Sunday, September 16, 2012

Buncombe 55k – Short but not so sweet

     This is a realization come to form. I did a lot of reflecting during this DNF. Yes. This DNF. Every Ultra I have run since the Foothills Trail DNF has been hard with one thing or another happing to me.  Long Cane – food sickness. Chattooga – Mental fuck from the FHT (same section of trail where I thought I was going to die). Now Buncombe being stung by a wasp / yellow jacket / bee / something. 

   I started out strong running hard in 1st place but at about mile 4ish (not sure Garmin somehow died over night while off) a runner came flying by me so fast it made me look like I was walking. I thought if he keeps pushing that pace he will slow down latter and ill gat back to him. That runner finished 1st and never slowed down by the way. After he passed another runner was close on my heals and we ran together for a bit before he took over running in front. This happened again latter putting me in 4th. I knew I would get back to 2ed latter this only being 8ish miles into a 55k. About a mile before the 1st Aid station there was so much over growth I was not sure if I was still on trail or had missed a turn. I stopped and waited for some other runners to get close so I could make sure. I knew there was a group not far behind me. As they got closer I asked and yep I was good so got ready to take off when… a bad stinging hit my leg. Each runner said they thought it was something different. I did not see it I just knew it hurt like hell. 

     I ran with them to the 1st aid station and got some cream and put it on my leg. A volunteer started looking for the stinger. AHHHHHHHHHHHH. I screamed “there it is” said Mr. Smith another volunteer making me laugh in the mist of the pain. We got the stinger out and I thought I would be good. I took off hoping to meet back up with the group of runners and just hang with them until my leg got to feeling better. Well people it never got better in fact did the opposite. My right leg started cramping and going numb. My eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head and my skin felt like it was on fire. I thought ok just slow it down and just finish. I started doing just that and the pain got worse. The trail was so over grown limbs and other brush keep hitting my legs and making my right one suck even more. I did not want to drop but was thinking about the events I have coming up where I’m not running but I’m crew/pacing other runners that are counting on me. 

     I hit the 2nd Aid station and sat down thinking about what I should do. Jason who was volunteering at that AS told me that my face was puffy and another person said my skin was really red. That was it. I looked up and said "I’m done" thinking there is no way I’m running another 21 miles of this with my heart pumping blood hard and fast pushing that crap throughout my body. Not the best idea. 

     Off we went to get me some Benadryl. I took 4 and slowly started feeling better. I have a lot of thoughts going on in my head right now. Give up Ultras. Just pace/crew for the friends counting on me. Be done with this year. Not running my last planed event and just start fresh next year. Quit running altogether and go back the skateboarding and snowbarding. It maybe the Benadryl talking but I really have to think this over. The past 6 months of running and only feeling good and enjoying 1 event. That maybe a sign from above. I did have a great time camping out the night before with friends and being really messed up on Benadryl is something. 1st time ever and boy does it do something to you. 


  1. Hang in there JP..and NO MORE F'ing Talk About Giving Up Running!!!! #1 Its not suppose to feel good! So having even one event that felt good..well is something to be proud of.. lol You have just been plagued with very coincidental bad things that will 'odds wise' never happen again. Dont give these freaky bad un-controllable happenings in credit and clearly dont blame yourself... Although my complete body shut down on me at mile 20 of The Cremator...and although it's 'technically listed as a DNF... I choose to consider the positives that did occur and give no credence to the notion that I was weak, and that failure to continue was a choice I made... Some things happen to us..... Somethings happen in spite of us.... and still others happen to us totally outside the realm of our control... You're a GREAT RUNNER, A GREAT GUY and a PLEASURE to be around.... When the Benadryl wears off you will remember all that too! :)

  2. Joe,
    shit happens. It's how you handle it that defines a person. Sometimes it is harder to be smart when things start going bad. You made the wise decision to fight another day. In time you will look back and laugh at all this crap. I would love to say I was running in 1st place for 1 mile let alone 4. You are blessed to have that ability. Now... when you get as slow as me... THEN you can think about quitting.
    Take care.

  3. Smart move Joe... Remember, DNF is DID NOT FATAL. The joy of Ultra Running is enjoying the run, stuff happens man. See you out there soon!

  4. Y'all are all right. I will go to FATS and just run for fun like i normally do. I just need to get back to the fun of running and remember why i started running Ultras in the first place. Thank you all for uplifting words. here and on FB.