Quad Rock 50 - May 2017 - Ft Collins, CO
I got off work Friday mid-afternoon on an absolutely gorgeous day here in Nebraska. With the sun high in the sky I fueled up and hit I-80 West towards the Rockies. "I-80 West" rings in my head here and there throughout my week, just that nice neat little phrase and all it's promise and undiscovered adventure. I sat back, relaxed and listened to Elizabeth Greenwood explain why her 6 digit student loan debt has lead her to obtaining her own death certificate and many notable people who have faked their own deaths in the audio book "Playing Dead" read by Arden Hammersmith.
This kept me intrigued for miles, (both driving and while running). This one was a random find on audible, almost like hitting shuffle on Spotify radio and a song comes on and then you go listen to the whole album. I stumbled on this, the initial aww inspiring feeling of this young gal is going to leave it all behind for a new life in the Philippines was quickly reminded of all the collateral damage when one does partake in pseudocide. Although financial seems to be the biggest reason, I heard stories of people leaving fame, leaving abusive relationships, insurance frauds, taking advantage of terrorist attacks and one of the most shattering to belief in people was a man faking his own death after his wife passed away so he did not have to parent their infant child. Only to be discovered by his very own daughter 30 years later, but a week after his actual real death. This was one of those stories that make you just wonder about all the people and different situations going on out in the world and how faking ones death can ever be an option. I was totally "in" the book by the time I hit Ft Collins, CO that evening.
I stopped by the local run store about 30 minutes late as they were all dark and closed up, I'd have to get my packet in the morning. So I went for a drive up the road that goes around Horseshoe Reservoir and entered into Lory State Park, where the race start was. The sun went down over the back of the mountains as I set out my gear, read through the information about the race and ate my Thermos of dinner. I fell asleep in the back of my car around 9:00 and was woke up around 3:30 that morning by the first people arriving for the race. I got myself up, ate a bit of breakfast and got myself ready to run. The start was buzzing with people before much time passed and the sun was just starting to peek up. We stood on a little gravel road when the gun went off and about 150 of us headed into the mountains. I positioned myself somewhere near the middle of pack.
We hit the trails and life was good. I couldn't not get over the views. It seemed like every few minutes another view overlooking the city or the mountains would open up. On one climb I took a picture of the view and told the Facebook world that if I could only do 1 race a year it'd be this pure mountain magic. The first 20 miles had us the top of 3 different peaks.Mile 6, 12 and 20 all concluded with a few thousand feet of climb. I was not ready for this.
I didn't really study this one at all and just tried to think about it as a regular run, big mistake. I got to the 25 mile mark at 5 hours and set back out to do the same 25 mile loop backwards for the last half. I had ran the Lincoln Marathon pretty hard only 6 days earlier & hadnt taken any days off since. I ran and talked with another runner for quite a bit of the first portion of this loop. Somewhere around mile 30 I started having stomach issues and then the big climb came and they got worse. I fought a muscle in my leg tightening up after that and lost all that fire and fuel to keep going & going. At mile 38 I decided I was done,
I could of hiked it out, I had time, but I also had a lot of things to do this weekend including driving back home. Working hard doesn't always mean hiking out a bad run, or suffering when the day isn't yours. I got a solid 40 mile run in a course that was way harder than I anticipated and I never (seriously) contemplated faking my own death.
I'm happy I went out there because I got to experience the course and get a feel for the race. I plan to come back again and conquer this one. Colorado runners always humble me with their insane athleticism. It was such a wonderful experience to be in the company of so many great athletes at the finish as I ate my veggie burger and drank from my 25 mile finisher mug. Oh yea, they let you drop down to 25 miles and not have to go home with an offical "DNF" ribbon around your neck. Great race, great trails, great scenery, great people. See you again, better rested with the right focus sometime soon. Happy Trails!