my knee and then be stuck in a desert tent with no ability to deal with it. An expensive lesson.

But my mind still soars. I don't know what to do except restrict ego activities and sink into silent prayer. I guess that is all that needs to be said. 45 miles!
Athlete....Maniac 973....Marathon Maniac 6645
Live the most amazing life you can live - La
marathon runners are awesomeness personified - Ian
Bucket list: http://www.tassietrailfest.com.au/
http://ultramonk.blogspot.com/

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grimskot
Bill Crothers
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby grimskot » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:50 pm

Thanks for the report, Spirit. Like I said in your journal, 45 miles is awesome to me. It's one thing to be stiff &sore at the end of a race. It's quite another to be in pain &dysfunctional, and have to face doing it all again the next day. So yeah, I understand your decision to stop racing at that point. Likewise I understand your decision to opt out of your desert events. Amazing as those sounded, it might've been a once-in-a-lifetime experience of entirely the wrong sort. :(
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Jun 25: St. Malo Triathlon - Sprint - done
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Habs4ever
Kevin Sullivan
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby Habs4ever » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:08 pm

Great report, my friend.

I've told you before how proud I am of you! You continue to press on.
I wanna live like there's no tomorrow
Love, like I'm on borrowed time
It's good to be alive, yeah....Jason Gray

Running is a conversation with your body. Sometimes you listen and sometimes you tell it to stop whining and do something. - Ian

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Nicholas
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby Nicholas » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:51 am

It is a true race when you find out more about yourself. Congrats on accomplishing what you did on what turned out to be more of a challenging course than you thought. And if pushing through pain barriers and spending weeks in recovery mode just to get a belt buckle is not your thing, then there is nothing wrong with that. The Spirit is still willing and able.....
Nicholas

Events in 2018
Walking, Yoga, Soccer scrimmages and whatever else I can do
Hip replacement on September 10....now doing a variation of the None to Run plan

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Robinandamelia
Jerome Drayton
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby Robinandamelia » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:11 am

Congrats, 45 miles is impressive! Any run is a good run so well done.

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purdy65
Abby Hoffman
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby purdy65 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:43 am

Thank for sharing your adventure Laura! 45 miles is awesome in my books.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight...it's the size of the fight in the dog! 11K Marker post - 2010 ATB.

Introducing 2017

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drghfx
Abby Hoffman
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby drghfx » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:32 pm

Well done! 45 miles is 45 miles no matter how you cut it and covering 45 miles is impressive! Congratulations!
"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children." - John James Audubon

"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"I was watching the London Marathon and saw one runner dressed as a chicken and another runner dressed as an egg. I thought: 'This could be interesting'." - Paddy Lennox

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast!" - author unknown

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drghfx
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby drghfx » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:22 pm

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children." - John James Audubon

"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"I was watching the London Marathon and saw one runner dressed as a chicken and another runner dressed as an egg. I thought: 'This could be interesting'." - Paddy Lennox

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast!" - author unknown

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Spirit Unleashed
Lynn Williams
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:33 pm

drghfx wrote:I found an article for you Spirit!

http://www.trailrunnermag.com/training/ ... ramarathon

that is funny .... and true. Especially 7- 9
Athlete....Maniac 973....Marathon Maniac 6645
Live the most amazing life you can live - La
marathon runners are awesomeness personified - Ian
Bucket list: http://www.tassietrailfest.com.au/
http://ultramonk.blogspot.com/

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Avis
Jerome Drayton
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby Avis » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:26 pm

Great report. I am in awe of 45 miles. I am sorry you had to cancel your desert quest this summer, but knowing you, you'll be on a quest one day, one way or another.
"We are made of dreams and bones."
--The Garden Song

"By perseverance, the snail reached the ark."
--Charles H. Spurgeon

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
--Pablo Picasso

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Ken B
Lynn Williams
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby Ken B » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:49 pm

How did I miss this report! Mea Culpa. Excellent report and sorry to read about the knee. We all have physical limits and you are one who pushes yours beyond what most of us can. I certainly agree with your decision to stop at that point. Regarding your summer excursion, maybe in the future, you will want to try it. If I can fit it in, I would be honored to do it with you.

Looking forward to the Seabrook races!! :)

trixiee
Lynn Williams
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Re: Snowdrop Ultra Report

Postby trixiee » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:41 am

Peace. Glad you have found it. 45 miles. Awesome.


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