Thursday, October 20, 2011



The day after Leadville at breakfast Brian, Judy and Paul were strongly encouraging me to find another 100 race. They all have been very supportive of me. I started thinking what was out there before the season ended. I quickly came up with Oil Creek 100. The positives, I knew the course and it wasn’t far from home. My biggest concern was could Paul and Judy join us for pacing duties? Since they would be travelling to North Carolina at that time it worked out that they could be there for me.  I sent the race director an email with my dilemma since I noticed the race was full. He told me to go ahead and register. Okay step one done! I’m in and actually excited.


 Brian and I left Friday afternoon to get to PA.  The trip was uneventful except that Brian had a nice head cold and I drove most of the way there. Along the way we stopped at a travel plaza on the toll road for a bathroom break. We could smell the Cinnabons as we walked out and I mentioned how good they smelled. We threw caution to the wind and turned around to go back in the building and get one. Why not? I was running 100 miles the next day, I’ll burn it off. We did share one between the two of us and it was oh so good! We decided to go tent camping since the weather was supposed to be spectacular. We have a tent that goes in the back of my Avalanche, so we are up off the ground. We got there around 8 p.m. and went in to get my number and stuff. We set the tent up in the parking lot for the night. This would make for an easy morning since the start time was 5 a.m. We headed off to bed all comfy, oh wait Brian immediately started complaining his ass was touching the bed of the truck. It wasn't long and the mattress was totally deflated. Also, the temps dipped into the upper 30's low 40's! So it was cold and very wet from dew. We didn't sleep very well that night. I got up the next morning before the alarm went off and walked into the school where it was warmer, to get ready.  I came back to the truck to grab my drop boxes and take them where they needed to go.  Brian and I headed for inside the school where we would wait until it was time to start. As I was eating a bagel I discovered that my Garmin was missing! I dropped it by accident, someone found it and gave it to the race director. I found him and retrieved it! Whew! Soon we all were headed outside to start.


Brian was standing next to me and the next thing I know everyone is taking off. Oh, the race has started? I kiss Brian quickly and I'm off! I run relaxed and feeling good except for one thing, the guy near me must be terrified of bears he has freaking bear bells on and within a half mile is already driving me nuts! Ching, ching, ching, ching.... Grrr.... He and I are together for at least 2 miles. In the meantime while I'm running Brian went back to the truck to get some sleep, since it’s going to be a lonnnnnng day.  I hit the trail still feeling awesome and holding back. It's dark, really dark and I know it’s going to be for a while until daylight. I make my way on the single track with lots of others and passing is hard to do. This is a good thing for me since it holds me back even though I'm chomping at the bit to go faster. I try to relax! I'm motoring along quite well and tell myself all I have to do is keep my feet under me and life is good. I go by the first water only checkpoint there is a volunteer standing there.


 I cross the bridge and head up the short hill. Now I'm on level ground and cruising easily along. That is until a half mile after the bridge. I think I clipped a rock and went down. It's not unusual for me to fall. This fall did ring my bell a bit. I sat up and someone asked are you ok, I replied yep. I went to brush the dirt off my knee oops it wasn't dirt! I could see my entire knee cap and part of the joint. I said some not nice words and threw my water bottle. I was more mad than hurt. I didn’t cry, it wasn't supposed to be like this!  I knew at that point I was done! I got up and started walking back to the water only aid station since I knew there was a volunteer there. As I walked along many runners asked if I was ok my answer NO! I did see a few people I knew along the way and I told them to keep going! As I made it back to the water only point another guy missed the turn and landed under the bridge I had to go over. The volunteer was rushing to help him not knowing that I was coming back for help. This guy was shaken but not hurt badly. As I got on the bridge I announced it that I was going to pass out. I had 4 runners catch me as I went down. The weird thing was I could still hear what was going on around me. They got me over the bridge and sat me down to assess the situation. Some of the runners were trying to hand me first aid, but this gash was beyond first aid. Once I felt up to it and shooed all the runners away instructing them to go do their run, the volunteer walked me down the trail to the bike path. I felt fine to walk and even considered continuing.  He was telling me had driven his truck down to this area the last 2 years and this year this year he decided to take his bike. His thought was these are 100 milers they are careful and no tragedies have ever happened this early in the race. He got on his bike to get help and I started walking to the start finish.


It was dark, cold, wet and did I say dark? I was hearing funny things in the woods which was freaking me out and freezing to death! I must have walked a mile before the EMT's found me. They put me in the golf cart and drove what felt like 90 mph to get me to the school. Once I got in the school they looked at the knee, I got many of odd looks. They said the ambulance will be here shortly. I adamantly said NO I'm not taking an ambulance, I'm not dying.  One of the EMT’s instructed a girl to take my blood pressure she said I can't take it I've only done this in training! I was thinking, really? You won’t kill me. This is when I wanted Cara there she would have done it without hesitation. So someone else luckily stepped up to the plate. I also called Brian at this point using someone’s cell phone. He didn't recognize the number but, luckily he answered it. I told him to come up to the school I was inside, I had a little accident.  By the time he got there they had me all packaged up and they had officially pulled me from the race by pulling my tag off my number. I really wanted to get back out there. I signed the paperwork that I refused an ambulance and was released.


We walked back to the truck and still had to tear the tent down and throw all the crap that was in the front seat in the back. The tent was soaked from the morning dew but, we decided we would dry it out later. Once everything was packed up we were able to go to the hospital which was literally a couple of blocks away.  While we drove there Brian told me I needed to call Paul and Judy to let them know what happened. As I called using my phone Judy answered thinking Brian was calling in with a race report. So she answered the phone all happy and chipper not realizing I was on the other end. At first she was confused. Why aren’t you running, hang up the phone and get going. I explained I had a little accident and was on my way to the hospital. She had the same reaction I did and once again the not so nice words were flying. I explained what happened and they said they were still coming. My thoughts were good, because I needed them for support! We walked into the hospital at a good time. There was no one else there, so I got right in. They took me and kept Brian back to take care of the paperwork. The nurses were so nice and made my side trip no so bad. I was still shivering and cold. They gave me blankets to warm me up but I also think I was in a bit of shock as well. They got me somewhat cleaned up and I was headed to x-ray for some lovely pictures of my knee. When I came back Brian said oh no! What? You didn’t get a chance to do your hair! No I didn’t. The dr. came in and they had to basically flush my knee out. I had so much trail dirt in there. He was pulling out leaf stems and had to cut some of the tissue away since the dirt was ground in! I had Brian take a picture of the gash before anything was done so that we would have pictures to share. The hospital staff was shaking their heads at us since we were anxious to share it on Facebook. The flush was not fun and for a few of the stitches the numbing medicine wore off that was painful!!! 9 stitches later I was patched back up and released.  While we waited for Paul and Judy to get there we were able to get my drop boxes, get a campsite for the night and my pain medication. They arrived later in the day and we had a fun day despite me not finishing the 100 miler.  
The next few days after that were not fun! We drove home and basically spent it on the couch. My knee was swollen and I could barely walk. It was almost a week later before things started to look better. As each day goes by I’m feeling better and I’m actually already up and running again. My season is over for 2011 and I’m looking forward to 2012!! I’m hoping that I have paid my dues and my string of bad luck is over!  I’m not even thinking of another 100 miler at this point, I’m just trying to enjoy some down time and giving my body a break. With that said my next big race will be April 15th 2012 at Forget the PR in Ohio.

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