Finishing Time: 3hrs 44min
We woke up this crisp 28 degree morning with ice on our tents. Handwarmers were in order along with a hot breakfast of oatmeal, 3 mini muffins, eggs, bacon, cottage cheese, and black coffee with sugar.
The run started off along the road (yuck) then veered off onto trail for an extremely steep climb. On the way up we came upon one of the aid station jeeps (4x4 rugged JEEPS) that was perched and wedged at the same time sideways right smack dab in the middle of the trail. Apparantly very truly stuck and broke down.
The reward of breaking the crest of this hill was a magnificient view of Mount Holy Cross (which i didn't capture here)
And....wind. It wasn't a blustery wind, but it was just enough to quickly cool the sweat on my body and chill me to the bone. I suddenly became extremely cold, a severe headache erupted, and nausea poured through my gut. Recognizing the signs of badness, I quickly threw on all my cold weather gear with a fresh set of handwarmers (since I didn't have anything dry to change into), summarized how I felt to Stephanie, and began my descent ahead of Steph. Since I skipped the aid station I tried to throw some calories into my body and suck down some water even though I had no desire to eat nor drink. As I clicked down the feet of elevation slightly and got into some treed areas away from the wind I almost immediately felt better.
Stephanie quickly caught up to me, as I knew she would, and we took up multiple road kill along the way through the river and into town. At the last aid station (and knowing we were just a few miles away from the finish) I begged Stephanie to hurry. "Why?" she asked. "Because I'm turtling!" I wimpered.
I was trying to keep it on the DL (we all know IT happens along the trail, especially long distances such as these, but we just don't usually discuss such happenings).
Stephanie turns around sharply and mid bite exclaims loudly, "What's "turtling"?!"
As my face turned bright red, the volunteer crowd got a good friendly laugh as one of the older women explained. I was both grateful and mortified.
Needless to say, we finished not too long after that discussion and I was relieved. The town was quaint and fun. We walked across the street to a supermarket/hotel/liquor store where Stephanie promptly downed a beer and I grabbed a camping size snack pack of cereal and a half gallon of milk. I threw it all in a giant sized soda cup and inhaled. I was grateful I went the cereal route when Stephanie started feeling the effects of her drink of choice and began displaying the cherries she had tattooed on her rear end.
When we got back to camp I took a shower, had the luxury of shaving my legs (made me much faster), strung my hammock up in the back of the Uhaul truck, and fell asleep rocking in the breeze with Memphis Joe rubbing my head. ahhh life is so good.
That night at dinner I had great conversations with Anita Ortiz and Dean's partner, Helen- two fantastic trail runners who I absolutely look up to. Starbucks coffee was served in the Salomon tent and the night's give-away was a mini- med kit and chapstick. Cynthia, Gore's awesome Rep, started out the night calling everyone "Bastards of Extreme." She had actually said Masters of Extreme, but with the microphone etc, it came out very much Bastards....it was a hoot!